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Theatre News: Suffs, Death Let Me Do My Show, Hadestown, Harmony, Doubt: A Parable and Appropriate

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Following a 2022 world premiere with off-Broadway’s Public Theater, the original musical Suffs is coming to Broadway in 2024. The production will officially open on April 18 at the Music Box Theatre. A first-preview date is still to be announced.

Joining the Suffs producing team as co-producers are former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Nobel Prize-winning education activist Malala Yousafzai.

Set in 1913, Suffs tells the story of real-life historical game changers in the women’s movement. The musical follows a number of suffragists in their pursuit for a woman’s right to vote.

Suffs features a book and score by Shaina Taub, who will make her Broadway debut with the musical. Directed by Tony Award nominee Leigh Silverman, the production will feature choreography by Mayte Natalio with music supervision and direction by Andrea Grody.


MJ
will celebrate Halloween after the performance on Tuesday, October 31st with a special performance of the beloved choreography in Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” short film. While the legendary number is performed in the musical every night, — as envisioned by Tony Award-winner choreographer and director Christopher Wheeldon, now, in an annual Halloween tradition, audiences will get to witness a celebratory rendition of the iconic music video choreography, featuring one-night-only costumes, lighting, and projections. Audience members are encouraged to wear costumes to the performance.

MJ is currently playing on Broadway at the Neil Simon Theatre. Since beginning performances in December 2021, the production has played to nearly 1 million patrons and has broken the box office record at the Neil Simon Theatre ten times. The North American Tour, which opened in Chicago on August 1st, is currently playing in Durham NC, and the West End premiere is set for March 2024 at London’s Prince Edward Theatre. The Tony Award winning production will open in Hambrug, Germany in fall 2024.

Elle Fanning

Second Stage Theater (Carole Rothman, President and Artistic Director; Lisa Lawer Post, Executive Director), in association with Ambassador Theatre Group Productions, Amanda Dubois, Annapurna Theatre, and Bad Robot Live, today announced that Emmy, Golden Globe, and SAG Award nominee Elle Fanning (“The Great”) will make her Broadway debut in its upcoming production of Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’ Appropriate, directed by Lila Neugebauer.

Ms. Fanning joins the previously announced Natalie Gold, Alyssa Emily Marvin, Sarah Paulsonand Corey Stoll. Additional casting will be forthcoming.

Part of Second Stage’s 45th Anniversary Season, Appropriatewill begin previews Wednesday, November 29th and will officially open on Monday, December 18th at Second Stage’s Hayes Theater (240 West 44th street). This production marks Mr. Jacobs-Jenkins’ Broadway debut.

It’s summer, the cicadas are singing, and the Lafayette family has returned to their late patriarch’s Arkansas home to deal with the remains of his estate. Toni (Paulson), the eldest daughter, hopes they’ll spend the weekend remembering and reconnecting over their beloved father. Bo (Stoll), her brother, wants to recoup some of the funds he spent caring for Dad at the end of his life. But things take a turn when their estranged brother, Franz, appears late one night, and mysterious objects are discovered among the clutter. Suddenly, long-hidden secrets and buried resentments can’t be contained, and the family is forced to face the ghosts of their past.

Rachel Bloom photo by by Emilio Madrid

Award-winning producers Mike & Carlee Productions are pleased to announce that Death, Let Me Do My Show, the original one-woman musical comedy written by and starring Emmy Award-winner Rachel Bloom (“Crazy Ex-Girlfriend”) and directed by Seth Barrish (Mike Birbiglia: The Old Man & the Pool) will return this winter for an encore engagement following its critically-acclaimed, sold-out run this fall. This strictly limited four week engagement begins performances on December 7 at the Orpheum Theatre (126 2nd Ave) and plays through January 6.

Curtsey of the Library of Congress

Hadestown was formally added into the Library of Congress collections in Washington D.C. on Tuesday, October 17.

To celebrate the show’s ongoing success on Broadway and across the country, and to cement the production’s place in the American cultural canon, Tony Award-winning composer Anaïs Mitchell donated an assortment of artifacts that represent several iterations of the development of the show, all the way up to its Broadway premiere. The event, hosted by Librarian of Congress Dr. Carla Hayden, will feature a performance and discussion from the Broadway cast in the historic Coolidge Auditorium with about 500 students in attendance.

“We are delighted to bring the beauty and magic of the Tony award-winning musical Hadestown to the Library of Congress,” commented Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden. “We have one of the best performing arts collections in the world and having Hadestown creator Anaïs Mitchell and the Broadway cast perform and donate items from the production will further enrich the Library’s collection for generations to see.”

Hadestown currently stars Tony Award winner Lillias White as Hermes, Solea Pfeiffer as Eurydice, Betty Who as Persephone, and Phillip Boykin as Hades. They are joined by Belèn Moyano, Lindsey Hailes, and Brit West as the Fates. The chorus of Workers is played by Emily Afton, Malcolm Armwood, Chibueze Ihumoa, Alex Puette and Grace Yoo. The cast includes swings Sojourner Brown, Brandon Cameron, Tara Jackson, Max Kumangai, Alex Lugo, and Tanner Ray Wilson. As previously announced, Grammy Award winner and original cast member Reeve Carney will play his final performance as ‘Orpheus’ on November 19. Jordan Fisher will assume the role of ‘Orpheus’ on Monday, November 20.

Harmony  has an 18@$18, a specially priced single rush ticket program will offer early rush tickets every morning when the box office opens at 10:00 am.  The first 18 rush tickets will be available to purchase for $18.00 each. Seat locations for this program vary and may be available in all sections of the theatre. Locations are determined each by the show’s management and assigned at the discretion of the Box Office at time of purchase. Buyers will be able to purchase one ticket each per performance.

Harmony features an original new score by legendary Tony, Grammy, and Emmy Award® winner Barry Manilow with lyrics and book by Drama Desk Award Winner, Bruce Sussman. Directed and choreographed by Tony Award winner Warren Carlyle (The Music Man, Hello Dolly!), this timely and captivating rags-to-riches story lost to history comes to dazzling life with a sensational cast of Broadway favorites.

The show stars Chip Zien; Sierra Boggess; Julie Benko; the Comedian Harmonists Sean Bell, Danny Kornfeld, Zal Owen, Eric Peters, Blake Roman, and Steven Telsey; Allison Semmes and Andrew O’Shanick. They join Zak Edwards, Dan Hoy, Bruce Landry, RhonniRose Mantilla, Daniel Z. Miller, Benjamin H. Moore, Matthew Mucha, Constantine Pappas, Kayleen Seidl, Kyla Stone, Bronwyn Tarboton, Kate Wesler, Stuart Zagnit, and Lee Zarrett.

Tyne DalyRoundabout Theatre Company (Todd Haimes, President/CEO, in memoriam; Scott Ellis, Interim Artistic Director) announces complete casting of John Patrick Shanley’s Tony Award & Pulitzer Prize-winning play Doubt: A Parable, with direction by Tony Award nominee Scott Ellis. 

Joining the previously announced Tony & Emmy Award winner Tyne Daly as “Sister Aloysius” and Tony & SAG Award winner Liev Schreiber as “Father Brendan Flynn” are Obie & Lortel Award winner Quincy Tyler Bernstine as “Mrs. Muller” and Drama Desk & Lortel Award nominee Zoe Kazan as “Sister James.”

Tyne Daly and Quincy Tyler Bernstine will make their Roundabout Theatre Company debuts in Doubt: A Parable. Tyne was previously on Broadway in Mothers and Sons (Tony nomination), Master Class, Rabbit Hole (Tony nomination), Gypsy (Tony Award), and most recently, It Shoulda Been You. Quincy made her Broadway debut in In the Next Room (or The Vibrator Play). Liev Schreiber was last seen on the Roundabout stage in Betrayal (2000), and Moonlight (1995). Zoe Kazan made her Roundabout debut in Love, Love, Love, and was last seen on Broadway in A Behanding in Spokane.

Doubt: A Parable begins preview performances on Friday, February 2, 2024 and opens officially on Thursday, February 29, 2024. This is a limited engagement through Sunday, April 14, 2024 at the American Airlines Theatre, soon to be renamed the Todd Haimes Theatre, on Broadway (227 West 42nd Street).

 

  

Suzanna, co-owns and publishes the newspaper Times Square Chronicles or T2C. At one point a working actress, she has performed in numerous productions in film, TV, cabaret, opera and theatre. She has performed at The New Orleans Jazz festival, The United Nations and Carnegie Hall. She has a screenplay and a TV show in the works, which she developed with her mentor and friend the late Arthur Herzog. She is a proud member of the Drama Desk and the Outer Critics Circle and was a nominator. Email: suzanna@t2conline.com

Broadway

Stephen Schwartz To Be Inducted into The Long Island Music and Entertainment Hall of Fame

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Legendary Award Winning Broadway and Movie Music Composer Stephen Schwartz (Wicked, Godspell, Pippin) will be inducted into the Long Island Music and Entertainment Hall of Fame (LIMEHOF) on Saturday, March 23rd, 2024 at 7pm.

There will also be concert emceed by Musician Paul Shaffer (from the David Letterman Show) who worked with Schwartz early in his career.

Schwartz has won 4 Grammys and 3 Oscars among other awards in his career that spans over 50 years both on Broadway and on the silver screen. Additionally, Schwartz has contributed music and lyrics to several movies such as “Pocahontas” (1995), “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” (1996), “The Prince of Egypt” (1998), and “Enchanted” (2007).He was also involved with the upcoming feature film adaptation of Wicked to be released in the fall.

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Broadway

Ani DiFranco and Lola Tung Join Hadestown

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The Tony and Grammy Award®-winning Best Musical Hadestown is currently stars Grammy Award winner Ani DiFranco as Persephone singing “Our Lady Of The Underground”.

 Lola Tung (“The Summer I Turned Pretty”) as Eurydice, Jordan Fisher (Dear Evan Hansen, Grease: Live,) as Orpheus here singing “All I’ve Ever Known”.

Grammy Award nominee Phillip Boykin as Hades, and Tony Award winner Lillias White as Hermes.

They are joined by Belén Moyano, Kay Trinidad, and Brit West as the Fates. The chorus of Workers is played by Emily Afton, Malcolm Armwood, Chibueze Ihuoma, Alex Puette, and Grace Yoo. The cast includes swings Sojourner Brown, Brandon Cameron, Tara Jackson, Max Kumangai, Alex Lugo, and Tanner Ray Wilson.

Hadestown originated as Anaïs Mitchell’s indie theater project that toured Vermont which she then turned into an acclaimed album. With Rachel Chavkin, her artistic collaborator, Hadestown has been transformed into a genre-defying new musical that blends modern American folk music with New Orleans-inspired jazz to reimagine a sweeping ancient tale.

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Broadway

Live From The Edison Hotel Times Square Chronicles Presents Goes Live With Bonnie Comley and Stewart F. Lane

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Photo of Bonnie Comley, Stewart F. Lane and Suzanna Bowling

“Live From The Edison Hotel Times Square Chronicles Presents”, is a new show that is filmed live every Wednesday from 5 – 6 in the lobby of the iconic Hotel Edison, before a live audience. We will run the video on our site every Thursday and then it moves onto the podcast networks.

In this episode T2C’s publisher and owner Suzanna Bowling talks with Broadway royalty and longtime married couple Bonnie Comley and Stewart F. Lane. We talk about the Palace Theatre, Broadway HD and so much more.

We were also so excited because the show and our guests are now featured on the TV screens in the lobby and the hotel rooms.

I am so grateful to my guests Bonnie and Stewart for joining me. Thank-you Magda Katz for videoing and creating the content to go live, the audience who showed up to support us, Rommel Gopez and The Edison Hotel for their kindness and hospitality.

We hope to see you there on February 21st for our guests the creator of Times Square and Hampton Fashion Week Dee Rivera, Celebrity hairstylist Samantha Smoker and Fashion Designer Shani Grosz.

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Book Reviews

Live From The Edison Hotel Times Square Chronicles Presents Stewart F. Lane and Bonnie Comley

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I am so pleased to announce our guests for Valentine’s Day are Stewart F. Lane and Bonnie Comley, the founders of BroadwayHD.com, an online streaming service on a mission to promote and preserve live theatre, extending the reach of Broadway and Broadway-caliber shows to anyone, anywhere. BroadwayHD currently has a catalog of over 300 full-length stage plays and musicals available for streaming on demand, so when you can’t get to Broadway, go to BroadwayHD on your tv, phone, or tablet!

Mr. Lane and Ms. Comley have collectively produced over 40 films and 45 Broadway shows, garnering nine Tony Awards and another 14 Tony nominations. They have also won Olivier Awards, Drama Desk, Drama
League, and Outer Critics Circle Awards for their stage productions. Lane has co-owned Broadway’s famous Palace Theater for almost 40 years.

The theater community has honored the couple for their philanthropic work, including The Actors Fund Medal of Honor, The Drama League Special Contribution to the Theater Award, The Paul Newman Award from Arts Horizons, and The Theater Museum Distinguished Service Award. The stage at Boston University’s new theater center is named in their honor, as is the Music Theater Program. The Musical Theater Society Room bears their name at Emerson College, and the 500-seat theater at the University
of Massachusetts Lowell is known as the Comley Lane Theater. Lane is a recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award at Boston University, and Comley is Distinguished Alumni of both Emerson College and UMass Lowell.

Mr. Lane is a theater historian and playwright and has written the critically acclaimed “Black Broadway: African Americans on the Great White Way” (Square One Publishers), “Jews on Broadway” (McFarland Publishers), “Let’s Put on a Show” (Working Arts Library), and the plays “In The Wings (published in spring 2008 by Hal Leonard), “If It Was Easy” (published by Performing Books and nominated for Best New Play by the American Theatre Critics Association), and the musical “Back Home Again” (with music
and lyrics by John Denver) which he was awarded The 2011 John Denver Spirit Award for his work.

“Live From The Edison Hotel Times Square Chronicles Presents”, is a new show that will be filmed live every Wednesday from 5 – 6 in the lobby of the iconic Hotel Edison, before a live audience. To see our first episode click here.

Originally our guest was Maury Yeston, but he had to reschedule. He will be our guest at a later date, however Stewart F. Lane and Bonnie Comley, our guests for Valentine’s Day could not be more perfect. They are the epitome or Love and Broadway.

See you at The Edison Hotel.

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Broadway

Chita Will Be Honored As Lights Dim

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Broadway will dim its marquee lights to honor the two-time Tony-winning star of the original West Side Story Chita Rivera. This iconic star died January 30 at the age of 91.

The dimming of Broadway marquees will occur for the traditional one minute on Saturday, February 17 at 7:45 p.m./ET.

“Chita Rivera was Broadway royalty, and we will miss her with all our hearts,” said Charlotte St. Martin, President of The Broadway League. “For nearly seven decades she enthralled generations of audiences with her spellbinding performances and iconic roles. The triple threat actor, singer, and dancer leaves behind an incredible legacy of work for which she was honored with a Special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement.”

Rivera’s Broadway career began in 1950 with Guys and Dolls. Her signature role came in 1957 when she played the original “Anita” in West Side Story. Other Broadway credits include Bye Bye Birdie, Chicago, Kiss of the Spiderwoman, The Visit and The Rink. She was nominated for 10 Tony Awards, winning for The Rink in 1984 and Kiss of the Spider Woman in 1993. She received the Special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in 2018.

We give you the talented Ken Fallin’s drawing of Chita in The Visit.

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