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Theatre News: Sunset Boulevard, Paper Mill Playhouse, Redemption Story, Noël Coward and Michael Greif

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Director Jamie Lloyd’s new production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Sunset Boulevard starring two-time Olivier Award® and Grammy® Award nominee Nicole Scherzinger will play Broadway’s St. James Theatre (246 West 44th Street) with preview performances beginning Saturday, September 28 ahead of a Sunday, October 20 opening night. The production, which features book and lyrics by Don Black and Christopher Hampton, based on the Paramount Pictures film directed by Billy Wilder, recently received 11 Olivier Award nominations including Best Musical Revival, has won Evening Standard Awards for Lloyd and Scherzinger as well as seven WhatsOnStage Awards.

To get additional news about Sunset Boulevard, please visit www.sunsetboulevardbroadway.com. Tickets will then go on sale to the general public starting Friday, April 10 at 10 AM ET.

To coincide with the show’s Broadway opening, SSunset Blvd: The Album recorded live at the Savoy Theatre in London’s West End, is set for global release in October via The Other Songs.

Starting Tuesday, April 2, anyone who orders tickets as part of the Broadway presale will have the option of pre-ordering the album on vinyl and CD. Additionally, audience members who purchased tickets for the London run of Sunset Boulevard or signed up on the show’s website will be able to pre-order the album at the same time. Starting Friday, April 10, the album will be available for pre-order globally. Sign up to hear about additional details at www.sunsetboulevardbroadway.com

Joining Scherzinger on Broadway will be her acclaimed London co-stars, all of whom received Olivier Award nominations for their performances, Tom Francis as ‘Joe Gillis,’ Grace Hodgett-Young as ‘Betty Schaefer,’ and Olivier Award winner David Thaxton as ‘Max Von Mayerling.’

Director Jamie Lloyd said, “I was extremely humbled by the amazing enthusiasm of our West End audiences and am thrilled we get to bring this production to Broadway. When we recorded the album live on the stage of the Savoy in London, I was once again overwhelmed by the depth and power of Nicole Scherzinger’s performance — these iconic songs have never been sung like this before. Having the exceptional Tom Francis, Grace Hodgett-Young, and David Thaxton join Nicole at the St. James Theatre will be an unforgettable experience.”

Andrew Lloyd Webber said, “I am very excited that Jamie Lloyd’s wonderful production of Sunset Boulevard is coming to New York with the incomparable Nicole Scherzinger.”

Nicole Scherzinger said, “It has truly been a lifelong dream of mine to perform on Broadway. So, to be bringing this iconic production to NYC with my London co-stars and our cutting-edge director Jamie Lloyd is a pinnacle moment for me in my career.”

Paper Mill Playhouse (Mark S. Hoebee, Producing Artistic Director; Michael Stotts, Executive Director), recipient of the Regional Theatre Tony Award, is proud to announce its 2024–2025 season, including a world premiere, the first New Jersey production of a Tony Award winner, family favorites, and a new musical based on a classic romantic comedy.

Paper Mill Playhouse’s 2024–2025 lineup of five musicals features Jersey Boys, Irving Berlin’s White Christmas, Mystic Pizza, Take the Lead, and Disney’s The Little Mermaid.

Christine Toy Johnson

Tony and Obie Award honoree Christine Toy Johnson (Come From Away National Tour; The Music Man on Broadway) will lead the cast for the World Premiere of Peregrine Teng Heard’s Redemption Story with The Associates Theater Ensemble (Shannon Sindelar, Producer). The production will be directed by Sarah Blush (Events with The Hearth; I thought I would die but I didn’t at The Tank) at the Jeffrey and Paula Gural Theatre at the A.R.T./New York Theatres (502 West 53rd Street, New York, NY 10019), May 4-19. The cast will also feature José Espinosa (Our Class at BAM; Los Complicados with EST), Dee Beasnael (Ulysses with Elevator Repair Service), Emily Stout (Pick Me Last at La Jolla Playhouse), Gregory Saint Georges (Cake Walk: A Digital Play with Garage Magazine/Jeremy O. Harris), and Mitchell Winter (Lortel Award-winner for Wolf Play with MCC/Soho Rep).
INT. DINER – LOS ANGELES, 1971. CONNIE LEE (50s, hardened glamor) drinks coffee, fingers her cigarettes. Her eyes glint with magnetism, even after years of playing clichés instead of characters. A MAN (20s, blond and eager) pushes through the door, and Connie does a double-take, then turns away. She’s already made the worst mistake of her life, and a fresh face can’t fix it. A new play about alienation, conditional love, and our distorted senses of self.
Performances are scheduled on Saturday, May 4 at 7:30pm, Sunday, May 5 at 7:30pm, Monday, May 6 at 7:30pm, Wednesday, May 8 at 7:30pm, Thursday, May 9 at 7:30pm, Friday, May 10 at 7:30pm, Saturday, May 11 at 7:30pm, Sunday, May 12 at 7:30pm, Monday, May 13 at 7:30pm, Wednesday, May 15 at 7:30pm, Thursday, May 16 at 7:30pm, Friday, May 17 at 7:30pm, Saturday, May 18 at 7:30pm, and Sunday, May 19 at 2pm. Tickets ($15-$45) are available for advance purchase at www.universe.com/events/redemption-story-tickets-SDVTKH. The performance will run approximately 100 minutes, with no intermission.

The Al Hirschfeld Foundation presents its latest online exhibition, “Men About Town: Al Hirschfeld Draws Noël Coward,” now live at AlHirschfeldFoundation.org/exhibitionsthrough June 1.

Nearly 40 of Al Hirschfeld’s drawings focus on Noël Coward’s life and work. In conjunction with “Coward 125,” an observance of Coward’s 125th birthday, the Al Hirschfeld Foundation presents this exhibition of 25 selections of Hirschfeld’s extensive artwork focusing on Noël Coward and his plays, ranging from Private Lives (1931) through Waiting in the Wings (1999). The exhibition is curated by Alan Pally, who served for many years as a Trustee of the Noël Coward Foundation and is currently a member of the Foundation’s Grants Committee. Selections in the exhibition include Coward, himself, as well as the many actors who appeared in his work, including Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, Laurence Olivier, Joan Collins, The Lunts, Frank Langella, Elaine Stritch, Lauren Bacall and more.

“Hirschfeld and Coward were contemporaries who admired one another’s work,” says Alan Pally, curator of the new online exhibition. “In Al Hirschfeld’s house on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, a photograph of Noël Coward was prominently displayed in the living room. In the Noël Coward Room in Red Lion Square in London, a drawing of Noël Coward by Al Hirschfeld is prominently displayed as part of the rich repository of materials available for study. In celebrating Coward’s 125th birthday, I can’t think of a more fitting tribute than this look at Coward and his career through pen strokes of the great Al Hirschfeld. With this exhibition, we honor the work of an American artist who was an icon of New York theater and a British artist who loved New York and whose work in the fields of theater, music, film, and literature earned him the title of ‘The Master.’”

“Al Hirschfeld and Noel Coward entertained audiences in somewhat the same way,” says David Leopold, Creative Director of The Al Hirschfeld Foundation. “Their work was both witty and elegant as well as timeless. These Men About Town bought audiences a lot of joy.”

Go behind the lines of Hirschfeld’s art with “The Hirschfeld Century Podcast.” A special episode focusing “Men About Town: Al Hirschfeld Draws Noël Coward” will be released April 9 from  from AlHirschfeldFoundation.org/podcasts, iTunes and other popular podcast sites.New Dramatists, Tony® Honor recipient and the nation’s premier playwright development laboratory, will host its Annual Spring Luncheon Tribute on Tuesday, May 14 at the New York Marriott Marquis (1535 Broadway, between 45th and 46th Streets). The May 14 luncheon will begin with a champagne reception at 11:15AM and end promptly at 2:30PM. Tickets are $450, or $4000 for a table of 10 seats (a portion of which is tax-deductible). Premium sponsorships are also available. For tickets and information, visit NewDramatists.org/luncheon or contact Sofie Wasserman-Smith at (646) 381-4694, sofiewasserman-smith@newdramatists.org.

A beloved theater community tradition, this year’s luncheon honors Michael Greif, the acclaimed director of this season’s Days of Wine and Roses, The Notebook and Hell’s Kitchen. Tony Award-winning producers Kevin McCollum and Stacey Mindich serve as honorary co-chairs for this year’s luncheon.

“From Downtown to Broadway, and in theatres across the country, Michael Greif has built his outstanding career championing and directing new plays and musicals by legendary writers, including New Dramatists’ alumni Doug Wright, John Guare, Suzan-Lori Parks, Diana Son, Nilo Cruz, Jeffrey Hatcher, Jeffrey M. Jones, Kate Moira Ryan, and Kristoffer Diaz, this season on Hell’s Kitchen,” says Emily Morse, Artistic Director of New Dramatists. “With his remarkable resume, and three shows opening on Broadway, this feels like the perfect year for New Dramatists to honor Michael and his distinguished career, at our Annual Spring Luncheon.”

New Dramatists has also announced the presentation of a new award at this year’s luncheon. The Konecky Award, named for New Dramatists’ beloved Board President Isobel Konecky and her husband, renowned entertainment attorney Ron Konecky, recognizes those in the theatre and entertainment industry, who serve the field with passion, dedication, excellence, and leadership. The inaugural Konecky Award will be presented to Concord Theatricals.

“As the parent company of Samuel French – a founding name in theatrical publishing and licensing – and the steward of catalogs from R&H Theatricals, Tams-Witmark, and the Andrew Lloyd Webber Collection, Concord Theatricals is a strong, committed advocate of creative artists,” says Christie Brown, Executive Director of New Dramatists. “We are delighted to recognize their service to the field.”

“Concord Theatricals is deeply honored to be the recipient of the inaugural Konecky Award,” said Sean Patrick Flahaven, Chief Theatricals Executive of Concord. “Supporting playwrights and their work is our core mission at Concord and has been the cornerstone of my own career. In this 75th anniversary year of New Dramatists, we celebrate the many writers we share, from its founders, to contemporary icons, to the newest voices that need to be heard.”

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

Ken Fallin’s Broadway: The Outsiders

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These boys are taking Broadway by storm Jason Schmidt, Sky Lakota-Lynch, and Brody Grant. In Tulsa, Oklahoma, 1967, the hardened hearts and aching souls of Ponyboy Curtis, Johnny Cade and their chosen family of “outsiders” are in a fight for survival and a quest for purpose in a world that may never accept them. A story of the bonds that brothers share and the hopes we all hold on to, this gripping new musical reinvigorates the timeless tale of “haves and have nots”, of protecting what’s yours and fighting for what could be.

The Outsiders opened on Broadway at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre, 242 W 45th Street.

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We Say Good Bye To Costume Designer Extraordinaire Carrie Robbins

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I met Carrie Robbins at an art gallery with Louise St Louis, Baayork Lee and Judy Jacksina. The four of us stayed well into the morning talking, laughing and having a fabulous time. Carrie and I bonded after that as she turned to playwriting. It broke my heart to learn that on the evening of April 12, 2024 Costume Designer extraordinaire Carrie Robbins passed away.

Carrie’s work has been featured in over 30+ Broadway shows, including Class Act, Grease (original), Agnes of God, Yentl, Octette Bridge Club, Sweet Bird of Youth (Lauren Bacall), Frankenstein, Happy End (Mary Streep), Boys of Winter, Cyrano (Frank Langella), & Shadow Box (Mercedes Ruehl).

Her awards and nominations included: 2012 recipient of the Irene Sharaff Lifetime Achievement Award presented by the Theatre Development Fund & the tdf/Costume Collection with the support of the Tobin Theatre Arts Fund. 2 Tony (Noms.), 5 Drama Desks, Maharam, USITT/Prague International, L.A. Dramalogue, Henry Hughes, F.I.T-Surface Design, & Audelco, among others.

Robbins’ costumes for the Irving Berlin musical White Christmas played major cities in the USA, Broadway, and Great Britain. Her regional work included M. Butterfly and On the Verge, for director Tazewell Thompson (Arena Stage) and the Gershwin musical American in Paris by Ken Ludwig for director Gregory Boyd (Alley Theatre, Houston) as well as The Tempest (Anthony Hopkins as Prospero) & Flea in Her Ear (director Tom Moore at Mark Taper Forum), many productions for the Guthrie (MN), Williamstown, and many others from Alaska to Buffalo.


Locally, in NYC, Robbins designed for many productions for The Lincoln Center Repertory Theatre, Chelsea Theatre at BAM, Acting Company at Juilliard and NY Shakespeare Festival.

She also designed for the Opera and they included Death in Venice for Glimmerglass (’08 Prague International Design Exhibit), Samson et Dalila (San Francisco Opera, Houston Grand, more), and many productions for Sarah Caldwell’s Opera Company of Boston. Her work has also been seen at the Hamburg StatsOper.

For film Robbins designed the movie “In The Spirit” (Elaine May, Peter Falk, Marlo Thomas); TV design included: Saturday Nite Live, PBS Arts in America, & several unseen pilots.

Robbins has designed clothes for several seasons of Queen Esther Marrow and The Harlem Gospel Singers’ European Tour. She also did the designs for The Cincinnati Ballet’s new Nutcracker, in December of 2011

Robbins was an MFA grad from the Yale School of Drama and was Master Teacher of Costume Design at the NYU Tisch School of the Arts for many years. She is extremely proud of the extraordinary number of award-winning, successful young costume designers and costume teachers across the country who came out of her classes.

Besides being a costume designer Carrie also was a playwright. In August 2010, her play, The Death & Life of Dr. Cutter, a Vaudeville, based on the true stories told by her husband Dr. R.D.Robbins, had its 4th reading at the Snapple Theatre Center; it was chosen by Abingdon Theatre Co, NYC, to be part of its First Readings Series in Fall, 2009. In 2011-12 the  League of Professional Theatre Women chose The Dragon Quartet as part of its 30th year anniversary celebration. In 2012-13, La MaMa (oldest off-off-Broadway theater in NYC at 51 years) chose The Diamond Eater for its “Concert Reading Series”. In 2013: TACT (The Actors Company Theatre, chose Sawbones for part of its newTACTics New Play Festival. In 2014 both The Diamond Eater and Sawbones  received 6 Nominations from N.Y. Innovative Theatre Awards (the most nominations given out in the 2014 season). In 2015, Le Wedding Dress, was a semi-finalist in NYNewWorks Theatre Festival. In 2016: Obsessions Of An Art Student chosen by NYNewWorks Theatre Festival. In 2016, The Actress, was a finalist in NY Thespis Summer Festival. In 2017, My Swollen Feet, chosen by NY Summerfest Theatre Festival/ Hudson Guild Theatre. In 2018 The Diamond Eater , semi-finalist at the 14th St. Y competition War + Peace/2018/19 season and The Dragon Griswynd, was chosen by Theater for the New City for its “Dream-Up Festival” In 2019 Pie Lessons, was invited by Crystal Field, Exec. Artistic Director of Theater for the New City, to be part of “Scratch Night at TNC”.

The last thing Carrie was working on was For The Lost Children Of Paris. This play was about how the Nazis, with help from the Vichy Government, collected French-Jewish schoolchildren and delivered them to Auschwitz. Excellent German record-keeping revealed 11,400 children were taken. At the liberation, only 200 were found alive. This is the story of one classroom’s collection day and its aftermath.

She did this play using puppets as the children.

Carrie had a voice that she used in a multiple of ways. She was a caring friend, a dedicated teacher, a prolific writer and costume designer, who always cared about others first. Carrie you will be missed.

 





 

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Patti LuPone Returns to Broadway and The Big Screen

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Three-time Tony Award winner Patti LuPone, who gave up her Equity card in 2022, will star opposite Mia Farrow in Jen Silverman’s new play, The Roommate. The production will be directed by Jack O’Brien and will begin previews at the Booth Theatre in August ahead of a September opening.

The Roommate tells the story of Sharon, in her mid-fifties, who is recently divorced and needs a roommate to share her Iowa home. Robyn, also in her mid-fifties, needs a place to hide and a chance to start over. But as Sharon begins to uncover Robyn’s secrets, they encourage her own deep-seated desire to transform her life completely. A dark comedy about what it takes to re-route your life – and what happens when the wheels come off.

The Roommate premiered at the Actor’s Theatre of Louisville in March 2015, and has had several regional productions including at Williamstown Theatre Festival in 2017.

Ms. LuPone will star in the upcoming Marvel series, WandaVision spinoff series Agatha: Coven of Chaos. She’s in a coven of witches, playing Lilia Calderu, who is hot, with a great body and hair. Calderu, first appeared in Marvel comics in 1973 as a 450-year-old Sicilian witch whose power is divination and whose trial is tarot. The other witches are Kathryn Hahn, Aubrey Plaza, and a familiar who is played by Joe Locke. Locke, is currently on Broadway in Sweeney Todd.

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Cabaret Celebrated Broadway Legend Joel Grey’s Birthday

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Last night, Eddie Redmayne currently in previews as the ‘Emcee’ in Cabaret at the Kit Kat Club celebrated Broadway legend Joel Grey’s 92ndbirthday on stage at the August Wilson Theatre. Grey, who originated the role of the ‘Emcee’ on Broadway in 1966 and went on to star in the beloved film of Cabaret, took the stage as the entire cast, band, and creative team sang “Happy Birthday” while a custom cake, shaped like a giant pineapple, emerged from the stage.

 During his speech honoring Grey, Eddie Redmayne said, “Tonight is an extraordinarily special night for us because we are in the presence of an extraordinary human being without whom none of us would be here.” After thunderous applause, Redmayne continued “Your performance in this part changed my life and it was one of the things that made me want to be an actor.”

Joel Grey, Gayle Rankin, and Eddie Redmayne Photo by Jenny Anderson

The cast and Grey were also joined on stage by Cabaret composer John Kander.

Alongside Joel’s daughter Jennifer Grey and Kander, a star-studded crowd came out to fete the theater icon including Anderson Cooper, Candice Bergen, Jackie Hoffman, Jane Krakowski, Lin-Manuel Miranda, David Rockwell, and more. They were joined by numerous alum of Cabaret spanning the decades including Maude Apatow (Sally Bowles in London, 2023), Madeline Brewer (Sally Bowles in London, 2022), Joely Fisher (Sally Bowles on Broadway, 2000), Gina Gershon (Sally Bowles on Broadway, 2001), Mason Alexander Park (Emcee in London, 2023), Adam Pascal (Emcee on Broadway, 2003), Molly Ringwald (Sally Bowles on Broadway, 2002), Jake Shears (Emcee in London, 2023), and Brooke Shields (Sally Bowles on Broadway, 2001).

Cabaret at the Kit Kat Club is now in previews on Broadway at the August Wilson Theatre (245 West 52nd Street). The production, directed by Olivier Award winner Rebecca Frecknall and designed by Tony Award nominee and Evening Standard Award® winner Tom Scutt, will have decadent twin opening night gala celebrations starting Saturday, April 20 and continuing into the following night, with the official press opening on Sunday, April 21. Tickets are on sale now at www.kitkat.club or via Seat Geek HERE.

In addition to Redmayne, Cabaret also stars Gayle Rankin as the toast of Mayfair ‘Sally Bowles, two-time Tony Award winner Bebe Neuwirth as ‘Fraulein Schneider,’ Tony Award nominee Ato Blankson-Wood as ‘Clifford Bradshaw,’ Obie Award winner and Drama Desk Award® nominee Steven Skybell as ‘Herr Schultz,’ Henry Gottfried as ‘Ernst Ludwig,’ and three-time Helen Hayes Award winner Natascia Diaz as ‘Fritzie/Kost.’

The cast of Cabaret includes Gabi Campo as ‘Frenchie,’ Ayla Ciccone-Burton as ‘Helga,’ Colin Cunliffe as ‘Hans,’ Marty Lauter as ‘Victor,’ Loren Lester as‘Herman/Max,’ David Merino as ‘Lulu,’ Julian Ramos as ‘Bobby,’ MiMi Scardulla as ‘Texas,’ and Paige Smallwood as ‘Rosie.’ Swings include Hannah Florence, Pedro Garza, Christian Kidd, Corinne Munsch, Chloé Nadon-Enriquez, and Karl Skyler Urban.

The Prologue Company, the dancers and musicians that welcome audiences to the club, feature dancers Alaïa, IRON BRYAN, Will Ervin Jr., Sun Kim, Deja McNair and swings Ida Saki and Spencer James Weidie. The musicians of the Prologue are Brian Russell Carey (piano & bass), Francesca Dawis (violin), Keiji Ishiguri (dedicated substitute), Maeve Stier (accordion), and Michael Winograd (clarinet).

For this thrilling production of Cabaret, the creative team have transformed the August Wilson Theatre into the Kit Kat Club with an in-the-round auditorium and custom spaces which guests will be invited to explore during the Prologue, the production’s pre-show entertainment. After purchasing tickets, guests will receive a “club entry time” to allow them to take in the world of the club before the show starts.

Patrons can upgrade their experience at the Kit Kat Club with exclusive dining or drinks packages that allow them to soak up the pre-show atmosphere. These various upgrades offer unparalleled service and unique experiences in the heart of the Kit Kat Club. Drinks can be enjoyed before and during the show, while food will be cleared shortly before the performance begins, ensuring uninterrupted and unmissable views of Cabaret. For a complete menu and more information on the upgrade packages, please visit www.kitkat.club/upgrade.

The 2021 Original London Cast Recording of Cabaret featuring Eddie Redmayne and recorded during a live performance is available on Decca Records as a CD and to stream on all major platforms. To order the album or stream it, please visit https://cabaret.lnk.to/ListenNow

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Stephen Sondheim Memorabilia to be Auctioned Off

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Stephen Sondheim

Doyle Auctioneers & Appraisers has announced the auction of the Collection of Stephen Sondheim on Tuesday, June 18 at 10am EDT. This landmark auction will offer over 200 lots of memorabilia, furnishings, antique puzzles and more from Mr. Sondheim’s Manhattan townhouse and his country home in Roxbury, Connecticut.

Poster for the 2006 Broadway revival of Company signed by Stephen Sondheim and George Furth

The lyricist of West Side Story and Gypsy and composer/lyricist of Company, Follies, Sweeney Todd, Sunday in the Park with George and Into the Woods, among many others, Stephen Sondheim was the twentieth century’s most brilliant and influential contributor to American musical theater. Fans of Mr. Sondheim’s musicals and collectors alike will delight at the memorabilia within the auction, from his gold record for West Side Story to his custom-embroidered asylum coat from Sweeney Todd.

In addition to professional accomplishments, Mr. Sondheim was a sophisticated collector. He lived among antiques and curiosities of the Victorian and Edwardian eras and assembled an unparalleled collection of early puzzles, games, rebuses, coin-operated machines and ephemera that reflected his endlessly inquisitive mind.

The public is invited to the exhibition on view from June 14 through 17 at Doyle, located at 175 East 87th Street in New York. Select highlights will tour Doyle’s regional galleries during the month of May. The auction catalogue will be available on May 20. Learn more about the auction at Doyle.com

 

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