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Theatre News: Sweeney Todd, Funny Girl, A Wonderful World, Pirates of Penzance, Cost of Living, Kimberly Akimbo and Clive Barnes Awards

Theatre News: Sweeney Todd, Funny Girl, A Wonderful World, Pirates of Penzance, Cost of Living, Kimberly Akimbo and Clive Barnes Awards

We told you it was coming, now it’s official a new Broadway production of the Stephen Sondheim-Hugh Wheeler classic musical Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street starring Josh Groban and Annaleigh Ashford will begin performances on February 26, 2023, at Broadway’s Lunt-Fontanne Theatre with an official opening night of March 26, 2023.

Directing will be Thomas Kail (Hamilton). Additional casting will be announced at a later date.

Rumor has it Lea Michele and Tovah Feldshuh kicked it out of the park last night at Funny Girl. Can not wait to re-review. I have stated since day one all this show needed was a singer who could act!

Thomas E. Rodgers Jr. and Renee Delaplaine, in association with Martian Entertainment (Carl D. White and Gregory Rae), will present a private industry reading in New York City of A Wonderful World, a new musical based on the life and songs of jazz legend and American icon Louis Armstrong, starring Tony Award® winner James Monroe Iglehart. The two presentations are set for Monday, September 19 and Tuesday, September 20 at 2:30 pm.Told from the perspective of the women in Armstrong’s life, A Wonderful World charts Armstrong’s journey from the birth of jazz in his native New Orleans through his international stardom. The musical also focuses on the complex history of race in America, leading up to the Civil Rights Era.Conceived by Drama Desk Award winner and Tony Award® nominee, Christopher Renshaw (Broadway’s Taboo, The King and I), and Andrew Delaplaine, A Wonderful World has a an original book by Aurin Squire, the multi-talented playwright and television writer (“This is Us,” “The Good Fight,” “Evil”), and features songs recorded and made popular by Armstrong, arranged and orchestrated by Annastasia Victory and Michael O. Mitchell. Renshaw directs and Rickey Tripp (associate choreographer for Broadway’s Once on This Island and Choir Boy) will choreograph.  Christina Sajousserves as Associate Director and Aurelia Michael as Associate Choreographer.The reading stars Tony Award® winner James Monroe Iglehart as Louis Armstrong, Krystal Joy Brown as Alpha Smith, Patrice Covington as Lucille Wilson, Jennie Harney-Fleming as Lil Harden, Aisha Jackson as Daisy Parker, Matt Bogart as Joe Glaser, Kevin Dennis as Johnny Collins, DeWitt Fleming Jr. as Lincoln Perry, Gavin Gregory as King Joe Oliver and Xavier McKnight as Young Louis.Additional cast includes Rachel Schur Chase, Nigel Jamal Hall, Afra Hines, Joshua Keith, Krystal Imani Mackie, Barrett Martin, Aurelia Michael, Micah Jeremiah Mims, Alysha Morgan, Kevin Ricardo Tate, Sir Brock Warren and Dori Waymer.

On Monday, October 17, 2022 at 7:30 PM, at The American Airlines Theatre Roundabout Theatre Company will present a special Benefit Concert Reading of The Pirates of Penzance, the Tony Award-winning musical adapted by Rupert Holmes, with music by Arthur Sullivan, libretto by W.S. Gilbert and direction by Scott Ellis.

The performance will star Tony Award winner David Hyde Pierce as “Major General,” Tony Award nominee Ramin Karimloo as “Pirate King,” Tony Award nominee Lilli Cooper as “Ruth,” Colton Ryan as “Frederic,” and Samantha Williams as “Mabel.”

Other cast members include Eddie Cooper, Cicily Daniels, Jōvan Dansberry, Alex Dorf, Rick Faugno, Leslie Donna Flesner, Curtis Holland, Madison McBride, Ryan Worsing with remaining cast to be announced soon.

Please visit www.roundabouttheatre.org/pirates for information and to purchase tickets.

Cost of Living begins performances on Tuesday, September 13 and opens on Monday, October 3.

The show is written by 2018 Pulitzer Prize Winner for Drama Martyna Majok and directed by Obie Award Winner Jo Bonney. Tony Award nominee Kara Young (Jess) and David Zayas (Eddie) join acclaimed original stars Gregg Mozgala (John) and Katy Sullivan (Ani) in this production.

The box office for the critically-lauded and wildly popular new musical, Kimberly Akimbo, will open on Wednesday, September 7 at 10am at the Booth Theatre (222 West 45th Street). The Booth Theatre box office will be open Monday through Saturday from 10am to 6pm.

After opening to rave reviews last fall, Kimberly Akimbo will begin previews on Broadway on October 12th and officially opens November 10th.

Kimberly Akimbo features a book and lyrics by Pulitzer Prize-winner David Lindsay-Abaire and music by Tony Award-winner Jeanine Tesori. It is based on the critically acclaimed play of the same name by David Lindsay-Abaire, choreographed by Danny Mefford, and directed by Jessica Stone.

The Broadway company of Kimberly Akimbo will feature the “sensational” (Washington Post) company from the Atlantic Theater world premiere production: Tony Award-winner Victoria Clark (The Light in the Piazza, Gigi) as Kimberly, Justin Cooley (who is making his Broadway debut), Tony Award nominee Steven Boyer (Hand to God, Time and the Conways), Alli Mauzey (Cry Baby, Wicked), Bonnie Milligan (Head Over Heels), Olivia Elease Hardy (Broadway debut), Fernell Hogan (The Prom, Mean Girls US Tour), Michael Iskander (Broadway debut), and Nina White (Broadway debut). Colleen Fitzpatrick, Skye Alyssa Friedman, Miguel Gil, Jim Hogan, Betsy Morgan, and Alex Vinh round out the cast as understudies.

Kim is a bright and funny Jersey teen, who happens to look like a 72-year-old lady. And yet her aging condition may be the least of her problems. Forced to maneuver family secrets, borderline personalities, and possible felony charges, Kim is determined to find happiness in a world where not even time is on her side.

The Clive & Valerie Barnes Foundation, under the leadership of Holly Jones and Lloyd Mayor, announced today the date for the 12th Annual Clive Barnes Awards. Hosted by New York 1’s Frank DiLella, the presentation of the awards recognizing excellence in theater and dance will take place on Sunday, September 18th, 2022 at 3pm at the Westbeth Studio, 11th floor, 55 Bethune Street, (in Greenwich Village) New York, NY.

The finalists for this year’s Theater Artist Award are Justin Cooley—Kimberly Akimbo; Jasai Chase-Owens—Sanctuary City; Erin Wilhelmi—To Kill a Mockingbird; and Samantha Williams—Caroline, or Change.

This year’s Dance Artist Award finalists are Zimmi Coker—American Ballet Theatre; Erica Lall—American Ballet Theatre; Mira Nadon—New York City Ballet; and Jake Tribus—Gibney Dance Company.

The winners will be announced during the ceremony on Sunday, September 18, 2022.

All finalists receive a cash prize of $500, while the winners will each receive an award of $5000.

Previous finalists in theater include Annaleigh Ashford, MJ Rodriquez, Derek Klena, Rob McClure, Alex Sharp, and Timothée Chalamet.

Previous finalists in dance include Isaabella Boylston, Lauren Lovette, Lloyd Mayor, Calvin Royal III, Zoey Anderson, Gemma Bond, and Indiana Woodward.

The finalists and winners for the dance and theater awards are chosen by a Selection Committee, which is comprised of critics and performers in each field.  This year’s selection committee for the Clive Barnes Awards includes Mindy Aloff, William H. Ausman, Diana Byer, Jenny Chiang , Frank DiLella, Nicole Duffy, Erik Forrest Jackson, Marshall Heyman, Patrick Pacheco and William Whitener.

Throughout his professional life, Clive Barnes was caring and generous to his colleagues and friends; always ready to advise and listen.  After his death, many condolence letters spoke of his generosity and practical help, especially to young people.  In this spirit, The Clive & Valerie Barnes Foundation was formed in 2009 to create Annual Awards giving recognition, encouragement and financial support to two talented young professionals and, thus, honoring the memory of the many years of critical work and the warm personal generosity of Clive Barnes.

The Foundation gives an Annual Award to two talented young professions in the artistic fields of dance and theater.

The Clive & Valerie Barnes Foundation Board of Directors includes William H. Ausman, Charles Askegard, Diana Byer, Pia Catton, George Dorris, Paloma Herrera, Holly Jones, Michelle Mathesius, Lloyd Mayor, Michael Riedel, and Spring Sirkin.

Broadway

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

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