Exit Hugh Jackman, Enter Josephine Baker: Cush Jumbo’s Changing Times
One of the many things I never knew until I saw Cush Jumbo’s show Josephine And I is that Josephine Baker sang Bob Dylan’s “The Times They Are A Changin'” at Carnegie Hall in a triumphant 1973 concert. She didn’t shed her clothes, shake a banana skirt or summon African spirits. She sang the song with smoldering fury, ending every verse, “For the times they are a-change…changin’”
You can watch Baker on the video here, and if you’re lucky enough to catch one of the last few… Read
Auf Wiedersehen, Alan Cumming, Come Back Soon: ‘Cabaret’ Shutters As Broadway B.O. Jumps 6%
UPDATE, 3 PM: Fixes gross, number of previews, for Something Rotten, below.
Twelve shows were in previews last week and one departed on a high note: Roundabout Theatre Company’s revived revival (so glad I won’t have to type that anymore, but still…) of Sam Mendes and Rob Marshall’s memorable Cabaret ended its run at Studio 54 after delivering so many goodies, not the least of which were the final two Sally Bowles’ essayed by Emma Stone and Sienna Miller; the unforgettable… Read
‘The Wiz’ NBC’s Next Live Musical, With Cirque Du Soleil; Broadway Revival Planned
NBC’s next live television production will be an update of hit Broadway musical The Wiz, debuting December 3, but this time the network has partnered with Cirque du Soleil to co-produce the live event. It will then become a Broadway revival for the 2016-17 season.
Once again Craig Zadan and Neil Meron will exec produce. Tony Award-winning director Kenny Leon will stage both the television production and Broadway revival, in collaboration with Tony winner and Broadway icon… Read
‘Ferguson’ Play Based On Grand-Jury Transcripts Turns Audience Into Judge
EXCLUSIVE: A new play based on grand-jury witness testimony from the controversial Michael Brown police shooting in Ferguson, Mo., will be presented for four nights next month in Los Angeles. Presented by Theater Verite Collective at the Odyssey Theatre, Ferguson will be a staged reading – after which, in a crucial twist, the audience will then judge whether Ferguson officer Darren Wilson should have been indicted.
The group plans to take the play on the road and… Read
Broadway Composer Jeanine Tesori On ‘Fun Home,’ Change & The Public Theater
Tonight’s the night Broadway gets a look at Fun Home, possibly the first Tony-eligible musical based on a graphic memoir, and certainly one of the most beautiful new shows we’ll see. I know because it opened in the fall of 2013 at the Public Theater, and I wasn’t the only critic who called it shimmering. It’s based on artist Alison Bechdel’s drawn memoir of growing up in a restored Victorian mansion in Pennsylvania; the funeral home that is the family business; and the… Read
Harvey Weinstein Kicks Things Up At Radio City Music Hall
The genius of Harvey Weinstein’s New York Spring Spectacular at Radio City Music Hall is that he and his sly collaborators — Diane Paulus (Pippin), Randy Weiner (Queen Of The Night) and Warren Carlyle (After Midnight) — have engineered 90 dazzling minutes of… Read
Hal Prince Will Stage New Musical World Premiere Next Season
The all-time Tony-wining champ (21) will direct The Band’s Visit for off-Broadway’s Atlantic Theater Company next spring. It’s based on Eran Kolirin’s award-winning 2007 film about an Egyptian police band stranded in a remote Israeli desert village before a concert meant to inaugurate an Arab arts center. With no bus until morning and no hotel in sight, the unlikely travelers are taken in by the locals as their lives become intertwined in unexpected ways. Among other… Read
Jason Alexander Will Take Over When Larry David Leaves His ‘Fish In The Dark’
Larry David’s final performance in his play will be on June 7, which is when the freshman playwriting effort was slated to shutter. Instead, the run has been extended six weeks, with his Seinfeld alter ego Jason Alexander (aka George Costanza) stepping into the role of Norman Drexel. Scott Rudin is the lead producer.
“I left Broadway 25 years ago because Larry David co-created the show that would change my life and career," Alexander is purported to have said, according… Read
Tom Stoppard & Charlie Hebdo Staff Lauded By PEN As Free-Speech Exemplars: Media
Tom Stoppard, a fevered friend of free expression and foe of bad writing, will receive the PEN/Allen Foundation Literary Service Award for his “extraordinary career as a dramatist and his abiding commitment to the defense of creative freedom worldwide.” It’s the highest honor bestowed by the American chapter of the global human-rights organization of writers and editors. Stoppard’s plays include Arcadia, The Real Thing and most recently The Hard Problem, currently running… Read
Ed Asner Tells Union Actors: Just Say No To Equity’s Minimum-Wage Plan
EXCLUSIVE: Former SAG President Ed Asner is urging stage actors to vote no on Actors’ Equity's proposal to scrap L.A.’s 99-seat theater waiver. Balloting on the plan begins today, with an Equity Council vote slated for April 21.
The proposed change would require small theater companies to pay actors minimum wage for performances, a move that opponents say would result in the shuttering of many theater in the city that provide a crucial environment for young thespians… Read
Elaine Stritch Bio Sells At Auction To Farrar, Straus & Giroux: Media
Stritch, the Broadway diva who played Alec Baldwin’s mom on 30 Rock and was the memorably frank subject of the docu Shoot Me, will get the bio treatment from New York Times fashion and features writer Alexandra Jacobs. Farrar, Straus & Giroux senior editor Alex Star bought the tome for an estimated quarter- to half-a million dollars, according to Capital New York.
The morning tip sheet quotes Jacobs saying, “I think I’m the only person in New York who not only never met El… Read
Brian Stokes Mitchell Laureled By New Dramatists
EXCLUSIVE: The famed safe-house for developing theater writers will honor multiple Tony Award nominee (and winner for Kiss Me, Kate) and Actors Fund board chair Brian Stokes Mitchell with its 2015 Distinguished Achievement Award, to be presented at New Dramatists’ 66th Annual Spring Luncheon on May 14 in New York. The event chairs are producers Roger Berlind and Bob Boyett, and Shubert Organization chairman Philip J. Smith.
“Working in a community of playwrights, one… Read