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‘Unmasked’ Musical Celebrating Andrew Lloyd Webber To Bow In September

Andrew Lloyd-Webber

The Paper Mill Playhouse will host the world premiere of Unmasked, the musical celebrating the career of Andrew Lloyd Webber. The New Jersey theater said today it will open the 2018-2019 season with a limited run of the brand-new production starting September 27 and running through October 28, 2018. The news comes as Webber — the iconic creator of Broadway phenoms including Phantom of the Opera, Cats, Jesus Christ Superstar, Evita and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dre… Read

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Neil LaBute Axed From MCC Theater Ahead Of New Play Debut

Neil LaBute

UPDATED with information about American Gigolo project at Showtime: The off-Broadway MCC Theater has severed ties with its longtime playwright-in-residence Neil LaBute, which comes ahead of the August world premiere of his new play Reasons To Be Pretty Happy. No reason was given by the theater for the decision that was made public today, but the play has been canceled. Reasons To Be Pretty Happy revisits the characters first introduced in LaBute’s 2009 Tony-nominated play… Read

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Harry Connick Jr To Star In ‘The Sting’ Musical Eyeing Broadway

Harry Connick Jr

Harry Connick Jr has been set to star in The Sting, a new musical in the works that will have its world premiere next month at New Jersey’s Paper Mill Playhouse, with the producers eyeing a Broadway transfer. The musical, based on the 1973 Oscar-winning Universal film, is set for a limited run March 29-April 29. Connick will play Henry Gondorff, portrayed by Paul Newman in the feature film, which was set in 1930s Chicago and centers on a pair of con men — small-town… Read

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Tom Hanks Will Mine Falstaff In L.A. ‘Henry IV’ Staging; Rita Wilson Also Stars

Forrest Gump as Sir John Sack-and-Sugar? Believe it. Tom Hanks is set to make his L.A. stage debut in Henry IV, which the Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles will raise the curtain on in June. Rita Wilson also will star, but her role wasn’t revealed. Daniel Sullivan, who won a Tony for directing 2000’s Proof and has been nominated five other times, will direct Henry IV. The show is set to open June and run for two dozen performances through July 1 outdoors at the Japanese… Read

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Jan Maxwell Has Died; Five-Time Tony Nominee Praised ‘Law & Order’ As “The Mother Ship”

Jan Maxwell, a supremely gifted comic actress whose five Tony Award nominations included two in the same season, died today of cancer, her son, William Maxwell-Lunny, confirmed. She was 61. Maxwell was both talented and beloved, known for her professionalism and timing, whether it was for a sly patrician snarl or a bit of business put over with minimum exaggeration for maximum effect. Her notable musical comedy performances included roles in Stephen Sondheim and James… Read

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‘Hedwig’ Producer David Binder Named BAM Artistic Director

David Binder, a theater producer best known for a critically acclaimed and commercially successful Broadway production of the punk rock musical Hedwig and the Angry Inch, will become the first artistic director of the Brooklyn Academy of Music. BAM President Katy Clark announced the appointment, which will become effective next January. Binder will succeed Executive Producer Joseph V. Melillo, who is retiring in December after 35 years at the Brooklyn institution. Under… Read

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Review: Eve Ensler’s Dazzling ‘In The Body Of The World’

With a commission from the American Repertory Theater and its artistic director Diane Paulus, Eve Ensler adapted her harrowing, revelatory 2013 memoir In the Body of the World into an equally harrowing, revelatory play. I’d call it an unblinking work, but in truth I doubt anyone will come away from this evening without shedding some tears for its author and her subjects, which extend from herself to, as her title suggests, the malign and malignant inhabitants of our… Read

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‘The Blacklist’s Harry Lennix Set To Direct ‘A Small Oak Tree’ Off-Broadway

EXCLUSIVE: Harry Lennix, AKA Agent Harold Cooper on NBC's The Blacklist, has staged A Small Oak Tree Runs Red at off-Broadway’s Billie Holiday Theater, in previews, opening tomorrow and running through March 4. The play had its premiere in 2016 in Chicago, where Chicago Tribune drama critic Chris Jones called it "an important new drama (that) looks racial violence right in the eye." A Small Oak Tree originated at Chicago's Congo Square Theater as part of its August Wilson… Read

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Review: Terrence McNally’s ‘Fire And Air’ Is A Master Class In Dance & Erotic Hunger

He was nicknamed “Chinchilla” for the slash of white in his otherwise jet black mane and he was an impresario as enamored of his artists as he was of the art. Sergei Diaghilev dragged ballet out of the too-too tutu 19th-Century world immortalized on the canvases of Edouard Manet and into the 20th-Century defined by dancer/choreographer Michel Fokine, the jagged unfamiliar music of Stravinsky and Debussy and lush settings by Leon Bakst, Pablo Picasso and others. And… Read

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Review: ‘Veep’s Anna Chlumsky & ‘Happy Ending’s Adam Pally Hook Up, Turn Red In ‘Cardinal’

Cardinal, Greg Pierce’s anodyne take on urban decay and gentrification, offers a breezy but no less pointed version of the tragedy and melodrama in plays like Bruce Norris’ Clybourne Park and Lynne Nottage’s Sweat. Staged by Kate Whoriskey, this world premiere at off-Broadway’s Second Stage Theatre also offers a dream gift to Anna Chlumsky (Veep) and Adam Pally (Happy Endings): Juicy roles in the push-me, pull-you vein of romantic comedies like Northern Exposure. A dark… Read

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Paula Vogel’s Presidents’ Day Challenge To Writers: Set Cuckoo ‘Ubu’ In The White House

EXCLUSIVE: Pulitzer prize-winning playwright Paula Vogel (How I Learned To Drive, Indecent) has thrown down the gantlet, or at least the rolling pin, to writers across the U.S.: Come up with a short work based on Alfred Jarry’s 1896 riot-inducing satire Ubu Roi, to be performed simultaneously around the country on Presidents’ Day, February 19. Jarry’s black comedy anti-hero was a despot king awash in murder, genocide, a war with Russia and the revolt of his own countrymen… Read

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Review: Thrilling Talent In ‘The Homecoming Queen’ & Michael Weller’s Coney Island Carousel Spin In ‘Jericho’

It’s all well and good to have great seats for Bruce Springsteen and assured seats for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child and Denzel Washington’s Hickey. It’s a privilege, to be sure. Still, I believe most of my colleagues would agree that what really revs our motors is the all-too-rare discovery of a new talent. That’s the case with Ngozi Anyanwu’s The Homecoming Queen, which is having its world premiere at the Atlantic Theatre Company’s smaller space in New York’s… Read