Tammy Blanchard (Tallulah, Into the Woods, Moneyball) has been cast in the upcoming Broadway revival of Eugene O’Neill’s The Iceman Cometh, starring Denzel Washington and staged by George C. Wolfe. Blanchard will play Cora, one of three prostitutes who frequent Harry Hope’s grim Greenwich Village saloon and flophouse where a roomful of “pipe-dreamers” await the arrival of Washington’s reliably affable salesman Theodore Hickman, known to all as Hickey.
The Scott Rudin production begins previews March 22 at the Jacobs Theatre and is slated to open April 26. In 2001, Blanchard won an Emmy as outstanding supporting actress in a miniseries or movie for Judy Garland: Me and My Shadows. Her New York stage credits include Broadway revivals of Gypsy (2003) and How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (2011), and Dada Woof Papa Hot (2015) at Lincoln Center Theater. She’s repped by The Gersh Agency and Soffer/Namoff Entertainment.
Speaking of Rudin, just in time for his upcoming revival of the Rodgers and Hammerstein classic musical Carousel, comes Jericho, Michael Weller‘s riff on the musical’s source, Liliom. For the Hungarian playwright Ferenc Molnar’s drama about a Budapest carnival barker at the turn of the last century, R&H moved the action to a New England mill town for their followup to Oklahoma!. In Jericho, the Moonchildren playwright (most recently on Broadway as the book writer for the musical adaptation of Dr. Zhivago) has set the play in Coney Island during the Great Depression. Stephanie Pope, last seen in the Pippin revival, will star as Mrs. Mosca, the owner of the carousel, in the production mounted by the downtown Attic Theater Company, with artistic director Laura Braza staging.
“I always thought the original Hungarian play was wildly inventive, entertaining, edgy and mysterious,” Weller says, “far ahead of its time in both its storytelling and its blend of cosmopolitan sophistication and genuine emotion. A good love story is rare – a love story as original as this one is almost unheard of.
“The situation that interested Molnar – the peculiar and combustible mix of love and violence – is at the very center of my play,” Weller adds. “My attempt is to communicate something of Molnar’s ambiguous and disturbing treatment of this love.”
Jericho begins performances Saturday at The Wild Project in the East Village and will run through February 10.
Bernabé Figueroa Jr. – better known as Yankees great Bernie Williams – was a guitar hero even during the 16 seasons he spent dominating center both defensively and, as a slugger, offensively. On March 6 he will make his Café Carlyle debut, playing a weeklong gig at the tony boîte, playing what I’m told will be an eclectic mix of Latin, jazz, blues and standards in the club where Bobby Short hung out for so many years. Pinstripes required.
Two disparate musical events this week worth following up on: Another guitar hero, the incomparable John Pizzarelli, is playing, singing, riffing and scatting music from the Nat “King” Cole catalogue in trio mode through this weekend at Birdland. The choices range from the tasteful to the tasty, all executed with Pizzarelli’s usual soigné sizzle. And the Metropolitan Opera has brought back Bartlett Sher’s deeply satisfying production of Donizetti’s L’Elisir D’Amore. The rustic comic opera provides a scintillating showcase for South African soprano Pretty Yende, as Adina, and, in his debut, conductor Domingo Hindoyan, in sure command of the Met band. There are several more performances with the same excellent cast (Matthew Polenzani, Davide Luciano and Ildebrando D’Arcangelo are superb as Nemorino, Belcore and Dulcamara, respectively) including Saturday and through February 20. I must admit, I still miss Dulcamara’s balloon, but that was another time.
Sher, meanwhile, is across the Lincoln Center plaza, readying his upcoming revival of My Fair Lady, scheduled to begin performances March 22 at the Vivian Beaumont. Lauren Ambrose stars as Eliza Doolittle, Harry Hadden-Paton is ‘Enry Higgins and the cast includes Norbert Leo Butz and Diana Rigg.