American Idol finalist Clay Aiken will be making his Broadway debut on January 18, 2008 in Monty Python’s Spamalot. Aiken will be taking on the role of Sir Robin, the part originated on Broadway by David Hyde Pierce, and he is currently scheduled to be in the show through May 2008
Although she is best known for her portrayal of Karen on NBC’s Will & Grace, Megan Mullally has extensive stage credits, including past Broadway revivals of Grease! and How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. Now on Broadway again in the Mel Brooks musical Young Frankenstein, Mullally is also celebrating the release of her third vocal recording, “Free Again!” now in stores.
The 2007 Tony nominations came out today, and it’s no surprise that the shows receiving top recognition were the epic Tom Stoppard play The Coast of Utopia and the hot new musical Spring Awakening, which have a total of 10 and 11 nominations, respectively. The real shock was what — and who — didn’t manage to make the cut this year. Legally Blonde failed to land a Best Musical nom (despite the fact that it got nominations for Book and Score), and both The Pirate Queen and the Les Miserables revival were completely shut out. Broadway darling Kristin Chenoweth did not snag an acting nom for her performance in The Apple Tree, and Oscar winner Kevin Spacey’s turn in A Moon for the Misbegotten was snubbed. Among those triumphant were Christopher Plummer (Inherit the Wind), Liev Schreiber (Talk Radio), Vanessa Redgrave (The Year of Magical Thinking), Angela Lansbury (Deuce), Audra McDonald (110 in the Shade), and David Hyde Pierce (Curtains). To see these heavy hitters, and many others, duking it out for the big prizes, tune into the Tony Awards on CBS on June 10.
The Public Theater has just announced full casting for its first 2007 Shakespeare in the Park offering, and it looks like this year won’t be the star-studded affair of past years (see: Meryl Streep in Mother Courage and Her Children last summer).
The biggest names in Romeo and Juliet, which begins performances on June 5, are Lauren Ambrose and Camryn Manheim, who will play Juliet and her Nurse in Shakespeare’s iconic love story. Having a more low profile cast is likely a blessing in disguise, since it means we’ll get to enjoy the Bard’s beautiful text being performed by trained professionals rather than struggling movie stars (obviously I’m not referring to Ms. Streep, who was a knockout). It also means that ticket demand won’t be as high, so you’ll have a better chance of snagging tickets.
For the uninitiated, Shakespare in the Park tickets are absolutely free, and they’re distributed at 1PM on the day of the performance in front of the Delacorte Theater in Central Park, and also in front of the Public Theater downtown. Demand varies, but it’s usually a good idea to join the line by 8 or 9 in the morning (when Meryl was doing the show, people often camped out the night before!)