Just as he prepares to take on William Shakespeare’s classic tragedy Macbeth (all by himself!) on Broadway at the Barrymore Theatre, Alan Cumming releases a new recording on which he tackles several of the Bard’s works. The Head That Wears a Crown, available from GPR Records, features Cumming reciting numerous speeches from Shakespeare plays.
On the 22-track album are many of Shakespeare’s most revered speeches, including “Now is the winter of our discontent” from Richard III, “Once more unto the breach” from Henry V, and “If music be the food of love, play on” from Twelfth Night, along with lesser-known passages.
The Head That Wears a Crown is already available for digital download, and it will be released in stores on April 23. Alan Cumming’s one-man Macbeth begins previews on April 7, with its official Broadway opening set for April 21.
Jesse Tyler Ferguson
The 2013 Tony Award nominations are set to be announced on April 30 at 8:30am. Two famous faces, known both on Broadway and on television, will make the announcements from the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center, located at Lincoln Center. The well-known performers in question are Tony winners Sutton Foster (Anything Goes, TV’s Bunheads) and Jesse Tyler Ferguson (The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee).
Other Broadway luminaries will be there along with Sutton Foster and Jesse Tyler Ferguson when the Tony Award nominees are announced. Noted Broadway costume designer and American Theatre Wing chairman William Ivey Long, American Theatre Wing executive director Heather Hitchens, Broadway League chairman Nick Scandalios, and Broadway League executive director Charlotte St. Martin will all be in attendance.
Once the Tony nominations are announced, it will be a little more than a month until the main event, the Tony Awards ceremony, is held on June 9. The Tonys will be broadcast live from Radio City Music Hall on the CBS network. Find more information at www.tonyawards.com.
They may be the most notorious couple in history, but William Shakespeare’s star-crossed lovers, Romeo and Juliet, haven’t been on Broadway since 1987. But soon R&J will return to Broadway in a new production starring Orlando Bloom (Legolas in The Lord of the Rings) and Condola Rashad (currently co-starring in Broadway’s The Trip to Bountiful) as the doomed young couple.
Directed by David Leveaux, the production will emphasize a racial divide, casting the Montagues as a white household and the Capulets as a black family. The only other cast members announced so far are Joe Morton (Raisin, Art) as Lord Capulet and Jayne Houdyshell (Dead Accounts, Follies) as the Nurse.
Romeo and Juliet will start previews at the Richard Rodgers Theatre on August 24, with an opening date set for September 19.
Scott Siegel’s “Broadway By the Year” series, now in its 13th season and beloved by many Broadway theater fans, will continue with Broadway Musicals of 1972 on April 29 at 8pm . As usual, the concert will take place at The Town Hall, located in the Times Square area.
The Broadway Musicals of 1972 is set to star several Broadway talents, including Carolee Carmello (star of this season’s musical Scandalous), Patrick Page (Spiderman), Christopher Fitzgerald (Wicked), and Bob Stillman (Grey Gardens). The Broadway By the Year Chorus will also be featured.
This edition of “Broadway By the Year” will include songs from musicals such as the hit ’50s themed musical Grease, Sugar, and the Stephen Schwartz-penned Pippin, which is about to enjoy a Broadway revival.
Get tickets for the event through Ticketmaster.com, by calling 800-982-2787, or by visiting The Town Hall Box Office, located at 123 W. 43rd Street. Ticket prices range from $45 to $55.
A new recording titled Here For You – Ballads For Broadway Impact, featuring the music of Jonathan Reid Gealt, will be released on April 30. The proceeds of the album will benefit Broadway Impact, an organization made up of theater people who support marriage equality.
The CD will feature the talents of many Broadway performers, including Jeremy Jordan (Newsies, TV’s Smash), Kelli O’Hara (Nice Work If You Can Get It), Adrienne Warren (Bring It On), Rachel Potter (Evita), Katie Thompson (Big Fish), and Caissie Levy (Ghost the Musical), as well as The Voice finalist Loren Allred.
Here For You – Ballads for Broadway Impact will be launched with a special concert being held at The Cutting Room on April 29 at 10pm. Tickets are $20 if purchased ahead of time, or $25 at the door. Get tickets by visiting www.thecuttingroomnyc.com or calling 212-691-1900.
Broadway performer Andrew Keenan-Bolger (Newsies) will join songwriters Chris Miller and Nathan Tysen (Tuck Everlasting) for broadwayUNLOCKED, a special event that will benefit the Crime Victims Treatment Center, on April 22. Taylor Trensch (Matilda), Eryn Murman (Spring Awakening), Jason Hite (Bare), and Eric Namaky are also scheduled to participate in the concert event.
Held at The Green Space (44 Charlton Street), broadwayUNLOCKED will also be webcast for those who can’t make the concert. Visit www.broadwayUNLOCKED.com to purchase tickets or to learn more.
“This year we will be able to reach out to thousands across the country, broadening our community and inviting anyone to be a part of helping survivors heal,” Crime Victims Treatment Center director Susan Xenarios said in a statement. “This is a celebration of recovery and transformation and we are thrilled to know that through this concert, our mission will reach anyone who chooses to be touched by it.”
Broadway Bares, one of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS’ most popular fundraisers, has been scheduled to play at the Roseland Ballroom on June 23, with performances at 9:30pm and midnight. This is the 23rd edition of the racy annual event, and it has been subtitled “United Strips of America”.
“More than 200 of New York’s sexiest and most desirable dancers will discover – and uncover – amber waves and mountain majesties that only Broadway Bares could find,” announced Broadway Cares. “This trip across the fruited plains of America will most certainly be the stuff patriot dreams are made of.”
Tickets for Broadway Bares start at $65 for general admission, non-reserved standing, while $135 will get your priority standing near the stage. Reserved table seating is available for $750. To find out more about these and other ticket options, visit www.broadwaycares.org or call 212-840-0770 (ext. 268).
Actor and playwright Hamish Linklater’s new play The Vandal, playing Off-Broadway at the Flea Theater, has garnered a great deal of acclaim and is now getting a chance to be seen by television audiences. Thirteen WNET, the PBS station that serves the New York City area, will film the March 29 performance of The Vandal for later broadcast (a date has not yet been set).
The Vandal is a darkly humorous three-person play about a boy and a woman who meet and share stories while waiting for a bus one cold night. Directed by Jim Simpson, the production stars Noah Robbins, Deirdre O’Connell, and Zach Grenier.
Playwright Hamish Linklater has, up until now, been better known to Broadway and television audiences as a performer. He was recently in the Broadway production of Theresa Rebeck’s Seminar and will soon be seen in The Comedy of Errors at Shakespeare in the Park this summer. Linklater is perhaps best known for his role on the sitcom The New Adventures of Old Christine.
After many productions on the regional theater scene, Always … Patsy Cline will finally make it to Broadway this summer in a new production starring Crystal Bowersox (a fan favorite during her season on American Idol) and Annette O’Toole. The production, directed by John Rando, is expected to begin previews in July with an opening in August.
“Crystal is the ideal performer to portray Patsy Cline,” said producer Jeff Cohen in a statement. “In what amounts to a ‘life-imitates-art’ twist, Patsy Cline was discovered on the Arthur Godfrey Show, the number one TV talent show of its day. And Crystal was discovered on American Idol, the number one TV talent show today.”
Always … Patsy Cline relates the friendship between country icon Cline and devoted fan Louise Seger, who narrates the musical. Dozens of Patsy Cline classics are included in the show, including “Walkin’ After Midnight,” “I Fall to Pieces,” “Crazy,” and “Back In Baby’s Arms”.
Since 1922, The Drama League Awards have been recognizing excellence in Broadway and Off-Broadway theater, making them America’s oldest theatrical honors. This year, the Drama League — which includes thousands of members across the nation — is bestowing special honors on beloved Tony Award-winning actress and singer Bernadette Peters, acclaimed director/choreographer Jerry Mitchell, and The Rockettes (known of course for their yearly appearance in the Radio City Christmas Spectacular).
Bernadette Peters (Follies, Gypsy, Annie Get Your Gun) is being given the Distinguished Achievement in Musical Theatre Award for her decades-long contribution to the art form (her first appearance on Broadway was in The Most Happy Fella in 1959). Jerry Mitchell, who is currently represented on Broadway by the new musical Kinky Boots, is receiving The Founders Award for Excellence in Directing. The Rockettes, along with Madison Square Garden Entertainment, are being given the Unique Contribution to the Theatre Award for their longstanding contribution to the promotion of live theater.
The 79th Annual Drama League Awards will be held on May 17 at the Marriot Marquis (home of Broadway’s Marquis Theatre) in Times Square. Visit www.dramaleague.org for more information.