Hot off a highly-praised stint hosting the Tony Awards ceremony, Neil Patrick Harris announces that he will be back performing on Broadway soon. Harris will star in the cult favorite Hedwig and the Angry Inch in Spring 2014 at a Broadway theater yet to be named.
Hedwig and the Angry Inch previously enjoyed a lengthy Off-Broadway run and was even made into an acclaimed independent film, but this will be the John Cameron Mitchell / Stephen Trask musical’s first foray onto Broadway. The darkly comic show is about a fictional rock band fronted by a transgender singer.
“I am simultaneously ecstatic and terrified to be stepping into Hedwig’s heels,” stated Neil Patrick Harris about his upcoming Broadway gig. “It is truly a once-in-a-lifetime role and I can’t wait to begin the journey.”
Harris is not new to Broadway, having starred in the play Proof and the revivals of musicals Assassins and Cabaret. He is best known for his role on the TV sitcom How I Met Your Mother.
Lincoln Center Theater has announced its upcoming season, which will include a wide variety of Broadway and Off-Broadway productions. Ethan Hawke will play the title role in a new production of Shakespeare’s tragedy Macbeth, beginning performances at the Vivian Beaumont Theater, LCT’s Broadway space, in October. Jack O’Brien will direct the production.
The Spring production at the Beaumont will be Act One, James Lapine’s adaptation of playwright Moss Hart’s celebrated autobiography. Casting has not yet been announced.
LCT’s Off-Broadway season, taking place at the Newhouse Theater, is to include the new play Domesticated by Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winning writer Bruce Norris (Clybourne Park). There will also be a production of The City of Conversation, written by Anthony Giardina and directed by Doug Hughes (Doubt).
Robert James Waller’s best-selling 1992 novel The Bridges of Madison County, which later became a movie starring Meryl Streep and Clint Eastwood, will soon step onto the Broadway stage. Adapted by bookwriter Marsha Norman and composer/lyricist Jason Robert Brown, The Bridges of Madison County musical will start performances at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre on January 13, 2014.
Directed by Bartlett Sher, the production will have a pre-Broadway premiere this August at the Williamstown Theatre Festival. Steven Pasquale and Elena Shaddow will star in the Williamstown run, but casting for Broadway has not yet been announced.
A romantic favorite when it came out in book stores, The Bridges of Madison County is about a very brief love affair between a lonely Iowa housewife and a traveling National Geographic photographer. The novel was on the New York Times bestseller list for over three years.
Just a few days after the Tony Awards ceremony came the news of the first post-Tony casualty. Ann, the one-woman Broadway play written by and starring Holland Taylor in a tour-de-force performance, will ends its run at Lincoln Center’s Vivian Beaumont Theater on June 30. When it closes, the critically-acclaimed production will have played a total of 151 performances.
Some years it is a virtual bloodbath following the Tonys, as Broadway shows which have been barely holding on to dear life finally give up once their Tony hopes have been dashed. But this year most of the struggling shows didn’t even last until the Tonys. Since Ann is currently the Broadway show with the lowest weekly grosses, and star Holland Taylor did not win the Tony Award she was nominated for, it is not altogether surprising that the play is closing.
“The incomparable Holland Taylor has dedicated the last six years of her life creating and performing this beautiful play, a tribute to an indomitable American cultural hero, stated Ann producer Bob Boyett. “The impact it has had on audiences is indeed a consummate achievement and a monument to the legacy of Ann Richards. My producing partners and I could not be any more proud to have brought Ann to Broadway.”
Following its successful Off-Broadway run last summer, the new musical Soul Doctor is now gearing up for a Broadway run. The show will start performances at the Circle in the Square Theatre (1633 Broadway) on July 17, with an official opening on August 15.
Conceived by Jeremy Chess and created by Daniel S. Wise and David Schechter, Soul Doctor tells the story of Rabbi Schlomo Carlebach, a controversial figure known as the “rock star rabbi” in the 1960s as he developed a form of popular Jewish music. The show includes more than 30 of the rabbi’s songs.
Eric Anderson, a Drama Desk Award nominee for his Off-Broadway performance in Soul Doctor, once again takes on the role of Schlomo Carlebach. The production is directed by Daniel S. Wise and includes costumes by Maggie Morgan and scenic design by Neil Patel.
Cameron Mackintosh, celebrated theater producer, has announced that the forthcoming Broadway revival of the international musical sensation Les Miserables will come to the Imperial Theatre, which served as the home for the original Broadway production for almost 13 years.
“This magnificent theatre has the perfect blend of scale and intimacy for a story like Les Misérables, and I can’t wait to put together a brilliant company to bring this great musical to new generations of Broadway audiences,” said Mackintosh.
The Broadway Les Miserables revival is the 25th anniversary production of the show. This re-imagination of Les Miz, which has already been seen in the national touring production, features a number of new elements, including new orchestrations and scenic designs.
The Les Miserables revival will start preview performances on March 1, 2014, with its official Broadway opening slated for March 23, 2014.
Casting has finally been announced for the new musical First Date, which will be coming to Broadway this summer. Zachary Levi (best known as the star of TV’s Chuck) and Krysta Rodriguez (The Addams Family) will headline the production, and they will be joined by co-stars Sara Chase, Kristoffer Cusick, Blake Hammond, Kate Loprest, and Vicki Noon.
Set in real time, First Date follows a series of hilarious shenanigans that take place when high-strung Aaron (played by Zachary Levi) and serial-dater Casey (Krysta Rodriguez) have dinner at a bustling New York City restaurant. The musical’s book was written by Austin Winsberg (Gossip Girl) and the music and lyrics are by Michael Weiner and Alan Zachary.
First Date, which had its world premiere in Seattle, will begin preview performances at the Longacre Theatre on Broadway on July 9, with the official opening night set for August 4.
The new production of Lyle Kessler’s play Orphans closes at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre today. The play, which officially opened on April 18, ends its run early, having played only a total of 64 performances.
Orphans starred Ben Foster and Tom Sturridge as orphaned brothers living in a decrepit North Philadelphia row house, with the elder brother supporting himself and his sheltered sibling by committing petty crimes. When he tries to kidnap a rich business man (played by Alec Baldwin), both brothers are surprised to find themselves with a new father figure of sorts.
From early in its rehearsal process, Orphans was making headlines due to reported difficulties relating to the production’s original star, popular movie actor Shia LeBeouf (Transformers). LeBeouf, who was let go from the production during rehearsals, publicized private email conversations that he had had with co-star Alec Baldwin and director Daniel Sullivan via his Twitter account. The young actor was quickly replaced with Ben Foster, and the production’s first preview was delayed a week.
Though most of the press about Orphans centered around Alec Baldwin, Shia LeBeouf, and replacement Ben Foster (who has been active in independent film for several years), Tom Sturridge ended up being the play’s breakout star, earning a Tony Award nomination for his performance.
Film, TV, and occasional stage star Billy Crystal is coming back to Broadway once again with his one-man play 700 Sundays. Crystal will appear in the limited-run arrival, directed by Des McAnuff (Jersey Boys), at the Imperial Theatre from November 5, 2013 until January 5, 2014.
Written by Billy Crystal and Alan Zweibel, 700 Sundays originally played on Broadway in 2004 and 2005. The award-winning play is the autobiographical tale of Crystal’s youth and emergence into adulthood and features him playing multiple characters.
“When we originally opened on Broadway, all I knew was that I had a story that I was compelled to share,” stated Billy Crystal about his experience with 700 Sundays. “Now that I’ve performed my play across the country and internationally, I’m gratified to know that the love of family, through joy and pain, is perhaps the most universal story. I’ve now decided to tell this story one last time in my own backyard, where it all took place.”
With the recent successes of Barry Manilow and The Rascals on Broadway, Broadway is becoming an increasingly attractive venue for concert productions. The latest in the series is Let It Be, a concert show that features the greatest hits of one of the greatest rock bands of all time, The Beatles.
Originating as a 50th anniversary celebration for The Beatles on the West End, Let It Be charts the Liverpool band’s rise to international fame utilizing projection technology and 3D sound. The show includes live performances of songs such as “Twist and Shout,” “She Loves You,” “Hey Jude,” “Yesterday,” “Come Together,” and of course the title song, “Let It Be”.
Let It Be will begin performances at the St. James Theatre on July 16, with an opening date set for July 24. The production is scheduled to run through December 29. Find out more at LetItBeBroadway.com.