There is lots of movement on Broadway this week. The Broadway revival of the musical Sunday in the Park with George has announced a second extension — it is now set to finish its Broadway run on June 15. The London production of Macbeth starring Patrick Stewart, which is playing a limited engagement at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, is going to come to Broadway for a run in the Lyceum Theatre (where the Broadway play Is He Dead? currently lives) from March 28 through May 24. And the new Broadway musical Passing Strange officially opens at the Belasco Theatre tonight.
The recently discovered Mark Twain play, Is He Dead?, which was adapted for Broadway by playwright David Ives, will close on Sunday, March 9. Featuring Broadway star Norbert Leo Butz as an artist who fakes his death, the farcical comedy will have played a total of 118 performances at the Lyceum Theatre when it has its final Broadway bow.
The new TV movie version of Lorraine Hansberry’s beautiful play A Raisin in the Sun was a success in the ratings last night, ultimately “winning” the night for ABC with an overall average of nearly 13 million viewers. This television adaptation of the play starred the same leads as the 2004 Broadway revival cast, including Sean Combs, Audra McDonald, and Phylicia Rashad. The latter two are Tony-winning Broadway regulars, but A Raisin in the Sun was hip-hop mogul Sean “P Diddy” Combs’s Broadway debut.
Actor Dennis Letts has passed away at the age of 73. Most recently he appeared as Beverly Weston in both the Chicago and Broadway runs of his son Tracy’s acclaimed play August: Osage County. Mr. Letts was diagnosed with lung cancer late last year, but he did not let that stop him from making an indelible impression on Broadway as the wry, charming patriarch of the dysfunctional Weston clan in August.
The Broadway musical version of Alice Walker’s novel The Color Purple had its final performance at the Broadway Theatre today. At over 900 performances on Broadway, the uplifting Oprah Winfrey-produced musical had a good run, but can now only be seen in its touring production.
Broadway Fan Alert! The latest issue of Entertainment Weekly (Feb. 29, with Will Ferrell on the cover) features a special “Stage” section, in which Broadway revivals Sunday in the Park with George and Come Back, Little Sheba, new Off-Broadway musical Next to Normal, and long-running Broadway tuner Spamalot (now starring American Idol‘s Clay Aiken) are reviewed. Check it out!
The Roundabout Theatre Company revival of the musical Sunday in the Park with George was greeted with rave reviews after opening on Broadway last night. The hit production has now extended its Broadway run until June 1, so you better get your tickets now!
The new Broadway revival of Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s musical Sunday in the Park with George opens at Studio 54 tonight. Starring English actors Daniel Evans and Jenna Russell, the production comes to Broadway hot off a successful run in London. The supporting cast of the Broadway version includes such Broadway regulars as Alexander Gemignani (Les Miserables, Sweeney Todd), Michael Cumpsty (42nd Street), and Jessica Molaskey (Parade).
Tune into PBS tonight at 9PM Eastern/Standard time to see the TV broadcast of the recent Broadway revival of Company. The Stephen Sondheim/George Furth musical, which was directed by John Doyle, stars Raul Esparza as a confirmed (but questioning) bachelor. If you don’t see Company on your TV schedule tonight, check your local listings to see if your PBS affiliate is airing it on a different night.
The “20 at 20″ ticket discount, which allows people to buy $20 tickets to any of 20 different Off-Broadway shows, has returned for a limited time from February 25 to March 9. The catch is that these discount tickets don’t become available until 20 minutes before curtain and are subject to availability. For more information, and a list of participating Off-Broadway shows, see www.offbroadway.com.