The highly acclaimed new play August: Osage County, which the Steppenwolf Theatre Company brought to Broadway after a hit run in Chicago, has found a new Broadway house to move into. On April 20, August will conclude its tenure at the Imperial Theatre (which will soon host Billy Elliot) and move to Broadway’s Music Box Theatre (where the soon-to-close Farnsworth Invention currently lives).
The eleventh annual Broadway Bears event was held this evening in New York City. Each year, teddy bears dressed as characters from Broadway shows are auctioned off, with the proceeds going to Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. This year, Broadway Bears was hosted by frequent Broadway performer Bryan Batt. To learn more about Broadway Bears, visit Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS online at www.broadwaycares.org.
New York Theatre Workshop, the venerable downtown theater company that launched Broadway sensation Rent, has announced plans to create a new concert series that revives Off-Broadway musicals. Similar to the popular City Center series Encores!, which features lesser-known Broadway musicals of the past, the NYTW concerts would be minimally-staged productions that bring older Off-Broadway — and probably Off-Off Broadway and regional — shows to new audiences.
Happy Valentine’s Day, musical theater lovers! Tonight at the Richard Rodgers Theatre, performances of the thrilling new Broadway show In the Heights begin. A musical love letter to the Manhattan neighborhood of Washington Heights, In the Heights had a successful Off-Broadway run last season and has now transferred to the Great White Way. The show officially opens on Broadway on March 9. To get discount tickets to see it, click here.
The new Off-Broadway musical Next To Normal, written by Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey, opens tonight at Second Stage Theatre in New York City. Alice Ripley and Brian d’Arcy James, both Broadway regulars, star in the production, which is directed by Michael Greif (most famous for helming Broadway’s Rent). Composer Tom Kitt’s most recent New York show was High Fidelity, which had a very short run on Broadway.
The first-ever all African-American production of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof to play Broadway starts preview performances tonight. James Earl Jones, Phylicia Rashad, Terrence Howard, Anika Noni Rose, and Giancarlo Esposito head the cast of this Tennesse Williams family drama, directed by Debbie Allen. Most of the venerable performers headlining the production are Broadway veterans, but film actor Howard (Hustle & Flow, Crash) is making his Broadway debut here. Cat on a Hot Tin Roof will have its official Broadway opening at the Broadhurst Theatre on March 6, with a planned closing date of April 13.
The new Broadway musical version of Shrek has announced its official opening date and theater. Shrek will start preview performances at the Broadway Theatre (currently occupied by The Color Purple) on November 8, with a December 14 opening. So far, Young Frankenstein‘s Sutton Foster has been cast as princess Fiona and Broadway regular Christopher Sieber will be playing Lord Farquaad, but it is not yet known who will be playing Shrek himself.
The original Broadway cast recording of the smash Broadway musical Spring Awakening just won the 2008 Grammy Award for Best Musical Show Album. Lyricist Steven Sater and composer Duncan Sheik accepted the award. The category’s other nominees were the Broadway cast recordings for Grey Gardens, the revivals of A Chorus Line and Company, and West Side Story.
Following a much-buzzed-about Off-Broadway run at the Public Theater, the new rock musical Passing Strange starts its Broadway preview period tonight. Writer/performer Stew narrates the semi-autobiographical tale of a young man from middle class L.A. who travels to Europe in search of himself. Passing Strange will have its official Broadway opening at the Belasco Theatre on February 28.
The Farnsworth Invention, the new play by Aaron Sorkin (The West Wing, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip), will have its final Broadway performance on Sunday, March 2. Starring Hank Azaria and Jimmi Simpson, Farnsworth dramatizes the race to invent and patent television. You still have a chance to get discount tickets to see the play, so act fast!