The prestigious Lincoln Center Theater, currently represented on Broadway by the Vivian Beaumont Theatre and Off-Broadway by the Mitzi E. Newhouse Theatre, has just announced that it will be introducing a new Off-Off-Broadway initiative. Called “LCT3,” this new program is dedicated to producing the work of emerging playwrights and theater artists. The first LCT3 production, Clay, will open in late 2008 at the Duke Theatre, an Off-Broadway space on 42nd Street. However, ultimately, the plan is for a permanent 99-seat theater to be built near the Lincoln Center complex. The tickets to all LCT3 productions will be a modest $20.
The latest Broadway revival of Tennessee Williams’ Southern drama Cat on a Hot Tin Roof opens on Broadway tonight at the Broadhurst Theatre. This is the first Broadway production of the play to have an all African-American cast — and what a cast! James Earl Jones stars as family patriarch Big Daddy, and Phylicia Rashad as his wife. Their miserable, alcoholic son Brick is played by Terrence Howard, with Anika Noni Rose starring as Brick’s wife “Maggie the cat”. Cat on a Hot Tin Roof is scheduled for a limited Broadway run, which will end on June 15 (Terrence Howard will be out April 15-May 22 due to film commitments).
A new revival of the American musical theater classic West Side Story is coming to Broadway in February 2009, at a theater yet to be announced. This production of the Romeo & Juliet-inspired musical will be directed by the show’s own bookwriter, Arthur Laurents. But before landing on Broadway, West Side Story will have an engagement at the National Theatre in Washington D.C., from December 2, 2008 to January 4, 2009.
Actor Mario Lopez, who came to fame on the teen sitcom Saved By The Bell and became even better known more recently on Dancing with the Stars, will take the Broadway stage for the first time on April 15. Lopez will play the role of Zach in the Broadway revival of the legendary dance musical A Chorus Line through September 7. But if you’re heading to the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre expressly to see Mario Lopez make his Broadway debut, bear in mind that he will be out from May 11 to June 3. To get discount tickets for A Chorus Line, click here.
Another musical is going to feature on a network reality TV show soon. But this time it’s not a Broadway musical, like this season’s Grease. Instead, it’s a TV musical — High School Musical, to be exact. The Disney Channel TV movie has become a ubiquitous brand name, spawning a sequel, stage shows, a forthcoming feature film, and more. It is now coming back to its roots on television.
Many details of the new ABC reality TV show are yet unknown, but Variety has reported that the summer series will involve a national talent search which will have the contestants competing in High School Musical-themed challenges. Exactly what they’re competing for is still unknown, but stars of the HSM movies are expected to appear on the program.
Now that this little Disney TV movie has exploded into an inescapable cultural phenomenon, could High School Musical: The Broadway Musical be far behind?
Aaron Sorkin’s engaging drama The Farnsworth Invention, starring Hank Azaria and Jimmi Simpson, ended its Broadway run today. The play had a total of 34 preview performances and 104 regular Broadway performances at the Music Box Theatre.
Adam Pascal and Anthony Rapp, who starred as Roger and Mark in the original Broadway company of Rent, will be reprising the roles they originated in a new national of tour of the musical starting early 2009. In addition to creating the roles of Roger, the HIV-positive rocker, and Mark, the aspiring filmmaker, on Broadway, Pascal and Rapp also played the parts in the recent film version of Rent. Last year, the pair even briefly returned to the Broadway production. With the Broadway incarnation of Rent now scheduled to close in June, fans of the musical can have this new tour to look forward to.