Casting Announced for “She Loves Me” on Broadway

Roundabout Theatre Company Revives This Musical in Spring 2016

she loves meShe Loves Me first premiered on Broadway in 1963, when it was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Musical and took home the Tony Award for Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical. It was since revived on Broadway twice, if you include a one-night benefit performance on December 5, 2011. Its first major revival took place in June 1993, when it ran for one year, first at the Criterion Center Stage Right, and then at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre. This upcoming spring season, She Loves Me will shine on Broadway once more. The source material for this musical is a Hungarian play called Parfumerie by Miklos Laszlo, which has also served as the source material for the 1940 film The Shop around the Corner, the 1949 musical In the Good Old Summertime, and more recently, the 1998 film You’ve Got Mail starring Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks. Nevertheless, the musical She Loves Me remains one of the lasting successes of this story, and the Roundabout Theatre Company is producing it at Studio 54 with previews beginning February 5, 2016, and an opening night scheduled for March 3, 2016. It is then scheduled to run until May 22, 2016, when Studio 54 will be vacated for the arrival of a new production.

Laura Benanti and Josh Radnor Are Joined By Stellar Supporting Castjosh radnor laura benanti

This past week, the full cast for the musical revival was announced. It had previously been disclosed that the lead part of Amalia Balash would be played by Laura Benanti (Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, In the Next Room, Gypsy), and that the role opposite her, Georg Nowack, would be played by Josh Radnor (“How I Met Your Mother,” Disgraced, The Graduate). Now, it has been revealed that Jane Krakowski will join the duo in the role of Ilona Ritter; Jane is best known for her role on “30 Rock” and has also been seen on Broadway in Nine, Once Upon a Mattress, and Tartuffe among other roles. Furthermore, the role of Steven Kodaly will be played by Gavin Creel, who is presently playing Elder Cunningham in The Book of Mormon, and who has been nominated for two Tony Awards for his roles in Hair and Thoroughly Modern Millie. If that wasn’t enough, the cast has also been revealed to include Rene Auberjonois (Sly Fox, Dance of the Vampires) as Mr. Maraczek, Nicholas Barasch (The Mystery of Edwin Drood, West Side Story) as Arpad Laszlo, Michael McGrath (Tony Award winner for Nice Work if You Can Get It, On the Twentieth Century) as Sipos, and Peter Bartlett (Something Rotten!, Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella) as the Headwaiter.

Creative Team Will Make This An Unmissable Production

She Loves Me has a book by Joe Masteroff, music by Jerry Bock, and lyrics by Sheldon Harnick. The show will be directed by Scott Ellis, the Roundabout Theatre Company associate artistic director who has helmed many shows in recent seasons, including On the Twentieth Century, The Elephant Man, You Can’t Take It With You, and The Mystery of Edwin Drood. Furthermore, the choreographer is the highly acclaimed Warren Carlyle, whose recent credits include On the Twentieth Century, After Midnight, A Christmas Story The Musical, and Follies, and he also directed and choreographed Chaplin and Hugh Jackman: Back on Broadway. With scenic design by David Rockwell, costume design by Jeff Mahshie, lighting design by Don Holder, and sound design by Jon Weston, this production will surely be impeccable from a production standpoint. Now what rests to be told is whether audiences take to this classic romantic musical from 1963, or whether it gets buried in the otherwise exciting spring season.

“On the Twentieth Century” Begins Previews

A Roundabout Production at the American Airlines Theatre

on the twentieth centuryOn February 13, 2015, On the Twentieth Century begins previews at the American Airlines Theatre. Produced by the non-for-profit Broadway and Off-Broadway powerhouse Roundabout Theatre Company, this revival marks the third Broadway production of the musical. With book and lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green, and music by Cy Coleman, it first premiered in 1978, directed by Harold Prince. The 2015 revival is directed by Scott Ellis, who has recently helmed such works as The Elephant Man, You Can’t Take It With You, Harvey, Curtains, and The Little Dog Laughed. He is also the Roundabout Adams Associate Artistic Director, and has been nominated for six Tony Awards. Opening night is scheduled for March 12, 2015, and it is scheduled to be a limited engagement that closes on July 5, 2015. If it is successful, it may extend through the end of summer.

Cast and Creative Team

The musical stars Kristin Chenoweth, who is well known for being the original Glinda in Wicked (Tony kristin chenowethnomination), has won a Tony Award for her performance of Sally Brown in You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown, and who has also branched into television with such shows as The West Wing and Pushing Daisies. Alongside Chenoweth will be Peter Gallagher (The Country Girl, Noises Off, “the O.C.”, “American Beauty”), Andy Karl (Rocky Balboa in Rocky the Musical), Mark Linn-Baker (Relatively Speaking, Losing Louie), Michael McGrath (Tony Award winner for Nice Work if You Can Get It), and Mary Louise Wilson (The Women, Cabaret, The Importance of Being Earnest). The choreographer is Warren Carlyle, who won a Tony Award for his choreography for After Midnight, which he also directed). Scenic design is by David Rockwell, lighting is by Donald Holder, sound design is by Jon Weston, and costume design is by William Ivey Long. The musical director is Kevin Stites, and orchestrations are by Larry Hochman, with dance arrangements and incidental music by David Krane.

The Twentieth Century: A Luxury Train

 

peter gallagher kristin chenoweth

The musical’s title refers to being aboard a luxury train called the Twentieth Century, which is traveling from Chicago to New York. The business aboard the train is, not coincidentally, the theatre business. A temperamental actress named Lily Garland (Kristin Chenoweth) is at odds with her flailing producer named Oscar Jaffee (Peter Gallagher). He is at once trying to woo her romantically, and at the same time to play the lead part in his upcoming show, which has not yet been written. The musical is a screwball comedy, with elements of farce as well as operetta. The musical is based on a straight play of the same name from 1932, written by Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur, which was turned into a film in 1934 called Twentieth Century directed by Howard Hawks. To complicate the matter, Hecht and MacArthur based their play on an unproduced work by Charles Bruce Millholland called Napoleon of Broadway, which is based on his real life experiences with the legendary producer David Belasco, who left his name to the theatre on 44th Street, where Hedwig and the Angry Inch is now playing.

 

“After Midnight” To Close on June 29

Tony Nomination Not Enough To Sustain Sales

Though it was nominated for this year’s Tony Award for Best Musical, After Midnight has just announced that it will play its final performance on June 29, 2014.  This date also marks the conclusion of guest star Patti LaBelle’s run in the show.  Having begun performances on October 18, 2013, it opened on November 3, 2013.  It will close having played 18 preview performances and 271 regular performances, after only eight months.  The producers were attempting to close for only a temporary hiatus over the July 4th holiday weekend, as they already had extremely high profile guest stars lined up for upcoming slots, including Gladys Knight and Natalie Cole.  However, it turned out to be impossible for all the unions to agree on this temporary shutdown, and therefore the show was forced to terminate its Broadway run.  However, a national tour is in the works.

After Midnight Broadway MusicalWith selected text by Langston Hughes, conceived by frequent producer Jack Viertel, and directed and choreographed by Warren Carlyle, the musical starred Fantasia Barrino with guest stars including Patti LaBelle, Toni Braxton, and Vanessa Williams.  Taking place in the Jazz Age, this musical revue celebrates Duke Ellington’s years at the Cotton Club performed by a band of 17 musicians hand-picked by Wynton Marsalis.  Not only did the show receive a Tony Award nomination, but it was further honored by having its director, Warren Carlyle, choreograph Hugh Jackman’s opening number at the Awards.  However, of the seven nominations which it received, it left with only one win: that for Carlyle for Best Choreographer.  It also took home the Drama Desk Awards for Outstanding Choreography and Outstanding Revue, and it also won four 2014 Astaire Awards and the Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Choreography.

Lackluster Sales Throughout Its Run

Despite this awards recognition, its box office performance was at best mediocre.  Its highest ever weekly gross was $714,663, which was still only 71.80% of its gross potential, but it generally grossed between $500 to $650,000 each week.  The top ticket for this musical was $197.00, which is low compared to most other shows’ premium ticket prices.  Its capitalization was low for a musical of this scale, only $7 million; however, it will still close at a loss.  Though it was a major coup for the show to receive a Tony Awards nomination for Best Musical, the lackluster sales did not greatly improve in the weeks leading up to the ceremony.  Though it is impossible to know whether a win for Best Musical would have greatly increased sales or allowed the show to remain open, it is clear that losing that award was the final blow to persuade producers the run could not go on.

A National Tour Is In The Works

In any event, the show was one of the most highly reviewed shows of the 2013-2014 season, and there are likely many theatregoers from around the country who are disappointed they will not have the chance to see it on their New York vacations.  However, with a national tour almost certainly to take place, these audiences will fortunately have their chance to see the show after all.