Playbill.com's new feature series Booking It asks leading industry members to share professional insights, need-to-know tips and essential tricks of the trade for up-and-coming and established theatre artists. This week we speak with casting directors Duncan Stewart and Benton Whitley, who are represented on Broadway with Pippin, On the Town and Chicago.
Actors' Equity Association has announced the 2019 Tony-winningmusical Hadestown as winner of the 13th annual Award for Outstanding Broadway Chorus. Presented by Equity's Advisory Committee on Chorus Affairs, the award is the only industry accolade of its kind to honor the distinctive talents and contributions made by the original chorus members of a Broadway musical.
“Hadestown,” a pulsing, poetic contemporary riff on an ancient Greek myth, won the Tony Award for best new musical Sunday night, triumphing over film adaptations, a musical comedy and a jukebox show.
The win, coming at a time when Broadway is enjoying a long-running box office boom, marks the sixth year in a row that Tony voters have chosen an inventive show nurtured by nonprofits over more commercial fare.
The buzz began during previews. Online and over postshow cocktails, fans and industry insiders were talking about a standout in one of the season’s most celebrated new musicals. But it wasn’t one of the four stars of “Hadestown” who was a sudden focus of admiration, though all of them would eventually receive Tony nominations. It was the 6-foot-7 actor in the show’s five-person ensemble, Timothy Hughes.
Donna Marie Asbury, 56, has been with the revival almost from the beginning: She joined the first national tour in December 1997 and the Broadway company in March 1999. On Monday, she gave her last performance as June, one of the Cook County Jail tenants.
One of the biggest shows on Broadway this season has also had the longest, most public evolution. Hadestown, the hit musical that reimagines the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice as an anti-capitalist parable, has 14 Tony nominations. That’s the most of any show this season, and it includes one nod for Best Musical and nominations in three of the four acting categories.
The complete cast has just been announced for the 10th Anniversary Production of ROCK OF AGES, opening this summer at New World Stages (340 W 50th St). Nominated for five Tony Awards during its record-breaking Broadway run, this return engagement begins performances on Wednesday, June 19, 2019 for a 16-week limited run through Sunday, October 6, 2019. Tickets are now on sale at Telecharge.com.
NBC has picked up the drama “Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist” for the 2019-2020 season.
The series follows Zoey Clarke (Jane Levy), a whip-smart computer coder forging her way in San Francisco. After an unusual event she starts to hear the innermost wants and desires of the people around her through songs. At ﬁrst, she questions her own sanity but soon realizes this unwanted curse may just be an incredibly wonderful gift.
In addition to Levy, the cast also includes Skylar Astin, Peter Gallagher, Alex Newell, John Clarence Stewart, Carmen Cusack, and Mary Steenburgen.
“Hadestown,” a folk-and-blues-inflected musical reimagining the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice, led the Tony nominations on Tuesday, winning nods in 14 categories and becoming a front-runner in the hotly contested, and financially significant, race for the season’s best new musical.
Rock of Ages, the smash-hit Tony-nominated musical that played a six-year run on Broadway, will head back to off-Broadway this summer at New World Stages, where it first debuted in New York. The show will play a limited 10th-anniversary engagement, set to run from June 19 through September 29, with the original creative team at the helm, including director Kristin Hanggi and choreographer Kelly Devine.
Goodspeed Musicals today announces the cast of Hi, My Name is Ben, the inspirational true story of one man who impacted the lives of all those around him without speaking a word. Written by Scott Gilmour and Claire McKenzie while in residence at the Johnny MercerWriters Colony at Goodspeed, this hope-filled musical will run May 17 - June 9, 2019 at The Terris Theatre in Chester, CT.
When Anaïs Mitchell and Rachel Chavkin talk about Hadestown, they often resort to metaphor. In simplest terms, the folk musical combines two Greek myths — of Orpheus and Eurydice, and Hades and Persephone — but it resonates with other valances: There’s Hades’s industrial underworld versus the organic place above, a potential allegory for climate change; there’s the perspective of the cynical gods versus the idealistic young lovers; there’s even a song about building a wall to keep out the poor, written well before that became a campaign promise. The story, the creators often insist, is closer to poetry than prose, which has also made it devilishly hard to stage — how do you manifest all those ideas onstage, and also, you know, make a good show? “I’ve never worked on anything as delicate as this piece, and maybe because it’s poetry, it’s so breakable,” Chavkin says. “It has gone through multiple breakings, in a sense, over the course of it. That’s the only way that we’ve learned.”
Now she’s back on Broadway with another eye-popping, folk-fueled musical unlike anything else commercial theater has to offer: “Hadestown,” a fervid reimagining of the ancient Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice.
August Rush will begin previews at Aurora's Paramount Theatre April 24 ahead of a May 3 opening night.
Tony winner Doyle will direct a principal cast that includes The Band’s Visit’s George Abud as August's long-lost father; Sydney Shepherd (First Date), who will play August’s birth mother; and Leenya Rideout (War Horse) as Hope. Broadway veteran John Hickok will play the dual roles of Wizard (played by Robin Williams in the film)andThomas Novacek.
It's gonna be good! We've just learned that the original cast of Next to Normal will appear in the previously announced concert staging of the Pulitzer-winning musical, set to play Second Stage's Tony Kiser Theater tonight, March 25, at 7:00pm. The sold-out concert will be directed by Anthony Rapp, who appeared in an early version of the musical, with original assistant conductor Rick Bertone as musical director.
Carmen Cusack (Sorry for Your Loss) has been cast as a series regular opposite Jane Levy in Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist, NBC’s musical dramedy pilot from Jake in Progress creator Austin Winsberg, Eric and Kim Tannenbaum, Paul Feig, Universal Music Group and Lionsgate TV.
Sharing the wonders of “Girlfriend” with friends is a common practice among power-pop enthusiasts and sensitive young souls. Playwright Todd Almond, who experienced firsthand the effect that album could have on a lonely misunderstood teen, used “Girlfriend” as the basis for an innovative musical that features just two characters plus an onstage rock band. The show premiered in 2010 and has been done around the country for years. It’s particularly popular this month, with separate productions in Oklahoma City, Detroit and now Hartford — it’s being staged March 22 through April 28 by TheaterWorks at the Wadsworth Atheneum.
The theater owner James L. Nederlander announced Tuesday that he is producing a new musical featuring the song catalog of Ms. Spears — one of the best-selling pop artists of all time — that explores an alternative arc for some classic fairy tale princesses.
The show, a musical comedy called “Once Upon a One More Time,” is scheduled to have a production this fall in Chicago and then seek to transfer to Broadway.
This casting is totally fetch! Kyle Selig and Erika Henningsen, love interests of Broadway's Mean Girls, have been selected to appear opposite each other in an upcoming one-night benefit performance of the musical Saturday Night. Selig and Henningsen will portray Gene and Helen, respectively, in the previously announced event set to take place at Second Stage's Tony Kiser Theatre on March 11 at 7:00pm. The concert will feature direction by Noah Brody and musical direction by Tony nominee Alexander Gemignani.
Jason Robert Brown and Shoshana Bean will star as Jamie and Cathy in an upcoming concert performance of Brown’s The Last Five Years March 4. The one-night-only performances is part of Second Stage Theater’s new Musical Mondays series, celebrating the company’s 40th anniversary season.
The winners of the 2019 Richard Rodgers Awards for Musical Theater were announced today by the American Academy of Arts and Letters. BHANGIN' IT by Mike Lew, Rehana Lew Mirza, and Sam Willmott received a Studio Production Award.
Chicago announced today that actress Veronica Dunne will return to the Broadway production in the role of "Roxie Hart" beginning Tuesday, February 12. She will play a 6-week limited engagement at the Ambassador Theatre (219 W. 49th St.) through Sunday, March 24, 2019.
BERKELEY, Calif. — Larry Kirwan was just a boy, growing up in Ireland, when he began to hear stories from his grandfather about the Five Points, a chaotic neighborhood in 19th-century New York where many an Irish immigrant had settled alongside African-Americans, building a community that flourished and flamed out.
This holiday season, the team behind Los Angeles' award-winning "For The Record" series returns to the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts with a multimedia-concert celebration of the soundtrack to one of the most beloved holiday movies of all time, Love Actually.
Fall is in the air and so, too, is a crop of fresh Broadway shows. If the rising curtains have your theater itch beckoning once again, Backstage is here to help. Below, industry and Backstage Experts share their best advice for how to get hired on Broadway.