Thursday, September 15, 2016
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SETTING THE STAGE TODAY


BREAKING THIS MORNING

What's good for the town of Gander is good for the Gerald Schoenfeld.

Junkyard Dog Productions is announcing this morning that Come From Away will begin performances on Broadway on Saturday, February 18, 2017 at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre and officially open Sunday, March 12, 2017, following productions at Washington DC’s Ford’s Theatre (Friday, September 2 – Sunday, October 16, 2016) and Toronto’s Royal Alexandra Theatre (Tuesday, November 15, 2016 – Sunday, January 8, 2017), and two special benefit concert performances in Gander, Newfoundland (Saturday, October 29, 2016).

Based on a particular perspective of the events of September 11, 2001, the show portrays how "38 planes and 6,579 passengers were forced to land in Gander, Newfoundland, doubling the population of one small town on the edge of the world."
 
The Broadway, Toronto and Gander cast of Come From Away will feature Petrina Bromley, Geno Carr, Jenn Colella, Joel Hatch, Rodney Hicks, Kendra Kassebaum, Chad Kimball, Lee MacDougall, Caesar Samayoa, Q. Smith, Astrid Van Wieren, Sharon Wheatley, Josh Breckenridge, Susan Dunstan, Tamika Lawrence, and Tony LePage.
 
With a book, music and lyrics by Irene Sankoff & David Hein, Come From Away is directed by Christopher Ashley, choreographed by Kelly Devine, with music supervision by Ian Eisendrath, scenic design by Beowulf Boritt, costume design by Toni-Leslie James, lighting design by Howell Binkley, sound design by Gareth Owen, orchestrations by August Eriksmoen, music arrangements by Ian Eisendrath and casting by Telsey + Company.
 
Come From Away is produced by Junkyard Dog Productions, Jerry Frankel, Latitude Link, Smith & Brant Theatricals, Steve & Paula Reynolds, David Mirvish, Michael Rubinoff, Alhadeff Productions, Michael Alden & Nancy Nagel Gibbs, Sam Levy, Rodney Rigby, Spencer Ross, Richard Winkler, Yonge Street Theatricals, Sheridan College, Michael & Ellise Coit, Ronald Frankel, Sheri & Les Biller, Richard Belkin, Gary & Marlene Cohen, Allan Detsky & Rena Mendelson, Lauren Doll, Barbara H. Freitag, Wendy Gillespie, Laura Little Theatricals, Carl & Jennifer Pasbjerg, Radio Mouse Entertainment, The Shubert Organization, Cynthia Stroum, Tulchin Bartner Productions, Gwen Arment/Molly Morris & Terry McNicholas, Maureen & Joel Benoliel/Majorie & Ron Danz, Pamela Cooper/Corey Brunish, Demos Bizar/Square 1 Theatrics, Joshua Goodman/Lauren Stevens, Just for Laughs Theatricals/Judith Ann Abrams Productions, Bill & Linda Potter/Rosemary & Kenneth Willman, and La Jolla Playhouse and Seattle Repertory Theatre.

NEWS AND NOTES


UNDERSTUDIES: “Cameron Mackintosh Asks Understudies to Stop Tweeting Their Upcoming Appearances” by Playbill’s Robert Viagas - “Producer Cameron Mackintosh has issued a memo asking understudy and standby performers in all his U.K. and touring shows to stop posting their upcoming schedules on social media. He told the London news site The Stage, “We don't feel it's right that an understudy should let the rest of the world know when a principal is going to be off. Once we [the producers] have announced it, they are completely at liberty to use that as much as they like but it needs to come from us first.”” http://bway.ly/5hy5e

FUNNY GIRL: "Funny Girl Sheridan Smith is deemed 'not famous enough for Broadway'... months after her 'slurring stage meltdown' on the West End" by The Daily Mail's Sebastian Shakespeare - "Sheridan Smith is coming to the end of her run in Funny Girl in the West End after taking a two-month break due to stress. While there has been speculation about a Broadway transfer, it’s looking increasingly unlikely the volatile actress will feature in a production across the pond. Not because of the Cilla star’s alleged fondness for the bottle — Smith had to deny she was drunk when she slurred her words on stage in April — but because New York producers are worried American theatre-goers won’t have heard of her." http://bway.ly/xmsyp

EXIT: "Norm Lewis Departs Upcoming Production of Man of La Mancha" by TheaterMania's Hayley Levitt - "Broadway veteran Rufus Bonds Jr. will replace Tony nominee Norm Lewis (The Phantom of the Opera) as Don Quixote in the upcoming 5th Avenue Theatre production of Man of La Mancha after Lewis withdrew due to scheduling conflicts. "I was faced with a very sudden conflict," Lewis said. "This offer was unexpected and my struggle with the final decision was not an easy one, knowing the disappointment this would cause audiences in Seattle, to whom I must send my deepest apologies. I feel only gratitude to The 5th for its support and understanding, and wish the production the best."" http://bway.ly/k89kg

TICKETING: “Congress Considers Plan to Curb Ticket ‘Bots’” by The New York Times’ Noah Weiland - “Congress, anxious about the role that automated ticket-buying software — so-called bots — is playing in driving up prices for prime entertainment and sporting events, is now considering legislation to criminalize the use of such software, as well as knowingly buying tickets through such means. The House approved a version of the bill, the Better Online Ticket Sales Act, on Monday, and on Tuesday the Senate Commerce Committee held a hearing on the legislation.” http://bway.ly/ugnme

AT THE OFFICE:
Lia Vollack
has been named President of Columbia Stage Live, the new live theatrical productions division of Sony Pictures Entertainment.

Adrian Budhu has been named Theatre Communications Group’s new deputy director and chief operating officer.

LICENSING: The licensing rights to Jason Robert Brown’s two most recent Broadway musicals, Honeymoon in Vegas and Bridges of Madison County, are now available through Music Theatre International.

REPLACEMENT: 
Nicolas Dromard
and Drew Seeley will join Jersey Boys as Tommy DeVito and Bob Gaudio, respectively, beginning September 20.

Jake Epstein will return to Beautiful: The Carole King Musical to reprise his role as Gerry Goffin beginning September 22.

AWARDS: 
"Audra McDonald, Mel Brooks, & More to Receive National Medal of Arts"
by BroadwayWorld - "Other 2016 recipients include composer Philip Glass, playwright Moises Kaufman, The Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center, record producer and songwriter Berry Gordy, playwright and actor Luis Valdez, and dancer and choreographer Ralph Lemon." http://bway.ly/0p6ne

Gay Men’s Health Crisis will honor Javier Muñoz with the 2016 Howard Ashman Award for his activism in the fight against HIV/AIDS.

Frank Langella will be awarded with the Jason Robards Award for Excellence in Theatre at Roundabout Theatre Company’s 2017 Spring Gala.

STARDUST-UP: “Singing Staff of Ellen’s Stardust Diner Go Silent Amid Firings" by Playbill's Adam Hetrick - "Just two weeks after the unionizing with Industrial Workers of the World, citing unfair and sometimes unsafe working conditions, the singing wait staff of Ellen’s Stardust Diner ceased singing. Only background music was heard in the diner throughout the morning and afternoon of September 14 as the wait staff united to retaliate against recent firings of longtime employees and the posting of “anti-union propaganda” within the restaurant. ...

However, tensions escalated over the past two weeks, with ten longtime singing staff members being fired September 13 and 14. ... In the past several days new staffers have been quietly trained to replace terminated employees. Longtime waiters said that the latest group of singing wait staff have been seated at tables during their shifts, dressed in uniforms and ready to take over when other members are fired." http://bway.ly/hajov

IN DEVELOPMENT?: “Joseph Gordon-Levitt Plans Musical with Channing Tatum” by Playbill’s Ruthie Fierberg - “During an appearance September 13 on “LIVE with Kelly”, actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt revealed that he is working on a movie musical with longtime pal and fellow actor Channing Tatum ... Gordon-Levitt says to expect an R-rated musical comedy.” http://bway.ly/neswt

OFF-BROADWAY CASTING: 
David Garrison
will join the world premiere of Dead Poets Society at Classic Stage Company. .

Leon Addison Brown, Sahr Ngaujah, and Noah Robbins will star in The Signature Theatre’s production of “Master Harold”...and the Boys written by Athol Fugard

PREMIERE: “World Premiere of José Rivera’s The Maids Will Play New York” by Playbill’s Olivia Clement - “Daniel Irizarry directs a cast that features Laura Butler Rivera, Daniel Irizarry, Charlie Munn, Casey Robinson and Folami Williams. Rivera himself will make special appearances in the show September 29-October 9. “The Maids” is scheduled to run September 29-October 23 at INTAR’s theatre space.” http://bway.ly/t992l

TOUR CASTING: Laura Michelle Kelly and Jose Llana will lead the tour of The King and I. Also featured in the cast are Joan Almedilla, Brian Rivera, Manna Nichols, Kavin Panmeechao, Anthony Chan, Graham Montgomery, and Baylen Thomas.

WEST END CASTING: Willemijn Verkaik will return to the West End’s Wicked as Elphaba on January 30, 2017.

IN MEMORIAM: “Broadway Community to Celebrate Life of Wardrobe Supervisor Irene Bunis” by TheaterMania - “The Broadway community will come together on September 26 to celebrate the life of beloved wardrobe supervisor Irene Bunis at the Winter Garden Theatre. Irene Bunis, who died July 20, worked as a veteran wardrobe supervisor for many Broadway productions since 1980.” http://bway.ly/rhtgt

REVIEW: "‘Marie and Rosetta’ Ruminates on Gospel, R&B and Life" by The New York Times' Charles Isherwood - "Because the music, which is played with verve by Felicia Collins on guitar, and Deah Harriott on piano, is roof-raising, I would have preferred to tip the balance more toward songs. When Rosetta and Marie are trading tales of their lives, “Marie and Rosetta” sometimes sags, but when it sings, it really swings." http://bway.ly/k0a0k
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CALLBOARD


7:30 PM:  OPENING  A 24-Decade History of Popular Music @ St. Ann's Warehouse
8:00 PM:  PREVIEWS  The Cherry Orchard @ American Airlines Theatre
8:30 PM:  OPENING  When Yellow Were the Stars on Earth @ Hudson Guild Theater - More info: http://bway.ly/6j6ba

THIS DAY IN BROADWAY HISTORY: In 1976, Ntozake Shange's For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow Is Enuf opened on Broadway at the Booth Theatre.

BROADWAY BIRTHDAYS: Deidre Goodwin, Carole Shorenstein Hays
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STAGE DOOR


Kinky Boots has reworked one of their tunes to encourage people to register and vote in the upcoming election. Every voter say yeah: http://bway.ly/j4ekz
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