Broadway and the West End have a long history of working together to bring the best of mainstream theatre to audiences on both sides of the Atlantic, with successful productions transferring over the pond every year. So we have decided to keep our readers up to date with a bi-weekly summary of the biggest news from the Great White Way, right here on LondonTheatre.co.uk. In the meantime, you can always check out what's happening on a daily basis on our sister site NewYorkTheatreGuide.com!
It may come as no surprise that the 11-time Tony Award-winning juggenaut that is Hamiltonhas continued to make headlines - this time with its own 'Changing of the Guard' last Sunday, 10th July. The show's much in-demand star and creator Lin-Manuel Mirandaplayed his final performance as Alexander Hamilton, making way for his long-time alternate Javier Muñoz, whilst Tony winner Leslie Odom Jr. and Tony nominee Phillipa Soo also played their final performances as Aaron Burr and Eliza Hamilton, respectively. Two-time Tony nominee Brandon Victor Dixon, who is currently gracing the stage as Noble Sissle in the Broadway premiere of Shuffle Along, Or, The Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed until the show's closure on 24th July, will then take over as Aaron Burr at some point in the middle of August. In addition Lexi Lawson made her Broadway debut on 12th July in the role of Eliza.
And just when you thought there had been enough of a shake-up over at the Richard Rodgers, producer Jeffrey Sellers announced on Wednesday that Tony nominee Daveed Diggs would also be playing his final performance in his roles of Marquis De Lafayette and Thomas Jefferson tonight (15th July). No word yet on who his replacement will be, so we shall keep you posted. So Hamiltonhas had to say goodbye to some of its key original (and Tony winning/nominated) principal cast members, but something tells me that won't slow down this smash hit's momentum in the slightest.
Tony winner Renée Elise Goldsberry (Angelica Schuyler) is scheduled to leave the production at some point this autumn and will begin work on TV series "Altered Carbon" for Netflix.
But that's enough of Goodbyes for now and it's time to say Hello to our very own X Factor champion Leona Lewis, who has made her Broadway debut this week in the iconic role of Grizabella in the first-ever Broadway revival of Cats. Andrew Lloyd Webber's classic musical, based on T.S. Eliot's "Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats," began previews at the Neil Simon Theatre last night and will officially open on 31st July. Let's keep our fingers crossed that Leona and the rest of her new feline friends can garner some positive reviews to keep the memory alive, once again, on the Great White Way.
Cats wasn't the only show to raise the curtain again this week on Broadway, as Motown The Musicalhad everyone "Dancing in the Streets" (well, inside the Nederlander Theatre at least) with its return Broadway engagement. Chester Gregory stars as Motown founder Berry Gordy in the production, which began performances on Tuesday, 12th July. If you would like to witness the meteoric rise of the Motown record label for yourself, be sure to get your hands on tickets for the West End production of Motown The Musical, currently playing at the Shaftesbury Theatre.