Uma Thurman, Amy Schumer, Harry Potter, Mean Girls & More
It's time to cast our gaze once again towards that concrete jungle where dreams are made of with another edition of our Broadway Round-up! Although the British summer isn't exactly sizzling at the moment, there's been plenty of news heating up Broadway fans since last month's round-up.Here's a rundown of what's been going down stateside:
Another A-Lister will be making an eagerly anticipated Broadway debut in the upcoming 2017-2018 season, when Academy Award nominee Uma Thurman takes to the stage to star in The Parisian Woman at the Hudson Theatre from 7 November 2017. The "Kill Bill" and "Pulp Fiction" star will play Chloe in the new political thriller by Beau Willimon - the Emmy-nominated writer of "House of Cards" - which will be directed by Tony nominee Pam MacKinnon. Her co-stars include Josh Lucas and Tony winner Blair Brown. Ms. Thurman once played a movie star named Rebecca Duvall in the Broadway-centric TV series "Smash", who took a hiatus from Hollywood to tread the boards. It will be intriguing to see how she fares as life once again imitates art. An official opening is set for 30 November 2017.
And if one A-Lister isn't enough for you, then hot off the press is yesterday's announcement that Emmy Award-winning actress and comedian Amy Schumer is also set to make her Broadway debut this autumn. She will star in Hollywood icon and Tony nominee Steve Martin's new comedy Meteor Shower, which teases a marital free-for-all story as two couples get together on a hot night in California. Ms. Schumer will have a stellar line-up of support on her first Great White Way foray from talented co-stars Tony winner Laura Benanti, Emmy winner Keegan-Michael Key and Broadway veteran Alan Tudyk. This one is likely to be a hot ticket when previews begin at Broadway's Booth Theatre on 1 November 2017. The official opening - 29 November - is set just a day before Uma Thurman's opening night on Broadway.
Continuing with the A-Lister theme, if you are hoping to make a trip to NYC to catch showbiz legend Bette Midler in her Tony Award-winning performance as Dolly Levi in the acclaimed Broadway revival of Hello, Dolly!, then be quick about it and don't let the parade pass you by! It has been officially confirmed that the Divine Miss M's final performance will take place on 14 January 2018 at the Shubert Theatre.
Muggles rejoice! Congratulations to seven of the original cast members of London's Harry Potter and The Cursed Child, who will officially reprise their coveted roles for the Broadway transfer, which has an opening night scheduled for 22 April 2018 at the Lyric Theatre. Jamie Parker, Noma Dumezweni and Anthony Boyle will reprise their Olivier Award-winning performances as Harry Potter, Hermione Granger and Scorpius Malfoy, respectively, whilst New York audiences will also get to witness Paul Thornley (as Ron Weasley), Poppy Miller (as Ginny Potter), Sam Clemmett (as Albus Potter), and Alex Price (as Draco Malfoy). Something tells us that the careers of these fine actors are about to go through the roof... and that's even without the help of a Nimbus 2000!
The next piece of news is so fetch! The musical adaptation of Mean Girls has been one of the most eagerly anticipated shows in development for quite some time now, but the cast is now finally set for the pre-Broadway world premiere tryout, which will play the National Theatre in Washington D.C. from 31 October through to 3 December 2017. Headlining the cast are Broadway alumni Erika Henningsen (as Cady Heron) and Taylor Louderman (as Regina George), who will be in the safe hands of director/choreographer and Tony winner Casey Nicholaw. It's surely just a matter of time now before a spring 2018 Broadway premiere is officially confirmed for the musical, which features a book by 9-time Emmy Award winner Tina Fey, along with music by her husband 3-time Emmy Award winner Jeff Richmond (composer of "30 Rock" and "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt") and lyrics by Tony nominee Nell Benjamin.
Two new Broadway shows have begun previews since our last round-up... and they couldn't be more different. Oscar-winning filmmaker, best-selling author and political motivist Michael Moore made his Broadway debut on 28 July in his new one-man show The Terms of My Surrender at the Belasco Theatre. In typical politically provocative fashion, Moore poses the question: "Can a Broadway show take down a sitting President?" We'll find out what the critics think of Mr. Moore's first Broadway venture, when the show opens on Thursday of this week (10 August). On the other end of the theatrical spectrum, the Manhattan Theatre Club's Broadway premiere of Prince of Broadway (which is billed as "A Musical Celebration Of The Career Of Harold Prince") began previews at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre on 3 August. With so many hits under his belt, the 21-time Tony Award-winning director and producer Hal Prince has this production overflowing with beloved classics from the likes of West Side Story, Fiddler on the Roof, Cabaret, Evita, Company, Follies, Sweeney Todd, and The Phantom of the Opera to name just a few. An opening night is set for 24 August.
There has been a barrage of casting announcements over the past few weeks, so here's a quick round-up of what you theatre aficionados need to know: Everybody say Yeah! because original cast members Tony winner Billy Porter and Tony nominee Stark Sands will be returning to their respective roles of Lola and Charlie Price in the Broadway production of Kinky Boots from 26 September 2017 through to 7 January 2018. Grammy Award-winning RnB star Brandy will also be reprising her performance as Roxie Hart in Broadway's Chicago for a special 17-performance engagement from 17 to 31 August 2017. Tony nominee Phillip Boykin has been cast as Tonton Julian in the upcoming revival of Once On This Island. "Hairspray" star Nikki Blonsky will join Lisa Lampanelli in the return off-Broadway engagement of Stuffed. Tony, Oscar & Emmy Award winner Ellen Burstyn will star as Jacques in the Classic Stage Company's production of As You Like It, which also features music by Stephen Schwartz. And in the (almost) obligatory Hamilton news section, our very own Tony & Olivier Award nominee Euan Morton (star of 'Taboo') has left Boy George behind and debuted as King George in the smash hit musical on 28 July, whilst it was announced that Tony nominee Daniel Breaker will take over as Aaron Burr... sir... from 29 August.
One casting announcement that caused quite an uproar stateside was the casting of Tony & Emmy Award winner Mandy Patinkin as Pierre in Broadway's Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812 at the Imperial Theatre. The "Homeland" star was set to assume the role from 15 August to 3 September, which meant cutting current star Okieriete "Oak" Onaodowan's limited engagement as Pierre by three weeks. After the Broadway community shared its disapproval of a caucasian actor being brought in to replace an African-American actor ahead of schedule, Patinkin withdrew from the production, stating: "My understanding of the show’s request that I step into the show is not as it has been portrayed and I would never accept a role knowing it would harm another actor. I hear what members of the community have said and I agree with them. I am a huge fan of Oak and I will, therefore, not be appearing in the show." We, however, do hope that the door remains open for a future engagement when the comet's dust has settled.
For all of the latest news and gossip from the Great White Way, stay tuned to www.NewYorkTheatreGuide.com!