THIS WEEK'S FEATURED STORY
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LIN-MANUEL MIRANDA, CYNTHIA ERIVO & MORE BROADWAY FAVES SET TO APPEAR ON THE 2017 TONY AWARDS
2016 Tony winners Cynthia Erivo and Lin-Manuel Miranda are among the newly announced stars set to appear at the 2017 Tony Awards ceremony on June 11 at Radio City Music Hall. The Tonys will be broadcast live on CBS at 8:00pm EST. Broadway’s biggest night will also feature appearances by Scott Bakula, Sara Bareilles, Rachel Bloom, Glenn Close, Brian d’Arcy James, Sally Field, Sutton Foster, Whoopi Goldberg, Jonathan Groff, Mark Hamill, Christopher Jackson, Allison Janney, Nick Kroll, John Legend, John Lithgow, Patina Miller, John Mulaney, David Oyelowo, Chazz Palminteri, Sarah Paulson, Tommy Tune, Lea Salonga, and Tom Sturridge. The star-studded group will join a lineup of previously announced appearances by Orlando Bloom, Stephen Colbert, Tina Fey, Josh Gad, Taraji P. Henson, Scarlett Johansson, Anna Kendrick, Keegan-Michael Key, Olivia Wilde, and 2017 Tony nominees Josh Groban, Bette Midler, and Ben Platt. The American Theatre Wing’s 71st Annual Tony Awards will be hosted by Tony and Academy Award-winning actor Kevin Spacey. The Tony Awards are presented by The Broadway League and the American Theatre Wing.
IDINA MENZEL TO LEAD READING OF ALANIS MORISSETTE’S JAGGED LITTLE PILL MUSICAL
Casting has not yet been announced for the Jagged Little Pill musical, but Tony winner Idina Menzel will lead a reading of the Alanis Morissette tuner in New York. Menzel is not likely to star in the Cambridge, MA production in May 2018 as she will be leading Joshua Harmon's new play Skintight during that time. Jagged Little Pill, which received a workshop in 2014, has Diane Paulus at its helm and is expected to include many numbers from Morissette's album. Tom Kitt (If/Then) will provide musical arrangements and orchestrations. The album Jagged Little Pill produced six singles, including the Grammy-nominated Ironic. Morissette won the Grammy Awards for Album of the Year and Best Rock Album. Her single You Oughta Know won two Grammys, Best Female Rock Vocal Performance and Best Rock Song, and was also nominated for Song of the Year.
SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS MUSICAL WILL OFFICIALLY LAND ON BROADWAY
Spongebob Squarepants, a new musical based on the iconic Nickelodeon cartoon, is headed to Broadway's Palace Theatre. Previews will begin on November 6 with an official opening scheduled for December 4. With a book by Kyle Jarrow, Spongebob Squarepants features original songs by hit makers Sara Bareilles, Cyndi Lauper, John Legend, and other big-name composers. The show is conceived and directed by Tina Landau with choreography by Christopher Gattelli. Additional composers contributing to the Spongebob score includes Steven Tyler and Joe Perry of Aerosmith, Yolanda Adams, Jonathan Coulton, Alexander Ebert of Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, The Flaming Lips, Lady Antebellum, Panic! at the Disco, Plain White T’s, They Might Be Giants, and T.I., with a song by the late David Bowie.
HAMILTON VET ANTHONY RAMOS LANDS ROLE IN BRADLEY COOPER’S A STAR IS BORN FILM
Anthony Ramos has been cast in the upcoming Bradley Cooper-directed A Star Is Born film remake. The Hamilton original cast member is set to play Ramon, best friend to the role played by Lady Gaga. The update to the 1937 film will be released on September 28, 2018. The film will also star Cooper and Andrew Dice Clay. A Star Is Born first began life as a 1937 film starring Janet Gaynor as the farmgirl-turned-starlet (played in the update by Gaga), and Fredric March as an aging movie star (to be played by director Cooper). The first musical remake came out in 1954 starring Judy Garland. A second remake was made in 1976 starring Barbra Streisand and featured the Academy Award-winning song Evergreen. Cooper is also a producer on the film which began shooting in California on April 17.
CYNDI LAUPER WRITING THE SCORE FOR MUSICAL ADAPTATION OF WORKING GIRL
Kinky Boots Tony winner Cyndi Lauper is at work on a stage musical adaptation of the 1988 classic film Working Girl, the office of producer Robyn Goodman has confirmed. Kim Rosenstock will adapt the book. The film favorite about a secretary who pretends she has her boss' job seems like prime material for the musical treatment. There is also no word yet on stars testing out the musical, but the film Working Girl featured a star-making performance from Melanie Griffith alongside Harrison Ford and Sigourney Weaver.
The original cast recording of Broadway's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was released digitally. Masterworks Broadway's album features two-time Tony winner Christian Borle singing Pure Imagination along with new tunes by Hairspray Tony winners Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman. The CD will be released for purchase on June 23… Disney is not throwing away their shot at collaborating some more with the genius creator of Hamilton. Lin-Manuel Miranda, who wrote an Oscar-nommed song for Disney’s Moana and is at work on the Mary Poppins sequel, has joined the voice cast of the new DuckTales series debuting this summer on Disney XD. Miranda will provide the voice of Duckburg hero Gizmoduck... So You Think You Can Dance returns to FOX for a new season on Monday, June 12...
JIMMY BUFFET MUSICAL ESCAPE TO MARGARITAVILLE SETS BROADWAY DATES AND THEATER
Escape to Margaritaville, the new musical featuring the songs of Jimmy Buffett, will play Broadway's Marquis Theatre. The show will begin previews on February 16, 2018 with opening night set for March 15. Escape to Margaritaville includes Buffett’s classic hits, as well as original songs from the singer/songwriter. The story, crafted by scribes Greg Garcia and Mike O’Malley, follows a character named Tully at the titular tropical island resort. There he questions his relaxed ways upon meeting (and falling in love with) a career-minded tourist. Come From Away's Tony-nominated director Christopher Ashley and choreographer Kelly Devine lead the creative team.
GRATEFUL DEAD MUSICAL IS IN THE WORKS
According to an Equity casting notice, a Grateful Dead musical is in the works. The untitled project is described as: ‘a new musical comedy, featuring the music of The Grateful Dead - a semi-fantastical and immersive Americana tale of the Jones family in 1920's Cumberland, Maryland, as they con, swindle, and gamble their way into riches.’ Rachel Klein is directing a July reading, with musical direction by Jeff Chimenti. The Grateful Dead was an American rock band formed in 1965 in Palo Alto, California. They were known for their devoted fan base, known as Deadheads. The band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994 and have sold more than 35 million albums worldwide.
CHER BIO-MUSICAL AIMING FOR 2018 BROADWAY BOW
The new bio-musical based on the life of iconic singer-songwriter Cher is hoping to land on Broadway in 2018. On June 6, Cher tweeted from her official account, 'Just got off phone w/writer and director of musical. There will [be] performance in theatre with actors, dancers, singers! It'll [be] on Broadway 2018.' The Cher bio-musical will feature a book by Jersey Boys scribe Rick Elice. Avenue Q director Jason Moore is onboard to helm the project with War Paint's Christopher Gattelli as choreographer. Cher is the only artist in history to reach #1 on the Billboard charts in each of the past six decades. The diva has one Broadway credit; she starred as Sissy in Come Back to the 5 & Dime Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean in 1982. She reprised the role in the movie version the same year.
Broadway star Laura Bell Bundy said ‘I do’ this past weekend to long-time boyfriend and TBS executive producer Thom Hinkle in a beautiful country-themed wedding in California… New York Cake Show founder Lisa Mansour will host the 5th Annual NY Cake Show June 10th-11th at Pier 36. This year's show will pay homage to The Tony Awards and feature a Broadway-themed Cake Decorating Competition with participants from around the tri-state area... George Clooney and wife Amal welcomed twins on June 7, a boy Alexander and a girl Ella... Karen Walsh, a Broadway mainstay who most recently served as the understudy for the role of Georgie Burns in the 2016 Broadway premiere of Simon Stephens' Heisenberg, died of colon cancer earlier this week. She was 41...