Gigi to Invent Champagne in Seattle Before Heading to the Great White Way

first_img The new Great White Way headed production is a re-imagined reboot of the 1973 musical, which played 103 performances on Broadway. Starring Karin Wolfe as Gigi and Daniel Massey as Gaston, the production earned a Tony Award for Best Original Score. Gigi features the memorable tunes “Thank Heaven For Little Girls,” “I Remember It Well,” “The Night They Invented Champagne,” “It’s a Bore,” and more. View Comments Broadway-bound Gigi will initially be performed in concert form at Seattle’s 5th Avenue Theatre May 16-18. As previously reported, the show is scheduled to open at the Kennedy Center in January 2015 and is eyeing a transfer to the Main Stem later next year. A re-imagined new production of the 1973 musical by Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Lowe, Gigi has been adapted by playwright and Emmy-nominated screenwriter Heidi Thomas, with Eric D. Shaeffer on board to direct. According to the 5th avenue announcement Josh Bergasse (Smash) is set to choreograph and the Seattle performances will be cast locally. Set during the turn of the 20th century, Gigi tells the story of a free-spirited teenage girl living in Paris who is groomed (in the custom of her family) to serve as a companion to a bored, wealthy playboy until the pair realize they have fallen in love. The musical is based on Colette’s classic novella, the 1951 play by Anita Loos and the 1958 movie musical of the same name. The big screen adaptation of Gigi garnered a then-record-setting nine Oscars, including Best Picture.last_img read more

Casting Complete for Motown The Musical Tour, Starring Clifton Oliver & Allison Semmes

first_imgFull casting has been announced for the national tour of Motown The Musical, which will launch on April 22 at the Oriental Theatre in Chicago. In addition to previously announced stars Clifton Oliver and Allison Semmes, the cast will also feature Nicholas Christopher as Smokey Robinson, Jarran Muse as Marvin Gaye, and Leon Outlaw, Jr. and Reed L. Shannon as Berry Gordy’s boyhood counterpart and the roles of young stars Michael Jackson and Stevie Wonder. View Comments Directed by Charles Randolph-Wright, Motown The Musical is the true American dream story of Motown founder Berry Gordy’s journey from featherweight boxer to the heavyweight music mogul who launched the careers of Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson, Marvin Gaye and so many more. Featuring more than 50 classic hits such as “My Girl” and “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” Motown The Musical tells the story behind the hits as Diana, Smokey, Berry and the whole Motown family fight against the odds to create the soundtrack of change in America. Motown shattered barriers, shaped our lives and made us all move to the same beat. Also joining the company are Erick Buckley, Patrice Covington, Christian Dante White, Jamarice Daughtry, Tamar Davis, Lynorris Evans, Melanie Evans, Devon Goffman, Jennie Harney, Latrisa Harper, Rod Harrelson, Robert Hartwell, Rodney Earl Jackson, Jr., Trisha Jeffrey, Grasan Kingsberry, Elijah Ahmad Lewis, Jarvis Manning, Krisha Marcano, Marq Moss, Rashad Naylor, Chadaè Nichol, Ramone Owens, Nicholas Rowe, Jamison Scott, Douglas Storm, Martina Sykes and Galen Williams.center_img The national tour of Motown The Musical will hold performances in the following cities: Chicago (Oriental Theatre) – Aprill 22 through July 13 San Francisco (Orpheum Theatre) – August 15 through September 28 Detroit (Fisher Theatre – October 21 through November 16 Kansas City (Music Hall) – December 9 through December 14 Minneapolis (Orpheum Theatre) – December 16 through December 28 Pittsburgh (Heinz Hall) December 20 through January 4, 2015 Durham (Durham Performing Arts Center) – February 17 through February 22, 2015 Ft. Lauderdale (Broward Center for the Performing Arts) – February 24 through March 8, 2015 Tampa (Straz Center for Performing Arts) – March 17 through March 22, 2015 Denver (Buell Theatre) – March 31 through April 19, 2015 Los Angeles (Pantages Theatre) – April 28 through June 7, 2015 San Diego (Civic Center) – June 9 through June 14, 2015 Costa Mesa (Segerstrom Center for the Arts) – June 16 through June 28, 2015 Milwaukee (Marcus Center for the Performing Arts) – July 7 through July 12, 2015 Memphis (Orpheum Theatre) – July 14 through July 19, 2015 Houston (Hobby Center for the Performing Arts) – July 21 through July 26, 2015 Dallas (AT&T Performing Arts Center) – July 28 through August 16, 2015 Atlanta (Fox Theatre) – August 18 through August 23, 2015 Charlotte (Blumenthal Performing Arts Center) – August 25 through September 6, 2015 last_img read more

Chester See on YouTube Fame & Playing a ‘Likable Idiot’ in Rock of Ages

first_img Show Closed This production ended its run on Jan. 18, 2015 “I never had dreams of being on Broadway, but when I got the call for Rock of Ages, it became one. It’s such an honor to be part of this world—I’m taken aback by the whole experience.” Current Role: A stage debut as sex-crazed rock god Stacee Jaxx in the final Broadway cast of the ‘80s jukebox hit Rock of Ages. View Comments “When I realized I’d be shirtless onstage, I did some serious boot camp and a strict diet…but the New York pizza! I’m hoping I don’t slip into the ‘Fat Stacee’ version, like ‘Fat Elvis,’ by the end of my run.” “In high school, I’d be lying if I didn’t say I listened to ‘N Sync. What CD did I have in my car? ‘No Strings Attached.’ But now when I go to karaoke, I can’t wait to sing ‘Wanted Dead or Alive.’ I got this one!” “I was making 30 bucks a month when I started putting videos on YouTube, and that increased as I grew a fanbase. It’s so great, I get to create content, showcase my songs and make a good living just from doing videos.” “When I was 16 I was working at Chevys and a guy went, ‘Can I get some more chips…Chester?’ I knew he was making fun of my name. So I changed my tag and used my middle name, Lionel. The next day, somebody made fun of Lionel. My parents didn’t give me any options!”center_img Related Shows “Stacee Jaxx is like Joey Tribbiani meets Russell Brand. He’s a likable idiot that doesn’t know he’s a jerk.” Stage & Screen Cred: After majoring in theater at UCLA, See hosted the Disney Channel’s Disney 365 (and even did some Broadway reporting!). He found internet fame posting videos of his songs and sketches on YouTube—he has more than 1.5 million subscribers to date. Rock of Ages Hometown: Fairfield, CA Age: 31 (“And I’ve reached the point where I feel OK saying that!”)last_img read more

The Painted Rocks at Revolver Creek to Play Off-Broadway

first_img The Painted Rocks at Revolver Creek Related Shows View Comments The Painted Rocks at Revolver Creek is set to receive its world premiere off-Broadway. Written and directed by Athol Fugard, the production will play a limited engagement April 21 through May 31. Opening night is scheduled for May 11 in The Romulus Linney Courtyard Theatre at The Pershing Square Signature Center. Cast and creative team will be announced later. The new play is inspired by the life of South African outsider artist Nukain Mabusa. Aging farm laborer Nukain has spent his life transforming the rocks at Revolver Creek into a vibrant garden of painted flowers. Now, the final unpainted rock, as well as his young companion Bokkie, has forced Nukain to confront his legacy as a painter, a person and a black man in 1980s South Africa. When the landowner’s wife arrives with demands about the painting, the profound rifts of a country hurtling toward the end of apartheid are laid bare. Show Closed This production ended its run on May 31, 2015 Fugard was Signature’s 2012 Playwright-in-Residence and winner of the 2011 Lifetime Achievement Tony Award.last_img read more

This is Hamilton… Mitzi Hamilton! A Chorus Line Icon Gets Her Own Hip-Hop Tribute

first_imgWho lives? Who dies? Who tells your story? Founding father Alexander Hamilton has been honored with his own Broadway bio-musical smash thanks to Lin-Manuel Miranda and now another Hamilton has been appropriately feted online. Mitzi Hamilton was famously Michael Bennett’s inspiration for the character of T&A gal Val in A Chorus Line who danced in shows like Pippin, Seesaw and finally played Val during the show’s legendary 15 year run. These days, she carries Bennett’s torch, directing productions of A Chorus Line around the world, including a staging at the Riverside Theatre in Vero Beach, Florida, which just closed on January 24. Jake Weinstein, a cast member in that production, and the entire cast created the amazing video tribute to Hamilton below, using Miranda’s “Alexander Hamilton” as a jump-off, incorporating just-as-smooth rhymes to tell the story of a chorus girl’s journey to Broadway infamy.How does a homely, skinny, flat-as-a-pancake girlWith 87 dollars in her pocket twirl a baton in the rainThen wind up in New York City from afar—Grow up to be a legend and a star?Click and see! View Commentslast_img read more

Cher Bio-Musical Still In the Works; Rick Elice Sounds Off on Project’s Status

first_img You haven’t seen the last of her! Pop superstar and Twitter icon Cher is still planning to turn back time and bring her life story to Broadway in a bio-musical. In October, the Oscar winner revealed she had tapped Jersey Boys book writer Rick Elice to pen the script. Elice recently spilled some details about the project to the New York Post. Here’s what we know so far:The Show’s Got Hamilton MuscleThe Cher musical—currently titled, appropriately enough, Cher: The Musical—already has some power players on the team. Hamilton producer Jeffrey Seller is on board, as is TV executive Flody Suarez. This makes sense, as we all know Cher’s Dressing Room Playset is the original room where it happens.Elice Gives Great Birthday GiftsElice has been at work on and off for some time now, and he’s ready to present the script just in time for a special milestone. The Tony nominee will first show the script to the producers. Then, on May 20—Cher’s 70th birthday—he’ll hand it off to the star herself. That’s one way to celebrate, as is wearing the f**k out of a dress.No, You’re Not Seeing TripleAs it currently stands, three actresses will play Cher at various points in her life: as a child, the romantic and creative partner of Sonny Bono and the pop culture legend she became. (Think Fun Home, or the original concept for Evita.) There was talk of Cher playing a fourth incarnation of herself, but that likely won’t happen. Still, that’s three times the dreamcasting!Believe Those Songs Are InWell, this one was a given: the songs that made Cher the music legend she is will make it to the stage. “So far, I’ve been working on this by myself. Well, me and iTunes,” Elice told the Post. Among those hits are “I Got You Babe,” “Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves,” “Believe” and “If I Could Turn Back Time.” Elice, if it’s not too late, could you please find a way to shoehorn in this Cher classic? Cher(Photo: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images) View Commentslast_img read more

Odds & Ends: Watch Bryan Cranston Become LBJ & More

first_img View Comments Vanessa Hudgens’ Pilot Season WinGood news for a slew of Broadway alums—NBC has picked up a couple of their pilots for series! First up, there’s Vanessa Hudgens’ Powerless, which is set in the DC Comics Universe. The peacock network has also shown love for Trial & Error, a fish-out of-water comedy featuring John Lithgow, Steven Boyer and Krysta Rodriguez. According to Variety, both shows come from Warner Bros. Television. Meanwhile, Supergirl, which in its first season on CBS featured Laura Benanti and Jeremy Jordan, will move to the CW for season two, Deadline reports.Hotcha! Chryssie Whitehead Heads to ChicagoChryssie Whitehead, who appeared as Kristine opposite Tony Yazbeck as Al in A Chorus Line, is returning to Broadway in Chicago. The actress is set to take on the role of Go to Hell Kitty and understudy Velma from May 13. We’re sure she’ll razzle dazzle them!(Photo: Bruce Glikas)Sneak Peek of Norbert Leo Butz’s Bloodline ReturnTony winner Norbert Leo Butz is killing it in Netflix’s Bloodline, which is back for its second season on May 27. Check out the below teaser video, which focusses on what’s in store for his character Kevin Rayburn… Here’s a quick roundup of stories you may have missed today. Bryan Cranston Becomes LBJFour-time Emmy winner Bryan Cranston is reprising his Tony-winning performance of Lyndon B. Johnson in the HBO film adaptation of All the Way. Check out below a fun time-lapse video of Cranston becoming the president—it’s a far cry from Breaking Bad! Helmed by Jay Roach, Robert Schenkkan penned the small screen take on his Tony-winning play, which also stars Tony winner Frank Langella as Senator Richard Russell, Bradley Whitford (another familiar face to White House dramas) as Hubert Humphrey and more. The film will premiere on May 21 and we will be setting our DVRs!center_img Bryan Cranston in HBO’s ‘All the Way’last_img read more

See Dean John-Wilson, Jade Ewen & Trevor Dion Nicholas in Aladdin

first_img View Comments Dean John-Wilson(Photo: Deen van Meer) Make way for Prince Ali! Aladdin is soaring across the pond. The shining, shimmering, splendid tuner began performances on May 27 and celebrates its official opening on June 15. West End alum (and The Color Purple Tony nominee Cynthia Erivo’s dashing beau, btw) Dean John-Wilson takes on the titular role alongside Sugababes fave Jade Ewen (see below) as Princess Jasmine. Broadway cast member Trevor Dion Nicholas (also below) makes his London stage debut as Genie and is joined by Don Gallagher as Jafar, Peter Howe as Iago, Irvine Iqbal as the Sultan, Nathan Amzi as Babkak, Stephen Rahman-Hughes as Kassim and Rachid Sabitri as Omar. Take a look at the pics and be sure to catch this resplendent magic carpet ride at the Prince Edward Theatre!last_img read more

Laura Michelle Kelly & Jose Llana Will Lead The King and I Tour

first_imgLaura Michelle Kelly & Jose Llana(Photos: Caitlin McNaney and Emilio Madrid-Kuser) View Comments Let’s all whistle a happy tune for this casting news! Olivier Award winner Laura Michelle Kelly and Jose Llana will star as Anna Leonowens and the King of Siam, respectively, in the upcoming national tour of Rodgers + Hammerstein’s The King and I. The touring production of the Tony Award-winning musical revival will launch on November 1 in Providence, Rhode Island, before continuing to additional cities across the country.“Jose was so superb on Broadway in The King and I that I begged him to join us on the tour and l feel we are incredibly lucky to have him. He brings such joy and virility and strength to the King. And he is one of Broadway’s great talents,” said director Bartlett Sher, in a statement. “Laura Michelle has one of the best voices on Broadway matched with an extraordinary heart. Her work on Finding Neverland and Mary Poppins distinguished both of those shows with her natural grace and joy. She will be an exquisite Anna Leonowens.”Kelly recently starred as Sylvia Llewelyn Davies in the Broadway.com Audience Choice Award-winning musical Finding Neverland. She took home an Olivier Award for the title role in the West End’s Mary Poppins—a performance she later reprised on Broadway. Kelly has also appeared on the Great White Way in Fiddler on the Roof and on the London stage in Speed the Plow, Les Miserables and Peter Pan. Kelly previously starred as Anna Leonowens in a production of The King and I at The Muny in August 2012.Llana returns to the role of the King of Siam after two starring engagements in the Tony-winning Lincoln Center revival of The King and I. His other Broadway credits include Wonderland, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Flower Drum Song, Rent, Streetcorner Symphony and the 1996 production of The King and I, in which he performed the role of Lun Tha. On screen he has been seen in Hitch and Sex and the City.In addition to Kelly and Llana, the cast of The King and I will feature Joan Almedilla as Lady Thiang, Brian Rivera as Kralahome, Manna Nichols as Tuptim, Kavin Panmeechao as Lun Tha, Anthony Chan as Prince Chulalongkorn, Graham Montgomery as Louis Leonowens and Baylen Thomas as Captain Orton/Sir Edward Ramsey.The show’s ensemble will include Heather Botts, LaMae Caparas, Andrew Cheng, Michelle Liu Coughlin, Daniel Edwards, Nicole Ferguson, Marie Gutierrez, Mindy Lai, Darren Lee, Q Lim, Stephanie Lo, Michael Lomeka, Nobutaka Mochimaru, Rommel Pierre O’Choa, Yuki Ozeki, Marcus Shane, Sam Simahk, Michiko Takemasa, Jeoffrey Watson and Kelli Youngman, with Kayla Amistad, Jaden Amistad, Adriana Braganza, Amaya Braganza, Rylie Sickles, Rhyees Stump, Noah Toledo and CJ Uy as the Royal Children.Rodgers and Hammerstein’s classic musical, set in 1860s Bangkok, tells the story of the unconventional and tempestuous relationship between the King of Siam and Anna Leonowens, a British schoolteacher, whom the imperious King brings to Siam to tutor his many wives and children.Directed by Bartlett Sher, the Lincoln Center revival of The King and I received four 2015 Tony Awards, including Best Revival of a Musical and Best Costume Design of a Musical.last_img read more

Odds & Ends: Charm Searching for Transgender Artists & More

first_img View Comments MCC Here’s a quick roundup of stories you may have missed today.MCC’s Charm Searching for Transgender & Non-Conforming ArtistsMCC has launched a casting search for transgender and gender non-conforming performers for the NYC premiere of Philip Dawkins’ Charm. The show follows Mama Darleena Andrews, a 67 year-old, African-American transgender woman, who takes it upon herself to teach an etiquette class at Chicago’s LGBTQ community center. Directed by Will Davis, Charm will officially open MCC’s 2017-18 season next fall at off-Broadway’s Lucille Lortel Theatre. For further information about applying to join the company, click here.Drama Desk Awards Sets the DateMore dates for your 2017 calendars! The 62nd Annual Drama Desk Awards will take place on June 4, 2017 at Town Hall. Michael Urie (Buyer and Cellar) is set to return to emcee the event, which honors the best of Broadway, off-Broadway, and off-off-Broadway. Nominations are scheduled to be announced on April 27 at Feinstein’s/54 Below.Spamilton Eyes World DominationThe Story of Tonight 2016. Spamilton, the off-Broadway parody of Broadway smash Hamilton, is mirroring Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Tony-winning hit by heading to Chicago. Created by Gerard Alessandrini, the mastermind behind Forbidden Broadway, the production will play a limited engagement March 3, 2017 through May 29 at the Royal George Theatre’s Cabaret/Studio Theatre. Opening night is set for March 9. Discussions are also ongoing about additional incarnations in Los Angeles, London and a U.S. National Tour for 2017. Sound familiar?!Alex Brightman Heading to GoodspeedCongratulations to Alex Brightman, who received a Tony nod this year for School of Rock—he has been accepted into 2017’s Johnny Mercer Writers Colony at Goodspeed Musicals. He will be working alongside Drew Gasparini on their project, It’s Kind of a Funny Story.last_img read more