Sunday, February 9, 2020

Broadway Update: Nathan Lane and Laurie Metcalf to Star in 'Death of a Salesman'

Nathan Lane as another sad salesman
in The Iceman Cometh.
Credit: Liz Lauren
Two of the biggest names on Broadway will headline one of the greatest plays of the 20th century. Nathan Lane and Laurie Metcalf are slated to star in the sixth Broadway production of Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman. The announcement is not official, but Lane confirmed to the Hollywood Reporter that Salesman would be opening sometime during the spring of 2021. It will be staged by Joe Mantello who is currently directing Metcalf in another American classic, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Willy Loman. the desperate drummer of the title, has been played on the Main Stem previously by Lee J. Cobb, George C. Scott, Dustin Hoffman, Brian Dennehy, and Philip Seymour Hoffman. Lane is mostly known for his comic roles in such shows as The Producers, The Front Page, and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. But this will not be the first time he's played a tragic salesman. He starred as the illusion-shattering Hickey in O'Neill's The Iceman Cometh at Chicago's Goodman Theater and BAM.

In other Broadway news:

The long-awaited revival of Charles Randolph-Wright's Blue will not play Broadway as originally announced. The African-American family drama to be directed by Phylicia Rashad will open at Harlem's legendary Apollo Theater on May 10, following previews
Phylicia Rashad
which will begin on April 27. Tony winner Leslie Uggams and Emmy winner Lynn Whitfield star. The original NYC production played Off-Broadway at the Roundabout Theater Company in 2001 with Rashad in the lead.

Cynthia Nixon is another star will be crossing to the other side of the footlights. She will directing the first Broadway production of Jane Chambers' Last Summer at Bluefish Cove, which premiered Off-Broadway in 1980. The comedy-drama about a group of lesbian friends has a stellar team of producers including Ellen DeGeneris, Portia de Rossi, Lily Tomlin and Jane Wagner. The revival is slated to open sometime this year.

Funny Girl is another production long rumored to be returning to the Gotham boards. In 2012, Lauren Ambrose (Six Feet Under) was said to be tackling the role of Fanny Brice which launched Barbra Streisand's meteoric career. But that version fizzzled and Ambrose took on Eliza Doolittle in the Lincoln Center My Fair Lady. Now Tony winner Idina Menzel is reportedly in talks to play Brice with direction by Michael Mayer (American Idiot, Thoroughly Modern Millie) who staged a 2015 revival in London's West End. Rosie O'Donnell has previously stated she would be played Fanny's mother in a production, but there is no confirmation if she will be cast with Menzel.

The Karate Kid is the latest film to be developed into a musical. Robert Mark Kamen, the screenwriter of the 1984 original is writing the book and Drew Gasparini will be responsible for the score. Japanese director Amon Miyamoto will stage the show and MTV VMA nominees Keone and Mari Madrid will choreograph.

Britney Spears joins the ranks of pop and rocks stars whose oeuvre has been recycled as fodder for a book musical. This one is called Once Upon a One More Time and employs such hits as "Oops I Did It Again," "Toxic" and "Lucky" to tell the story of a group of fairy-tale princesses who discover Betty Friedan's The Feminine Mystique. John Hartmere wrote the book and the show plays Chicago April 14-May 17 with plans for an eventual Broadway run.

Claire Foy and Matt Smith in Lungs.
Claire Foy and Matt Smith will reunite on stage playing a less royal couple than they did in Netflix's The Crown. The former portrayers of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip will enact an ordinary British couple deciding on whether or not to bring a child into our trouble world in Duncan Macmillan's two-character play Lungs, at BAM (March 25-April 19) after a London run.

An updated calendar of upcoming Broadway and Off-Broadway shows, including dates for theater award nominations and ceremonies, follows:

Feb. 17--Dracula; Frankenstein (CSC)
Feb. 18--Anatomy of a Suicide (Atlantic Theatre Company)
Feb. 20--West Side Story (Broadway)
Feb. 24--Cambodian Rock Band (Signature Theater)
Feb. 24--All the Natalie Portmans (MCC)
Feb. 25--We're Gonna Die (Second Stage)
Feb. 25--Dana H. (Vineyard)
Feb. 26--The Unsinkable Molly Brown (Transport Group/Abrons Arts Center)
March 1--The Hot Wing King (Signature Theater)
March 3--The Perplexed (MTC/City Center Stage I)
March 3--Coal Country (Public Theater)
March 5--Girl from the North Country (Belasco)
March 7--Gnit (TFANA; previews begin)
March 9--Endlings (NYTW)
March 9--Unknown Soldier (Playwrights Horizons)
March 10--72 Miles to Go (Roundabout/Laura Pels)
March 12--Six (Brooks Atkinson)
March 15--The Minutes (Cort)
March 17--Vagrant Trilogy (Public Theater; previews begin)
March 18--Hangmen (Golden)
March 19--Nollywood Dreams (MCC; previews begin)
March 22--Company (Jacobs)
March 23--Intimate Apparel (LCT/Mitzi Newhouse)
March 24--Sanctuary City (NYTW/Lucille Lortel)
March 24--The Visitor (Public Theater; previews begin)
March 26--The Lehman Trilogy (Nederlander)
March 27--Selling Kabul (Playwrights Horizons; previews begin)
March 31--Diana (Longacre)
April--Assassins (CSC)
April 2--Lortel Nominations Announced
April 2--Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (Booth)
April 2--Lungs (BAM)
April 5--Mrs. Doubtfire (Stephen Sondheim)
April 7--Caroline or Change (Roundabout/Studio 54)
April 13--Plaza Suite (Hudson)
April 14--American Buffalo (Theater TBA)
April 16--Flying Over Sunset (LCT/Vivian Beaumont)
April 19--Sing Street (Lyceum)
April 20--Outer Critics Circle Nominations
April 21--Birthday Candles (Roundabout/AA)
April 21--Between the Lines (Second Stage; previews begin)
April 21--Drama Desk Nominations
April 22--How I Learned to Drive (MTC/Friedman)
April 23--Take Me Out (Second Stage/Helen Hayes)
April 25--Waiting for Godot (TFANA; previews begin)
April 28--Twilight: Los Angeles (Signature Theatre; previews begin)
April 28--Tony Nominations announced
2019-20 (dates unspecified)--New York Theater Workshop--Three Sisters
The New Group--The Seagull/Woodstock, NY
Vineyard Theater--Tuvalu or The Saddest Song
May 3--Lortel Awards (NYU Skirball Hall)
May 9--The Bedwetter (Atlantic Theatre Company; previews begin)
May 10--Blue (Apollo)
May 11--Outer Critics Circle Award winners announced
May 12--Confederates (Signature Theatre; previews begin)
May 15--A Boy's Company Presents: "Tell Me If I'm Hurting You" (Playwrights Horizons)
May 18--Obie Awards (Terminal 5)
May 19--The Best We Could Do (MTC/City Center Stage II)
May 20--A Play Is a Poem (Atlantic Theater Company; previews begin)
May 21--Outer Critics Awards dinner (Sardi's)
May 31--Drama Desk Awards (Town Hall)
June 2--Poor Yella Rednecks (MTC/City Center Stage I)
June 4--Perry Street (MCC; previews begin)
June 7--Tony Awards (Radio City Music Hall)
July 7--Cullud Wattah (Public Theater; previews begin)
Aug. 13--MJ The Musical (Neil Simon)
Oct. 20--The Music Man
2020--Last Summer at Bluefish Cove
Spring 2021--1776, Death of a Salesman
2021--Soul Train
2021--The Devil Wear Prada (Chicago, then Broadway)

Future--The Nanny, Cinderella (Andrew Lloyd Webber version), The Who's Tommy (revival), Archie, Beaches, The Bodyguard, Bombshell, Bull Durham, Cagney, Dave, Death Becomes Her, Karate Kid, Mighty Real: A Fabulous Sylvester Musical, Once Upon a One More Time, Working Girl, Half-Time, Roman Holiday, The Wiz, Camp David, Photograph 51, An Enemy of the People, Sherlock Holmes, Singin' in the Rain, Pat Benatar Musical, Chasing Rainbows, Magic Mike, Some Like It Hot, Ever After, The Flamingo Kid

2019-20 Broadway Season
New Plays
Birthday Candles
A Christmas Carol
Grand Horizons
The Great Society
Hangmen (previously seen Off-Broadway)
The Height of the Storm
The Inheritance, Parts One and Two
The Lehman Trilogy (previously seen Off-Broadway)
Linda Vista
The Minutes
My Name Is Lucy Barton
Sea Wall/A Life (Off-Broadway transfer)
Slave Play (Off-Broadway transfer)
The Sound Inside

New Musicals
David Byrne's American Utopia
Flying Over Sunset
Girl from the North Country (transfer from Off-Broadway)
Jagged Little Pill
Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical (previously presented Off-Broadway)
Moulin Rouge
Mrs. Doubtfire
Sing Street (transfer from Off-Broadway)
Tina: The Tina Turner Musical

Play Revivals
American Buffalo
Frankie and Johnny in the Clare de Lune
How I Learned to Drive
Plaza Suite
The Rose Tattoo
A Soldier's Play
Take Me Out
Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

Musical Revivals
Caroline or Change
West Side Story

Barry Manilow
Derren Brown: Secret
Harry Connick Jr.--A Celebration of Cole Porter
The Illusionists: Magic of the Holidays
Kristin Chenoweth: For the Girls
Slava's Snowshow (revival)

New Musicals
MJ The Musical
Soul Train

Play Revivals
Death of a Salesman

Musical Revivals
The Music Man

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