Friday, August 12, 2022

B'way Update: New Woods Cast; Lillias White; Working Girl

Stephanie J. Block and Sebastian Arcelus 
will star in Into the Woods.
Several new cast members including Tony winners and nominees will be heading Into the Woods. The current cast of the smash hit revival of Stephan Sondheim and James Lapine's 1987 fairy-tale musical will remain with the show through Sept. 4. Sept 6, real-life married couple Stephanie J. Block (Tony winner for The Cher Show) and Sebastian Arcelus (Elf) will succeed Sara Barielles and Brian D'Arcy James as the Baker's Wife and the Baker. Additional new cast members are Krysta Rodriguez (Smash, The Addams Family) as Cinderella, Katy Geraghty (Groundhog Day) as Little Red Riding Hood, and Jim Stanek (Fun Home) as the Steward. 

Andy Karl in
On the Twentieth Century.
Credit: Joan Marcus
Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle winner Montego Glover (Memphis) will be playing the Witch on Tuesday through Thursday while Tony winner Patina Miller (Pippin, Sister Act) will continue in the role Friday through Sunday). Drama Desk winner Andy Karl (Groundhog Day, Pretty Woman, Rocky) will briefly take on the dual role of the Wolf and Cinderella's Prince from Sept. 6-15 and then Tony winner Gavin Creel (Hello, Dolly) returns to howling duties. Joshua Henry remains in his role of Rapunzel's Prince. On Sept. 27, Ann Harada (Cinderella, 9 to 5, Avenue Q) will succeed Aymee Garcia as Jack's Mother. Harada played the role during the original New York City Center run of the show. The remainder of the cast including Nancy Opel as Cinderella's Stepmother, Annie Golden as Cinderella's Mother/Granny/Giant's Wife, David Patrick Kelly as the Narrator/Mysterious Man, and Cole Thompson as Jack will remain through the Oct. 16 extension. Will the production go beyond that? We'll have to wait and see.

Speaking of replacements, Tony and Emmy winner Lillias White (The Life, Sesame Street, Black No More) will take over the role of Hermes, originated by Tony winner Andre De Shields in Hadestown on Sept. 13. De Shields won a Tony for the role and is now in rehearsal to star in the revival of Death of a Salesman. T. Oliver Reid plays Hermes until Sept. 4. This is not the first time on Broadway a woman has stepped into a role originated by a man. In 1997, Whoopi Goldberg succeeded Nathan Lane in the revival of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. With the all female and trans revival of 1776 and White taking over in Hadestown, perhaps this will lead the way to more diverse and creative casting. 

Tony winners Andre De Shields and
Lillias White

Theresa Rebeck
In other news, prolific playwright Theresa Rebeck (Bernhardt/Hamlet, Dead Accounts, Seminar, Mauritius) has been announced as the book-writer for a musical version of Working Girl, the Oscar-nominated 1988 film comedy directed by Mike Nichols about a Staten Island secretary who climbs the corporate ladder. Pop legend Cyndi Lauper (Kinky Boots) is writing the score and Tony winner Christopher Ashley (Come from Away) directs.  The project has been in the works for quite a while. Rebeck replaces Bridget Carpenter who in turn replaced Kim Rosenstock. This is Rebeck's first stab at musical theater, though she did create and wrote several episodes for the NBC series Smash, which traced the backstage story behind the creation of a musical based on the life of Marilyn Monroe. (Smash may still come to Broadway as stage show.) Rebeck's play Mad House recently opened in London with David Harbour and Bill Pullman.

Smash ignited my love of musical theater, and I’ve been eager to find the right musical project since then,” Rebeck said. “I couldn’t have dreamed up a better fit than Working Girl, or better collaborators than Cyndi, Chris and this team." No word yet on dates, theaters or out-of-town productions for Working Girl.

2022-23 Broadway/Off-Broadway Schedule
Aug. 25--Kinky Boots (Stage 42)
Aug. 28--Two Jews, Talking (Theater at St. Clement's)
Aug. 30--As You Like It (Delacorte)
Sept. 10--Remember This: The Lesson of Jan Karski (TFANA/Polonsky Shakespeare Center)
Sept. 13: Cheek to Cheek: Irving Berlin in Hollywood (York Theater Company)
Sept. 22--Sesame Street: The Musical (Theater Row)
Sept. 29--american (tele)visions (New York Theatre Workshop)
Oct. 2--Leopoldstadt (Longacre)
Oct. 2--Baldwin and Buckley at Cambridge (Public Theater)
Oct. 3--Cost of Living (MTC/Friedman)
Oct. 6--1776 (Roundabout/AA)
Oct. 6--Peerless (Primary Stages/59E59)
Oct. 9--Death of a Salesman (Hudson) 
Oct. 13--The Piano Lesson (Barrymore)
Oct. 19--A Raisin in the Sun (Public Theater)
Oct. 20--Topdog/Underdog (Golden)
Oct. 26--Straight Line Crazy (The Shed/Griffin)
Oct. 30--A Man of No Importance (CSC)
October--Catch as Catch Can (Playwrights Horizons); Downstate (Playwrights Horizons); Only Gold (MCC Theater)
Nov. 2--Where the Mountain Meets the Sea (MTC/City Center Stage I)
Nov. 2--Camp Siegfried (Second Stage/Tony Kiser) (previews begin; opening TBA)
Nov. 3--Almost Famous (Bernard Jacobs)
Nov. 6--You Will Get Sick (Roundabout/Laura Pels)
Nov. 9--Where We Belong (Public Theater) 
Nov. 10--Kimberly Akimbo (Booth)
Nov. 15--the bandaged place (Roundabout/Underground)
Nov. 16--Plays for the Plague Year (Public Theater) 
Nov. 17--& Juliet (Sondheim)
Nov. 20--KPOP (Circle in the Square)
Nov. 21--Becky Nurse of Salem (LCT/Mitzi Newhouse)
Nov. 21--Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish (New World Stages)
Nov. 29--Des Moines (TFANA/Polonsky Shakespeare Center)
Dec. 1--Ain't No Mo (Belasco)
Dec. 1--Hoagy Carmichael's Stardust Land (York Theater Company)
Dec. 4--A Beautiful Noise: The Neil Diamond Musical (Broadhurst)
Dec. 8--The Ohio State Murders (James Earl Jones)
Dec. 11--Some Like It Hot (Shubert)
Dec. 11--Merrily We Roll Along (New York Theatre Workshop)
Dec. 19--Between Riverside and Crazy (Second Stage/Hayes)
Dec. 20--The Collaboration (MTC/Freidman)
February--The Trees (Playwrights Horizons)
March--Regretfully So the Birds Are (Playwrights Horizons)
April 13--Camelot (Lincoln Center/Vivian Beaumont)
April 29--Fuenta Ovejuna (TFANA/Polonsky Shakespeare Center)
May--Wet Brain (Playwrights Horizons)
July 9--Orpheus Descending (TFANA/Polonsky Shakespeare Center)

Fall 2022 (no dates yet)
Summer, 1976 (MTC/City Center Stage II)

2022-23 (no dates or theaters yet)
Ain't Supposed to Die a Natural Death, Black Orpheus, Cinderella, Come Fall in Love--The DDLJ Musical, Dancin', Pal Joey, Square One

Winter 2022-23
Dark Disabled Stories (Public)
The Wanderers (Roundabout/Laura Pels)

Spring 2023 
Prime Facie (a Shubert theater TBA)
The Thanksgiving Play (Second Stage/Hayes)
Good Bones (Public)
Poor Yella Rednecks (MTC/City Center Stage II)
Shadow/Land (Public)

2023, 2024 and Beyond
Game of Thrones, The Great Gatsby, Frida, the Musical, High Noon

Future--Good Night, Oscar; The Devil Wears Prada; The Griswolds' Family Vacation; The Karate Kid; Back to the Future; Our Town; The Nanny; The Normal Heart/The Destiny of Me; Sing Street; Smash; Soul Train; The Who's Tommy; Working Girl

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