Brandy set to play Roxie in Broadway's 'Chicago'
Singer, songwriter and actress Brandy Norwood -- probably best known for the song "I Wanna Be Down" and the sitcom "Moesha" -- will join the Broadway cast of "Chicago" on April 28, taking over the lead role of Roxie Hart. Back in 1997, she played the title role in the television remake of Rodgers & Hammerstein's "Cinderella" alongside Whitney Houston.
'The Fantasticks' to end Off-Broadway run
The history-making Off-Broadway musical "The Fantasticks," which ran from 1960 to 2002 at the now-defunct Sullivan Street Playhouse in Greenwich Village and then reopened in 2006 at the Snapple Theater Center in Times Square, will shutter for good on May 3. Tom Jones, the show's lyricist and book-writer, directed the new production and also played the Old Actor back when it opened.
'Stars in the Alley' set for May 27
The annual "Stars in the Alley" concert -- in which Broadway musicals offer performances for free outdoors in Shubert Alley (between 44th and 45th Streets, next to the Shubert Theatre) -- will be held on the morning of May 27. The event is produced by the Broadway League, a trade association that represents the theater industry.
'Lady' 'Paint,' 'Twentieth Century' get cast albums
The recent productions of "Lady, Be Good!" and "Paint Your Wagon" at City Center Encores! will both receive cast albums. Back in the 1990s, Encores! productions were regularly recorded, but that only happens sporadically nowadays. It has also been confirmed that the Broadway revival of "On the Twentieth Century" with Kristin Chenoweth and Peter Gallagher will release a cast album.
'Skylight' revival to go dark for a week
The Broadway revival of David Hare's drama "Skylight," which opens on April 2, will not play any performances from April 14-19 so that Carey Mulligan (who co-stars in the production with Bill Nighy) can make publicity appearances for the film "Far From the Madding Crowd," as reported by Playbill.com.
Branagh wants Scorcese to film his 'Macbeth'
Kenneth Branagh, who brought his production of "Macbeth" to the Park Avenue Armory last year for a short sold-out run, hopes to restage the play and have it filmed by Martin Scorsese, as per BBC Radio. The production was previously screened in movie theaters internationally as part of the NT Live series.
Mary Martin's Tony Award goes for $35K
Back in 1960, Mary Martin won the Tony Award for Best Actress for her performance as Maria Von Trapp in the original Broadway production of "The Sound of Music." Her award was purchased for $35,000 at an auction last week, as reported by Deadline.com. In retrospect, it's hard to believe that Martin won the Tony over Ethel Merman's now legendary turn in "Gypsy." As Merman said at the time, "How are you going to buck a nun?"
Jennifer Hudson at "Honeymoon in Vegas" ... Reba McEntire at "Chicago" ... Susan Sarandon, John Slattery and Chris Noth at "The Heidi Chronicles" ... James Earl Jones at "The Audience" ... Nathan Lane at "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time."