It was inevitable that Baz Luhrmann’s “Moulin Rouge” would be adapted into a stage musical, although it did take a while. It was confirmed late last week that the project is now in development. Alex Timbers (who was recently removed from the Broadway-bound “Frozen”) will direct and John Logan (“Red”) will write the book. In a statement, Luhrmann praised Timbers’ inventive work on “Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson” and “Here Lies Love” and said that they “shared similar sensibilities and instincts.”
Erivo and Henry team up for ‘Last Five Years’
Cynthia Erivo (who just won a Tony Award for “The Color Purple”) and Joshua Henry (who is about to play Aaron Burr in the Chicago production of “Hamilton”) will come together on Monday night at The Town Hall for a concert production of Jason Robert Brown’s two-character musical “The Last Five Years” to raise money for the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence. This is, to my knowledge, the first time the musical (which concerns the failed relationship of a Jewish writer and Irish Catholic actress) has been presented in New York with African-American performers. Brown will lead the orchestra.
‘Muriel’s Wedding’ musical in the works
A stage musical version of the 1994 Australian film comedy “Muriel’s Wedding” is in the works. The score will contain ABBA songs, though it is unclear whether they will be the very same songs that are already used in “Mamma Mia!” It will receive its premiere next year in Sydney.
‘Black Lives Matter’ concert canceled over political concerns
Feinstein’s/54 Below announced Wednesday that it is canceling “Broadway Supports Black Lives Matter,” a concert that was to be held on Sept. 11, out of concerns by the venue’s owners and managers with the group’s platform seeking sanctions against Israel, as first reported by BroadwayWorld.com. “Feinstein’s/54 Below would have preferred to hold the concert in support of the #BlackLivesMatter movement, without endorsing or appearing to endorse the entirety of the Black Lives Matter organization and its platform but we’ve found that a distinction impossible for us to effect,” the nightclub venue said in an email to ticket buyers.
‘Assassins’ gets short revival
Sondheim’s provocative musical “Assassins,” about the men and women (from John Wilkes Booth to John Hinckley) who shot or attempted to shoot American presidents, will be revived this weekend by Utopia Opera with a 13-piece orchestra at Hunter College. “Though it premiered 26 years ago, ‘Assassins’ may never be more relevant than it is today ... in a world where so much antagonism and hatred is expressed outwardly,” the news release notes.
‘Jersey Boys’ to close after 11-year Broadway run
Oh, what a run. After 11 years, “Jersey Boys” will play its last performance at the August Wilson Theatre on Broadway on Jan. 15. It will have played 4,642 performances. To date, “Jersey Boys” remains the most critically acclaimed of any musical structured around pre-existing pop hits. Mark Ballas, a two-time winner of “Dancing with the Stars,” will join the cast as Frankie Valli beginning Oct. 18.
Broadway actors ticked off by Wells Fargo campaign
Wells Fargo touched off a nerve with theater actors after unveiling an ad campaign for its Teen Financial Education Day that seemed to encourage teens to give up on artistic ambitions to pursue science and math-intensive careers. After Broadway actors expressed their indignation on social media, the company sent out an apologetic tweet. In a statement given to Playbill.com, Wells Fargo said that the ad was “intended to celebrate all the aspirations of young people and fell short of that goal.”
Roundabout to revive ‘Marvin’s Room’
Scott McPherson’s dark family comedy “Marvin’s Room,” which premiered off-Broadway in 1991 and is best-known for a starry film version with Meryl Streep, Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert De Niro and Diane Keaton, will play Broadway for the first time next summer, in a production by Roundabout Theatre Company at the American Airlines Theatre. No casting has been announced. McPherson, a Chicago-based actor and playwright, died of AIDS in 1992.
Andrew Rannells at “School of Rock” ... Dennis Haskins (aka. Mr. Belding) at “Hamilton” ... Harvey Fierstein and Cyndi Lauper asking audience members to vote during the curtain call of “Kinky Boots.”