Caissie Levy (“Hair”) and Patti Murin (“Lysistrata Jones”) will play Princesses Elsa and Anna of Arendelle respectively in an upcoming developmental lab workshop of Disney’s upcoming Broadway adaptation of “Frozen,” Playbill.com reported on Wednesday night. The musical is expected to bow at Broadway’s St. James Theatre next spring following an out-of-town run this summer in Denver.
City Center sets new Off-Center season for summer
This summer’s Encores! Off-Center season at City Center (a variation of the popular Encores! series of musicals in concert that focuses on off-Broadway titles) will consist of productions of Sondheim’s “Assassins,” Kirsten Childs’ “The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin” and Carole King and Maurice Sendak’s “Really Rosie.” In a statement, newly installed artistic director Michael Friedman said the season could be called “grownups with guns, kids with dreams and a bubbly girl trying to find her way through America,” and that the shows present “three very different visions of the American dream and what happens when people try to make their visions real.”
Lincoln Center groups stand in support of NEA
All of the major performing arts organizations based at Lincoln Center (including New York Philharmonic, New York City Ballet, Metropolitan Opera, Lincoln Center Theater, Juilliard and Film Society of Lincoln Center) released a joint statement this week in support of the National Endowment for the Arts in reaction to growing concerns that Congress may remove the federal agency’s funding. They noted that “the total cost of the NEA is less than one dollar a year for every American” and that “every dollar the NEA contributes leads to the nine additional dollars being donated from other sources.”
‘Newsies’ to get encore screening at the movies
“Newsies,” which recently proved to be the highest-grossing Broadway-related live presentation by Fathom Events to date, will receive an encore showing in movie theaters on Saturday afternoon. Screenings of Broadway musicals in movie theaters are surprisingly rare, especially considering the success that the Metropolitan Opera and London’s National Theatre have enjoyed with their screenings.
Paper Mill to produce four premieres next season
New Jersey’s Paper Mill Playhouse ultra-ambitious new season will include three new musicals (“The Honeymooners,” “The Sting,” “Half Time”) and a new political comedy (“The Outsider”). For good measure, the theater will throw in “Annie” for the holidays. When I grew up in Jersey in the 1990s, a typical Paper Mill season consisted primarily of lavish revivals of classic musicals and plays.
Julius Caesar to share the stage with Malcolm X
The New Victory Theater on 42nd Street, which is typically home to family-oriented programming, will produce two plays about the assassination of powerful leaders in repertory this month: a 90-minute version of Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar” and “X: Or, Betty Shabazz v. The Nation,” which examines the death of Malcolm X. The Public Theater recently announced that it will produce “Julius Caesar” as part of this summer’s Shakespeare in the Park season.
Scalia drama will get PBS airing
A live recording of a recent regional production of “The Originalist,” a new drama about the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, will be screened on PBS on March 19 as part of its Theater Close-Up series. It will then be made available for streaming for two weeks. Surprisingly, there are still no plans to produce “The Originalist” in New York.
Jane Krakowski and Bernadette Peters at “Sweeney Todd” ... Whoopi Goldberg and Fran Drescher at “Dear Evan Hansen” ... Rosie O’Donnell at “Sunday in the Park with George.”