Kevin Kline, who has not done a show on Broadway since a 2007 revival of “Cyrano de Bergerac,” will return this spring in “Present Laughter,” Noel Coward’s 1939 comedy about an egomaniacal matinee idol in the midst of a midlife crisis. Moritz von Stuelpnagel (“Hand to God”) will direct. “In our fame- and social media-obsessed age, it feels especially apropos to do a sex farce about being a celebrity,” von Stuelpnagel said in a statement.
Soho Rep. abandons longtime TriBeCa space
Without any prior warning, the acclaimed downtown theater company Soho Rep. vacated its longtime space at 46 Walker St. in TriBeCa this week. According to a press statement, as the company was exploring whether it could afford to finally purchase the space, it “learned that the usage authorized by the city when the company first moved into the building 25 years ago does not align with the current operations in the space.” Previews for “My Name is Gideon” (presented by another company renting the space from Soho Rep.) were supposed to start on Thursday. Soho Rep.’s fall production of “Duat,” scheduled to be staged at the Connelly Theater, is not affected.
Notorious Broadway producer planning comeback
Garth Drabinsky, the notorious big budget Broadway producer of the 1990s (“Show Boat,” “Ragtime”), who recently served prison time in Canada for fraud and forgery and still has outstanding arrest warrants in the U.S., is looking to make a comeback. His production of the new musical “Sousatzka” is slated to open on Broadway in October of next year following a tryout run in Toronto. Based on Bernice Rubens’ novel about a musical prodigy torn between two powerful women, “Sousatzka” will have a book by Craig Lucas (“An American in Paris”) and music and lyrics by Richard Maltby Jr. and David Shire (“Baby”). The cast includes Victoria Clark, Montego Glover and Judy Kaye.
George Takei’s ‘Allegiance’ heading to the movies
The short-lived Broadway musical “Allegiance,” which starred George Takei and Lea Salonga, will be screened in movie theaters throughout the country on Dec. 13 through Fathom Events. Although “Allegiance” received mixed reviews, it bravely tackled a dark and underexplored subject in U.S. history: the Japanese-American internment camps of World War II. Takei himself was interned when he was a young boy and spearheaded the musical’s development.
Pops to pay tribute to Lerner and Loewe
The New York Pops will open its new season at Carnegie Hall on Oct. 14 with a concert celebrating the Broadway musicals of Lerner and Loewe (including “My Fair Lady,” “Camelot” and “Brigadoon”). The orchestra will be joined by opera star Nathan Gunn and Broadway vocalists Laura Osnes and Colin Donnell. The New York Pops season will also include concerts dedicated to the songs of Kander and Ebb (“Cabaret,” “Chicago”) and singer-songwriters such as Carole King and James Taylor.
New director and designer take over ‘Frozen’
Disney Theatricals confirmed this week that English director Michael Grandage and scenic/costume designer Christopher Oram (who are domestic partners) will helm the highly anticipated Broadway staging of the animated film “Frozen,” replacing director Alex Timbers and designer Bob Crowley. The musical will play Broadway’s St. James Theatre in spring 2018 following a tryout run in Denver in August 2017.
Jacobs-Jenkins is named a ‘genius’
Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, who has won acclaim for his unpredictable and discomforting dramas including “An Octoroon” and “Gloria,” is officially a genius — at least according to the MacArthur Foundation. Last week, the young African-American playwright won one of its “genius grants,” which comes with a six-figure stipend. Other theater writers that have won the award in recent years include Lin-Manuel Miranda, Samuel D. Hunter and Tarell Alvin McCraney.
Adele at “Matilda” ... Emma Stone at “Waitress” ... Mayor Bill de Blasio at “Fiorello!” ... Katie Couric at “Oh, Hello” ... Ben Stiller at “School of Rock.”