The Tony-winning Broadway revival of “The Color Purple” (which succeeded in outshining the show’s original production) will close on Jan. 8 after a run of just over a year. Cynthia Erivo, who plays Cecile, will remain with the show through the closing date. Jennifer Holliday recently joined the cast as Shug Avery, a role previously played by Jennifer Hudson and Heather Headley. Danielle Brooks will give her final performance on Nov. 13.
Ars Nova and ‘Great Comet’ producers reach agreement following lawsuit
Ars Nova, the off-Broadway theater that developed and premiered the electro-pop musical “Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812,” has come to an agreement with the producers of the musical’s new Broadway production over the contentious issue of proper billing, which had prompted Ars Nova to file a lawsuit against the producers. According to Ars Nova, the producers are required by contract to bill the show as “The Ars Nova Production Of.”
Ivanka Trump is a Greek tragedy — seriously
Playwright Joshua Harmon (whose relationship drama “Significant Other” will transfer to Broadway later this season) has written a new play about Donald Trump’s daughter Ivanka Trump in the style of a Greek tragedy. Titled “Ivanka,” it will receive readings on Nov. 7 at several regional theaters. “I’m not an activist and I’m not usually overtly political, but in my small way I wanted to have this act of civil disobedience,” Harmon told American Theatre magazine.
Teamsters enlisted to represent Broadway casting directors
The casting directors of Broadway have enlisted Teamsters Local 817 to represent their interests. In a letter sent out industrywide, the union advised that “casting directors are among the only craftspeople on Broadway that do not have employer-provided health care and pension benefits” and that “the Broadway League has refused to recognize the bargaining rights of the casting community.” Prominent unions that represent Broadway professionals include Actors’ Equity Association, IATSE Local One, Musicians Local 802 and the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society.
‘Bright Star’ cast and authors to reunite
The cast of Steve Martin and Edie Brickell’s Southern bluegrass musical “Bright Star,” which closed on Broadway earlier this year after a short run, will reunite on Dec. 12 for a concert and Q&A at Town Hall to celebrate the show’s cast album. Martin and Brickell will also take part in the event. “Bright Star” was well-received by critics but failed to catch on at the box office.
‘JCS’ getting female makeover
Shoshana Bean and Morgan James (“Godspell”) will play Judas and Jesus respectively in a female-driven concert staging of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s rock opera “Jesus Christ Superstar” at the Highline Ballroom on Jan. 16. Bean was the first actresses to play Elphaba in “Wicked” after Idina Menzel left the show. James (who has appeared in “Motown” and “Godspell”) gained notoriety four years ago for tweeting negative comments about a Shakespeare in the Park production of “Into the Woods” while it was still in previews.
Pierce Brosnan, Naomi Watts, Zac Posen and F. Murray Abraham at “Les Liaisons Dangereuses” ... Stephen Colbert, Andy Cohen and Cuba Gooding Jr. at “Oh Hello” ... Joel and Ethan Coen, J.K. Simmons, Adam Driver and Kyra Sedgwick at “The Encounter.”