amBroadway: Eleri Ward returns with Sondheim folk album, PBS to screen ‘Intimate Apparel’ and more

Intimate Apparel on PBS
Kearstin Piper Brown and Justin Austin in “Great Performances: Intimate Apparel.”
Photo by Julieta Cervantes/Provided

Musician Eleri Ward went from recording folk-guitar arrangements of Sondheim ballads from the inside of her closet to going viral on social media, scoring an album (“A Perfect Little Death”), and opening for Josh Groban on tour.

On Friday, her follow-up album of Sondheim covers, “Keep A Tender Distance,” was released by Ghostlight Records, which includes new arrangements of 14 songs from musicals such as “Into the Woods,” “Merrily We Roll Along,” and “Company.” Beginning in October, Ward will appear in the new Off-Broadway musical “Only Gold,” which is being directed and choreographed by Andy Blankenbuehler (“Hamilton”).

‘Sweeney Todd’ revival with Groban and Ashford eyes Broadway

A Broadway revival of Stephen Sondheim’s 1979 masterpiece “Sweeney Tod” starring Josh Groban as Sweeney and Annaleigh Ashford as Mrs. Lovett is in the works, as reported by Broadway Journal.

Unlike the minimalist revivals of “Sweeney Todd” to play New York of 2005 and 2017, this would be a big-budget production, directed by Thomas Kail (“Hamilton”) with a full orchestra.

In the same article, Broadway Journal noted that the upcoming Off-Broadway revival of “Merrily We Roll Along” (starring Daniel Radcliffe, Jonathan Groff, and Lindsay Mendez) is already looking to transfer to Broadway following its debut at New York Theatre Workshop.

Met Opera drops vax requirement

The Metropolitan Opera will no longer require audience members to present proof of vaccination status during its new season. However, audience members will still need to wear face masks.

By comparison, Broadway dropped the vaccination requirement in May and the face mask requirement in July. Last season, unlike Broadway, the Metropolitan Opera would not permit young children (who were not eligible for vaccination at the time) to attend performances.

The new Met season begins on Sept. 27 with Cherubini’s “Medea” starring Sondra Radvanovsky.

PBS to screen ‘Intimate Apparel’ opera

Lincoln Center Theater’s opera adaptation of Lynn Nottage’s 2004 drama “Intimate Apparel,” which has music by Ricky Ian Gordon and a book by Nottage, will be broadcast on PBS on Sept. 2.

The Off-Broadway production was in previews when the shutdown occurred in March 2020 and finally opened two years later. “Intimate Apparel” follows a Black seamstress in turn of the century New York falls victim to deception as she looks for love.

Miranda lends a hand to ‘New York, New York’ stage musical

Lin-Manuel Miranda is working with composer John Kander and director Susan Stroman” (“The Producers”) on a stage adaptation of Martin Scorsese’s 1977 film “New York, New York,” which could play Broadway as early as this spring.

The film had a score by Kander and the late lyricist Fred Ebb (who together wrote “Chicago” and “Cabaret”). On Twitter, Miranda emphasized that “New York, New York” will be “a new Kander & Ebb musical” and his involvement is limited to just writing a few new lyrics.