amBroadway | Actors’ Equity looking for renaming and branding

Briga Heelan to star as Cinderella in Once Upon A One More Time on Broadway_0206 (c) Emilio Madrid (3)
Briga Heelan to star as Cinderella in Once Upon A One More Time on Broadway (c) Emilio Madrid

Actors’ Equity Association, the union which represents professional stage actors and stage managers, is looking to rename and rebrand itself. “The goal of a name change is to create an identity for the union inclusive of all its members, which includes not only actors but also stage managers as well as other kinds of performers,” Equity wrote in a news release. Two years ago, Equity drastically eased the requirements for joining the union in an attempt to increase diversity among its members. On the other hand, it somehow made an enemy out of Patti LuPone, who revealed during the fall that she had resigned from the union and told People magazine that it does not “support actors at all.”

Alan Cumming directing Tennessee Williams bio drama

Alan Cumming is directing “Tennessee Rising: The Dawn of Tennessee Williams,” a solo drama written and performed by Jacob Storms which explores Williams’ formative years from 1939 to 1945, before he rose to fame as the author of “The Glass Menagerie” and “A Streetcar Named Desire.” The play just began performances at the newly renovated AMT Theater in midtown. It was supposed to play New Orleans in 2020 but was canceled due to COVID.

Also playing the AMT Theater beginning March 18 will be the nude musical revue ”Naked Boys Singing!,” which ran Off-Broadway for 21 years. The show recently played the Erotic Heritage Museum in Las Vegas with David Hernandez (“American Idol”).

Justin Guarini is Prince Charming in Britney Spears musical

Justin Guarini (“American Idol”) will play Prince Charming in the upcoming Britney Spears-meets-fairy tales-meets-female empowerment mashup musical “Once Upon A One More Time,” which will begin previews at Broadway’s Marquis Theatre on May 13. The cast also includes Briga Heelan (“Ground Floor”) as Cinderella and Aisha Jackson (“Frozen”) as Snow White. Last season, the musical received an unlikely world premiere at the Shakespeare Theatre Company in Washington, D.C. Interestingly, “Once Upon A One More Time” will mark the second musical currently on Broadway with a playlist that includes “Oops I Did It Again” (following “& Juliet”) and that has a Cinderella character (following “Bad Cinderella,” which just began previews).

Jason Alexander to make Broadway directing debut

Jason Alexander will make his debut as a Broadway director with “The Cottage,” a new farce by Sandy Rustin (“Clue”) in the style of Noel Coward that is set in the 1920s English countryside, beginning July 7 at the Hayes Theater. It will star Eric McCormack (“Will & Grace”), Laura Bell Bundy (“Legally Blonde”), and Lilli Cooper (“Tootsie”), Alexander made his Broadway acting debut four decades ago in the original production of “Merrily We Roll Along,” and won a Tony Award in 1989 for his performance in “Jerome Robbins’ Broadway” right before he won fame on “Seinfeld.”

Justin Guarini to star-as Prince Charming-in ‘Once Upon A One More Time’ on Broadway (Photo: Emilio Madri)