Audra McDonald to play Billie Holiday, ‘King Lear’ coming to NYC

The 411 on the moment’s hottest theater news.

Audra McDonald to play Holiday in ‘Lady Day’

Now that the Yankees tribute “Bronx Bombers” is closing at Broadway’s Circle in the Square, its place will be quickly taken by “Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill,” a biographical play with music about Billie Holiday that will star Audra McDonald as the famous jazz singer and open just before the current season ends. Unless extended, the production will play just 10 weeks.

‘Ever After’ tops new Paper Mill season

New Jersey’s Paper Mill Playhouse is quickly becoming a hot spot for commercial producers to premiere new musicals. It’s next season will feature three musicals with Broadway aspirations, including the U.S. premiere of Disney’s “The Hunchback of Notre Dame,” an adaptation of the Cinderella film “Ever After” and a revival of Cole Porter’s “Can-Can.”

‘Annie’ lyricist hates on revival

Martin Charnin, who wrote the lyrics for “Annie” and directed the original Broadway production, has harshly criticized the musical’s recent Broadway revival, which was directed by James Lapine and closed last month. Chartin told Playbill .com that “the magic of the musical ? seemed to veer off-course in the recent Broadway production.” Charnin now plans to direct a new non-Equity tour of the musical himself. In response, “Annie” composer Charles Strouse and book-writer Thomas Meehan issued a statement in support of the Broadway revival.

Globe to return to NY with ‘King Lear’

Although the Globe’s hit productions of “Twelfth Night” and “Richard III” have ended their Broadway runs, the London company will be back in New York in the fall with “King Lear,” which will play the Skirball Center. Joseph Marcell, who played the English butler Geoffrey on “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” has been cast in the title role.

Spotted ?

Jon Hamm and Jennifer Westfeldt at “Beautiful.”

Matt Windman