Behind the Curtain: ‘Archie’ the musical, Dorothy cast in NBC’s ‘The Wiz’

Plus the latest celeb spottings on Broadway.

‘Archie’ musical in the works

Following in the footsteps of other comics that have made their way to the stage (i.e. “Annie,” “Spider-Man,” “Li’l Abner”), “Archie” will be adapted into a new Broadway musical. Writer-director Adam McKay (“Anchorman”) is set to write the show’s book, which will depict Archie, Betty, Veronica, Jughead and the rest of the Riverdale gang. Producers on the show will include Archie Comics and the website Funny or Die.

Recent high school grad to play Dorothy in ‘The Wiz’

Shanice Williams, 18, who just graduated from a New Jersey high school, has won the role of Dorothy in the upcoming live NBC telecast of “The Wiz,” following rounds of open call auditions held in New York and Los Angeles. She joins a cast that already includes Stephanie Mills (Broadway’s original Dorothy), Queen Latifah, Mary J. Blige and David Alan Grier.

Langella to be a ‘Father’ on Broadway

Frank Langella will return to Broadway next season in “The Father,” a new drama by Florian Zeller about an elderly man battling severe memory loss. It is unrelated to August Strindberg’s classic play of the same name. It will be produced by Manhattan Theatre Club in the spring, with direction by Doug Hughes (“Doubt”).

Inwood Shakespeare Festival warns of trouble ahead

The Inwood Shakespeare Festival, which ended a run of free outdoor performances of “Henry IV” at the Inwood Hill Park Peninsula last week, is warning that it is in danger of shutting down. Ted Minos, the festival’s founder and artistic director, sent out an email saying that the Parks Department “may determine that we may no longer request that the peninsula area be cleared for preparation for audience and performance” and that “it will be impossible for us to produce further under those conditions.”

PBS to broadcast ‘Billy Elliot,’ ‘Show Boat’ and Chita Rivera

PBS’ Fall Arts Festival will include television broadcasts of “Danny Elfman’s Music from the Films of Tim Burton,” “Chita Rivera: A Lot of Livin’ to Do,” the Philharmonic concert staging of “Show Boat” and “Billy Elliot the Musical.” For schedule info visit


Joss Whedon and Lucy Liu at “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time”…Tavi Gevinson and Nona Hendryx at “Hedwig and the Angry Inch”…Chelsea Clinton at “Something Rotten!”