Behind the curtain: Scarlett Johansson at ‘Side Show’, ‘Last Ship’ grosses go up with Sting in the cast and more




Scarlett Johansson at “Side Show”; Katie Couric, Tobey Maguire and Elizabeth Moss at “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time”; Steven Spielberg and Barry Manilow at “The Last Ship”; David Hyde Pierce at “Not the Messiah” at Carnegie Hall.


‘Last Ship’ grosses go up with Sting in the cast


“The Last Ship” almost doubled its box office intake last week, which marked Sting’s debut as part of the cast, earning $817,897 compared to $491,910 a week earlier. Critics are expected to re-attend the show this weekend in order to review Sting.


‘Something Rotten!’ to replace ‘Side Show’ at the St. James


Now that “Side Show” is closing, “Something Rotten!,” a new musical comedy that imagines musical theater being invented in Elizabethan England, will take its spot at the St. James Theatre, opening in the spring. The show will be opening cold on Broadway, without a regional or Off-Broadway tryout, which is extremely unusual for any show, let alone one not based on a pre-existing title. It will be directed by Casey Nicholaw (“The Book of Mormon,” “Aladdin”).


Encores! Off-Center to do ‘Little Shop,’ ‘Wild Part,’ ‘A New Brain’


City Center has announced the entire line-up of this summer’s Encores! Off-Center series, which will include concert stagings of William Finn’s “A New Brain” with Jonathan Groff, Andrew Lippa’s “The Wild Party” with Sutton Foster and Joshua Henry and the perennial hit “Little Shop of Horrors” with Ellen Greene, who played Audrey in the original Off-Broadway production and co-starred in the film version.


‘Beautiful’ looking for the next Carole King


The producers of the Carole King musical “Beautiful” will hold an open casting call on Jan. 16 at Ripley Grier Studios in hopes of finding the next gal to play Ms. King. “Carole is such an all-American girl, and with several production of ‘Beautiful’ in the works, we’d love to extend the search beyond the New York City actors we know,” producer Paul Blake said in a statement.


‘It’s Only a Play’ breaks even


The producers of “It’s Only a Play” — which sports a starry cast including Nathan Lane, Matthew Broderick, Rupert Grint, Stockard Channing, Megan Mullally and F. Murray Abraham — announced Wednesday that the backstage comedy has earned back its investment costs, making it the first show of the current season to achieve that financial feat. Next month, Martin Short will take over for Lane.


‘Lady Day’ to be filmed for HBO


The recent Broadway production of “Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill,” starring Audra McDonald as Billie Holiday, will be filmed for broadcast on HBO. Other one-person shows that have been shown on HBO include Billy Crystal’s “700 Sundays” and Mike Tyson’s “Undisputed Truth.”


Jeremy Jordan to lead ‘Parade’ cast


Jeremy (“Smash,” “Newsies”) Jordan will play Leo Frank in the upcoming concert production of Jason Robert Brown’s musical tragedy “Parade” at Avery Fisher Hall on Feb. 16. The cast also includes Laura Benanti, Joshua Henry, Ramin Karimloo and Andy Mientus. Brown himself will serve as conductor.


Musical ‘School of Rock’ is really happening


A musical version of the 2003 Jack Black film comedy “School of Rock” will open on Broadway next fall at the Winter Garden Theatre. It will feature music from the film an new tunes by Andrew Lloyd Webber. Julian Fellowes (“Downton Abbey”) will write the book.