Bette Midler ended her Broadway run in “Hello, Dolly!” with a bang at the box office, earning $2,436,208 over seven performances, plus an additional $598,203 from her final performance, which served as a benefit for the Actors Fund. Bernadette Peters will play her first performance as the show’s new leading lady on Saturday night. She will be joined by Victor Garber (replacing David Hyde Pierce), Charlie Stemp (replacing Taylor Trensch) and Molly Griggs (replacing Beanie Feldstein).
John Lithgow to lead ‘Candide’ at Carnegie Hall
John Lithgow, who is currently appearing on Broadway in his one-man show “John Lithgow: Stories by Heart,” will lead a one-night-only benefit concert performance of the 1956 musical “Candide” at Carnegie Hall on April 18. “Candide” (which is based on the Voltaire novel and contains music by Leonard Bernstein) has undergone countless revisions over the years. Last year, Hal Prince (who directed the 1974 and 1997 Broadway revivals) staged it once again for the New York City Opera.
City Center unveils latest Off-Center series
This summer’s Encores! Off-Center season at City Center (a variation of the popular Encores! series of musicals in concert that focuses primarily on smaller-scale Off-Broadway titles) will include new productions of Jason Robert Brown’s 1995 debut work “Songs for a New World” (a dynamic and diverse song cycle that defies categorization), Micki Grant’s 1971 revue “Don’t Bother Me I Can’t Cope” (which explores issues of African-American life) and Michael Friedman’s 2003 documentary musical “Gone Missing” (based on interviews about everyday items that get lost). Friedman, who died of complications of HIV/AIDS in September, served as the artistic director of the Off-Center series in 2017.
Ethnic diversity increasing in casting, report says
Casting on Broadway and among New York City’s largest nonprofit theater companies is becoming more diverse, according to the annual report “Ethnic Representation on New York City Stages,” which is prepared by the Asian American Performers Action Coalition (AAPAC). According to the latest report, over the 10-year period in which AAPAC has collected data, the 2015-16 theater season contained the most diverse casting. Thirty-five percent of roles went to actors of color and disabled actors. Interestingly, diverse casting is far more prominent in musicals than plays.
Nyle DiMarco joins ‘Children of a Lesser God’ team
Deaf actor, model and activist Nyle DiMarco (who won fame on “America’s Next Top Model” and “Dancing with the Stars”) has signed on to become a producer of the spring Broadway revival of the drama “Children of a Lesser God,” which concerns the romance between a teacher and his deaf student and the difficulties they experience in communicating with each other. In a statement, producer Hal Luftig said that DiMarco “will have an integral role in the creative process working with (director) Kenny Leon.”
Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Susan Lucci at “The Band’s Visit”…Emilio Estefan at “Latin History for Morons”… Lin-Manuel Miranda and Alton Brown at “Sweeney Todd”…Neil Patrick Harris and Patti LuPone at “Once On This Island”…Kelly Ripa at “Kinky Boots.”