amBroadway | Afrofuturistic take on ‘Twelfth Night’ comes to NYU Skirball, Betty Boop musical gets pre-Broadway run and more

“Twelfth Night,” directed by Carl Cofield for The Classical Theatre of Harlem. Kara Young (r) as Viola, Christina Sajous as Olivia.
Photo: Richard Termine

Classical Theatre of Harlem’s ‘Twelfth Night’

The Classical Theatre of Harlem’s Afrofuturistic take on Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night,” which played the outdoor Richard Rodgers Amphitheater in Marcus Garvey Park last summer, is receiving an encore run this week at NYU Skirball.

Kara Young, who was nominated for a Tony Award last year for her breakout performance in “Clyde’s,” and who recently appeared again on Broadway in “Cost of Living,” leads the cast of the romantic comedy as the cross-dressing protagonist Viola.

Betty Boop musical confirms pre-Broadway run

“Boop! The Betty Boop Musical” is on the way.

The stage musical version of Max Fleischer’s 1930s cartoon will have a tryout run in Chicago in the fall prior to a planned Broadway debut. It will be directed and choreographed by Jerry Mitchell (“Kinky Boots”), with music by David Foster (“The Boy from Oz”), lyrics by Susan Birkenhead (“Jelly’s Last Jam”) and book by Bob Martin (“The Drowsy Chaperone”).

A Betty Boop musical has been in the works for years. Writers who have been attached to the project at various points have included Jason Robert Brown (who even shared songs he had written for it on his website), Andrew Lippa (“The Wild Party”) and David Lindsay-Abaire (“Kimberly Akimbo”).

Remembering Burt Bacharach’s single Broadway musical

Burt Bacharach, who died last week at age 94, only wrote the music for a single Broadway musical, but it was a really good one: “Promises, Promises,” the 1968 adaptation of Billy Wilder’s 1960 film “The Apartment.”

With lyrics by Hal David and a book by Neil Simon, “Promises, Promises” contains a terrific period pop score that even incorporates studio-syle background vocals. The original production starred Jerry Orbach and Jill O’Hara.

A 1997 revival at City Center Encores! with Martin Short and Christine Baranski should have transferred to Broadway but unfortunately did not. Instead, “Promises, Promises” received its first Broadway revival in a stylish 2010 production led by Sean Hayes and an utterly miscast Kristin Chenoweth.

Playbill.com publishes and then purges article on audience misbehavior

Last week, Playbill.com posted a lengthy article titled “Physical Assault, Vomit in the Aisles, Stalking in the Streets: Why Audience Misbehavior Has Gotten Out of Hand.” 

The story depicted how recent encounters with patrons at Broadway theaters, arising out of issues such as excessive inebriation and disputes over mask requirements, had created an unsafe working environment for front-of-house staff – and then the article suddenly disappeared.

On Tuesday, the Daily Beast, as part of its Confider newsletter, confirmed that the article had been purged at the request of Playbill CEO Philip Birsch.

“We want people to go to the theater. This piece exaggerated the issue in my opinion…I know that the overwhelming numbers of people at the theater are having an enjoyable time,” Birsch told the publication.