‘Into the Woods’ extends Broadway run
The acclaimed, hot-selling Broadway revival of “Into the Woods,” which was set to close on Aug. 21 following a limited summertime engagement, has extended its run through Oct. 16. Cast changes will be announced shortly. In order to make the extension happen, the upcoming revival of August Wilson’s “The Piano Lesson” with Samuel L. Jackson and Danielle Brooks, which was slated to play the St. James Theatre after “Into the Woods,” will instead play the Barrymore Theatre.
Lena Hall joins ‘Little Shop’ cast
Tony Award winner Lena Hall (“Hedwig and the Angry Inch,” “Kinky Boots”) will take over as Audrey in the Off-Broadway revival of “Little Shop of Horrors” beginning Sept. 6. Tammy Blanchard (who has been with the production since it opened in Fall 2019) will play her final performance on Sept. 4. Christian Borle, who will soon join the new Broadway musical adaptation of “Some Like It Hot,” will give his final performance as Orsin Scrivello on Aug. 28. Rob McClure (“Mrs. Doubtfire”) recently joined the cast as Seymour.
‘Funny Girl’ standby sings ‘People’ on new album
Julie Benko received a great deal of attention recently as Beanie Feldstein’s standby in “Funny Girl.” Benko is also currently playing Fanny Brice full-time until Lea Michele joins the “Funny Girl” cast early next month. Even if you are unable to catch Benko’s performance in person, you can hear her sing the “Funny Girl” ballad “People” on “Hand in Hand,” her new duet album with her husband, Jason Yeager.
Netflix sues creators of ‘Bridgerton’ musical
A few months ago, 19-year-old Emily Bear and 22-year-old Abigail Barlow won the Grammy Award for best musical theater album for “The Unofficial Bridgerton Musical,” which was developed on TikTok, over new albums with songs by Bob Dylan (“Girl from the North Country”), Andrew Lloyd Webber (“Cinderella”), Stephen Schwartz (“Snapshots”), and Burt Bacharach “Some Lovers”). Now, the pair is being sued by Netflix for copyright and trademark infringement. This comes after their “Bridgerton” songs were performed in concert at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in D.C. The current situation leaves a lot of questions, including how exactly Bear and Barlow were able to put out Grammy-winning album based on “Bridgerton” if they lacked permission from Netflix from the very start.
‘Dear Evan Hansen’ going out on high note
Attendance at “Dear Evan Hansen” has been underwhelming since the show reopened on Broadway following the pandemic – so much so that the show is slated to close on Sept. 18. However, it is going out on a high note. It recently became the longest-running show in the history of the Music Box Theatre, besting a record previously held by the 1970s murder mystery “Deathtrap” at 1,611 performances. The show’s weekly grosses have also increased substantially since “Stranger Things” star Gaten Matarazzo joined the cast in the supporting role of Jared.