‘Mrs. Doubtfire’ pushes back reopening to April
In early January, while Broadway was still reeling from the devastation caused by the Omicron variant, the producers of “Mrs. Doubtfire” announced that the show (which opened in early December and was soon forced to cancel performances due to cast and company members testing positive for COVID) would go on a nine-week hiatus from Jan. 10 to March 14 in order to limit expected financial losses in Jan. and Feb. and prevent the show from having to permanently close.
Many were skeptical that the show would return at all following the hiatus (during which time the show’s employees are not getting paid). However, Kevin McCollum, the show’s lead producer, has confirmed that “Mrs. Doubtfire” will indeed return, albeit a month later than planned, on April 14. It is currently unclear whether the entire original cast will return.
Technically speaking, this marked the show’s second shutdown, given that “Mrs. Doubtfire” played three preview performances in March 2020 prior to the 18-month industrywide shutdown.
‘American Utopia’ will end Broadway run
Following one last extension, David Byrne’s exhilarating mega-concert “American Utopia” will play its final performance on Broadway on April 3. The acclaimed production, which received a Special Tony Award, originally played a limited run on Broadway in fall 2019. During the shutdown, a film recording of the production directed by Spike Lee aired on HBO. When Omicron struck the show’s company two months ago, it managed to keep running by converting to a reconceived “unchained” format.
‘Anyone Can Whistle’ to play Carnegie Hall
Stephen Sondheim’s cheeky and anarchic 1964 musical satire “Anyone Can Whistle,” which ran only nine performances during its Broadway run, will receive a one-night-only concert performance at Carnegie Hall on March 10. Produced by MasterVoices, the cast will include Vanessa Williams, Elizabeth Stanley (“Jagged Little Pill”), Santino Fontana (“Tootsie”), and Douglas Sills (“The Scarlet Pimpernel”). In a statement, artistic director Ted Sperling said that Sondheim, who died in November at age 91, “was delighted we were revisiting ‘Anyone Can Whistle’, which has one of his favorite songs, ‘With So Little To Be Sure Of’.” In 1995, “Anyone Can Whistle” was performed in concert at Carnegie Hall with Angela Lansbury, Madeline Kahn, and Bernadette Peters.
Brightman to return as Beetlejuice
Alex Brightman will return to the title role in “Beetlejuice” when the musical returns to Broadway on April 8,now playing the Marquis Theatre. After opening to mixed reviews in 2019, “Beetlejuice” slowly materialized into a solid hit. Interestingly, even before the shutdown began, “Beetlejuice” had already been set to vacate the Winter Garden Theatre (in order to make way for “The Music Man”) and was looking for a new theater.
Hunter Foster to direct ‘Bridges of Madison County’
Who remembers Jason Robert Brown and Marsha Norman’s short-lived 2014 musical adaptation of “The Bridges of Madison County”? Hunter Foster, who appeared in the original production with Kelli O’Hara and Steven Pasquale, will direct a new production next month at the Axelrod Performing Arts Center in Deal, NJ with Kate Baldwin (“Hello, Dolly!”) and Aaron Lazar (“The Last Ship”). In an impressive feat, Brown managed to win Tony Awards for both his score and orchestrations even after the show had already closed.