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amBroadway | Samuel L. Jackson set for ‘The Piano Lesson,’ ‘Girl from the North Country’ gets limited encore run and more

The Cast of Girl From The North Country on Broadway – photo by Matthew Murphy – 0170
The Cast of “Girl From The North Country” on Broadway.
Photo by Matthew Murphy

Jackson and Brooks set for ‘The Piano Lesson’

August Wilson’s Pulitzer Prize-winning drama “The Piano Lesson,” which is generally considered one of the finest works in his 10-volume American Century Cycle, will receive its first Broadway revival in the fall. The cast will include Samuel L. Jackson (who appeared in the play’s premiere at Yale Repertory Theatre in 1987), John David Washington (i.e. Denzel Washington’s son), and Danielle Brooks. LaTanya Richardson Jackson (i.e. Samuel L. Jackson’s wife) will direct. It will play the St. James Theatre for 16 weeks beginning Sept. 19. Set in Pittsburgh’s Hill District in 1936, “The Piano Lesson” dramatizes the conflict between a brother and sister over the fate of a piano with a rich family history.

‘POTUS’ moves up opening night

Even though April was already jam-packed with opening nights on Broadway, the producers of the new political farce “POTUS: Or, Behind Every Great Dumbass Are Seven Women Trying to Keep Him Alive” have decided to move up their opening from May 9 to April 27, which will make it eligible for consideration for this year’s Tony Awards. The play (which is being directed by Susan Stroman, “The Producers”) is by Selina Fillinger, a little-known 28-year-old playwright. The all-female cast includes Vanessa Williams, Julianne Hough, Rachel Dratch, Julie White, Suzy Nakamura, Lili Cooper, and Lea Delaria.

‘Girl from North Country’ to receive limited encore run

The musical “Girl from the North Country,” which reopened on Broadway in the fall and then closed in January due to dwindling grosses amid the Omicron variant, will return to the Belasco Theatre for a limited 50-performance run from April 29 to June 11. The news was announced by leading actress Mare Winningham in a video posted on social media. The encore run is most likely intended to bolster the show’s chances of success at the Tony Awards, which will be held on June 12. It is now unclear when “To Kill a Mockingbird” (which had previously announced plans to reopen at the Belasco Theatre on June 1) will return to Broadway.

Aaron Sorkin to rewrite ‘Camelot’ for Broadway revival

Lincoln Center Theater will present a Broadway revival of the classic 1960 musical “Camelot” (which has a beloved score by Lerner and Loewe and a problematic book that tries to balance comedy, romance, politics, and tragedy) in the fall directed by Bartlett Sher (who previously directed the lush and lavish LCT revivals of “South Pacific,” “The King and I,” and “My Fair Lady”) and containing a new book by Aaron Sorkin (who won acclaim for his stage adaptation of “To Kill a Mockingbird”). As it happens, “Camelot” involves many of the same themes found in the Sorkin TV series “The West Wing.” No casting has been announced. In 2018, LCT presented a one-night-only staged concert of “Camelot” starring Lin-Manuel Miranda as King Arthur.

Performers testing positive for COVID during previews

In a sign that COVID-19 remains a serious threat to the workforce on Broadway, Chilina Kennedy, a principal cast member of the new musical “Paradise Square,” tested positive this week, which means that she will be out of the show for several of the preview performances leading up to opening night on Sunday. Last week, the same thing happened to Eric Wiegand, an actor in “Plaza Suite.”

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