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amBroadway | ‘The Bedwetter’ gets big laughs, Encores! 2023 lineup announced and more

New York Music Photographer
(l-r) Margot Weintraub (Amy), Charlotte Elizabeth Curtis (Ally), Zoe Glick and Charlotte MacLeod (Abby) in “The Bedwetter.”
Photo: Ahron R. Foster

‘The Bedwetter’ is deliriously funny

Off-Broadway’s Atlantic Theater Company is developing a real niche for quirky, well-crafted musical comedies about suburban families with serious medical and psychological issues. A few months ago, it produced the world premiere of “Kimberly Akimbo,” about a New Jersey teenager with an aging disease that causes her to look like she is 72 years old, which will transfer to Broadway in the fall. Now it is presenting the world premiere of “The Bedwetter,” a wild and deliriously funny musical based on comic Sarah Silverman’s memoir of the same name about a 10-year-old girl who wets the bed and her eccentric family. It is written by Silverman, playwright Joshua Harmon (“Bad Jews”) and the late Adam Schlesinger (“Cry-Baby”). The winning cast includes Zoe Glick (Sarah), Caissie Levy (Sarah’s mother), Darren Goldstein (Sarah’s father), and Bebe Neuwirth (Sarah’s grandmother). In an ideal world, “Kimberly Akimbo” and “The Bedwetter” would play together in repertory. For now, the Off-Broadway run of “The Bedwetter” has been extended through July 10.

Standby takes over for Hugh Jackman in ‘The Music Man’

Less than 24 hours after the Tony Awards, it was announced on Monday that Hugh Jackman has tested positive for COVID – but the show will go on. Standby Max Clayton has taken over as Professor Harold Hill through June 21. At curtain call on Tuesday night, co-star Sutton Foster paid tribute to Clayton. “You witnessed a Broadway miracle,” Foster said, noting to Clayton “I’ll go to the footbridge with you anytime.” Jackman previously tested positive in December while the show was still in previews.

City Center announces 2023 Encores! season

Prior to the announcement of the lineup of the 2023 Encores! season, City Center tweeted clues in the form of emojis of a hat, a peacock, and an open book. These referred to the 2005 Americans-meet-Italians romance “The Light in the Piazza,” the little-known Jerry Herman flop “Dear World,” and “Oliver!” respectively. Tony winner Ruthie Ann Miles (“The King and I”) will play Margaret Johnson (the role originated by Victoria Clark) in “Piazza,” and Donna Murphy (“Wonderful ‘Town,” “Passion”) will play Countess Aurelia (the role originated by Angela Lansbury) in “Dear World.” The 2022 Encores! season (which marked the debut of Lear deBessonet as the new artistic director) drew criticism for its productions of “The Tap Dance Kid” and “The Life” (in which both musicals underwent heavy edits) but ended on an exceedingly strong note with deBessonet’s production of “Into the Woods,” which is transferring to Broadway.

‘Topdog/Underdog’ will receive Broadway revival

Suzan-Lori Parks’ 2002 Pulitzer Prize-winning comedic drama “Topdog/Underdog” will receive a 20th anniversary Broadway revival in the fall directed by Kenny Leon (“A Soldier’s Play”) and starring Corey Hawkins (“In the Heights”) and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II (“Watchmen”). It will play a 16-week engagement at the Golden Theatre beginning in September. “Topdog/Underdog” depicts the unstable home life of two Black brothers named Lincoln and Booth. It was inspired by Parks’ “The America Play,” in which a black man impersonates Abraham Lincoln as part of a sideshow attraction and allows customers to pretend to be John Wilkes Booth and assassinate him for the cost of a penny.

Public Theater will stage ‘A Raisin in the Sun’

The Public Theater will present a new production of Lorraine Hansberry’s classic drama “A Raisin in the Sun” directed by Robert O’Hara (“Barbeque”) as part of its new season. It will also produce two new works by Suzan-Lori Parks (“Plays for the Plague Year,” the musical “The Harder They Come”), “Baldwin and Buckley at Cambridge” (based on the 1965 debate of James Baldwin and William F. Buckley), “Where We Stand’ (a solo piece by Madeline Sayet which connects her Native American heritage and Shakespeare), “Dark Disabled Stories” (an autobiographical play by Ryan J. Haddad about living with cerebral palsy), “Good Bones” (a new work by James Ljames, “Fat Ham”), and Erika Dickerson-Despenza’s “Shadow/Land” (which the theater previously presented as an audio drama).

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