amBroadway | Baldwin-Buckley debate to become two different shows, Sean Hayes to play Oscar Levant and more

Teagle F. Bougere and Eric T. Miller in “Debate: Baldwin vs Buckley”
Photo: Christopher McElroen

‘Hamilton’ marks National Voter Registration Day with music video

On Tuesday, to mark National Voter Registration Day, the Broadway cast of “Hamilton” released “The Election of 2022,” a music video in which the lyrics of the opening number and “The Election of 1800” are rewritten to encourage people to register to vote and overcome voter suppression tactics. It opens with the following new lyric: “How does a system work with democratically elected leaders, Chosen every two years by well-trusted procedures, So everyone can help fulfill the Founding Fathers’ vision, If people don’t take part in the decision.” For more info visit ham4progress.org.  

Sean Hayes to play Oscar Levant on Broadway

Sean Hayes will play actor and concert pianist Oscar Levant (who appeared in the classic movie musicals “An American in Paris” and “The Band Wagon”) in “Good Night, Oscar,” a new bio drama by Doug Wright (“I Am My Own Wife”), which will play Broadway’s Belasco Theatre beginning in April. The play (which was previously produced at Chicago’s Goodman Theatre) depicts Levant as a wisecracking, subversive guest on “The Tonight Show” with Jack Paar in 1958. “A brilliant, often searing raconteur, he was the first celebrity to offer up his personal demons for the sake of entertainment…In an age where every TikTok user and internet influencer is striving for celebrity, Oscar’s story is ripe for re-examination,” Wright said in a statement.

Baldwin-Buckley debate to be dramatized in two different shows

In 1965, Black literary icon James Baldwin and conservative political commentator William F. Buckley Jr. engaged in a now legendary debate at Cambridge Union over whether “the American dream is at the expense of the American Negro.” While footage of the original debate can easily be accessed on YouTube, it will also be the subject of two different new stage adaptations: “Baldwin and Buckley at Cambridge,” a production by the experimental company Elevator Repair Service” (“Gatz”), which begins performances at the Public Theater on Sept. 24; and “Debate: Baldwin v. Buckley,” a production by the American Vicarious, which premiered in March and will kick off a five-borough tour on Oct. 10 at the Old Stone House in Brooklyn.

Parks joins cast of ‘Plays for the Plague Year’

Suzan-Lori Parks, one of the most celebrated contemporary American playwrights, will make her stage debut as “The Writer” in the world premiere of “Plays for the Plague Year,” which will be presented by the Public Theater at Joe’s Pub beginning on Nov. 4. As in her earlier anthology “365 Days/365 Plays,” “Plays for the Plague Year” is comprised of plays and songs that Parks wrote on a daily basis during the pandemic shutdown. “These plays and songs are meant to give us all the tools we need to process both what we’ve been through and what we’re still going through now,” Parks said in a statement.