amBroadway | ‘Job’ coming to Broadway, Sutton Foster and Aaron Tveit to host Drama Desk Awards and more

9910 – Sydney Lemmon and Peter Friedman in JOB at SoHo Playhouse © Emilio Madrid
“Job” is coming to Broadway.
Photo by Emilio Madrid

Thriller ‘Job” will transfer to Broadway

“Job,” a psychological thriller written by Max Wolf Friedlich and starring Peter Friedman and Sydney Lemmon (who both appeared on the HBO drama “Succession”) that played two sold-out Off-Broadway runs during the past season, will transfer to Broadway’s Hayes Theater this summer for a limited run beginning July 15. In the play, an employee at a big tech company, facing fallout from a video that went viral, goes to see a crisis therapist in the hope of getting her life back together.

Sutton Foster and Aaron Tveit to host Drama Desk Awards

Sutton Foster and Aaron Tveit, who just finished a run headlining the Broadway revival of “Sweeney Todd,” will reunite to co-host the 2024 Drama Desk Awards on June 10 at NYU Skirball. Unlike the Tony Awards, the Drama Desk Awards recognize both Broadway and Off-Broadway productions and are voted upon by approximately 100 theater journalists. “Dead Outlaw,” an Off-Broadway musical produced by Audible, received 11 nominations, followed by the Broadway musical adaptation of “The Outsiders” at nine nominations. (I fondly remember attending the Drama Desk Awards two decades ago when it was held at the auditorium at Laguardia High School and Harvey Fierstein usually hosted.)

Broadway attendance and grosses remain flat and below pre-pandemic highs

The Broadway League, the trade organization which represents Broadway producers and theater owners, released its annual end-of-year statistics for the 2023-24 season, which generally confirm that Broadway has still not returned to pre-pandemic levels of attendance and grosses. During the season, Broadway shows collectively grossed $1.54 billion and attracted 12.3 million audience members, which are virtually identical to the numbers for the 2022-23 season. The 2018-19 season, which was the last full season prior to the pandemic shutdown, remains the highest grossing ($1.82 billion) and best attended (14.7 million audience members) season to date.

Dulé Hill to play Nat ‘King’ Cole in Off-Broadway drama

Dulé Hill (“The West Wing,” “Psych”) and Daniel J. Watts (“Tina: The Tina Turner Musical”) will play Nat “King” Cole and Sammy Davis Jr. respectively in “Lights Out: Nat ‘King’ Cole,” a new drama by actor and writer Colman Domingo (“Rustin,” “The Color Purple”) and director Patricia McGregor, which will be produced Off-Broadway next season by New York Theatre Workshop. The play is set on the night of the final broadcast of Nat’s NBC variety show and features his songs. The NYTW season will also include “We Live in Cairo,” a new musical about young Egyptians who took part in the Arab Spring, and “A Knock on the Roof,” a new play by Khawla Ibraheem about everyday life in Gaza.

Richard M. Sherman of the ‘Sherman Brothers’ dies at 95

Richard M. Sherman, who with his late brother Robert B. Sherman wrote the songs for numerous classic Disney films and other children’s films such as “Mary Poppins,” “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang,” “The Jungle Book,” “The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh,” and “Charlotte’s Web,” died last week at age 95. The “Sherman Brothers” also wrote the score of the 1974 World War II-era musical “Over Here!” and were also represented on Broadway by the stage adaptations of “Mary Poppins” and “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.”

Alan Cumming dishes on shelved third season of ‘Schmigadoon!’

A few months ago, it was reported that Apple TV had canceled the third season of the musical theater history parody “Schmigadoon!” even though it had apparently already been written. In an interview with Variety, Alan Cumming (who played a Sweeney Todd-like figure in season two) revealed that had the third season moved forward, it would have been inspired by the Broadway musicals of the 1980s and 1990s (as many had suspected) and that he would have played a character inspired by Jean Valjean and the Phantom of the Opera.  A stage adaptation of “Schmigadoon!” will premiere next season at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.

Speaking of musicals produced at the Kennedy Center, next month I plan to visit Washington, D.C. in order to check out the venue’s limited run revival of the classic 1960 musical comedy “Bye Bye Birdie” with Christian Borle, Krysta Rodriguez, Ephraim Sykes, Richard Kind and Jennifer Laura Thompson. I may also need to return there in August to catch “Nine,” which will have an insanely impressive cast including Steven Pasquale, Carolee Carmello, Shereen Ahmed, Lesli Margherita, and Elizabeth Stanley.