New musicals from the past Broadway season continue to leave Broadway in droves in a post-Tony Awards fallout. On the heels of the news that the high school musical comedies “The Prom” and “Be More Chill” will close on Aug. 11, the producers of “King Kong” and “The Cher Show” have confirmed that their shows will play their final performances on Aug. 18. Looking ahead, “The Cher Show” will launch a national tour in 2020, while “King Kong” will open in Shanghai in 2021.
Marvel developing superhero plays for teens
Marvel Entertainment has teamed up with the script licensing company Samuel French to create “Marvel Spotlight”, a series of new one-act plays built around famous Marvel characters that are intended for teenage audiences. Among the first set of plays is “Hammered: A Thor & Loki Play” written by two-time Tony-winning actor Christian Borle (“Smash”).
Broadway Barks left homeless by construction work
Broadway Barks, the annual pet adoption event co-founded by Bernadette Peters and Mary Tyler Moore and produced by Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, will not be held this summer due to ongoing construction work in Shubert Alley, where the event has been held in the past. In a video, Peters promised that Broadway Barks will return in July 2020.
‘Puffs’ will leave Off-Broadway, return to Hogwarts
“Puffs,” an affectionate spoof of “Harry Potter” in which the events of the seven books are seen from the point of view of students at the underrated Hufflepuff dormitory, will end its run at Off-Broadway on Aug. 18. “Puffs” premiered at the Peoples Improv Theater in 2016 and then transferred to New World Stages, making it one of Off-Broadway’s relatively few commercial hits. A live recording of the play was also screened in movie theaters.
Revised ‘Molly Brown’ to play Off-Broadway
A revised version of “The Unsinkable Molly Brown,” a little-remembered 1960 musical by Meredith Willson (“The Music Man”), will be produced Off-Broadway next season by the Transport Group at the Abrons Arts Center on the Lower East Side. The production will star Beth Malone (“Fun Home”) in the title role and have direction and choreography by Kathleen Marshall (“Nice Work If You Can Get It”) and book and new lyrics by Dick Scanlan (“Thoroughly Modern Millie”).
Shannon and Sparks will wait for ‘Godot’
Theatre for a New Audience’s upcoming Off-Broadway season will include “Waiting for Godot” with Michael Shannon and Paul Sparks (who both appeared on “Boardwalk Empire”) as Beckett’s timeless tramps; “Why?”, a new work by the 94-year-old author and director Peter Brook; “Fefu and Her Friends,” the best-known drama of the late María Irene Fornés; and Shakespeare’s rarely-seen tragedy “Timon of Athens,” which will be a coproduction with the Shakespeare Theatre Company of Washington, D.C. in association with the Royal Shakespeare Company.
Drew Barrymore and Laurie Metcalf at “Tootsie” … Mikhail Baryshnikov at “Fiddler on the Roof — in Yiddish” … Hillary Clinton at “Hadestown” … Awkwafina and Ellen Burstyn at “The Prom” … Kenny Gamble and Rashidra Scott at “Ain’t Too Proud.”