‘Dog Day Afternoon’ coming to the stage
A stage adaptation of the 1975 Al Pacino film “Dog Day Afternoon” is in the works. Stephen Adly Guirgis, who won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama last year for “Between Riverside and Crazy,” has been tapped to write the play. It will be produced by Warner Brothers Theatre Ventures, which is behind “Misery” with Bruce Willis.
‘Freaky Friday’ will premiere in D.C.
A stage musical version of “Freaky Friday,” which is being developed by Disney, will receive its world premiere this fall at the Signature Theatre in Washington, D.C. It will have songs by the “Next to Normal” team of Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey and direction by Christopher Ashley (“Memphis”). It’s worth noting that composer Mary Rodgers (“Once Upon a Mattress”) wrote the original 1972 novel of “Freaky Friday.”
Hillary Clinton gets backstage approval
The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, the union which represents most of the people who work backstage on Broadway, has endorsed Hillary Clinton for president. In a statement, IATSE president Matthew Loeb noted that Clinton was “the only candidate that reached out to discuss issues affecting members of the IATSE.”
‘The Fantasticks’ ready to turn 21,000
Like the Energizer Bunny, “The Fantasticks” just keeps going and going. The Off-Broadway musical, which ran for decades in Greenwich Village before being revived in Times Square, will reach performance No. 21,000 on Feb. 8. Last year, the musical was on the verge of closing, but then two unusually generous fans promised financial support to keep it going.
‘Rock of Ages’ cast to reunite
Reunion concerts of past Broadway musicals have been a big hit at 54 Below. I even attended a jubilant “Footloose” concert there on Tuesday night. Now the Highline Ballroom is getting in on the trend. On Jan. 25, “Rock of Ages” cast members will come together at the Highline for their own reunion concert.
‘Mother Courage’ sets opening date
After much turmoil, the Off-Broadway production of Brecht’s “Mother Courage” at Classic Stage Company will finally open on Jan. 19 with Kecia Lewis in the lead role. Lewis took over as Mother Courage for Tonya Pinkins, who quit the production due to a disagreement with director Brian Kulick over how the famous character was being portrayed. Pinkins has published multiple statements about her departure online.
‘Runaways’ will be staged by Encores! this summer
Following the sudden death of songwriter Elizabeth Swados last week from cancer, City Center has confirmed that her socially conscious 1978 youth musical “Runaways” will be staged this summer as part of its annual Off-Center series. “I have always wanted to honor Liz’s work and thank her for the extraordinary contributions she made as a theater artist. She was a woman to look up to and made room for other artists like myself,” composer Jeanine Tesori, artistic director of Encores! Off-Center, said in a statement.
NBC to produce “Hairspray” live
On the heels of the success of “The Wiz,” NBC will produce “Hairspray” in December as its next live television production of a popular musical, as first reported by Deadline.com. The Tony-winning musical premiered on Broadway in 2002 and the film version came out in 2007.
‘Nerds’ musical about Gates, Jobs set to open
“Nerds,” a so-called “musical dot-comedy” about the coming of age and rivalry of Bill Gates and Steve Jobs, will finally open on Broadway in April after a long gestation period. In a statement, the producers said that they exploring “ways to enhance the‘user experience’ inside the theater.”
Judy Collins and Carole King at “The Gin Game” ... Jessica Chastain at “Spring Awakening” ... Micky Dolenz at “School of Rock” ... Leslie Caron at “An American in Paris.”