Jordin Sparks (winner of the sixth season of “American Idol”) will take over as Jenna in the Broadway musical “Waitress” from Sept. 16 to Oct. 27. Sparks previously appeared on Broadway in “In the Heights” in 2010. It was recently announced that “Waitress” will close on Jan. 5 after running more than three years. The role of Jenna was originated by Jessie Mueller and has since been played by Sara Bareilles (who also wrote the show’s score), Katharine McPhee, Shoshana Bean, Betsy Wolfe and Nicolette Robinson.
LCT to produce LSD musical on Broadway
LSD is briefly mentioned in “Hair,” but can you think of any musical that is exclusively about people experimenting with the drug? Lincoln Center Theater has confirmed that it will produce “Flying Over Sunset,” a new musical depicting Cary Grant, Aldous Huxley and Clare Booth Luce taking LSD in the 1950s, in the spring on Broadway at the Vivian Beaumont Theater. It will have direction by James Lapine (“Sunday in the Park with George”), music by Tom Kitt (“Next to Normal”) and lyrics by Michael Korie (“Grey Gardens”). The cast will include Tony Yazbeck (“On the Town”) as Grant, Carmen Cusack (“Bright Star”) as Luce and Harry Hadden-Paton (“My Fair Lady”) as Huxley.
Barry Manilow’s "Harmony" will debut at Museum of Jewish Heritage
The National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene (which originated the hit Yiddish-language revival of “Fiddler on the Roof”) will present the New York premiere of “Harmony” (an original musical with songs by Barry Manilow about an all-male band in 1920s Germany) beginning in February at the Museum of Jewish Heritage in Battery Park City. The English-language production will be coproduced by Ken Davenport (“Gettin’ the Band Back Together”). Manilow has been trying to bring “Harmony” to New York for more than a decade.
Roundabout to revive "Caroline, or Change" and "A Soldier’s Play"
The Roundabout Theatre Company added two more Broadway revivals to its new season this week, both of which center around African-American characters: Tony Kushner and Jeanine Tesori’s 2003 musical “Caroline, or Change” and Charles Fuller’s 1981 drama “A Soldier’s Play.” “Caroline, Or Change” — which will be based on a recent West End revival and now stars Sharon D. Clarke, who won an Olivier award in 2014 for "The Amen Corner" — got overshadowed more than a decade ago when it transferred to Broadway but has gone on to receive acclaimed regional productions. “A Soldier’s Play” (which will star David Alan Grier and Blair Underwood, with direction by Kenny Leon) explores the murder of a black army sergeant in 1944.
Meat Loaf at “Bat Out of Hell” … Billy Crystal at “Beetlejuice” … Kathy Bates at “Moulin Rouge.”