Kelli O’Hara will take a short break from Broadway to appear in a new staging of Mozart’s comic opera “Cosi fan tutte” at the Metropolitan Opera in March of next year. O’Hara made her Met debut two years ago in the operetta “The Merry Widow.” The upcoming season at the Met will also include new productions of Bellini’s “Norma” with Sondra Radvanovsky and Puccini’s “Tosca” with Jonas Kaufmann and Bryn Terfel.
‘Sara Bareilles to star in ‘Waitress’
Singer-songwriter Sara Bareilles, who penned the score of the musical “Waitress,” will take over the lead role of Jenna from Tony winner Jessie Mueller on March 31 for a limited 10-week run. In a statement, Bareilles said, “They simply can’t get rid of me ... Dear God please let me remember my lines.” Bareilles can be heard singing through the show’s score on her album “What’s Inside: Songs from Waitress.”
‘Oak’ trades ‘Hamilton’ for ‘1812’
Okieriete “Oak” Onaodowan, the original Hercules Mulligan and James Madison in “Hamilton,” will replace Josh Groban as Pierre in the new musical “Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812” after Groban leaves the show on July 2. Meanwhile, songwriter Dave Malloy (who played Pierre when the show premiered Off-Broadway) is set to reprise the role for 10 performances in May and June.
Public Theater to stage ‘Twelfth Night’ for free across city and Off-Broadway
The Public Theater’s Mobile Unit (which brings free productions of Shakespeare plays to correctional facilities, homeless shelters and other community facilities) will move forward next month with a version of “Twelfth Night” built around the theme of immigration, set in Florida and containing house, Cuban and ’90s music. Following a three-week tour that will bring the show to all five boroughs, it will run Off-Broadway beginning April 24. Tickets for the Off-Broadway run will be free and distributed through digital and in-person lotteries.
Florence Henderson to get Broadway tribute
The life of the late Florence Henderson (who appeared on Broadway in long-forgotten musicals like “The Girl Who Came to Supper,” “Fanny” and “Wish You Were Here” before she became a TV star) will be celebrated with a free event at the Music Box Theatre on Tuesday afternoon, Feb. 21. Appearances will be made by Alan Cumming, Michael Feinstein, Whoopi Goldberg, Chita Rivera and Bruce Vilanch.
All-female ‘1776’ to play Feinstein’s/54 Below
Carolee Carmello (“Mamma Mia!“) will play the “obnoxious and disliked” John Adams in a one-night-only all-female presentation of the musical “1776” (which only has two roles for women) on Presidents’ Day at Feinstein’s/54 Below on Feb. 20. The cast will also include Andréa Burns, Mary Testa and Jackie Burns. Last year, City Center Encores! produced “1776” with a colorblind cast a la “Hamilton.”
Feinstein’s ‘Torch Song Trilogy’ set for revival with Urie
“Torch Song Trilogy,” a touchstone of gay drama by Harvey Fierstein that he originally starred in 35 years ago, will be revived Off-Broadway this fall by Second Stage, with Michael Urie taking on Fierstein’s role as a drag performer. Fierstein has revised the play and it will now be called simply “Torch Song.” The play was made into a 1988 film with Fierstein, Matthew Broderick and Anne Bancroft.
Hillary Clinton at “Sunset Boulevard” ... Jane Fonda at “The Glass Menagerie” ... Neil Patrick Harris at “Spamilton” ... Arianna Huffington at “Dear Evan Hansen.”