Lin-Manuel Miranda to produce ‘Freestyle Love Supreme’ at Greenwich House Theater

Peter Francis James cast as Barack Obama in “Hillary and Clinton.”

Miranda to produce ‘Freestyle Love Supreme’ Off-Broadway

“Freestyle Love Supreme,” a hip-hop comedy group co-founded by “Hamilton” star Lin-Manuel Miranda, will play a multiweek engagement at Off-Broadway’s Greenwich House Theater beginning Jan. 30, with Miranda serving as a co-producer. The troupe is known for improvising freestyle raps based on suggestions from audience members. Although Miranda will not regularly perform with the group, in a statement, he left open the possibility that he will “jump onstage a couple of times over the course of the run.” Other “Hamilton” performers who may turn up as special guests include James Monroe Iglehart and Daveed Diggs.

Obama cast in ‘Hillary and Clinton’

Peter Francis James (whose recent Broadway credits include revivals of “Present Laughter” and “The Merchant of Venice”) will play Barack Obama in “Hillary and Clinton,” a new play by Lucas Hnath (“A Doll’s House, Part 2”) about Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign, which will come to Broadway in the spring. As previously announced, Laurie Metcalf and John Lithgow will play Hillary Clinton and Bill Clinton respectively. Also new to the cast is Zak Orth (“Wet Hot American Summer”), who will play campaign manager Mark Penn.

Experimental female playwrights Shange and Fornés pass away

Two trailblazing experimental female playwrights have died in recent days: Ntozake Shange and María Irene Fornés. Shange, who was 70, is best-remembered for her 1976 genre-defying work “for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf,” which marked the second play on Broadway written by an African-American female (following Lorraine Hansberry’s “A Raisin in the Sun”). The Cuban-American María Irene Fornés, who was 88, wrote numerous avant-garde works beginning in the early 1960s including “Promenade,” “Fefu and Her Friends” and “Mud.” A documentary about her, “The Rest I Make Up,” was recently unveiled.

Meat Loaf musical ‘Bat Out of Hell’ to play City Center

“Bat Out of Hell,” a new musical inspired by Meat Loaf’s three-part album of the same name, which is currently running in London and is about to embark on a North American tour, will run for eight weeks at City Center this summer. The run is not expected to conflict with City Center’s annual Encores! Off-Center series, in which historic Off-Broadway musicals are revived. “Bat Out of Hell,” which is described in a news release as an “epic story of rebellious youth and passion,” incorporates songs from the “Bat Out of Hell” albums including “You Took the Words Right Out of My Mouth,” “Bat Out of Hell” and “I’d Do Anything for Love (“But I Won’t Do That).”


Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel at “Sleep No More”…Brian May at “The Band’s Visit.”

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