NYC theater roundup: ‘Frozen’ shake-up, CNBC to explore ‘Rebecca’ scandal, more

Alex Timbers has been banished from Arendelle. As first reported by Variety, the inventive and offbeat director (whose credits include “Here Lies Love,” “Rocky” and “Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson”) is being replaced as the director of the upcoming Broadway musical version of “Frozen,” which will debut out of town next year. In a prepared statement, Disney Theatricals President Thomas Schumacher said that they “have chosen to go in another direction” and that the decision was “especially painful.”

CNBC to explore ‘Rebecca’ scandal

Remember “Rebecca,” the Broadway musical that was twice postponed due to financial shortfall and scandal? Its unusual history will be explored on an episode of the CNBC series “American Greed” titled “The Phantom Fraudster of Broadway,” in recognition of stockbroker Mark Hotton, who tricked the show’s producers into believing that he could find additional investors to fill a funding gap of several million dollars and later pleaded guilty to criminal charges. It will air on Aug. 11 at 10 p.m.

Lorenzo Lamas to join ‘The Fantasticks’

Actor Lorenzo Lamas, famous for his role in the long-running 1980s CBS series “Falcon Crest,” will join the cast of the long-running off-Broadway musical “The Fantasticks” from Oct. 24 to Nov. 6. He will play the narrator El Gallo, who sings the well-known ballad “Try to Remember.” Lamas had a bit role in the film of “Grease” as the jock who vies with Danny for Sandy’s affections.

Hip-hop ‘Othello’ to make off-Broadway debut

Considering the wild popularity of “Hamilton,” it’s a shock that a hip-hop retelling of a Shakespeare play didn’t come to New York sooner. It was announced last week that “Othello: The Remix,” a rap version of the Shakespeare tragedy created by the Q Brothers (“The Bomb-itty of Errors”), will play off-Broadway’s Westside Theatre in the fall. Four years ago, I caught the play’s world premiere at the Globe Theatre in London.

‘Miss Saigon’ returning to Broadway Theatre

The upcoming Broadway revival of “Miss Saigon” will play the Broadway Theatre, home to the long-running original production, beginning March 1. “Fiddler on the Roof,” which is currently playing there, closes at the end of the year. The revival is being billed as a limited run through January 2018, which will be followed by a national tour. The cast will include Jon Jon Briones as the engineer and Eva Noblezada a Kim, which she played when the production premiered in London.

Theater remains found at former Toys R Us site

The remains of an old theater have been discovered at a construction site on Broadway between 44th and 45th streets, where the Toys R Us used to be, as first reported by Curbed New York. During the past century, the site has been home to the Olympia Theatre (built by Oscar Hammerstein I in 1895), a prewar casino, a movie theater and a Broadway theater that was in use only from 1989 to 1999.

Spotted …

James Franco, Stephen Sondheim and Anna Wintour at “Small Mouth Sounds”… Katie Holmes at “Finding Neverland”… Leslie Odom Jr. cameoing in “Sleep No More.”