Mel B (aka Scary Spice) will play the merry murderess Roxie Hart in “Chicago” for eight weeks beginning Dec. 28. The former Spice Girl made her Broadway debut more than a decade ago as Mimi in “Rent.” (I remember seeing her in it. She had trouble hiding her English accent.) At the moment, Roxie Hart is being played by Veronica Dunne (Disney Channel’s “K.C. Undercover”).
Playbill in fury over political ad that used its logo
The folks at Playbill were less than thrilled to learn that the famous Playbill logo was being used without approval by a political group in an advertisement attacking Scott Garrett, a Congressman from New Jersey. The ad, which resembles the cover of a Playbill, states “The Lonely Man starring Scott Garrett.” According to Playbill.com, the company filed a cease and desist letter and could take further legal action.
Glenda Jackson scores raves for her ‘King Lear’
Glenda Jackson, a two-time Oscar-winning actress who went on to become a member of the British Parliament, received rave reviews last week for a new London production of Shakespeare’s “King Lear” in which she takes on the role of the title monarch. The Guardian called it “a ferocious, unflinching performance.” Perhaps it will play a short run at Brooklyn Academy of Music, which has hosted English productions of “King Lear” starring Ian McKellen, Frank Langella and Derek Jacobi in recent years.
‘Hairspray’ soundtrack to be released before airing
The soundtrack of the live television version of the Broadway musical “Hairspray” will be released on Dec. 2 by Masterworks Broadway, five days before the show airs on NBC. Whereas the musical numbers will be sung live during the broadcast by the cast, the soundtrack consists of studio recordings. Based upon the track list, the only song omitted from the musical is the act two opening number “The Big Dollhouse.”
Corey Hawkins joins ‘Six Degrees’ cast
Corey Hawkins, who has appeared in the film “Straight Outta Compton” and on television’s “The Walking Dead,” has scored the key role of Paul in the upcoming Broadway revival of John Guare’s “Six Degrees of Separation.” In the play, Paul, a smart but untrustworthy African-American youth, tricks a rich New York couple (to be played by Allison Janney and John Benjamin Hickey) into believing that he is the son of Sidney Poitier and a student at Harvard.
Zac Efron, Hugh Jackman and Lea Michele at “Waitress” ... Katy Perry, Orlando Bloom, Conan O’Brien and Andy Richter at “Oh Hello” ... Rosie O’Donnell and Michael Feinstein at “Kristin Chenoweth: My Love Letter to Broadway.”