amBroadway: ‘Richard II’ and ‘As You Like It’ set for Shakespeare in the park, ‘Almost Famous’ heads to Broadway and more

Photo Credit: Newsday / Michal Daniel

‘Richard II’ and ‘As you Like It’ set for Shakespeare in the Park

This summer’s Shakespeare in the Park season at the Delacorte Theatre in Central Park will consist of the rarely-staged tragedy “Richard II” (with direction by Saheem Ali, “The Rolling Stone” at Lincoln Center Theater) and Shaina Taub and Laurie Woolery’s musical adaptation of the pastoral comedy “As You Like It,” which previously received a handful of performances in 2017 as part of the Public Theater’s Public Works program. The cast of “As You Like It” will combine professional actors (including Taub, Darius de Haas and Joel Perez) with community members of all ages. Taub’s musical version of “Twelfth Night” previously graduated from a limited-time premiere to a full mainstage run.

‘Almost Famous’ headed for Broadway

Although no official announcement has been made yet, it looks pretty likely that the new musical adaptation of the 2000 coming-of-age film “Almost Famous” will transfer to Broadway in the fall, as per multiple casting notices. The musical will have a book by Cameron Crowe (who directed the movie) and music by Tom Kitt (“Next to Normal”). In “Almost Famous,” a mild-mannered teenager lands a writing gig with “Rolling Stone” and goes on the road with a rock band in 1973. The starry cast of the film included Patrick Fugit, Kate Hudson, Billy Crudup, Frances McDormand and Philip Seymour Hoffman – as well as Zooey Deschanel, Jimmy Fallon, Rainn Wilson and Eric Stonestreet.

Sabrina Carpenter is a ‘Mean Girl’

Sabrina Carpenter, who played best pal Maya Hart on “Girl Meets World” (the Disney Channel’s recent sequel to the 1990s TGIF family sitcom “Boy Meets World”), will join the Broadway cast of “Mean Girls” for 14 weeks beginning March 10. Hart will play Cady Heron, the main character, originated by Lindsey Lohan in the 2004 film. It was recently announced that a film adaptation of the “Mean Girls” musical is in the works.

‘Romeo & Bernadette’ to transfer Off-Broadway

In 2003, the musical comedy “Romeo & Bernadette” (which relocates “Romeo & Juliet” to 1960 Brooklyn and reimagines Juliet as the offspring of a crime family) received a production at New Jersey’s Paper Mill Playhouse and then disappeared – at least to my knowledge. But its time may have finally come. A new Off-Off-Broadway production will transfer Off-Broadway for an open-ended run at Theatre Row beginning March 17. In a statement, producer Eric Krebs said “I know there is no way that ‘Romeo & Bernadette’ can pay its way Off-Broadway (but) we need this joyous musical now. How can I not move this?” A cast album will be released in late March.

‘Molly Brown’ is going ‘zero plastic’

Ever hear of a “zero plastic production”? The cast of the new Off-Broadway revival of “The Unsinkable Molly Brown” (a little-remembered 1960 musical by “The Music Man” writer Meredith Willson) has pledged to eliminate disposable plastic items from its entire production process. Not only that, they are challenging the company of the Broadway revival of “Company” to also achieve “zero plastic” status. In a video announcing the challenge, Tony nominee Beth Malone made a point of singling out Patti LuPone, who is playing the acerbic Joanne in “Company.”


Michelle Obama, Stephen Sondheim, Sienna Miller, Andrew Garfield and Dan Stevens at “American Utopia.”