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amBroadway: Ann Reinking dies, ‘Ratatouille’ musical will be produced and more

Ann Reinking as Roxie Hart in CHICAGO THE MUSICAL
Photo courtesy of Boneau/Bryan-Brown

Tony winner Ann Reinking dies at age 71

Broadway dancer and actress Ann Reinking, who went on to become a Tony-winning choreographer and expert in the work of Bob Fosse, died on Saturday in her sleep at age 71. Reinking took over as Roxie Hart in Bob Fosse’s original 1975 Broadway production of “Chicago” and later choreographed (in the style of Fosse) the musical’s long-running 1996 revival – and once again played Roxie when it debuted. “She was a fearless leader, and the very essence of Broadway. There wouldn’t be a ‘Chicago’ without her and we will be forever grateful,” the company of “Chicago” wrote on Twitter. Her film credits included Fosse’s “All That Jazz” (in which she played a version of herself) and “Annie.” She was recently a prominent character on the 2019 TV mini-series “Fosse/Verdon,” in which she was portrayed by Margaret Qualley. 

‘Ratatouille’ musical will actually get produced

Two weeks ago, we wrote about how the idea of a “Ratatouille” musical (based on the 2007 Pixar film about a rat who loves to cook) had turned into an unlikely social media phenomenon and crowdsourced work of art on TikTok. Now comes word that the production company Seaview (“Slave Play,” “Sea Wall/A Life”) will present “Ratatouille: The Tiktok Musical” as a one-time streaming event on New Year’s Day to benefit The Actors’ Fund. “In a year where we saw Broadway close, the TikTok community brought musical fans together virtually with one of the most unique trends we have ever seen on platform,” TikTok senior content manager Lizzy Hale said in a statement. 

London theaters forced to close yet again

Just days since reopening, London’s theaters (some of which had reopened with social distancing measures in place) were forced to close all over again this week due to rising COVID cases. One such show was the musical “Six,” which was supposed to open on Broadway on the day when the shutdown began. New York theater artists and producers have at least been able to avoid the cost and pain of remounting their shows only to have them close all over again. The beginning of the vaccine’s circulation has added to a sense of hope that shows will begin to reopen over the summer.

New Group to present starry ‘Waiting for Godot’ online

Ethan Hawke, John Leguizamo, Wallace Shawn and Tarik Trotter will co-star in a streaming production of Samuel Beckett’s existential drama “Waiting for Godot” as part of the New Group’s Offstage series. It will begin production in 2021 and made available later in the year. Hawke and Shawn have each appeared in numerous Off-Broadway shows produced by the New Group, including a celebrated 2005 revival of David Rabe’s “Hurlyburly.”

This week’s streaming recommendations…

“Estella Scrooge: A Christmas Carol with a Twist” (modernized musical adaptation starring such Broadway regulars as Betsy Wolfe, Patrick Page, Carolee Carmello and Danny Burstein), estellascrooge.com…”Meet Me in St. Louis” (Off-Broadway’s Irish Rep presents digital production of the stage adaptation of the 1944 MGM movie musical), through Jan. 2, irishrep.org…”Taylor Mac’s Holiday Sauce…Pandemic!” (the freewheeling, gender-bending performance artist Taylor Mac reinvents the holiday variety show), through Jan. 2, taylormacholidaysauce.com.

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