‘Black No More’ musical to premiere Off-Broadway
A modern musical adaptation of “Black No More,” a 1931 novel by George S. Schuyler satirizing race relations and a symbol of the Harlem Renaissance, will receive its world premiere in the fall in an Off-Broadway production by the New Group. It will have a book by Oscar winner John Ridley( “Twelve Years a Slave”) and choreography by Tony winner Bill T. Jones (“Spring Awakening”). The cast will include Brandon Victor Dixon (“Hamilton”), Jennifer Damiano (“Next to Normal”) and Theo Stockman (“Hair”).
Britney Spears sets pre-Broadway tryout
“Once Upon a One More Time,” a Broadway-bound jukebox musical built around the pop hits of Britney Spears, will receive its world premiere in Chicago in April. The cast will be led by Justin Guarini (“American Idol”), Emily Skinner (“Side Show”), Briga Heelan (“Great News”) and – quite unexpectedly – 70-year-old English actor and writer Simon Callow (“Shakespeare in Love”). The plot will revolve around fairy tale characters (i.e. Cinderella, Snow White, Prince Charming and Rapunzel) whose lives and ambitions are upended by Betty Friedan’s “The Feminine Mystique.”
‘Hamilton’ portrait book to be released
Four years following the publication of “Hamilton: The Revolution,” a second official “Hamilton” book (“titled “Hamilton: Portraits of the Revolution”), made up of portraits of the cast and the historical figures upon which their characters are based, will be released in April. In an interesting touch, photographer Josh Lehrer used a 19th century Petzval lens.
Stephen Sondheim goes to the disco
Bringing back memories of Ethel Merman’s infamous 1979 disco album, a disco album of Sondheim songs (“Losing My Mind: A Sondheim Disco Fever Dream”) will be digitally released by Broadway Records on March 20. The 12-track album will include new interpretations of Sondheim standards such as “NO One Is Alone,” “Our Time” and “The Miller’s Son” – plus a mega-mix and a cameo by “Into the Woods” original cast member Chip Zien.
Yiddish Theatre to revive ‘The Tenth Man’
The National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene, which recently made a splash with its Yiddish-language production of “Fiddler on the Roof,” will next present Paddy Chayefsky’s 1959 drama “The Tenth Man” in Yiddish in May. Inspired by the Jewish myth of “the dybbuk,” in which an evil spirit possesses someone’s soul, “The Tenth Man” questions which contemporary persons of varying spiritual beliefs may be possessed. In a statement, director and translator Eleanor Reissa said that the play “challenges us to grapple with the contemporary existential question, What is that destructive, demoralizing, deadly spirit that inhabits us?”
Buttigieg hearts Shakespeare and Lin-Manuel
Cheers to TheaterMania.com for reaching out to the men and women who are (or were) running to be the Democratic Party nominee for U.S. President to inquire about their favorite play and musical. According to the site, only Pete Buttigieg (whose husband Chasten used to teach high school drama) responded, choosing Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night” and Lin-Manuel Miranda’s “In the Heights.”
Lin-Manuel Miranda at “The Unsinkable Molly Brown”…Kate Hudson at “Hangmen”…Amy Sherman-Palladino and Patrick Wilson at “Little Shop of Horrors”…Darren Criss at “Beetlejuice.”