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amBroadway: Closing date set for ‘The Inheritance,’ Greg Kinnear to play Atticus Finch and more

"To Kill a Mockingbird" performed at Madison Square Garden. (Photo by Jenny Anderson)

‘The Inheritance’ sets closing date

In spite of rave reviews and considerable buzz when it opened a few months ago, Matthew Lopez’s epic drama “The Inheritance” will end its Broadway run on March 15 due to lower-than-expected attendance and disappointing weekly grosses. Structured like “Angels in America” in two parts, “The Inheritance” brings together gay men in contemporary New York City and during the AIDS crisis, in addition to the 20th century English writer E.M. Foster, whose 1910 novel “Howards End” serves as an unlikely source of inspiration for the play’s elaborate structure and emphasis on social outreach and community. 

Greg Kinnear will play Atticus in ‘Mockingbird’

Oscar nominee Greg Kinnear (whose numerous screen credits include “As Good As It Gets,” “Little Miss Sunshine” and “You’ve Got Mail”) will make his Broadway debut in the smash Broadway production of “To Kill a Mockingbird.” He will take over as the heroic Alabama attorney Atticus Finch beginning April 21, succeeding Ed Harris (who himself inherited the role from Jeff Daniels). This week, the cast of “To Kill a Mockingbird” made history by giving a free performance of the play at Madison Square Garden for an audience of 18,000 New York City public school students. The show’s producers claim that it was “the largest attendance of a single performance of a play ever in world theater.”

Lights of Broadway to dim for Zoe Caldwell

The lights of Broadway will go dim for one minute on Friday night at 7:45 p.m. in honor of the late actress and director Zoe Caldwell, who died on Feb. 16 at age 86. Over the course of four decades, Caldwell won four Tony Awards for her performances in Tennessee Williams’ “Slapstick Tragedy,” “The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie,” the Greek tragedy “Medea” and the Maria Callas bio drama “Master Class.” “Her audiences were struck by her elegance, her strength and the penetrating timbre of her extraordinary voice,” Disney Theatricals president and Broadway League chairman Thomas Schumacher said in a statement. 

Sophia Anne Caruso exits ‘Beetlejuice’

Sophia Anne Caruso gave her final performance as Lydia in “Beetlejuice” last weekend. The show’s producers had provided no prior notice that Caruso was about to exit the cast. On social media, Caruso thanked her “Beetlejuice family” for “one of the greatest experiences of my life.” Even though its weekly grosses have dramatically improved since it opened last April, “Beetlejuice” is currently expected to give its final performance at the Winter Garden Theatre on June 6 in order to make way for the highly anticipated revival of “The Music Man” with Hugh Jackman. 

Rabbi to reconceive Exodus and play ‘Pharaoh’

How did Pharaoh feel when Egypt became consumed with frogs, vermin, hail and all the other plagues? “Pharaoh,” a 70-minute play written and performed by Israeli playwright, actress and rabbi Misha Shulman, interprets the Exodus story from the viewpoint of Pharaoh instead of Moses and the style of ancient South Indian performance. It will receive a three-week Off-Off-Broadway run at Theatre for the New City beginning March 19. “To me this play is as much a religious or spiritual event as it is an artistic one, and as much a political event as a religious one,” Shulman said in a statement. 

Spotted…

Liev Schreiber, Vanessa Hudgens and Alec Baldwin at “West Side Story”…Jim Gaffigan at “Beetlejuice”…Uma Thurman at “Incantata” at the Irish Repertory Theatre…Glenn Close at “Unmasked” at Paper Mill Playhouse.

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