Here’s a quick glance of some notable happenings on the Great White Way this week:
Beginning Preview Performances this Week:
1984 – Begins May 18th
The U.S. premiere of the U.K. hit, a new adaptation of George Orwell’s novel about a dystopian future where critical thought is suppressed under a totalitarian regime.
News and Notes:
Theatre World Award Honorees Announced
- The Theatre World Awards have announced the 2017 honorees for Outstanding Broadway or Off-Broadway Debut Performance. Recipients will be honored at a June 5 ceremony at Broadway’s Imperial Theatre. Among the recipients are Anastasia star Christy Altomare, The Great Comet’s Josh Groban, Denée Benton, and Amber Gray, and Miss Saigon leads Eva Noblezada and Jon Jon Briones. Glenn Close will also be honored with the 5th Annual John Willis Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre; Great Comet composer Dave Malloy will be presented with the Special Theatre World Award in recognition of his Broadway debut as composer, writer, lyricist, orchestrator, and actor. More details here.
Networks Announce Next Live Musical Broadcasts
- NBC has selected Jesus Christ Superstar as the next live musical to head to the network. The show follows in the footsteps of NBC’s successful run of live musical events, including Sound of Music Live, Peter Pan Live, The Wiz Live, and most recently, Hairspray Live. The broadcast will air on Easter Sunday next year, April 1, 2018. Over at the Fox network, a live musical production of A Christmas Story will air in December. The network also announced that it will also produce a live version of Rent, though Fox had no details as to when that special would air. More details here and here.
Rebecca Jury Delivers Mixed Verdict
- A jury has reached a verdict in the case between producers of the ill-fated Broadway musical that never was Rebecca and its press agent Marc Thibodeau. Thibodeau, who leads the New York-based Publicity Office, was found not liable on the count of defamation, and will pay a total of $90,000 in damages: $5,000 for breach of contract and $85,000 for tortious interference. Thibodeau was initially sued by Rebecca producers Ben Sprecher and Louise Forlenza for over $10 million on these charges. The musical, based on Daphne du Maurier’s 1938 novel, announced a Broadway production in 2008. Following a series of delays, the producers announced in January 2012—two weeks prior to the start of rehearsals—that capitalization was still incomplete, and the musical would be delayed until that fall. A day before rehearsals were to begin in September, the production was halted indefinitely. Thibodeau was sued by the show’s producers after he had sent emails under a pseudonym to a potential investor, pointing the anonymous person toward published reports of fraud involving other investors. These emails led to the investor to back out. More details here.
Broadway Revival of Glass Menagerie to Close Early
- Director Sam Gold’s tradition-busting Broadway revival of Tennessee Williams’ The Glass Menagerie will close May 21, producers announced last week. The classic drama, with a cast led by Sally Field (Tony nominated for her performance), defied convention by placing the action on a nearly bare stage in a production that employed few of the playwright’s stage directions concerning the look of the show as a “memory play.” It also broke with stage history – or, rather, made it – by casting Madison Ferris, an actress whose muscular dystrophy makes movement extremely difficult, as Laura Wingfield, the young daughter rendered housebound by self-consciousness over the limp she has had since childhood. More details here.