Here’s a quick glance of some notable happenings on Broadway’s Great White Way this week:
Broadway News and Notes:
Casting Call Goes Out for Spielberg’s West Side Story Remake
- Steven Spielberg has begun the casting process for new screen adaptation of the Broadway musical West Side Story, which the 71-year-old filmmaker will tackle after he first shoots a new Indiana Jones movie. Casting notices were sent out last week, as Spielberg and producers began a search for the young leads to carry the dance-fueled story of two young lovers from opposing cultural sides in 1950s New York. The 1961 film adaptation of the musical was directed by Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins. The film is an adaptation of the 1957 Broadway musical of the same name, which in turn was inspired by William Shakespeare’s play Romeo and Juliet. The film was nominated for 11 Academy Awards and won 10, including Best Picture (as well as a special award for Robbins), becoming the record holder for the most wins for a movie musical. More details here.
Bette Midler Film The Rose to Be Adapted For Broadway
- The 1979 film The Rose is getting the stage musical treatment. Grammy-winning songwriter Glen Ballard, who penned the score to Broadway’s Ghost The Musical, is writing original music for the new tuner based on the film that featured an Oscar-nominated star turn from Bette Midler (Hello, Dolly!) as rock singer Mary Rose Foster. “Bringing The Rose to Broadway was a true labor of love,” said Tony-nominated producer Gail Berman. “The story lends itself perfectly to a live musical production: it’s a roller-coaster journey through the life of a volatile star, a celebration of music and a visual homage to the dazzling culture of rock and roll. We are so excited to bring a modern-day take on this project to the stage, and beyond thrilled to have Glen, a true musical vanguard at the helm.” The Rose centers on a self-destructive singer balancing the pressures of rising fame with her difficult manager. The film is partially based on the life of Grammy-nominated music icon Janis Joplin. Further information about the stage musical adaptation, including debut venue, dates and casting, will be announced at a later time. More details here.
Tootsie Musical Sets Sights on Broadway
- A new stage-musical adaptation of the 1982 comedy flick Tootsie is in the works for Broadway. The musical will make its debut in spring of 2019 at a Broadway venue to be announced. Santino Fontana (Cinderella, Frozen) will lead the cast as struggling actor Michael Dorsey. Tootsie features a book by Robert Horn and a score by The Band’s Visit composer David Yazbek. Tootsie will play a pre-Broadway run at Chicago’s Cadillac Palace Theatre from September 11 through October 14, 2018. Tootsie centers on Michael Dorsey, a talented but difficult actor who can’t find work due to his poor reputation. To land a gig on the hot soap opera Southwest General, Dorsey dresses as a woman and creates a female persona he calls Dorothy Michaels. When Dorothy suddenly becomes an inspiration to women throughout the country, Dorsey finds himself in deep trouble. As America falls in love with the fictional Dorothy Michaels, Dorsey falls for his female co-star and Dorothy’s best friend, Julie Nichols. The film Tootsie starred Dustin Hoffman in an Oscar-nominated turn as Dorsey with Jessica Lange in an Oscar-winning performance as Julie. More details here.
Casting Complete for Broadway’s Iceman
- Complete casting has been announced for George C. Wolfe’s upcoming Broadway production of Eugene O’Neill’s The Iceman Cometh, starring Denzel Washington as Theodore Hickman. The play is set at Harry Hope’s saloon, where drunks and dreamers are celebrating the arrival of Hickey (Washington), whose presence always ensures a good time. When Hickey finally arrives with a new outlook on life, his attempts to help his old friends lead to a devastating series of events. Washington will be joined on stage by Colm Meaney, David Morse, Bill Irwin, Tammy Blanchard, Carolyn Braver, Austin Butler, Joe Forbrich, Nina Grollman, Thomas Michael Hammond, Neal Huff, Danny Mastrogiorgio, Dakin Matthews, Jack McGee, Clark Middleton, Michael Potts, Reg Rogers and Frank Wood. Performances begin at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre on March 22, with an opening night on April 26. The show will play a 14-week limited engagement. More details here.