Here’s a quick glance of some notable happenings on Broadway’s Great White Way this week:
Beginning Preview Performances this Week:
Rocktopia – Begins March 20th
A live concert event that fuses rock songs with classical music, featuring an array of rock, Broadway, and opera vocalists, comes to Broadway for a limited 6-week engagement.
Children of a Lesser God – Begins March 22nd
Joshua Jackson stars in a revival of the Tony-winning play that explores the relationship between an unorthodox speech therapist and one of his students, a young deaf woman hesitant to integrate herself into the hearing world.
The Iceman Cometh – Begins March 23rd
Tony winner and two-time Oscar winner Denzel Washington returns to Broadway in a new production of Eugene O’Neill’s four-act epic play about a newly sober, charismatic traveling salesman whose renewed outlook on life threatens to upend the lives of his old friends.
Opening this Week:
Frozen – Opens March 22nd
A new musical stage adaptation of the hit animated Disney film, based on the Hans Christian Andersen story of a princess who freezes everything she touches.
Angels in America Parts 1 & 2 – Opens March 25th
A revival of Tony Kushner’s Pulitzer Prize-winning drama that presents a complex, often metaphorical, and at times symbolic examination of AIDS and homosexuality in America in the 1980s.
Broadway News and Notes:
Broadway Producer Plans Musical About Inventor Joy Mangano
- Producer Ken Davenport (Spring Awakening, Kinky Boots) announced last week that he has acquired the musical rights to the life of Joy Mangano, best-selling author and one of the most-successful and celebrated product inventors of her time. A creative team will be announced in the future. Davenport said, “Joy Mangano’s journey from divorced and working mother to a wildly successful businesswoman was made for the stage. If she didn’t exist, I would have tried to invent her. Her wit, savvy and perseverance in the face of great odds made this remarkable woman into an inspiration and pop culture legend. Joy is a just that – a complete joy. I can’t wait to begin developing her story for Broadway.” Joy Mangano has created and sold nearly $3 billion of product to people across America. Author of the best-selling memoir Inventing Joy: Dare to Build a Brave & Creative Life, Mangano was also the subject of the CBS digital series Inventing Joy. In 1991, Mangano invented and launched the first-ever self-wringing Miracle Mop. More details here.
Harper Lee Estate Sues Over Broadway Adaptation of Mockingbird
- Tonja B. Carter, a representative for the estate of the late author Harper Lee, has sued producers of the new stage adaptation of Lee’s Pulitzer-winning novel To Kill a Mockingbird. Carter filed a complaint on behalf of the estate in Alabama federal court on March 13. “The lawsuit states that the play should not deviate from the depiction of Atticus [Finch] in Mockingbird, where he is presented as a defender of racial equality in a divided south,” writes the New York Times, quoting the suit itself: “Based on Ms. Lee’s own father, a small-town Alabama lawyer who represented black defendants in a criminal trial, Atticus Finch is portrayed in the novel as a model of wisdom, integrity and professionalism.” Penned by Aaron Sorkin and directed by Bartlett Sher, Broadway’s To Kill a Mockingbird will star Jeff Daniels in the role of Atticus. More details here.
Alice in Wonderland Musical in the Works for Broadway
- Duncan Sheik and Sara Bareilles are working on a musical adaptation of Alice in Wonderland. Sheik is perhaps best known as the Tony and Grammy winning composer behind Spring Awakening, as well as the music and lyrics for American Psycho. Bareilles is an award-winning pop artist who recently set her sights on Broadway with the now hit musical Waitress. Not content to stay behind the scenes, Bareilles took a turn in the starring role and recently returned following critical acclaim. Sheik revealed the news on Twitter, stating: “Happily for @SarahBareilles her show is still running on Broadway….sadly for me American Psycho is not. But we are working together next year on an adaptation of Alice in Wonderland!” More details here.
Tennessee Whiskey: The Musical is Broadway-Bound
- Producers are planning to bring the story of Dean Dillon and his music to the stage in the new jukebox musical, Tennessee Whiskey The Musical. Written by Dewey Moss, Tennessee Whiskey tells the story of Dean Dillon, Country Songwriter Hall of Fame inductee and the writer of some of country music’s most popular songs by singers such as George Strait, Toby Keith, Kenny Chesney, Chris Stapleton, Pam Tillis, Barbara Mandrell, Johnny Rodriguez, Gary Stewart, and many more. Tennessee Whiskey features hit songs such as “The Chair,” “Unwound,” “Marina Del Rey,” “Ocean Front Property,” “She Calls It Love,” “How Long Does It Take,” “I’m Lying In Love With You,” “I’m Into the Bottle,” “We Got ‘Em Smokin’ in the Rockies,” “Easy Come, Easy Go,” “The Road Less Traveled,” “Here for a Good Time,” “Tennessee Whiskey” and many more, along with several new songs Dillon is writing specifically for this production. More details here.