Here’s a quick glance of some notable happenings on Broadway’s Great White Way this week:
Broadway News and Notes:
Straight White Men Recasts Principal Role for a Second Time
- Broadway’s Straight White Men has replaced the actor in the role of Ed for the second time in its run. Stephen Payne will replace Denis Arndt in the role, as Arndt has left the production due to “creative differences.” Arndt joined the cast the week of June 25, as the replacement for Tom Skerritt, who left the show “for personal reasons,” however Arndt never appeared in the production. Payne, originally cast as an understudy, has been playing the role since the show began previews on June 3. The play, written by Young Jean Lee, is directed by Anna D. Shapiro and produced by Second Stage Theater. Second Stage said it had no further comment on the two departures. Payne has appeared on Broadway in Of Mice and Men, Superior Donuts and August: Osage County. More details here.
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child to Play Germany
- Harry Potter and the Cursed Child will make its German premiere in spring 2020. The eighth chapter in J.K. Rowling’s series will play Hamburg’s Mehr! Theater am Großmarkt; exact dates will be announced later. Harry Potter und das verwunschene Kind will mark the first non-English version of the play, which recently took home six Tony Awards for its Broadway outing after nine Olivier Awards. The German production will mark the fifth mounting of the two-part epic, following the London world premiere in the West End, the New York run at Broadway’s Lyric Theatre, and upcoming engagements in Melbourne and San Francisco. The Hamburg venue will undergo an extensive renovation beginning in May 2019 to accommodate the ambitious presentation. More details here.
New York City Council Approves Palace Theatre Renovation
- Plans are underway for a renovation of the property that is home to Broadway’s Palace Theatre, which has now been approved by the New York City Council. The $2.4 billion renovation will elevate The Palace Theatre 29 feet above the ground, creating a downstairs space covering 10,000 square feet. The renovation will also include the expansion of the Doubletree Hotel located within the property, and the addition of retail space and LED signage. The renovation of 1568 Broadway has been in the works since 2016 when New York City approved the plan to raise the historic theatre. The Palace Theatre is currently home to the splashy hit, Spongebob SquarePants. There has been no word yet as to how the renovation could affect the production. More details here.
Broadway Choreographer Gillian Lynne Dies at Age 82
- Choreographer Gillian Lynne passed away July 1 at the age of 92, according to her husband Peter Land. The British Lynne began her career as a ballerina, joining Sadler’s Wells Ballet, now known today as the Royal Ballet, during World War II. She made her Broadway debut choreographing the musical comedy The Roar of the Greasepaint – The Smell of the Crowd and Pickwick in 1965 followed by How Now, Dow Jones in 1967. But it was in 1981 with the production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cats that Lynne broke through as one of the definitive choreographers of the musical theatre canon, earning her first Tony nomination. She collaborated again with Lloyd Webber for The Phantom of the Opera, earning a Drama Desk nomination and her second Tony nomination for her work. Lynne directed over 60 productions in the West End and on Broadway, as well as 11 films and over one hundred television productions. More details here.