Here’s a quick glance of some notable happenings on Broadway’s Great White Way this week:
Now on Sale:
The Illusionists – Magic of the Holidays – Begins November 23rd
An event billed as “the world’s best-selling touring magic show” returns to Broadway for a second limited holiday engagement.
Beginning Preview Performances this Week:
Bernhardt/Hamlet – Begins August 31st
Tony winner Janet McTeer stars as legendary leading lady Sarah Bernhardt as she tackles her make-or-break role in the lavish, late 19th century production of Hamlet, in a world premiere by Pulitzer finalist Theresa Rebeck.
Broadway News and Notes:
Temptations Musical Headed To Broadway This Spring
After a string of engagements across North America, including a world premiere at Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Ain’t Too Proud – The Life and Times of the Temptations will arrive on Broadway. The jukebox musical will open at the Imperial Theatre in spring 2019. The musical recently began a limited engagement at Center Theatre Group’s Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles, having previously played Berkeley and Washington, D.C.’s Kennedy Center. A Toronto mounting will begin in October. The show, featuring a book by Dominique Morisseau, utilizes a score comprised of the Temptations’ hits to chart the rise of the R&B group, known for such classics as “My Girl,” “Just My Imagination,” and “Papa Was a Rolling Stone.” The musical will mark the The Detroit Projects playwright’s Broadway debut. Two-time Tony winner Des McAnuff directs. More details here.
Laura Benanti To Be Broadway’s New Fair Lady
Tony winner Laura Benanti will return to Broadway in the current revival Lerner & Loewe’s My Fair Lady, Benanti will take over the role of Eliza Doolittle for a limited engagement from Tuesday, October 23, to Sunday, February 17, 2019. Tony nominee Lauren Ambrose, who originated the role in this production, will play her final performance on Sunday, October 21. Beginning October 30, Kerstin Anderson will play the role of Eliza Doolittle at all Tuesday evening performances. Benanti most recently appeared on Broadway in Steve Martin’s comedy Meteor Shower last fall. Prior to that, she starred as Amalia Balash in Roundabout Theatre Company’s 2016 revival of She Loves Me, for which she earned a Tony nomination. Benanti won her Tony Award as Louise in Gypsy, starring opposite Patti LuPone. Her additional Broadway credits include Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, The Wedding Singer, Nine, Tony-nominated performances in Into the Woods and Swing!, and The Sound of Music. More details here.
Tony Winner Barbara Harris Dies at 83
Barbara Harris, Tony-winning star of stage and screen, died of lung cancer early Tuesday in Scottsdale, Arizona, where she had spent the last years of her life directing and teaching acting. Harris starred in the original Broadway productions of the musicals On a Clear Day You Can See Forever and The Apple Tree – a performance that brought her the 1967 Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical. The Chicago-born actor perfected technique during her early years as a member of Compass Players, a pioneering acting company that was the first based on improvisational performance. The company gave birth to today’s Second City, of which Harris is listed as a co-founder. In addition to her roles on Broadway, Harris was well-known for her roles on screen, appearing in the films Plaza Suite, A Thousand Clowns, Freaky Friday, Robert Altman’s Nashville, Peggy Sue Got Married, and Who Is Harry Kellerman, and Why Is He Saying Those Terrible Things About Me?, for which she received a 1972 Academy Award nomination for Best Actress in a Supporting Role. More details here.
Cuba Gooding Jr. To Join Broadway Cast of Chicago
Oscar winner Cuba Gooding Jr., recently seen as Billy Flynn in the London company of Chicago, will reprise the role on Broadway beginning October 6. The actor will play the smooth-talking lawyer in the Tony-winning revival through November 18 at the Ambassador Theatre. Gooding Jr., who won the Academy Award for his work in Jerry Maguire, made his Broadway debut in 2013 in The Trip to Bountiful. Chicago features a legendary book by Fred Ebb and Bob Fosse, music by John Kander, and lyrics by Fred Ebb. Set amid the razzle-dazzle decadence of the 1920s, Chicago is the story of Roxie Hart, a housewife and nightclub dancer who murders her on-the-side lover after he threatens to walk out on her. Desperate to avoid conviction, she dupes the public, the media and her rival cellmate, Velma Kelly, by hiring Chicago’s slickest criminal lawyer to transform her malicious crime into a barrage of sensational headlines, the likes of which might just as easily be ripped from today’s tabloids. More details here.