March 28, 2019 at 9:44 am #1202832420
Aaron Sorkin’s stage adaptation of To Kill a Mockingbird will be launching a national tour in August 2020 at the Kennedy Center.
https://www.broadwayworld.com/article/MOCKINGBIRD-Tour-to-Launch-from-DC-Plus-Sorkin-and-Cast-to-Appear-at-Special-Event-for-Theatre-in-Our-Schools-Month-20190328March 28, 2019 at 11:55 am #1202832630
I hear Scott Rudin is planning to sue to stop this… no, wait.April 1, 2019 at 7:21 am #1202836046
John Leguizamo’s one-man show, Latin History for Morons, will be launching a North American tour at the Apollo Theater in Harlem on June 20th.
https://www.broadwayworld.com/article/John-Leguizamos-LATIN-HISTORY-FOR-MORONS-Will-Embark-on-North-American-Tour-20190401April 1, 2019 at 11:40 am #1202836348
The Queen musical titled We Will Rock You will be launching a North American tour this fall.
https://www.broadwayworld.com/article/Queen-Musical-WE-WILL-ROCK-YOU-Will-Launch-North-American-Tour-This-Fall-20190401April 6, 2019 at 8:35 am #1202842199
Rochester’s Auditorium Theatre, which is the main theater for national tours in my area, has announced their 2019-2020 season lineup:
Summer: The Donna Summer Musical—October 1-6, 2019
The Book Of Mormon—October 22-27, 2019
Come From Away—November 19-24, 2019
The Lion King—December 19, 2019-January 5, 2020
Anastasia—January 21-26, 2020
Jesus Christ Superstar—February 18-23, 2020
Hello, Dolly!—March 17-22, 2020
Cats—April 21-26, 2020
Dear Evan Hansen—June 2-7, 2020
Of these, the ones I’m probably going to attend for sure are Come From Away, Hello, Dolly! and Dear Evan Hansen.April 8, 2019 at 6:31 am #1202844044
I recently had the great pleasure of interviewing actress Joy Franz, who can currently been seen as the Dowager Empress in the national tour of Anastasia. I got to talk to her about the show as well as working with legends like Bob Fosse, Hal Prince, Stephen Sondheim, and Jerry Lewis.April 8, 2019 at 8:43 am #1202844223
Five new principal cast members have been announced for the national tour of Aladdin. Kaena Kekoa will be making her professional theater debut as Jasmine; original tour cast member Reggie De Leon will be returning to the role of Iago; Ben Chavez will assume the role of Omar; Colt Prattes will step into the role of Kassim; and Frank Viveros will stand by for the roles of Genie and Babkak.
https://www.broadwayworld.com/article/Kaena-Kekoa-Reggie-De-Leon-and-More-Join-the-ALADDIN-North-American-Tour-20190408April 8, 2019 at 2:54 pm #1202844734
Hannah Gadsby will embark on a U.S. tour of her new solo show Douglas beginning in San Francisco this month and ending Off-Broadway at the Daryl Roth Theater from July 23-August 17. http://www.playbill.com/article/hannah-gadsby-to-return-to-nyc-with-brand-new-solo-showApril 9, 2019 at 5:01 pm #1202846204
Derrick Davis will return to the titular role in the North American tour of The Phantom Of The Opera beginning June 6 at Los Angeles’ Hollywood Pantages Theatre, and will remain in the role until the final tour stop at Toronto’s Princess of Wales Theatre early next year. http://www.playbill.com/article/derrick-davis-will-return-to-title-role-of-the-phantom-of-the-opera-tour-through-final-performance-in-2020April 12, 2019 at 2:11 pm #1202849694
The national tour of On Your Feet! will play its final performance in Fort Worth, Texas this Sunday night.
https://www.broadwayworld.com/article/ON-YOUR-FEET-National-Tour-to-Play-its-Final-Show-April-14th-20190411April 17, 2019 at 8:35 am #1202856605
I got to see the national tour of Anastasia in my local area last night, and here are my thoughts:
The show itself to me almost feels like the kind of musical Rodgers & Hammerstein would write back in the Golden Age of Broadway. It’s a family oriented musical that fictionalizes history (The King & I, The Sound of Music), features a stunning ballet sequence in the middle (Oklahoma!, Carousel), and a lush, beautiful score that successfully moves the story along. Lynn Ahrens & Stephen Flaherty took five of the songs they wrote for the cartoon, and augmented them with about 14 new ones written just for the stage, and they all blend in so seamlessly well. The score is also brought to life by Doug Besterman’s incredible orchestrations.
Book writer Terrence McNally does a great job of taking the essence of the animated film, yet completely re-thinks the plot as a Broadway musical. Not only does it take a more historical approach, but it also moves some of the pre-existing songs to different places in the plot, and goes deeper into the story and characters. This allows an opportunity for the cast to work with some great material, bringing in grade-A performances. Lila Coogan proves to be quite a strong Anya as she goes from a street sweeper with amnesia in the beginning of the show, yet starts to remember more of her past as the night goes on. Coogan even offers some breathtaking solos in Act I with her renditions of ‘In My Dreams’ (one of the new songs) and ‘Journey to the Past’ (the Oscar nominated classic from the film). When that latter number begins, I could definitely hear the excitement coming from the audience.
At the performance I was in attendance for, Matt Rosell went on for Stephen Brower as Dimitry. Rosell does a great job as the young con man who teams up with Vlad Popov, an ex-member of the Imperial Court, to groom a naive girl to become Anastasia in order to receive the reward from the Dowager Empress. In fact, watching Anya and Dimitry’s chemistry grow from how they don’t get along at first to caring more for each other is quite a delight. Edward Staudenmayer not only proves to be quite a comedic highlight as Vlad, but he is also well-matched by Tari Kelly as the Dowager Empress’s lady-in-waiting, Countess Lily Malevsky-Malevitch. While she doesn’t appear in the show until Act II, we the audience learn about her near the end of Act I as Vlad expresses his hopes of winning her back. Joy Franz gives a heartfelt performance as Dowager Empress Maria Feodorovna. That character only appears in the beginning of the first act, but does appear more in the second act, even offering up some heartbreaking moments.
Under the direction of Darko Tresnjak, he has Alexander Dodge’s neatly designed physical set in the foreground with some impressive projections (courtesy of Aaron Rhyne) in the background. They provide more context to the locations every scene takes place in. Everything else beautifully compliments one another with Donald Holder’s lighting Linda Cho’s costumes, and Peggy Hickey’s terrific choreography.
I will say that the one quibble I probably have is the new character of Gleb Vaganov, a general for the Bolsheviks who receives orders to kill Anya. He replaces the dangerously evil and power-crazed sorcerer, Rasputin, from the cartoon. While Gleb seems to have potential to be this Javert-like character as he’s an official going after the protagonist, yet has all these conflicted emotions, he for some reason just doesn’t feel like a big enough threat in the plot. Though with that being said, actor Jason Michael Evans does make the best with what he’s given.
Overall, I found Anastasia to be a great family musical that never once talked down to kids at all. It not only has comic relief that flows naturally from the actors instead of being played for laughs, but also themes that should resonate with audiences of all ages. This show is about finding hope, love, and family. While I am aware that the Broadway production received a pretty mixed reception, I would still highly recommend this.April 17, 2019 at 12:37 pm #1202856907
The upcoming 50th anniversary tour of Jesus Christ Superstar will hold open casting calls in several cities around the country to find its Jesus.
http://www.playbill.com/article/50th-anniversary-tour-of-jesus-christ-superstar-is-searching-for-its-title-playerApril 18, 2019 at 6:34 pm #1202858400
Hannah Gadsby will embark on a U.S. tour of her new solo show Douglas beginning in San Francisco this month and ending Off-Broadway at the Daryl Roth Theater from July 23-August 17. http://www.playbill.com/article/hannah-gadsby-to-return-to-nyc-with-brand-new-solo-show
Douglas will extend its Off-Broadway run for an additional week until August 24. http://www.playbill.com/article/hannah-gadsbys-douglas-extends-nyc-runApril 24, 2019 at 12:20 pm #1202865119
Beautiful: The Carole King Musical will embark on a new U.K. tour next year.
https://www.broadwayworld.com/westend/article/BEAUTIFUL-THE-CAROLE-KING-MUSICAL-Will-Embark-on-a-UK-Tour-in-2020-20190424April 26, 2019 at 12:51 pm #1202868344
Jeremy Woodard will join the national tour of Waitress as Earl. https://www.broadway.com/buzz/195638/so-much-is-happnin-broadway-fave-jeremy-woodard-joins-the-waitress-tour/
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