October 29, 2019 at 7:59 pm #1203158358
God Of Carnage will embark on a tour of the U.K. next year, with Elizabeth McGovern and Nigel Lindsay reprising their roles as Veronica and Michael from the 2018 Theatre Royal Bath production. Joining them will be Samantha Spiro as Annette and Simon Paisley Day as Alan. http://www.playbill.com/article/downton-abbeys-elizabeth-mcgovern-will-star-in-uk-god-of-carnage-tourOctober 30, 2019 at 7:09 am #1203158831
Three new principal cast members will be joining the current national tour of Les Misérables on December 10th. Which are Patrick Dunn as Jean Valjean, Preston Truman Boyd as Javert, and Michelle Dowdy as Madame Thénardier.
https://www.broadway.com/buzz/197409/preston-truman-boyd-patrick-dunn-to-lead-the-national-tour-of-les-miserables/October 31, 2019 at 5:53 am #1203160217
I just bought a ticket to see the touring production of Come From Away in Rochester on Sunday, November 24.November 7, 2019 at 8:03 pm #1203170452
The Addams Family will embark on a tour of the U.K. and Ireland next year. https://www.playbill.com/article/the-addams-family-musical-will-tour-uk-and-irelandNovember 14, 2019 at 1:34 pm #1203179572
Willemijn Verkaik will star as Jenna in the international tour of Waitress that will kick off in the Netherlands starting next September. https://www.broadway.com/buzz/197602/wicked-alum-willemijn-verkaik-to-star-as-jenna-in-netherlands-tour-of-waitress/November 21, 2019 at 11:40 am #1203195169
Janet Dacal will be taking over for Chilina Kennedy as Dina in the National tour of The Band’s Visit on January 3rd, 2020.
https://www.broadway.com/buzz/197011/exclusive-broadway-favorite-janet-dacal-to-join-the-bands-visit-national-tour/November 27, 2019 at 7:19 pm #1203206602
The itinerary has been announced for next year’s U.K. tour of Dreamgirls. https://www.playbill.com/article/dreamgirls-will-launch-uk-tour-in-fall-2020December 5, 2019 at 1:15 pm #1203218906
Bat Out Of Hell will embark upon a U.K. tour next year. http://www.playbill.com/article/bat-out-of-hell-to-return-to-uk-for-2020-tourDecember 9, 2019 at 8:40 pm #1203228373
Alexandra Burke will star in a U.K. tour of My Best Friend’s Wedding, based off the 1997 Julia Roberts film. The tour will kick off in Plymouth next September. http://www.playbill.com/article/alexandra-burke-will-star-in-musical-adaptation-of-my-best-friends-weddingDecember 17, 2019 at 7:57 am #1203241603
The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical will be heading back on tour in the 2020-21 season.
https://www.broadwayworld.com/article/THE-LIGHTNING-THIEF-THE-PERCY-JACKSON-MUSICAL-Announces-2020-2021-National-Tour-20191217December 17, 2019 at 7:35 pm #1203242263
Casting has been announced for a U.K. tour of Dial M For Murder, which will begin next month. http://www.playbill.com/article/west-end-star-tom-chambers-to-tour-the-uk-in-dial-m-for-murderDecember 19, 2019 at 4:03 pm #1203244465
Complete casting has been announced for the upcoming Sting-led national tour of The Last Ship.
https://www.broadwayworld.com/article/Sting-Led-THE-LAST-SHIP-Tour-Announces-Full-Casting-20191219January 7, 2020 at 12:18 pm #1203269100
Donna Vivino, who originated the role of Young Cosette in the original 1987 Broadway production of Les Misérables, will be taking over as Grizabella in the current national tour of Cats beginning next month.
https://www.broadwayworld.com/article/Exclusive-Donna-Vivino-Will-Take-Over-As-Grizabella-on-CATS-National-Tour-20200107January 13, 2020 at 7:56 pm #1203282988
I recently had the great pleasure of interviewing actor James Earl Jones II (a distant relative of the legendary actor James Earl Jones), who is currently appearing in the national tour of Come From Away.January 15, 2020 at 6:21 am #1203285628
Last night, I got to catch the national tour of Come From Away in my area. Today, I give my review.
The genius of this show written by the Canadian husband-and-wife team of Irene Sankoff & David Hein is that the story isn’t so much about the events of 9/11, it’s more about what happened in Gander because of 9/11. However, we the audience do get to witness everyone’s reactions to what was going on in New York from the townsfolk of Gander to the “plane people.” Those moments should easily bring back cathartic memories anyone has of that tragic event (though I was only 7 years old at the time, so I personally have no recollection of what happened on that day from my perspective).
Under the direction of Christopher Ashley, everything in the staging is given a very minimalist approach. We the audience never see any planes in the show at all because everything is much more suggested. All it takes is a cast of 12 performers who do all the work with 12 chairs, a few tables, and minimal costume changes. In the beginning of the musical, Beowulf Boritt’s wooden set reflects how clear the sky was on September 11th, 2001. As the plot moves along, lighting effects represent the different times of day in Gander. Howell Binkley’s lighting also does a great job of showing the audience where to look on stage at different points throughout the show.
Each member of the 12 person ensemble plays multiple roles, mainly alternating between the townsfolk of Gander and the plane people, and they all appear to get their own opportunities to shine as they each take turns providing exposition to the audience. Marika Aubrey plays one of the more high profile characters in the musical, Captain Beverly Bass, as she gets the only big solo number, ‘Me and the Sky’. It is through that song (and Marika’s stunning rendition of it) where we learn about Beverly’s journey from wanting to be an airplane pilot to where she is now. Highlights from the townspeople of Gander include Kevin Carolan as the mayor, Claude, Harter Clingman as the police constable, Oz, Julie Johnson as a local school teacher, Beulah, Sharone Sayegh as SPCA worker, Bonnie, and Julia Knitel as news reporter, Janice Mosher. Other highlights from the plane people include Nick Duckart and Brandon Springman (who went on for Andrew Samonsky at the performance I was in attendance for) as a same sex couple both named Kevin, Chamblee Ferguson as Nick, a Brit who develops a romantic relationship with Diane, a Texan played by Jenny Ashman (who went on for Christine Toy Johnson), James Earl Jones II as a guy from Jersey named Bob, and Danielle K. Thomas as a woman from New York named Hannah. At a few different points in the show, the whole cast is joined by an onstage band for some rowdy group numbers that are terrifically choreographed by Kelly Devine. Not to mention that the band plays Irene & David’s original score that is successfully brought to life through August Eriksmoen’s beautifully authentic orchestrations.
Overall, Come From Away is such an incredible musical filled with so many emotions! It’s got humor, heart, joy, and catharsis. What better way to start off the New Year than by spreading some kindness around the world? It’s a 100 minute journey with no intermission that makes your stop in Gander feel continuous. A great feel good show with a great message, and it never enters into schmaltzy territory.
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