Theater buffs and thespian wannabes will love the latest news coming from behind the curtains:
London's theater scene will be getting a taste of Broadway this fall when John Kander and Fred Ebb's final musical, The Scottsboro Boys, opens at the Young Vic. Directed by five-time Tony-winner Susan Stroman, the limited engagement begins on Friday, October 13 at the Young Vic, with an official press opening set for Tuesday, October 29. The run is strictly limited to five weeks. The Scottsboro Boys made its New York debut in the spring of 2010 and went on to receive 12 Tony nominations for its Broadway run, in spite of protests over the controversial subject matter and presentational style. Casting for the London production will be announced soon. The show tells the true story of nine young black men, aged between 12 and 19, who were accused of a violent crime against two white women while on a train traveling through Scottsboro, Alabama in 1931. Their trials, convictions and appeals, which lasted for years, divided the nation and heavily influenced the Civil Rights Movement. The Scottsboro Boys will play the following performance schedule: Monday to Saturday at 7:30pm / Wednesday & Saturday matinees at 2:30pm. Tickets will be available to the general public beginning February 28 and can be purchased via www.youngvic.org or by calling 011-44-020-7922-2922. For more information about the show, visit www.scottsboromusicallondon.com.
More big news for Broadway today: Playbill is reporting that Emmy Award-winning actress Jane Lynch, most famous for playing a bullying cheer coach on TV's "Glee," will make her Broadway debut in the role of orphanage matron Miss Hannigan in Annie from May 16 to July 14. Two-time Tony Award-winning actress Katie Finneran, who has been playing the role at the Palace Theatre since the revival's opening late last year, is leaving to film a new NBC comedy series with Michael J. Fox. The role of Miss Hannigan is a popular one for comediennes, with luminaries like Dorothy Loudon, Carol Burnett and Nell Carter having performed it in years past. And while she has never performed on Broadway before, Lynch is no stranger to the stage, having worked at Chicago's Steppenwolf Theatre Company and The Second City. She has already earned an Emmy and Golden Globe Award for her work on TV. Tickets are currently on sale through November 17, 2013. Visit AnnieTheMusical.com for more information and tickets.
How can we miss it if it won't go away? Ten years after its then-record-breaking Broadway run shuttered and seven years after its (first) revival, Les Miserables is coming back to a New York stage, according to the New York Times. A new stage version of Les Mis will open on Broadway in March 2014, producer Cameron Mackintosh said on Tuesday, in an attempt to capitalize on the popularity of the Oscar-nominated film—and restore luster to the show after a short-lived 2006 revival that even Mackintosh now admits was ill-conceived. (As opposed to the original Broadway production, which ran from 1987 to 2003, the revival barely made it past a year.) We hear the new version, which has been touring the United States for two years, lacks the somewhat iconic revolving turntable and has redesigned scenery based on Victor Hugo’s paintings for his original novel, as well as new orchestrations. The production will be directed by Laurence Connor and James Powell, and will run at a Shubert theater to be named later. Stay tuned for cast announcements (might Oscar-nominated Hugh Jackman return to Broadway to play Jean Valjean again?) and ticket information.
The Public Theater has announced the 2013 Shakespeare in the Park season, and some big names are attached. First up, Time Out New York is reporting, will be The Comedy of Errors, the Bard’s early-career farce about mismatched twins, starring Jesse Tyler Ferguson (of Modern Family fame) and Hamish Linklater (of The Big C), and directed by company stalwart Daniel Sullivan. Ferguson appeared at the Delacorte in The Merchant of Venice and The Winter's Tale several years ago, as well as A Midsummer Night's Dream before that. Linklater, meanwhile, appeared in Shakespeare in the Park's Twelfth Night. After that will be Love’s Labour’s Lost, a romantic comedy about noblemen who swear to dedicate themselves to scholarship—only to fall in love with three noble ladies who make them reconsider those vows. We hear the show will be directed by Alex Timbers and will have music by Michael Friedman, who last collaborated on Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson. (Timbers was also at the helm of recently closed Peter and the Starcatcher.) We're still waiting to hear who will star. Tickets to all Shakespeare in the Park productions are free, but often require queuing up in line for many hours (which, admittedly, can be fun on a warm summer's day…but less fun in the rain). To avoid waiting, purchase a Summer Supporter Ticket: A tax-deductable donation of $175 to the Public will guarantees one reserved seat for either play (although only a limited number of these tickets are available).