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Theatre News: A New Hedwig, Pacino Back on Broadway, 'Once' Closing, Upcoming Sondheim Musical

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This month in theatre news, Broadway gets a new Hedwig, Once sets closing date, Pacino teams with Mamet and Sondheim at work on a new musical.

> Michael C. Hall began performances last week in the title role of Hedwig and the Angry Inch, stepping in after Girls star Andrew Rannells completed his 8-week run as the trans rocker. Hall, best known for Dexter and Six Feet Under, was just on Broadway last spring in Will Eno’s The Realistic Joneses. No stranger to gender fluidity, he previously played several stints as the Emcee in Roundabout Theatre Company’s 1998 production of Cabaret. Hall will continue as Hedwig through January 4.

Once> Tony and Grammy Award-winning musical Once announced a closing date of January 4 at the Jacobs Theatre. Based on the acclaimed Oscar-winning film of the same name, the Dublin-set musical about a passionate and unlikely romance featuring an ensemble of actor-musicians, will have played 1,167 regular performances and 22 previews. The show’s U.S. national tour continues and a number of international productions are currently running or in development, including a West End production that will close in March of next year.

> Producers announced that Al Pacino will return to Broadway next fall in China Doll, a new play by David Mamet. In a statement, the playwright described it as “a play about a wealthy man, his young fiancé, and an airplane […] I wrote it for Al. It is better than oral sex.” The new play will be directed by Pam MacKinnon and produced by Jeffery Richards, Jerry Frankel and Steve Traxler at a Shubert theatre to be determined.

Stephen-Sondheim-08> Lincoln Center Theatre announced two new additions to its 2015 docket: Shows for Days, a new comedy by Douglas Carter Beane (The Nance, The Little Dog Laughed) set in a 1970s community theatre, to be directed by Jerry Zaks Off Broadway at the Mitzi E. Newhouse Theatre, and Preludes, a new musical by Dave Malloy, directed by Rachel Chavkin (creators of Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812) about Russian composer Sergei Rachmaninoff at LCT3’s Claire Tow Theatre.

> Stephen Sondheim is at work on a new musical with playwright David Ives (Venus in fur) based on two films by Spanish director Luis Buñuel, The Exterminating Angel and The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie, according to the New York Times. The Public Theatre and Scott Rudin are producing the new work. No timeline has been set; Oskar Eustis, Artistic Director of the Public, said in a statement, “We will do it whenever Steve tells us to.”

> Producer Kevin McCollum announced that Robert Askins' dark comedy Hand to God starring Steven Boyer will open on Broadway at the Booth Theatre on April 7, 2015 with previews beginning March 12. Featuring a critically-acclaimed performance by Boyer as a young man whose hand puppet takes on a demonic life of its own, the play was previously produced at Ensemble Studio Theatre and again at MCC Theater earlier this spring. Moritz von Stuelpnagel directs.

 


What To Watch This Week on TV: Salute to Sondheim, 'Horror Story' Gives 'Head,' 'Downton' On Bravo, - VIDEO

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Check out our weekly guide to make sure you're catching the big premieres, crucial episodes and the stuff you won't admit you watch when no one's looking.

—  The cast of Downton Abbey lets down their hair with host Andy Cohen on Watch What Happens Live Tuesday at 11 p.m. Eastern on Bravo. So if you ever wanted to see what it'd be like for Thomas Barrow (Rob James Collier), Tom Branson (Allen Leech), Lady Edith (Laura Carmichael) and Mrs. Patmore (Lesley Nicol) to throw back one too many flirtinis, this is your chance. Sadly, the Dowager Countess (Maggie Smith) won't be there to lodge her disapproval.

More picks and clips, including a Horror Story mid-season finale to lose your head over and a celebration of Sondheim AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "What To Watch This Week on TV: Salute to Sondheim, 'Horror Story' Gives 'Head,' 'Downton' On Bravo, - VIDEO" »


Stephen Sondheim Revising the Musical 'Company' and Making Its Lead Character Gay

The New York Times reports that Stephen Sondheim is working with director John Tiffany on a new production of his 70's musical Company that would be centered around a gay man:

CompanyThe biggest change in this new “Company” would be the central character of Bobby. Whereas he has always been a straight man struggling with commitment issues and multiple girlfriends, he has been reconceived by Mr. Tiffany as a gay man with commitment issues and multiple boyfriends. And some characters have had gender reversals; the character of Joanne, who sings “The Ladies Who Lunch” and was originally played by Elaine Stritch on Broadway, is being played by the Tony winner Alan Cumming (“Cabaret”) in Mr. Tiffany’s reading of the work at Roundabout this week.

For years Mr. Sondheim and the musical’s book writer, George Furth, who died in 2008, batted back suggestions that Bobby was furtively intended to be a closeted gay man. But when Mr. Tiffany proposed actually making Bobby gay, Mr. Sondheim said in a telephone interview on Tuesday, the idea intrigued him.

The Roundabout is holding a performance for a private audience on Friday starring Daniel Evans as Bobby. Bobby Steggert and Michael Urie are in the cast. A decision on whether to move forward with the production will be made soon thereafter.


First Look: Meryl Streep as the Witch in 'Into the Woods'

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Meryl Streep shows off some talons in the first still from the film adaptation of Stephen Sondheim's Into the Woods, directed by Rob Marshall.

Also starring: Anna Kendrick, Chris Pine, Johnny Depp, and Emily Blunt.

Our Nathaniel Rogers has some thoughts on the still over at Film Experience.


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