New York: Industry News 10/23/17

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♦ The 72nd annual Tony Awards will return to Radio City Music Hall for the second consecutive year. The ceremony will take place on Sunday, June 10, 2018 and will air on CBS. The network, which has aired the Tony Awards since 1978, has signed a new agreement with The American Theatre Wing to broadcast the award’s ceremony through 2026. Deadline for eligibility is April 26. Nominations will be announced on Tuesday, May 1. No word yet on who will assume hosting duties.

Anthony Edwards

Joshua Jackson, Lauren Ridloff and Emmy winner Anthony Edwards will make their Broadway debuts in the upcoming revival of Children of a Lesser God, Mark Medoff‘s Tony Award-winning play about a new instructor at a school for the deaf and his conflicted professional and romantic relationship with a deaf former student-turned-teacher. With direction by Kenny Leon, the production first premiered last summer under the auspices of the Berkshire Theatre Group. It will begin performances Mar. 22, 2018 at Studio 54 ahead of an Apr. 11 opening.

♦ To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the original theatrical production of Hair, the Public Theater will host a one-night-only anniversary benefit performance of the ground-breaking tribal love-rock musical. Diane Paulus, director of the 2009 Broadway revival, will direct. The cast will feature performers from both the 2008 Shakespeare in the Park production and the Tony Award-winning 2009 Broadway revival, including Jonathan Groff as Claude, Caissie Levy as Sheila, Bryce Ryness as Woof, Allison Case as Crissy, Darius Nichols as Hud, Kacie Sheik as Jeanie and Will Swenson as Berger. Performance will take place on Oct. 25 at 8PM in The Appel Room, located on the fifth floor of Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Frederick P. Rose Hall in the Time Warner Center at Columbus Circle.

Ken Watanabe

♦ ACROSS THE POND: Tony winner Kelli O’Hara and Tony nominee Ken Watanabe will likely repeat their performances from The King and I in a West End production set for 2018 at London’s Palladium; director Matthew Wachus is readying an updated London production of Groundhog Day, with book rewrites and new songs from Tim Minchin; Olivier Award winner Sheila Hancock has signed on to star in the London premiere of Colin Higgin’s Harold and Maude set for sometime next year; Mischief Theatre, the company behind The Play That Goes Wrong, returns to the West End with Mischief Movie Night, an improvised movie live on stage, opening Dec. 13 at the Arts; Stomp, currently at the Ambassadors Theatre, closes Jan. 7 after more than 6,000 performances; Tony nominee Adrienne Warren will star in the world premiere of Tina, a new bio-musical based on the life of the legendary Tina Turner opening at the Aldwych on Mar. 21; Ian McKellen will supply the voice of the Demon in the West End premiere of John Pielmeier’s stage adaptation of The Exorcist.

The MacArthur Foundation has named its 2017 “Genius” Grant winners and among the 24 winners are two well-known New York theater artists: playwright Annie Baker, who won the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for her play The Flick, and Taylor Mac, who created a sensation this year with his 24-hour performance piece A 24-Decade History of Popular Music. In addition to Baker and Mac, this year’s recipients include singer-songwriter Rhiannon Giddens, opera director and producer Yuval Sharon, and composer and musician Tyshawn Sorey. The fellowship, whose three criteria for selection are “exceptional creativity, promise for important future advances based on a track record of significant accomplishment, and potential for the fellowship to facilitate subsequent creative work,” comes with a no-strings-attached grant of $625,000 distributed over five years.

♦ The Off-Broadway premiere of Pulitzer Prize nominee Theresa Rebeck‘s What We’re Up Against will take place at the WP Theater this fall. Written in 1992, Rebeck’s darkly funny play is set in a small architecture firm where a new female employee struggles with the challenges of gender politics in the work place. Adreinne Campbell-Holt directs a cast that features Skylar Astin, Jim Parrack and Krysta Rodriguez. A four-week limited run plays Oct. 28-Nov. 26, with an official opening set for Nov. 8.

Jessica Lange

♦ IN BRIEF: Tony Award winner Jessica Lange will receive this year’s Jason Robards Award for Excellence in the Theatre at the Roundabout Theatre Company’s annual gala Feb. 26; joining Chloë Sevigny in The New Group’s production of Seth Zvi Rosenfeld‘s ­Downtown Race Riot are Cristian DeMeo, David Levi, Moise Morancy, Daniel Oreskes, Sadie Scott and Daniel Sovich; Irish Rep’s The Dead, 1904 will play a return engagement at The American Irish Historical Society Nov. 18-Jan. 8; Jonathan Silverstein directs Max Crumm and Lucy DeVito in Dan Rothenberg and Colleen Crabtree’s Hot Mess starting Nov. 7 at The Jerry Orbach Theater at The Theater Center; Joshua Boone and Alexandra Socha will star in Anna Ziegler’s Actually beginning Oct. 31 at MTC’s The Studio at Stage II; word has it that Bruce Springsteen is enjoying his Broadway debut so much that he plans to extend his show through June of next year.

Written by Richard Hart

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