New York: Industry News 6/30/17

Ryan Murphy

♦ According to a story in the New York Post, Glee and Feud producer Ryan Murphy has optioned the rights to Mart Crowley’s comedy/drama The Boys in the Band with an eye towards producing the play’s Broadway debut. The show originally opened at Off Broadway’s Theater Four in 1968, where it ran for more than 1,000 performances. It was last seen in New York in 2010 in a production by Off-Broadway’s Transport Group. Although no casting has been confirmed, rumor has it that Murphy is looking at Tony winner Neil Patrick Harris for Michael and Emmy winner Jim Parsons for the role of Emory. The Post reports that Murphy is hoping to present the revival next spring in time to celebrate the landmark work’s 50th anniversary.

♦ The Broadway revival of Noel Coward’s comedy Present Laughter, starring Tony winner Kevin Kline, Cobie Smulders, Kate Burton, Kristine Nielsen and Reg Rogers, has been recorded by BroadwayHD for on-demand viewing. Directed by Moritz von Stuelpnagel, the limited engagement playing the St. James Theatre ends July 2. Starting this fall, BroadwayHD subscribers can stream Present Laughter on, Chromecast and BroadwayHD’s Roku, Apple TV, iPad, iPhone and Android mobile apps.

♦ Each year, the Lincoln Center Festival presents what the New York Times has called “a summer rite for the culturally inquisitive,” an unprecedented collection of arts programs which this year will feature 20 international productions and 43 performances across dance, music, theatre and film from around the world. Work featured at this year’s festival, which runs July 10-30, include Israeli filmmaker Amos Gital’s play about the assassination of the Israeli Prime Minister, Yitzhak Rabin: Chronicle of Assassination (July 19); Syrian playwright Mohammad Al Attar’s family drama about a man stopped at a Damascus checkpoint, While I Was Waiting (July 19–22); and Cameri Theatre of Tel Aviv’s sold-out production of To the End of the Land by David Grossman (July 24–27). For information about the festival’s complete lineup, visit

♦ Casting is complete for Second Stage Theater’s upcoming production of Pulitzer Prize winner Bruce Norris‘ dark comedy, A Parallelogram, which premiered in Chicago at the Steppenwolf Theatre Company in 2010. Directed by Michael Greif, the play will star Celia Keenan-Bolger as a woman who can click through different moments in her life with the touch of a remote control. Joining Keenan-Bolger are Stephen Kunken, Juan Castano and Anita Gillette. Performances begin July 11 at the Tony Kiser Theater, with an official opening set for Aug. 2.

Nancy Opel

♦ Following its debut at North Carolina Stage Company, Bobby Goldman and Drew Brody’s new musical comedy Curvy Widow, currently playing a limited engagement at the George Street Playhouse, will transfer to the Westside Theatre July 20, where it will officially open Aug. 3. Tony nominee Nancy Opel is set to star as Curvy, a widowed, 50-something woman ready to immerse herself in the modern dating scene. The cast also features Andrea Bianchi, Aisha de Haas, Elizabeth Ward Land, Ken Land, Alan Muraoka and Chris Shyer. Peter Flynn directs, with choreography by Marcos Santana.

♦ Me & Ella, a salute to the music of Ella Fitzgerald written and performed by Broadway vet Andrea Frierson, will be presented by the York Theatre Company as part of their New2NY series of concert performances of new musicals. The show was featured last season as part of the York’s Developmental Reading Series and commemorates the centennial of the legendary songstress. Directed by Tony winner Murphy Cross, with musical direction by Ron Abel, the show runs July 15-23 at Saint Peter’s.

♦ And finally, Actors’ Equity Association has awarded the Broadway productions of Natasha, Pierre, & The Great Comet of 1812, Come From Away and A Doll’s House, Part 2 its 2017 Extraordinary Excellence in Diversity on Broadway Award. The honor is awarded by Equity’s National Equal Employment Opportunity Committee to productions that “exemplify and promote the union’s founding principles of diversity, inclusion, non-traditional casting, and equal opportunity for all who work in the theatre.” The awards will be presented to representatives from the shows at Equity’s regular July 11 Council meeting.

Written by Richard Hart


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