- A new musical featuring the songs of The Go-Go’s, Head Over Heels, is heading for Broadway following its world premiere this past summer at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. The show, conceived by Jeff Whitty and directed by Michael Mayer, will make at least one stop out-of-town this spring before arriving in New York sometime during the 2018-19 season. Songs in the production include “We Got the Beat,” “Turn to You” and “Our Lips Are Sealed,” among others. The Go-Go’s are widely known as the most successful all-female band of all time, topping the Billboard charts while composing their own songs and playing their own instruments.
- Last month, after a series of lawsuits alleging environmental concerns, billionaire Barry Diller made the decision to drop plans for Pier 55, the $250 million performing arts center and public park designed to replace a rotting Hudson River jetty with grassy fields, paved walkways and three performance spaces. Now, in a deal brokered by New York State Gov. Cuomo, a ceasefire has been declared and the plan is back in motion. “We have had productive conversations and it has been agreed that the legal dispute commenced by the City Club will cease, Pier 55 will go forward, and we will work cooperatively to complete the full vision for the Park,” Cuomo said. Diller has long maintained that he would provide nearly all of the funding for the project with minimal cost to the city and state. “I’m going to make one last attempt to revive the plans to build the park, so that the intended beneficiaries of our endeavor can fall in love with Pier 55 in the way all of us have,” Diller said in a statement.
- Following a record-breaking run at Berkeley Rep, new musical Ain’t Too Proud: The Life and Times of the Temptations, based on the careers of the popular Motown vocal group, is looking for a Broadway theater. Producers Tom Hulce and Ira Pittelman had hoped to transfer the show to a theater sometime this spring in time for the Tonys, but given the bottleneck of shows looking for available Broadway houses, that now seems unlikely. “Getting a theater for the spring is not going to be easy, so it’ll be the fall,” Pittelman says. With a book by Dominique Morisseau and direction by Des McAnuff, the show will now play another U.S. venue sometime next summer or early fall of 2018 to maintain its momentum.
- New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio signed legislation this week repealing a 91-year-old Cabaret Law that banned dancing in venues without a cabaret license. While rarely enforced in recent years, the 1926 ordinance was considered by many to be an antiquated leftover from the more restrictive Prohibition Era. “It’s 2017, and this law just didn’t make sense. Nightlife is part of the New York melting pot that brings people together,” said Mayor de Blasio in a statement. “We want to be a city where people can work hard, and enjoy their city’s nightlife without arcane bans on dancing. I thank Speaker Viverito, Council Member Espinal, and everyone who helped repeal this law, support businesses and keep our nightlife safe.”
- IN BRIEF: Mint Theater revives Stanley Houghton’s 1912 play Hindle Wakes, directed by Gus Kaikkonen, starting Dec. 23; Scissor Sisters’ lead singer Jake Shears makes his B’way debut as Charlie in Kinky Boots Jan. 8-Apr. 1; Martin McDonagh‘s new play, Hangmen, described by the playwright as his most disturbing yet, transfers from London to Off-Broadway’s Atlantic Theater Company this January; Broadway vet Kingsley Leggs will play James Morse in the new Broadway-bound Pretty Woman: The Musical; Jessica Hecht, Dana Ivey, Sally Murphy, Andrew Garman and Ben Edelman have been cast in Lincoln Center Theater’s production of Joshua Harmon‘s Admissions; two-time Tony nominee Andrew Rannells will pen his memoirs detailing his journey from Omaha, Nebraska, to Broadway and beyond; amidst ongoing budget constraints, Lincoln Center announced it will end the Lincoln Center Festival, its annual summer performing arts programming; Springsteen on Broadway has been such a success that the show is extending again, this time through June 30, 2018.
– Written by Richard Hart