► Kris Kringle The Musical, starring Tony nominees Cathy Rigby and Pamela Myers, will be coming to Town Hall for just two performances this November to benefit The Singing Angels, a charity whose mission is to “encourage, foster and cultivate positive youth development by engaging youth from all communities in quality music and performing arts education.” The show tells the story of a confrontation between an evil NYC toy company CEO and a young, starry-eyed toymaker named Kris Kringle who teams up with Santa and Mrs. Claus to remind us what Christmas is really about. Directed by Pierre Brault, the musical features an original book by Maria Ciampi with music and lyrics by Tim Janis and Angelo Natalie and additional lyrics by Ciampi. Show times are Nov. 24 at 3PM and 8PM.
► Obie winner Anne Kauffman and Tony winner Rebecca Taichman have been named resident directors for the Roundabout Theatre Company as part of the theater’s Artists in Residence roster, a program launched 25 years ago by Roundabout a.d. Todd Haines. As resident directors, both Kauffman and Taichman will have a home base to develop their own work, take artistic risks and play a role in planning the company’s seasons. In addition, Fiasco Theater has been named Roundabout’s company-in residence, along with new directing fellow Miranda Haymon and Tow Foundation playwright-in-residence Alex Lubischer. Roundabout’s continuing associate artists include Mark Brokaw, Sam Gold, Joshua Harmon, Doug Hughes, Bill Irwin, Pam MacKinnon, Joe Mantello, Kathleen Marshall, Theresa Rebeck, Jenny Rachel Weiner and Scott Ellis.
► Tony nominee Douglas Carter Beane is working on a stage musical adaptation of his 1995 screenplay for the cult classic To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar. Lewis Flinn will compose the score. The story follows Noxeema, Vida and Chi-Chi, three New York drag queens who embark on a road trip to enter a drag pageant in Los Angeles. The show will receive a developmental workshop presentation at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts Nov. 1-4 featuring a cast selected from the Academy’s current acting company.
► The Drama League‘s 34th annual benefit gala, this year entitled A Musical Celebration of Broadway, will take place at the Plaza Hotel on Nov. 6 and will feature performers from Broadway, the West End and Hollywood, along with special honored guest Steve Martin. The Drama League of New York, founded in 1916, is one of the nation’s oldest continuously-operating, not-for-profit arts advocacy and education organizations. Through its programs, initiatives and events, The League serves over 3,000 artists and 15,000 audience members each season with over 150 events and programs.
► Prolific playwright Jim Shankman has written a new musical called Billy and the Killers and it will premiere next month at the HERE Arts Center, which produced Shankman’s previous work, Heartless Bastard. According to production notes, the musical is “inspired by a true story and follows a young songwriter whose violent music and troubled upbringing leads police to suspect he killed his lover.” The show features a rock score Peter Stopschinski, book and lyrics by Shankman and direction by Craig J. George, with a cast that includes Sean McDermott, Sydney Shepherd, Tom O’Keefe and Paul Sadlik. Performances begin Nov. 7, with a run scheduled through Nov. 18.
► IN BRIEF: Two Headed Rep will present the world premiere of Emma Horwitz’s Reno & Moll in rep with an adaptation of August Strindberg’s Miss Julie beginning Nov. 4; Amelia Roper’s The Big and the Small will receive its world premiere Apr. 14, 2018 at The 4th Street Theater as part of Colt Coeur’s 2017-2018 season; on Nov. 3, Grammy winner Jason Mraz joins the cast of Waitress as love interest Dr. Pomatter; the winners of the 2017 Steinberg Playwright Awards are Ayad Akhtar and Lucas Hnath; Pen Center USA has awarded Lisa Loomer the 2017 Literary Award for Drama for her play Roe; celebrated playwright Albert Innaurato, best know for his long-running Broadway hit Gemini, passed away last month at the age of 70; David Hyde Pierce will host the ninth annual Broadway Salutes ceremony, an event honoring those who have worked 25, 35 and 50+ years on Broadway, Nov. 7 at Sardi’s; Melissa Gilbert joins the cast of Off-Broadway reprise of The Dead, 1904 at the Irish Rep; Michael Shannon and Rachel Dratch have joined the 17th Annual 24 Hour Plays on Broadway, Oct. 30 at the American Airlines Theatre; Tony nominee and Emmy winner Robert Guillaume passed away this week at the age of 89.
Written by Richard Hart