New York: Industry News 6/9/17


♦ Just over a year ago, it was announced that veteran writer Rick Elice was close to finishing work on an musical adaptation of the life of Cher, with the hope of eventually landing the show on the Broadway stage. Now, in a tweet posted this week, the pop icon herself has confirmed that the musical, called The Cher Show, will arrive in New York sometime next year. In her posting Cher writes, “Just got off phone w/Writer & Director of musical. There will [be] performance in THEATRE WITH ACTORS, DANCERS, SINGERS!! IT’LL [BE] ON BROADWAY 2018.” Jason Moore is set to direct. According to previous reports, the show will include Cher’s hits, including “I Got You Babe,” “Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves,” “Take Me Home,” “Believe,” and “If I Could Turn Back Time,” among others. No official dates, theater or casting for the production has been announced.

♦ According to the New York Post, Jujamcyn Theaters are currently in negotiations to bring the critically acclaimed London revival of Tony Kushner’s Angels in America to Broadway next season. Directed by Marianne Elliott, the National Theater production stars Andrew Garfield, Nathan Lane, James McArdle, Russell Tovey and Denise Gough. No Broadway venue has been announced, although Jujamcyn’s Walter Kerr Theatre, which housed the Broadway debut of Angels in America in 1993, is currently available following the closing of Amélie.

Tim Burton

♦ The stage musical adaptation of the 1988 Tim Burton film Beetlejuice, currently in development through Warner Bros. Theatre Ventures, has finally found its creative team. Well-known Australian singer-songwriter and comedian Eddie Perfect will write the score while Scott Brown and Anthony King will pen the book. As previously announced, Alex Timbers will direct and three-time Tony nominee Christopher Fitzgerald is on board to play the title role. The next reading for the Broadway-bound musical is set to take place sometime later this month.

♦ According to Soho Rep a.d. Sarah Benson, the Off Broadway theater will return to its previous long-time home at 46 Walker Street in New York in time for its 2018 season. The experimental theatre company had been operating out of the Tribeca space for 25 years when, last November, it was forced to abruptly leave after inadvertently defying the building’s regulations. The company learned that the space did not permit more than 70 people in the venue, prompting them to vacate immediately. “When we closed our space in the fall, the prospect of ever returning seemed impossible,” commented Benson in a press statement. “With the advocacy and guidance of Media and Entertainment Commissioner Julie Menin and with the additional help of the Department of Buildings, our return to Walker Street became a real possibility.”

Eve Ensler

♦ Manhattan Theatre Club will present Eve Ensler’s In the Body of the World, which ran at the American Repertory Theater last summer, as part of its 2017-18 season. The solo piece, written and performed by Tony Award winner Ensler, is adapted from her 2013 critically acclaimed memoir of the same name. The play chronicles Ensler’s relationship to her body after she is diagnosed with uterine cancer while working with women in the war-torn Democratic Republic of Congo. Directed by Tony winner Diane Paulus, the show will begin performances Jan. 6, 2018 ahead of a Feb. 6 opening night at New York City Center. In the Body of the World joins the previously-announced Prince of Broadway, a musical celebrating the six-decade career of producer-director Harold Prince, set to open MTC’s season on Aug. 3.

♦ And finally, director, actor and choreographer Baayork Lee has been named the recipient of the 2017 Isabelle Stevenson Tony Award, presented annually to a member of the theatre community “who has made a substantial contribution of volunteered time and effort on behalf of one or more humanitarian, social service or charitable organizations.” Lee is being honored for her commitment to future generations of artists through her work with the National Asian Artists Project and theatre education programs around the world. “Baayork works tirelessly to break down cultural walls that often build up around what theatre goers consider ‘traditional’ musicals, and her dedication to fostering the next generation of performers and theatre professionals to do the same is exemplary. We are thrilled to honor her this year,” said Charlotte St. Martin, president of The Broadway League, and Heather Hitchens, president of the American Theatre Wing, in a joint statement.

Written by Richard Hart



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