♦ For the first time, London’s Royal National Theatre will present a production of the 1971 Stephen Sondheim/James Goldman musical Follies. Sondheim fans in the U.S. will be interested to know that the production will be broadcast through the National Theatre Live platform beginning Nov. 16. The production opened Aug. 22 in the National’s Olivier Theatre and is directed by Dominic Cooke and choreographed by Bill Deamer. The cast of 37 features Imelda Staunton as Sally, Janie Dee as Phyllis, Peter Forbes Buddy and Philip Quast as Ben. For more information on dates and theaters in your area, check out the NTL site at http://ntlive.nationaltheatre.org.uk/productions/63102-follies.
♦ Joining “Downton Abbey” star Elizabeth McGovern in the upcoming Broadway production of J.B. Priestley’s Time and the Conways are Anna Camp, Tony winner Gabriel Ebert and Tony nominee Steven Boyer. Completing the cast are Charlotte Parry, Matthew James Thomas, Anna Baryshnikov, Brooke Bloom, Alfredo Narciso and Cara Ricketts. With direction by recent Tony winner Rebecca Taichman, the Roundabout Theatre Company revival begins performances Sept. 14 at the American Airlines Theatre, with an official opening set for Oct. 10 and a limited run scheduled through Nov. 26. This production marks the first Broadway staging of the play since its premiere in 1938.
♦ Back in September of last year, Elena K. Holy, producing artistic director of the New York Fringe Festival, announced that the festival would take the summer of 2017 off, with an eye toward rethinking and reconsidering the mission and purpose of FringeNYC. Despite this, the 12th annual Fringe Encore Series, which showcases returning productions from international fringe festivals like Edinburgh, Winnipeg and Adelaide, will continue this year as planned. Marking its 12th year, this summer’s Series, featuring a lineup of audience favorites and critical successes from past Fringe Festivals, will run Sept. 5–Oct. 22 at SoHo Playhouse. For a complete listing of shows, visit the Encore Series’ website at http://www.sohoplayhouse.com/fringe-encore-series-2016.
♦ Casting is complete for the first two shows of Off-Broadway’s Primary Stages‘ 2017-18 season. Scott Carter’s The Gospel According to Thomas Jefferson, Charles Dickens and Count Leo Tolstoy: Discord, directed by Kimberly Senior, will feature Duane Boutté as Dickens, Michael Laurence as Jefferson and Thom Sesma as Tolstoy. The show begins performances Sept. 19 at the Cherry Lane Theatre, with a run scheduled through Oct. 22. Kate Hammill‘s stage adaptation of Pride and Prejudice will run Nov.7 through Dec. 15 with a cast that includes the playwright herself. Joining Hammill are Mark Bedard, Kimberly Chatterjee, Jason O’Connell, Amelia Pedlow, Chris Thorn, John Tufts and Nance Williamson. Directed by Amanda Dehnert, Pride and Prejudice is a co-production with Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival.
♦ One hundred years ago, on the eve of America’s entry into World War I, seven suffragettes—all women of the theatre—came together to form The Stage Women’s War Relief, an organization that would eventually evolve into today’s American Theatre Wing. To celebrate 100 years of supporting strong and fearless voices in American Theatre, the Wing will hold its annual Gala on Monday, Sept. 18 at Cipriani 42nd Street. The Centennial Gala will celebrate iconic moments in American musical theatre over the past 100 years, from Show Boat to Hamilton, and will feature a wide array of performers and presenters to be announced shortly. Said American Theatre Wing President Heather Hitchens: ” I look forward to toasting our unique history and promising future—a future in which American Theatre continues to play a leading role in shaping our nation’s history.”
♦ Warner Bros. Theatre Ventures is moving forward with their musical adaptation of Beetlejuice, with a developmental lab scheduled to take place in NYC Sept. 5-29. Tony nominee Alex Timbers, who directed a reading of the musical in May of this year, remains at the helm. He will be joined by choreographer Connor Gallagher, while three-time Tony nominee Christopher Fitzgerald is on board to play the title role. The musical features a score by Australian musician and comedian Eddie Perfect and a book by Anthony King and Scott Brown.
♦ IN BRIEF: Following a sold-out run at the Public Theater, John Leguizamo’s Latin History for Morons moves to Broadway’s Studio 54 starting Oct. 19; Disney’s Frozen will open officially at the St. James Theatre on Mar. 22, 2018; Frankenstein, a new musical based on Mary Shelley‘s novel, begins previews at St. Luke’s Theatre on Oct. 2; Disney’s Newsies: The Broadway Musical! available on Netflix Sept. 5; in January, Taylor Trensch will take over the title role in Dear Evan Hansen following a two-month stint by Noah Galvin; Peccadillo Theater Company revives George Kelly’s The Show-Off beginning Sept. 21; Hailey Kilgore will star in the upcoming Broadway revival of Once on This Island starting Nov. 9.
Written by Richard Hart