♦ Off-Broadway’s Bedlam theatre company will kick off its 2017-18 with a new production of J.M. Barrie‘s Peter Pan, directed by Bedlam a.d. Eric Tucker. An ensemble featuring Kelley Curran, Edmund Lewis, Susannah Millonzi, Zuzanna Szadkowski and Eric Tucker will portray all the characters in the story, including Peter, the Darling children, the Lost Boys, the pirates and Captain Hook. Performances begin Nov. 11 at The Duke on 42nd Street, with an opening set for Nov. 19. The limited run will play through Dec. 23.
♦ It now looks as if the much-anticipated Off-Broadway revival of Howard Crabtree’s When Pigs Fly, the 1996 musical created by late costume designer-playwright Crabtree and Mark Waldrop, won’t be happening after all. Due to begin performances Oct. 6 at Stage 42, the production has run out of money and will be unable to complete the show’s final production elements. The show’s producers, Joshua Goodman, Louise Hall Beard, Gene Fisch Jr., in association with NewYorkRep, stated that “a shortfall in the show’s investment has made it impossible for the production to continue.” The revue features music by the late Dick Gallagher and book and lyrics by Mark Waldrop, who was also set to direct alongside choreographer Denis Jones.
♦ Theater for a New Audience‘s 2017-18 season will kick off with two one-act comedies from Théatre Des Bouffes Du Nord, Marcel and The Art of Laughter, starring clowns Jos Houben and Marcello Magni. The double bill runs Oct. 27-Nov. 19. Adrienne Kennedy‘s first play in nine years, He Brought Her Heart Back in a Box, will follow, running Jan. 17-Feb. 11. Evan Yionoulis directs. TFANA’s tradition of presenting the plays of William Shakespeare continues with a production of A Winter’s Tale, directed by Arin Arbus and performing Mar. 11-Apr. 15. Closing out the season is another Shakespeare offering, Twelfth Night, a co-production from the Acting Company and Delaware’s Ensemble Players directed by Maria Aitken and playing May 10-27.
♦ The National Alliance for Musical Theatre will celebrate its 29th annual festival Oct. 19–20 at New World stages. Every year, the industry-only event presents developing new works to producers and other artists in 45-minute concert presentations over two days only. This year’s Festival will feature eight new musicals selected from over 240 blind submissions from around the world. In the festival’s history, over 85 percent of the shows have gone on to have subsequent readings, workshops, productions, licensing deals and more. Past musicals developed by NAMT include Come From Away, The Drowsy Chaperone, It Shoulda Been You and Thoroughly Modern Millie. To see the complete 2017 lineup and to register, visit NAMT.org/festival/2017/.
♦ Pop culture parody masters Bob and Tobly McSmith, the duo behind Bayside! The Saved by the Bell Musical, 90210! The Musical, Full House! The Musical, Showgirls! The Musical, and Katdashians!, have now set their sights on the denizens of Central Perk with their new show, Friends! The Musical. The unauthorized parody of the hit ’90s TV show, which aired on NBC from Sept. 1994 through May 2004, is set to open this fall in a production directed and choreographed by Paul Stancato. Performances begin Oct. 13 for an open-ended run at downtown’s St. Luke’s Theatre. No word yet on casting.
♦ Downtown theater veteran and five-time Obie winner David Greenspan will perform a solo version of Eugene O’Neill‘s Pulitzer Prize-winning drama Strange Interlude as part of Off-Broadway’s Transport Group‘s 2017-18 season. In O’Neill’s epic, nine-act saga, Nina Leeds, devastated when her fiancé is killed in WWI, begins a series of sordid love affairs, eventually leading her into an unhappy, ill-fated marriage. Under Jack Cummings III‘s direction, Mr. Greenspan will play all the parts and perform the play in its entirety – all six hours of it – with two 15-minute intermissions and a 30-minute dinner break. Performances start Oct. 6 at the Irondale Theater Center in Brooklyn and continue through Nov. 18.
♦ IN BRIEF: Two-time Tony nominee Orfeh will take on the role of Kit De Luca in the upcoming Broadway production of Pretty Woman; Antoinette Nwandu has been named the recipient of Vineyard Theatre’s 2017-2018 Paula Vogel Playwriting Award; Oakley Boycott will play Ella Peterson in Musicals Tonight!’s revival of Bells Are Ringing at the Lion Theatre at Theatre Row; Kecia Lewis, Julee Cerda, Treshelle Edmond and John McGinty join Joshua Jackson and Lauren Ridloff in the Broadway revival of Mark Medoff’s Children of a Lesser God; “Cheers” star George Wendt will star as Santa in Elf the Musical at Madison Square Garden this holiday season.
Written by Richard Hart