It’s all go on Broadway, where there is an endless supply of news and gossip at the moment, but general panic about whether audiences are coming back.
A lot of the talk swirling about relates to Stephen Sondheim, with Sweeney Todd, Into the Woods and Merrily We Roll Along all in the news.
The hot gossip is that Sweeney Todd might make it back to Broadway in Spring 2023, starring Josh Groban as Sweeney and Annaleigh Ashford (Sunday in the Park with George) as Mrs Lovett. That’s pretty specific gossip you might say!
Arguably Stephen Sondheim’s most accessible and popular musical, the demon barber of Fleet Street, with Mrs Lovett and her famous pies, is usually a crowd pleaser. And with the current success of Into the Woods on Broadway, recent success of Marianne Elliot’s Company, and forthcoming Daniel Radcliffe Merrily We Roll Along (see below!), celebrating the memory of Stephen Sondheim, who left us last year aged 91, is definitely en vouge.
Broadway Journal is saying that the team behind Hamilton – producer Jeffrey Seller and director Thomas Kail – are on board. Let’s see.
Into the Woods
On Into The Woods – the show pulled in more than $2 million last week at the box office, just behind Hamilton (The Music Man with Hugh Jackman, which usually takes the top spot, is on hiatus).
Cast changes were announced recently for the extended run of the show beginning 6 September, with real-life married couple Stephanie J. Block and Sebastian Arcelus as the Baker’s Wife and the Baker; plus. Krysta Rodriguez as Cinderella, Katy Geraghty as Little Red Ridinghood, and Jim Stanek as the Steward, Montego Glover joining to share current star Patina Miller’s The Witch role, Andy Karl as the Wolf/Prince from 6-15 September before current star Gavin Creel returns, Ann Harada as Jack’s Mother.
Lea Michele of Glee fame is taking on the role of Fanny Brice next month at the August Wilson Theatre on Broadway, in Funny Girl.
She takes over from Beanie Feldstein, who left the show at the end of July after only 4 months in the role. Not a particularly good sign of a happy production. But producers, including UK impresario Sonia Friedman are hoping that Lea gets the show back on track. The capacity is hovering around maximum 75% so producers will be hoping Lea adds a significant bounce.
Julie Benko is currently playing the role until Lea starts. Ramin Karimloo is staying on as Nick Arnstein.
Merrily We Roll Along
New York Theatre Workshop’s forthcoming revival of Stephen Sondheim and George Furth’s Merrily We Roll Along announced more casting recently – and it’s good! Tony nominee Jonathan Groff will play Franklin Shepard and Tony winner Lindsay Mendez will play Mary Flynn, joining Daniel Radcliffe as Charley Kringas.
The show will run from 21 November 2022 to 8 January 2023, directed by our very own, Maria Friedman. She is recreating her 2013 Menier Chocolate Factory production, which transferred to the Harold Pinter Theatre and scooped an Olivier Award for Best Musical.
The wider creative team includes choreography by Tim Jackson, music supervision by Catherine Jayes, music direction by Alvin Hough, Jr., scenic, costume design by Soutra Gilmour, lighting design by Amith Chandrashaker, and sound design by Kai Harada.
New Broadway musical KPOP about the Korean music phenomenon that has taken the world by storm, is to star real-life K-pop stars BoHyung, Min and Kevin Woo, plus already announced star Luna in the lead role of MwE.
Other cast will include Julia Abueva, BoHyung (formerly of SPICA and half of the duo KEEMBO), Major Curda, Jinwoo Jung, Jiho Kang, Amy Keum, James Kho, Marina Kondo, Eddy Lee, Joshua Lee, Jully Lee, Lina Rose Lee, Timothy H. Lee, Abraham Lim, Min (formerly of Miss A), Kate Mina Lin, Aubie Merrylees, Patrick Park, Zachary Noah Piser, Kevin Woo (formerly of U-KISS) and John Yi.
KPOP kicks off previews at Circle in the Square Theatre on Broadway on 13 October 2022.
Take Me Out
Baseball-themed play Take Me Out by Richard Greenberg and directed by Scott Ellis is getting another shot at Broadway, with Tony winner Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Tony nominee Jesse Williams back as the stars. The play will run at the Schoenfeld Theatre from 27 October for 14 weeks.
Take Me Out took home Tony Awards last year for Best Revival of a Play and Best Featured Actor for Ferguson.