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This week in theater news...

Published December 4th, 2015 by | No Comments

Each week we're going to keep you up-to-speed with the latest Broadway and theater news. Check back next week to see what you missed this week, and to catch a glimpse of what's going on at Playhouse Square and beyond. Enjoy!

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Theater happenings…

Do you hear the people sing?
Singing the songs of angry men - Les Miserables will its Broadway run in September, 2016. When it closes, the musical will have played 1,026 performances this run, having opened in March, 2014. But don’t worry, this is the show’s second revival since it premiered on Broadway in 1987, so maybe, just maybe, it will be revived once more. (Broadway.com) Read more…

Allegiance cast album
George Takei, Lea Salonga, Telly Leung and the rest of the cast of Broadway’s Allegiance will be recording a cast album, with a digital release date set for January 30, 2016. (Broadway.com) Read more…

Well Hello Again...
Fancy seeing you there, Martha Plimpton, T.R. Knight, and Rumer Willis. These are just a few of the names hitting the big screen in the film adaptation of the Michael John LaChiusa’s off-Broadway musical, Hello Again. The show also stars Audra McDonald, who will play Sally. (Broadway.com) Read more…

Playhouse Square happenings…

The Santaland Diaries
A Christmas Carol

Q104 Holiday Show starring: Adam Lambert and Echosmith
The Tenors
Dave Koz and Friends Christmas Tour 2015
A Very Last Call Christmas
Cleveland Jazz Orchestra: A-Not-So-Silent-Night
Trailer Park Boys: The Dear Santa Tour

This week in theater news...

Published November 29th, 2015 by | No Comments

Each week we're going to keep you up-to-speed with the latest Broadway and theater news. Check back next week to see what you missed this week, and to catch a glimpse of what's going on at Playhouse Square and beyond. Enjoy!

Theater happenings…

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Tony’s date pushed back
The 70th Annual Tony Awards ceremony has been moved to June 12th, and will be held at the Beacon Theatre. This year’s Tony’s won’t take place at Radio City Music Hall due to the Rockettes “tech” week being held there for their New York Spectacular. (Broadway.com) Read more…

Grease: Live dishing out some previews
January 31st can’t come soon enough, thanks to some preview photos of Grease: Live, airing on Fox. Aaron Tveit and Julianne Hough will play Danny and Sandy, with Vanessa Hudgens as Rizzo. (Broadway.com) Read more…

Chilina Kennedy interviewed by Imogen Lloyd Webber
Ever wonder how stars balance parenting with acting? Hear from Chilina Kennedy, the current Carole King in Beautiful on Broadway, as she gives an inside scoop into the life of an actress. (Broadway.com) Read more…

Playhouse Square happenings…

The Wizard of Oz
A Christmas Carol
A Christmas Story
The Santaland Diaries

This week in theater news: Thanksgiving Day Parade Edition

Published November 20th, 2015 by | No Comments

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As theatre lovers, it’s pretty exciting to see some of Broadway’s best show up right in your living room. No, Idina Menzel won’t be ringing the doorbell this Thursday, but instead the 89th Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is set to take over on both NBC and CBS beginning at 9 a.m. The three-hour-long spectacular is sure to bring some memorable moments; The high-flying blimps, the celebrities, the excitement – but most importantly the Broadway performances.

Many of this year's performers and entertainment have already been announced, and to keep you in the loop we’ve made a list of all the must see moments and music you can look forward to watching while you warm up for a Thanksgiving feast.

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CBS:

Beautiful: The Carol King Musical This one hits close to home. Get a taste of the turkey the show before its stop in CLE April 5-17, 2016.

Jersey Boys – You know, the musical that just celebrated its 10th anniversary on Broadway and tells the story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons? THAT Jersey Boys.

Kinky Boots
star Wayne Brady: The hilarious Mr. Brady will stop by the host booth to talk with Kevin Frazier and Keltie Knight about his latest role as Lola in Kinky Boots.

Hamilton
’s Renée Elise Goldsberry: If you haven’t become a fan of Hamilton yet, it’s not too late. It’s exactly the story you’re thinking it is: a musical based off of a 2004 biography about one of America’s Founding Fathers, Alexander Hamilton, set to the rhythm of hip-hop and r&b.

Allegiance
star George Takei: (Psst… George Takei was that guy from Star Trek.) And he was the inspiration for Broadway’s  Allegiance,  a musical following the lives of the Kimura family in the weeks following the attack on Pearl Harbor. Takei is the current star of the show.

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NBC:

School of Rock – Yes, it is a musical based off of that movie starring Jack Black. The band will have their own float in the parade, a little different from a lot of other Broadway performances.

Fiddler on the Roof – SO excited for this classic revival, opening on Broadway December 20.

Finding Neverland
- Calling all Glee fans – Matthew Morrison will be performing “Believe” with other cast members.

The King and I
– A Rodgers and Hammerstein classic, Tony Awards winner Kelli O’Hara and the cast will be performing.

On Your Feet
Just as Beautiful tells the story of Carol King, On Your Feet is about the lives of Emilio and Gloria Estefan and their road to fame.

The Wiz Live
– Another incredible live, televised performance of a Broadway show, and you can see a sneak preview in the parade. Don’t miss the show on NBC Dec. 3, with stars like Queen Latifah, Mary J. Blige, and Ne-Yo.

In addition to seeing the some of Broadway's greats, tons of other stars from Andy Grammer to Mariah Carey will be performing.

This week in theater news...

Published November 13th, 2015 by | No Comments

Each week we're going to keep you up-to-speed with the latest Broadway and theater news. Check back every Friday to see what you missed this week, and to catch a glimpse of what's going on at Playhouse Square and beyond. Enjoy!

Theater happenings…

jerseyPhoto from Broadwayworld.com

Jersey Boys celebrates 10 years
Happy Anniversary, Jersey Boys! The show, which tells the story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, celebrated its tenth anniversary on Broadway in the most appropriate way: with a performance at the August Wilson Theatre. The show’s history boasts four of the 2006 Tony Awards including the Best Musical. (Playbill.com) Read more…

The songs from Waitress have arrived!
Step aside, Bieber and One Direction – Sara Bareilles’ album, “What’s Inside: Songs from Waitress” has arrived, and it’s already got us singing along. Listen to the album on Spotify before Waitress hits Broadway in spring, 2016.

The star of Hamilton on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon
Last week, Jimmy Fallon interviewed Lin-Manuel Miranda, writer of the book, music and lyrics for Broadway’s Hamilton, and the current lead in the show. Having accomplished other written feats like Tony-winning In the Heights, proved himself once again in "Wheel of Freestyle."

Playhouse Square happenings…

Cleveland Comedy Festival
NGM Entertainment Presents: The Dumbass

This week in theater news...

Published November 6th, 2015 by | No Comments

Each week we"re going to keep you up-to-speed with the latest Broadway and theater news. Check back every Friday to see what you missed this week, and to catch a glimpse of what"s going on at Playhouse Square and beyond. Enjoy!

eddiegeorge

Theatre happenings…

Eddie George: Broadway superstar
Maybe you know him as the NFL player, maybe as the Heisman Trophy winner, but Eddie George will be making his Broadway debut in Chicago in 2016. He’ll play Billy Flynn on January 11 for a seven-week limited engagement at the Ambassador Theatre. (Playbill.com) Read more…

Laura Osnes and Corey Cott lead The Bandstand
Next season, The Bandstand will be transferring to Broadway, and Laura online casino Osnes and Corey Cott will star again! Dates, theater and additional casting announcements to come. (Broadway.com) Read more…

Broadway’s about to be a Disaster!
Early 2016, the Nederlander Theatre will run Disaster! After two runs off-Broadway. And, what’s just as great is the star-studded cast. Adam Pascal, Roger Bart, and Faith Prince are among them. (Broadway.com) Read more…

Playhouse Square happenings…

Paula Poundstone
A Prairie Home Companion
Camille A. Brown & Dancers - DANCECleveland
SOULmate? A True Love Story
The Singing Angels: Holiday Spectacular

An Interview with Kristen Beth Williams

Published November 2nd, 2015 by | No Comments

As part of our Broadway Buzz program, Buzz Extra writer Alicia Hansen will take you behind the scenes of each KeyBank Broadway Series show and interview a member of the show’s cast, crew or creative team.

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The 2015-2016 KeyBank Broadway Series at Playhouse Square keeps the laughs, musical numbers and hilarious plot lines coming with its second show, A Gentleman"s Guide to Love and Murder. In this interview, Kristen Beth Williams, the actress who plays the character of Sibella, provides an in-depth look into her life as a performer in the touring production of this 2014 Tony Award® winner for Best Musical.

Tell us about yourself.

I started dancing when I was 3 years old. At that age, much to the dismay of both my parents, I "couldn"t carry a tune in a bucket," as my mother says.  My dad is a phenomenal bass/baritone, and my mother has a lovely singing voice as well.  Luckily, I figured out how to match pitch around the age of 7 or 8, and I have been singing ever since.  My parents took me to see the national tour of CATS when it came through Dallas when was 9 years old. I think that is when I knew I wanted to do this for a living.  I did children"s theatre over the summers until high school, then I did the high school plays and musicals, along with choir and choral competitions.  I went to the University of Oklahoma to study musical theatre, moved to New York after graduation, worked all over the country, all before landing my first Broadway show.  Four Broadway shows, a stint in London"s West End, a LOT of auditions later and here I am!

What was your process in preparing for the role of Sibella?

I saw Gentleman"s Guide twice in its first year on Broadway, and I absolutely fell in love with it and the role of Sibella.  Most performers watch shows with an eye on what role they could play in them. Sibella was the one that called to me.  When I got the audition, I read the script, learned the sides and music, and forced my wonderful husband to go through everything with me.  When I got the job, one of our writers gave me a bit of insight that helped shape my initial take on the character. Additionally, our director, Darko Tresnjak, encouraged all of us to find our own way to the characters and not to do an imitation of anyone we had seen play them previously.  Sometimes in this business, you find a role that just fits you like a beautifully tailored suit.  Sibella is one of those for me.

Would you provide a glimpse into a “day in the life” of an actor of a touring production, including some insight to what audience members might not know is a part of your regular routine?  

The wonderful thing about touring is getting to see new cities all over the country!  I have never been to most of the cities we are going to, and I can"t wait to explore them!  The hard part is packing your life into two suitcases and a trunk.  For example, you have to ask yourself, "what clothes am I going to need in Tampa, Florida versus Cleveland, online casino Ohio?"  Many of us are married and have husbands and wives at home in New York, so we have to figure out when we are going to see them.  My husband (fellow actor, James Ludwig) and I sat down with both of our work calendars about a month before I started rehearsals to map out a schedule of when we could see each other.

On days when we only have one show, we try to get out and about to see what there is to see wherever we are, like The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame & Museum and the Christmas Story House in Cleveland.  There is a group of us who are finding yoga studios in each city we visit, which has been really fun. Sometimes when we get to our hotel on the first day, we will put on our running shoes and go for an exploratory jog – finding the theatre, seeing what restaurants are close, etc.

I have to eat a very early and somewhat meager dinner before the show because of our costumes.  All the women are wearing corsets (yes, real corsets) under our costumes, and a big dinner right before the show would just make you uncomfortable for the rest of the night! Also, I talk to people all the time who do not realize we all do our own makeup for the show!

Are there specific musical numbers in the show that are favorites for you? For the audience?

I love all of my songs and scenes, but I think the obvious favorite for everyone – cast and audience – is "I"ve Decided to Marry You," right at the top of Act II.  The staging is exciting and pristine. In my opinion, the song itself is one of the best musical theatre songs written in the last 20 years.

This show has been described as “uproarious” – what’s the secret to musical comedy success in your experience?

Timing is everything, but I think the key with the comedy in our show is the honesty behind it.  Every character has something they want so badly they would lie, cheat, steal, or even kill for. It"s the way each character goes about achieving their goals that makes the show so incredibly funny because they all believe with absolute certainty in what they are doing.  You cannot just try to be funny.  It does not work that way.

What makes A Gentleman"s Guide to Love and Murder stand out to you from the others you’ve worked on over the years?

 My last Broadway show was Pippin, so this is a completely different experience!  Up to this point, most of my career has been based on my dance ability.  Gentleman"s Guide is giving me the chance to rest my dancer legs a bit, put on my actor/singer hat, and step into a beautifully complex role in a fresh and exciting new musical that I get to share with audiences all over the country.  I think that sounds pretty amazing, don"t you?!

A Gentleman"s Guide to Love and Murder plays in Cleveland November 3 – 15 in the Connor Palace at Playhouse Square. For more information, please visit the show’s page on the Playhouse Square website.

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Alicia Hansen is the writer behind Poise in Parma, a healthy balance blog for Clevelanders. A graduate of Baldwin-Wallace College’s theatre program, Alicia is a yoga teacher at Evolution Yoga, an event and marketing professional and proud Northeast Ohio arts supporter. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

This week in theater news...

Published October 30th, 2015 by | No Comments

Each week we're going to keep you up-to-speed with the latest Broadway and theater news. Check back every Friday to see what you missed this week, and to catch a glimpse of what's going on at Playhouse Square and beyond. Enjoy!

Theatre happenings…

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Wicked celebrates 5000th performance
On October 28, Wicked passed the 5000 performances on Broadway mark. Playbill sat down with 11 Elphabas who reflected on playing the wicked witch. (Playbill.com) Read more…

Keira Knightley performs in Therese Raquin
Clips have surfaced of Keira Knightley’s Broadway debut, starring as the lead heroine in Therese Raquin. The show will run through Jan. 3, 2016. (Broadway.com) Read more…

Diva duet: Miss Piggy with Kristin Chenoweth
The Muppets have made quite the small screen comeback, and on Nov. 3 you can catch Kristin Chenoweth as she stars in the episode. (Broadway.com) Read more…

Playhouse Square happenings…

A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder
Broadway Buzz: A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder
Ubu Roi
The Voice of a Legend: Enrico Caruso
20th Annual Music Masters Series: Tribute to Smokey Robinson

This week in theater news...

Published October 23rd, 2015 by | No Comments

Each week we're going to keep you up-to-speed with the latest Broadway and theater news. Check back every Friday to see what you missed this week, and to catch a glimpse of what's going on at Playhouse Square and beyond. Enjoy!

Theatre happenings…

WICKED Studio Sessions: Defying Gravity
Adding to the great new music released this week (cheers to you, Adele), comes a WICKED Studio Session, featuring Rachel Tucker, who plays Elphaba, and the former Fiyero, Aaron Tveit, performing a duet of “Defying Gravity.” Studio sessions don’t get much better than this.

From WICKED to wizard…
We’re already looking forward to the The Wizard of Oz when it’s in CLE this December, and are thrilled for fellow Ohioan, Shani Hadjian, who was cast as the Wicked Witch of the West. Learn about the casting for the show. (Playbill.com) Read more…

How quick is a quick change?
Just ask the touring production of A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder lead John Rapson, who must act as eight different members of the D’Ysquith family. Plus, see the show when it comes to CLE in just a couple of weeks! (Broadway.com) Watch video…

Playhouse Square happenings…

Playhouse SCARE
Alvin and the Chipmunks
An Evening with Roberta Flack and Peabo Bryson
Perfectly Marvelous: The Songs of John Kander

This week in theater news...

Published October 16th, 2015 by | No Comments

Each week we're going to keep you up-to-speed with the latest Broadway and theater news. Check back every Friday to see what you missed this week, and to catch a glimpse of what's going on at Playhouse Square and beyond. Enjoy!

blog_ifthen

Theatre happenings…

Go behind-the-scenes with If/Then
Lifetime Television’s Broadway Balances America has covered shows from Kinky Boots to Cinderella, and now they’re giving viewers a sneak peek backstage of the touring production of If/Then. The episode airs October 20th, and again on October 27th. It’s like a VIP look before the show comes to CLE in February, 2016. (Broadway.com) Read more…

Amy Poehler interviews Fun Home’s Sydney Lucas
Lena Dunham’s started publishing a newsletter, “Lenny,” which recently included an interview with Sydney Lucas by Amy Poehler. Talk about power women! Learn about all the scootering around backstage, and how some viewers have responded to the show. (LetterLenny.com) Read more…

Aladdin and Jasmin: a 23rd reunion
Bring on the tears – Brad Kane and Lea Salonga, the two stars who voiced Aladdin and Jasmine in Disney’s Aladdin, joined forces on Good Morning America to sing “A Whole New World” for us once more. #FlashbackFriday (People.com) Listen here…

Hip Hop goes Broadway
They’ve got 99 problems but hip hop ain’t one. Pentatonix members Mitch Grassi and Scott Hoying, also known as the duo starring in the YouTube comedy series “Superfruit,” transformed hit hip hop songs into a beautiful Broadway musical.

Playhouse Square happenings…

Bill Burr
1964 – The Tribute
David Sedaris
Joel Grey: Up Close and Personal

This week in theater news...

Published October 9th, 2015 by | No Comments

Each week we're going to keep you up-to-speed with the latest Broadway and theater news. Check back every Friday to see what you missed this week, and to catch a glimpse of what's going on at Playhouse Square and beyond. Enjoy!

Theatre happenings...

Original If/Then Broadway cast recording
Special thanks to Sony Broadway, who posted a preview player for the original Broadway cast recording of If/Then! Catch it in CLE February, 2016.

Bob Saget stars in Hand to God
There’s a new Pastor in town. This November, Bob Saget will take on the role as Pastor Greg in Hand to God on Broadway. The Full House dad is set to remain with the cast through January. (Broadway.com) Read more…

Andrew Rannells crowned the king
First an Elder, now a King – Andrew Rannells will step in as King George in Hamilton October 27 – November 29. The musical tells the story of Alexander Hamilton, with guest appearances from George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. (Broadway.com) Read more…

Fiddler on the Roof revival cast set
This December, Danny Burstein will headline the Broadway revival of Fiddler on the Roof at the Broadway Theatre. The show, which first premiered on Broadway in 1964, is in its fourth Broadway revival. (Broadway.com) Read more…

Playhouse Square happenings...

Partners Dine Around - Uptown - FREE
Evil Dead The Musical  
GroundWorks Dance Theatre
Peter Weiss: The Investigation 

 

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