Lena Hall Leaving Hedwig and the Angry Inch on April 4

Hall as Yitzhak.

Hall as Yitzhak.

She has appeared as Yitzhak with four different Hedwigs since Hedwig and the Angry Inch started previews on March 29, 2014. The cult musical, which had been an Off-Broadway hit years before and then was produced around the world, opened on Broadway as a revival on April 22, 2014. Her replacement has yet to be announced.

Four Hedwigs

Hall, who won the Tony for Yitzhak, has appeared in Hedwig with Tony winner Neil Patrick Harris, Andrew Rannells, and Michael C. Hall. She is currently on stage with Hedwig co-creator John Cameron Mitchell. Hall has been in an array of shows, including Kinky Boots, The Toxic Avenger, Tarzan, Dracula, and 42nd Street.

Wanted that Role

Hall, who wrote a monologue for her Hedwig and the Angry Inch audition, was totally focused on landing the role in the musical. In a Playbill.com interview, she noted, “The soundtrack was a part of my life — a lot. I just listened to it, listened to it, lose it, buy it, listen to it, lose it, buy it, listen to it” She added, “So when I heard it was coming to Broadway I was like, ‘I really want to go and audition for this part.’ I knew the show well, and I knew the vibe of the show and how they would want to work. In my head, I was like, ‘I’m going to go bold, or I’m not going to get it. I’m going to go for it. I want to surprise them ten times in my audition and really make it hard for them to say no to me,’ because I wanted it so bad.”

Next Project

Hall is making her debut at the Café Carlyle nightclub. She’ll perform there from April 7-18. Also headed to the Café Carlyle is Tony-winner Alan Cumming. He’ll play his show, Alan Cumming Sings Sappy Songs, from June 2-13 after Cabaret closes.

As was announced earlier, Mitchell will play his last show as the titular character on April 26. Darren Criss, of Glee fame, will become the next Hedwig on April 29. He’ll perform a 12-week engagement. Criss was last seen on Broadway when he played J. Pierrepont Finch in the revival of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.

On the Twentieth Century Still on Track Despite Gallagher’s Illness

th-25Peter Gallagher has been out of On the Twentieth Century since last Saturday (February 21) when the Roundabout was forced to cancel the evening performance. Gallagher is reported to be suffering from a severe sinus infection, which has affected his ability to sing.

James Moye, his understudy, has been playing the role of Oscar Jaffe since Sunday, February 22. When Gallagher became too ill to perform director Scott Ellis decided that it would be dangerous for Moye to perform Saturday night due to where they were in the development of the production. Thus, Saturday night’s show was cancelled.

Kristin Chenoweth (Lily Garland) and Ellis came out to announce the cancellation of the performance. After the announcement, Chenoweth sang “Smile” for the Saturday night audience and then a dance number was performed from the show that featured the porters. It brought the house down. After that, the audience was dismissed and Moye rehearsed and was ready to go on Sunday afternoon.

In 1978, when On the Twentieth Century premiered, it won numerous Tonys including Best Musical and Best Score. With music by Cy Coleman and book and lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green, the musical offers audiences a screwball comedy that is set aboard the luxury train the Twentieth Century.

Oscar Jaffe, a producer who has suffered a series of Broadway flops, is on the fabled train with his former muse, love, and Broadway star Lily Garland. Garland gave up the stage to be a film star and Jaffe firmly believes that if he can get her to commit to star in a new Broadway show that his career will be saved. Add to that plot a group of unique characters, great dance numbers and songs, and a whole lot of creative scenography and directing, and you’ve got a hit Broadway show.

The Roundabout production is the first Broadway revival of On the Twentieth Century. It is scheduled to open March 12 and run until July 5.

Feb. 27, 2015: Latest London Theatre Notes, Orts, and Doings

Oppenheimer with John Heffernan.

Oppenheimer with John Heffernan.

There’s theatre news from London regarding Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Oppenheimer, and Golem. Here’s what’s happening in London this week.

New Willy Wonka Announced

News is that Jonathan Slinger will play Willy Wonka in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory on London’s West End. Slinger has a wide range of stage credits that include a wealth of Shakespearean roles. He has performed with the Royal Shakespeare Company, including appearing in the Complete Works and This England: The Histories cycles. He’s played Richard II, Fluellen, Richard Duke of York, and Richard III, as well as Macbeth. He’s also appeared in various other plays and musicals including The Duchess of Malfi, The Coast of Utopia, Yes, Prime Minister, Uncle Vanya, and Urinetown.

The musical, which is based on the 1964 children’s book by Roald Dahl, presently stars Alex Jennings. Slinger will take over the role at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane staring May 4.


The play Oppenheimer by Tom Morton-Smith, which offers insights into the man who’s considered to be the father of the atomic bomb, J. Robert Oppenheimer, will transfer from the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Swan Theatre to the Vaudeville Theatre on the West End. Previews will begin on March 27 and the show will open on March 31. John Heffernan stars in the show. The play, which was commissioned by the RSC, reveals the personal cost one pays for creating history.

Golem Transfer

Golem, which enjoyed a strong run at the Young Vic, and which is directed by Suzanne Andrade, is scheduled to play a limited run at the Trafalgar Studios starting April 14 and closing May 22. Opening night is scheduled for April 22.

Golem offers a satirical slant on how society misuses and abuses technology. The show includes live performance and music, as well as film and animation. The focus of the story is on the character Robert Robertson, who is considered to be “extraordinarily ordinary.” His life changes when he buys a Golem, which is designed to make his life more efficient. It does just that and that inspires Robert to upgrade to a Golem 2, which takes away all control of his life. What happens when machines run man? That’s the ultimate question of Golem.

There will be more next Friday from Theatre IQ on London theatre notes, orts, and doings.

Classic Stage Company’s Hamlet Directed by Austin Pendleton

Peter Sarsgaard as hamlet off broadway

Peter Sarsgaard as hamlet off broadway

Peter Sarsgaard plays Hamlet.

Recently announced players for the Classic Stage Company’s Hamlet, which will be directed by Austin Pendleton, include Lisa Joyce, Penelope Allen, and Two-time Tony winner Stephen Spinella. Peter Sarsgaard (Garden State) wlll play Hamlet.

The Roles

The cast is exceptionally exciting. Along with Joyce (Boardwalk Empire) as Ophelia, the cast will include Allen (Richard III) as Gertrude, Spinella (Angels in America: Perestroika, Angels in America: Millenium Approaches) as Polonius, and Glenn Fitzgerald (The Sixth Sense) as Laerte. Also, Harris Yulin (Frank’s Home) will play Claudius, Austin Jones (Someone Who’ll Watch Over Me) will be Horatio, Jim Broaddus (13 Rue de l’Amour) will be the Player King, and Scott Parkinson (The Coast of Utopia) as Rosencrantz, and Daniel Morgan Shelley (Othello) as Guildenstern.

Limited Engagement

The limited engagement will play from March 27 through May 10 at the Classic Stage Company with opening night set for April 15. Along with direction by Austin Pendleton, the show will include scenic design by Walt Spangler, costume design by Constance Hoffman, lighting design by Justin Townsend, and original music and sound design by Ryan Rumery.

Lisa D’Amour’s Broadway Debut of Airline Highway Features Tony Winner Julie White

Julie White to star in Airline Highway.

Julie White to star in Airline Highway.

The Broadway premiere of Lisa D’Amour’s Airline Highway will include a stellar cast. Tony winner Julie White (The Little Dog Laughed) will play Tanya. Included in the Broadway production will be K. Todd Freeman (The Song of Jacob Zulu) as Sissy Na Na, Scott Jaeck (August: Osage County) as Wayne, Ken Marks as Francis (Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark), and Judith Roberts (Orange Is The New Black) as Miss Ruby. Also, in their Broadway debuts will be Carolyn Braver as Zoe, Caroline Neff as Krista, Tim Edward Rhoze as Terry and Joe Tippett as Bait Boy. Additional casting for Airline Highway will be announced soon.

The Show

Lisa D’Amour’s Airline Highway is an homage of sorts to the disenfranchised and those who are out on another plane who always seem to make life as we know it a little more interesting. The setting is the parking lot of The Hummingbird Motel. In its splendor of yesteryear it was the place to be if you were on New Orleans’ infamous Airline Highway – glamorous, enticing, and royal.

But like those who now meet and congregate for Miss Ruby’s orchestrated send off, the motel has seen better days. It is a motley group that gathers, a diverse collection of strippers, hustlers, ne’er-do-wells, and philosophers, that meet celebrate the life of Miss Ruby. Miss Ruby was, in her day, an iconic burlesque performer.

And she has done something a tad unusual to bring everyone together. She has requested a funeral before she dies. It is a party unlike anyone has ever seen, as those from her past come back to pay their respects while they reconnect.


Joe Mantello (Wicked, Take Me Out, Assassins) directs Airline Highway. The Broadway production will include scenic design by Scott Pask, costume design by David Zinn, lighting design by Japhy Weideman, and original music and sound design by Fitz Patton. Airline Highway was given itds world premiere at Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theatre in December 2014.

Fish in the Dark Continues Big Box Office as Matilda Spikes Up

Larry David must be feeling "pretty, pretty good" about Fish in the Dark.

Larry David must be feeling “pretty, pretty good” about Fish in the Dark.

Larry David’s Fish in the Dark continued its strong run at the box office for the week ending February 22, 2015, while Matilda The Musical’s sales went up more than 13% from the week prior. Musicals that have been running strong, such as The Book of Mormon (102.5%), Aladdin (100.9%), The Lion King (99.8%), and Wicked (96.5%), continued to do so. Helen Mirren in The Audience, which played at 99%, also did healthy box office.

Matilda Gets a Boost

All musicals that were family fare and kid oriented were certainly helped last week by the fact that many schools were on vacation. Matilda saw an increase in capacity of 13.1%, going from 87.1% the week before to 100.2% this past week. Matilda is the story of a young and very bright girl who is abused by her family and the headmistress of her school. She finally finds release from the abuse by using some extra-special kinetic powers as well as by getting some much needed help from her teacher Miss Honey.

Fish in the Dark

Larry David’s comedy about a son dealing with his father’s death is selling as quickly as any show in recent memory. Last week the entire limited run was almost completely sold out. As it did the week before, the Fish in the Dark played to 100.6% capacity, grossing over $1.1 million. The show will be reviewed next week when it opens on March 5, but it’s doubtful that those reviews will have any effect on ticket sales as last week there were fewer than 700 seats left. Tickets for Fish in the Dark start at $49 with the top price being $425. The comedy closes June 14, 2015.

Biggest Spike, Longest Fall

The show that saw the biggest rise in ticket sales was the longest running show in Broadway history The Phantom of the Opera. Phantom saw an increase of 16.1%, going from 62.7% capacity the week before to 78.8% this week. The show that endured the biggest decline was the new musical Honeymoon in Vegas. The musical comedy, which garnered great reviews, has been having a tough time finding an audience. Tickets sales fell 17.2%, as the show played to 47.7% capacity.

Broadway and Theatre News Notes: Spacey Gets Olivier

Spacey to receive a Special Olivier.

Spacey to receive a Special Olivier.

Kevin Spacey, who’s a Tony and Oscar winner, will receive a Special Award at the Olivier Awards. Spacey will be presented with his Olivier on April 12 at London’s Royal Opera House. The American actor, who has served as Artistic Director of the Old Vic for the past decade, is being given the award in order to acknowledge his extraordinary contribution to The Old Vic and to British theater.

Jonathan Groff in Musical Hamilton

Jonathan Groff will join the Off-Broadway run of Hamilton at the Public Theatre replacing Brian d’Arcy James. James will leave the show in order to star in the Broadway premiere of Something Rotten! Groff will play King George until the show closes on May 3. He is not confirmed as one of the cast members for the Broadway transfer.

The musical, which is written by and stars Lin-Manuel Miranda, opened a little over a week ago to rave notices. It was announced the other day that Hamilton will make a Broadway transfer to the Richard Rodgers Theatre in the summer and begin performances on July 13.

Lane Back to It’s Only a Play

It’s been announced that after Nathan Lane finishes his run at the Brooklyn Academy of Musical in The Ice Man Cometh he will return to the comic hit It’s Only a Play, which also stars Matthew Broderick. It has been rumored that Lane and the Ice Man Cometh company may take the show to Broadway, but if it does happen that will not be until after It’s Only a Play closes on June 7. Martin Short, who took over for Lane in It’s Only a Play, which was written by Terrance McNally, will finish his run on March 29.

Lane, who has won two Tonys (The Producers and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum) and been nominated for two more (Guys and Dolls and The Nance), has received excellent reviews for his interpretation of Theodore Hickman in O’Neill’s The Iceman Cometh, which also stars Brian Dennehy.

Robert De Niro to Direct A Bronx Tale for Paper Mill Production

Robert De Niro to direct A Bronx Tale. at Paper Mill

Robert De Niro to direct A Bronx Tale. at Paper Mill

Robert De Niro to direct A Bronx Tale.

Oscar winner Robert De Niro will be part of the creative team that brings the musical adaptation of the Chazz Palminteri film A Bronx Tale to the stage. Along with De Niro will be four-time Tony winner director Jerry Zaks. Palminteri is adapting his film script for the stage while Alan Menken & Glenn Slater will score the musical. De Niro directed and starred in the 1993 film, which is based on Palminteri’s childhood.

The Genesis

A Bronx Tale is set in the ‘60s. It focuses on Calogero, an Italian-American teen, and his friendship with a neighborhood gang member named Sonny. When Calogero sees Sonny murder someone, it makes the bond between the two grow stronger, as Calogero remains loyal to his friend and keeps the killing a secret. First a play by Palminteri, it was performed in Los Angeles in 1990. It was then produced Off-Broadway, and, after the film was released, the play was produced on Broadway in 2007.

The musical was first reported to be in the works in February 2013. At that time, Bon Jovi’s David Bryan was signed to write the score. Palminteri and De Niro were part of the original team, as was current choreographer Sergio Trujillo.

Performances and the Season

Performances of A Bronx Tale are scheduled to run from February 4, 2016 through March 6. The Paper Mill’s 2015-2016 season will open will another world premiere musical entitled Bandstand. Andy Blankenbuehler (In the Heights and Hamilton) will direct the show, which is written by Richard Oberacker and Robert Taylor. Bandstand opens October 8. Three other musicals make up the Paper Mill Season- A Christmas Story, Pump Boys and Dinettes and West Side Story.

Hamilton & Lin-Manuel Miranda Headed to Broadway

Lin-Manuel Miranda in Hamilton the New Musical

Lin-Manuel Miranda in Hamilton the New Musical

Hamilton starring Lin-Manuel Miranda will go to Broadway.

Lin-Manuel Miranda, a Tony, Drama Desk, Grammy, and Emmy winner, has a new musical and it will be on Broadway this summer. The musical, Hamilton, will start previews on July 16 at the Richard Rodgers Theatre. Miranda, who created the highly acclaimed musical In the Heights, is presently enjoying an extended run of Hamilton at the Public Theatre. Hamilton, which will play at the Public’s Newman theatre through May 3 in what is a sold out run, will replace If/Then at the Richard Rodgers. If/Then ends its Broadway run on Match 22. Hamilton opened at the Public on February 17 to rave reviews and was extended quickly.


Hamilton is a hip-hop musical about the United State’s first Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton. Lin-Manuel Miranda, who wrote the book, music, and lyrics for the show, also stars in it.

The musical tells the story of the birth of the U.S. We see how America was created through the character of Hamilton. There’s a stress on the immigrant, orphaned background of “the $10 Founding Father without a father.” The musical investigates and exposes various aspects of Hamilton, including his ambition, ego, and vices. The man who would kill him in a duel, Aaron Burr, ironically narrates the tale.

The same team that created In the Heights is responsible for Hamilton. Along with Miranda, there’s director Thomas Kail and choreographer Andy Blankenbuehler.

Playbill Interview

Miranda explained in a Playbill interview as to the fact that he wasn’t thinking about whether the show might make it to Broadway for the 2014-15 season or the next one. But, as he observed, there was a lot of excitement once the reviews came out.

He told Playbill, “And then it got a lot louder around us last Tuesday, when we opened and the world freaked out. And, it’s been incredibly humbling and incredibly gratifying. We talked about all the options on the table, and opening this summer allows people who can’t get tickets to get tickets next Sunday, and that’s really exciting for me. It also allows us to make a cast album sooner than later because we have a break in May, when we can actually put that into motion — where I’m not doing the show and thinking about the show all the time, so it allows everything to happen in the pace at which it should.”

Tickets Go On Sale

Tickets to the Broadway run of the new musical Hamilton will go on sale March 8. It will be one of the first shows, if not the first, of the 2015-16 Broadway season.

The Heidi Chronicles Previews Tonight at the Music Box

heidi56Four shows, including The Heidi Chronicles, will open on Broadway in March. The other three, Fish in the Dark, On the Twentieth Century, and The Audience, are already in previews. Which means that tonight The Heidi Chronicles completes the quarter of February previews destined for March openings.

The Cast and Creative Team

The revival of Wendy Wasserstein’s Pulitzer Prize and Tony winning play includes “Mad Men” star Elisabeth Moss in the title role. Jason Biggs (The Graduate) plays Scoop Rosenbaum, a nebbish writer who has a flirtatious friendship with Heidi, and Bryce Pinkham (A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, Ghost the Musical) appears as Peter Patrone, Heidi’s gay best friend and sometimes conscience. Tracee Chimo is charged with creating the roles of Fran, Molly, Betsy and April.

Additional cast members include Ali Ahn as Susan Johnston, Leighton Bryan as Jill/Debbie/Lisa, Elise Kibler as Becky/Clara/Denise, and Andy Truschinski as Chris Boxer/Mark/Waiter/Ray.

Pam MacKinnon directs the revival of The Heidi Chronicles. MacKinnon won a 2013 Tony for her direction of the revival of Edward Albee’s masterful Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? The production of Wasserstein’s play includes scenic design by John Lee Beatty, costume design by Jessica Pabst, and lighting design by Japhy Weideman. In addition, sound design is by Jill BC Du Boff, projection design by Peter Nigrini, and hair and make-up design by Leah J. Loukas.

The Play

The Heidi Chronicles focuses on what were some of Wasserstein’s favorite themes, including the changing roles of women in America from the 1960s through the 1980s, defining and redefining family and love, and how women must constantly choose between what they want and what society dictates they should be.

The plot concerns Heidi Holland, tracing her life’s path from high school in the 1960s to her career as a successful art historian and her choice to be a single mom by adopting a baby more than twenty years later. As Heidi encounters various situations, trends, and opportunities throughout the years, we see her awaken to the call of feminism in the 1970s, only to feel betrayed by the movement in the 1980s.

Opening Nights

The four March shows are scheduled to open in the following order- March 5th Fish in the Dark (Cort), March 8th The Audience (Gerald Schoenfeld), March 12th On the Twentieth Century (American Airlines), and March 19th The Heidi Chronicles (Music Box).

On the Twentieth Century’s Peter Gallagher: 10 Fast Trivia Facts

Gallagher stars with Chenoweth in On the Twentieth Century.

Gallagher stars with Chenoweth in On the Twentieth Century.

Peter Gallagher is currently in previews with Kristin Chenoweth in the Roundabout’s production of On the Twentieth Century. Although most people came to know Gallagher through his movie roles, especially the hit film Sex, Lies, and Video Tape (1989), in which he starred with James Spader, Andie MacDowell, and Laura San Giacomo, Gallagher had already been in five Broadway shows before that movie was released and made him a star.

How much do you know about Peter Gallagher? Hopefully, no matter how much you know, you’ll learn something from our 10 Fast Trivia Facts.

10 Fast Trivia Facts about Peter Gallagher

  1. Made his Broadway debut in 1972 as a replacement for Danny Zuko in the original production of Grease.
  2. From 1973-1977 he attended Tufts University where he sang in the university a capella group the Beelzebubs.
  3. He appeared on Broadway as Edmund Tyrone in the 1986 revival of Long Day’s Journey Into Night with Jack Lemon, Bethel Leslie, and Kevin Spacey and received a Tony nomination.
  4. He’s been married to producer Paula Wildash since 1983.
  5. In 1979 he played Chuck Haskell in the TV soap opera The Guiding Light.
  6. His autobiographical cabaret show is called Songs and Stories from an Actor’s Life
  7. He loves to play golf.
  8. He has two kids, a son James Gallagher (born 1990) and daughter Kathryn Gallagher (born 1993).
  9. His middle name is Killian.
  10. From 2003 to 2007, Gallagher starred as Sandy Cohen, a Jewish public defender and corporate lawyer, on the Fox television show The O.C.

On the Twentieth Century

On the Twentieth Century is now in Previews at the American Airlines Theatre. It is scheduled to open March 15. The show is a madcap, musical comedy about Oscar Jaffe (Gallagher), a struggling Broadway producer who cannot afford another flop, Jaffe is sure that if he can convince Lily Garland (Chenoweth), a successful film actress who is also his former lover and muse, to come back to the Great White Way in an monumental drama that his career will once again take off. However, the drama, which takes as its subject Mary Magdalene, does not actually exist.

As he fights to get Garland to commit to the new show, Jaffe must also deal with a range of miscues, surprises, and off-the-wall characters, including Lily Garland’s jealous new lover and a religious fanatic. It is all set aboard the luxury train that has been christened The Twentieth Century.