Broadway Welcomes a New Chekhov, and Hamilton Says Farewell to Its Original Hercules

News   Broadway Welcomes a New Chekhov, and Hamilton Says Farewell to Its Original Hercules
The Know: What not to miss in theatre December 15–25.
Okieriete Onaodowan Monica Simoes


Cate Blanchett and the cast of <i>The Visit</i>
Cate Blanchett and the cast of The Present Sydney Theatre Company

December 17: Sydney Theatre Company’s production of The Present arrives on Broadway starring Oscar winner Cate Blanchett
and Richard Roxburgh, alongside a stellar Australian cast. The production is Andrew Upton’s new adaptation of Anton Chekhov’s first play, Platonov.


December 16: The Los Angeles tryout of the Broadway-aimed musical Amélie officially opens at the Ahmanson Theatre for an engagement scheduled to run through January 15, 2017. Phillipa Soo, who earned a Tony nomination as Best Actress in a Musical for her Broadway debut as Eliza Schuyler in Hamilton, stars in the title role.


December 18: Anna Deavere Smith’s Notes from the Field concludes its Off-Broadway debut at Second Stage Theatre. The show has been a hit with New York City critics and audiences alike; in the new solo play, acclaimed playwright, actor, and educator Smith turns her attention to the school-to-prison pipeline and the poverty gap.

December 18: The world premiere of Dead Poets Society wraps up at Classic Stage Company with Jason Sudeikis starring as professor John Keating. The new play is based on the beloved 1989 film, adapted by Academy Award winner Tom Schulman from his own screenplay, with direction by Tony winner John Doyle.

Bobby Cannavale_whiterabbitredrabbit_HR_1927.jpg
Bobby Cannavale Bruce Glikas/GettyImages

December 19: White Rabbit Red Rabbit plays the final performance of its New York premiere engagement at the West Side Theatre after 42 weeks. Nassim Soleimanpour’s solo play has attracted a stellar rotating cast of performers including Wayne Brady, Darren Criss, Nathan Lane, Whoopi Goldberg, Martin Short, Bobby Cannavale, Alan Cumming, Cynthia Nixon, Billy Porter, and Brian Stokes Mitchell.


December 16: The anticipated film version of August Wilson's Tony- and Pulitzer-winning drama Fences, starring Denzel Washington, Viola Davis, and several other cast members of the acclaimed 2010 Broadway revival, kicks off its limited release in selected theatres. The movie adaptation will have its wide release across the U.S. on Christmas Day.

December 16: La La Land, the new film that pays tribute to the Golden Age of Hollywood musicals, is released nationwide. The movie musical stars Emma Stone, Ryan Gosling, John Legend, and J. K. Simmons. The film has a score of songs co-written by Justin Hurwitz and the Tony-nominated team of Benj Pasek and Justin Paul (Dear Evan Hansen).

December 20: NBC commemorates the 90th birthday of entertainment icon Tony Bennett with the two-hour special Tony Bennett Celebrates 90: The Best Is Yet to Come, broadcast at 9 PM ET. Filmed at New York’s Radio City Music Hall in September, the program is hosted by Alec Baldwin and includes performances by recent Hamilton Tony winner Leslie Odom Jr., Andrea Bocelli, Michael Bublé, Bob Dylan, Lady Gaga, Elton John, and more.

December 23: To commemorate the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death on April 23 this year, The Royal Shakespeare Company hosted a star-studded jubilee that celebrated the Bard in all the performing arts including musical theatre, opera, ballet, hip hop, and jazz. The evening, which was hosted by David Tennant and Chatherine Tate, is broadcast at 9 PM ET on PBS. The broadcast features performances by Benedict Cumberbatch, Judi Dench, Helen Mirren, Joseph Fiennes, and more.


December 24: Okieriete Onaodowan, the last of the original principal cast in the Broadway production of Hamilton, plays his final performance as Hercules Mulligan and James Madison. On January 6, 2017, J. Quinton Johnson will step into the role.


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