Broadway just can’t get enough Gyspys.
The iconic musical may soon enter Fidder on the Roof and Guys and Dolls territory as one of the most revived musicals on Broadway. There was one in 1974, one in 1989, another in 2003, most recently in 2008, and now there may be one in 2016.
The new entry in question would be the London revival of Gypsy, starring Imelda Staunton as the world’s most famous stage mother, Rose. The Hollywood Reporter wrote that the Roundabout Theatre Company is currently in discussion with producers Michael Harrison and David Ian about staging the revival on Broadway. Roundabout declined comment to the Hollywood Reporter, which speculates the Jonathan Kent-directed production might be part of the company's 2016-17 season.
Revivals of Gypsy are all about who’s playing Rose. In this case, Staunton won the Best Actress in a Musical Olivier for her work in the part. The production also earned three other Oliviers: Best Musical Revival, the White Light Award for Best Lighting Design and Best Actress in a Supporting Role in a Musical for Lara Pulver.
If the show comes to New York, Staunton would not be the first non-American-born actress to play Rose on Broadway. Angela Lansbury, who essayed the role in the 1974 revival, was born and raised in London, even if she’s spent most of her professional career in the States.
The Tony Awards Administration Committee met for the third time this season to determine award eligibility for 11 Broadway productions.
Among the committee’s most notable determinations: Jennifer Hudson will be considered eligible in the Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical category for her performance in The Color Purple; Blackbird, which is enjoying its Broadway debut this spring, will be considered eligible in the Best Revival of a Play category; Scott Ellis, who was Tony-nominated in 1994 for staging She Loves Me for Roundabout Theatre Company, is eligible to be nominated for Best Direction of a Musical for his new staging of the Bock and Harnick musical comedy; Danai Gurira’s acclaimed Eclipsed, which had its world premiere at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company in 2009, is eligible to compete in the Best Play Category; and, similarly, the Manhattan Theatre Club production of Richard Greenberg’s Our Mother’s Brief Affair, which starred Linda Lavin, is considered a new play by the Tony nominating committee, even though the play received its world premiere in 2009 at South Coast Repertory.
The Taming of the Shrew has been one of the Bard’s trickier plays to pull off in recent decades, with accusations of backward sexism and misogyny often trailing it.
Those arguments will no doubt take an interesting turn with this summer’s planned all-female staging of the comedy in Central Park.
Donna Lynne Champlin and Candy Buckley will join the previously announced Janet McTeer and Cush Jumbo in the production, it was announced this week.
Phyllida Lloyd, who was behind the recent all-female staging of Henry IV at St. Ann’s Warehouse, will direct Jumbo as Katherina and McTeer as Petruchio in the re-imagined staging. Performances will begin May 24, continuing through June 26.
It’s certainly been a while, but Heather Headley is finally returning to Broadway. Only took her 16 years.
Headley became a stage star overnight when she won the 2000 Tony as Best Actress in a Musical for her performance in Aida. And then she quit the boards, spending most of her time pursuing a recording career, though she did earn an Olivier Award nomination for starring in the London musical stage adaptation of the Whitney Houston film The Bodyguard.
The job that will mark a long-awaited return to Broadway is Shug Avery in the acclaimed revival of The Color Purple. She replaces Jennifer Hudson, who will give her last performance in the role at the May 8 matinee. Headley’s first performance will be May 10.
The Irish Repertory Theatre will host actor Matthew Broderick in its spring revival of Conor McPherson’s Shining City. The production will inaugurate IRT’s newly renovated theatre in Chelsea.
Directed by Ciarán O’Reilly, McPherson’s play will begin performances May 17 with an official opening slated for June 9. The engagement is scheduled to run Off-Broadway through July 3.
Shining City tells the story of a widower who begins to see his wife’s ghost. The play had its world premiere in London in 2004 and transferred to Broadway in 2006.
Tony-winning Lion King director Julie Taymor, whose last Broadway outing was the much-in-the-news Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, may have found her road to redemption, and it’s not what you would call a small-scale project.
Taymor is reportedly working on a project about The Beatles. Taymor was approached by Marty Bandier (Sony/ATV) to develop an original musical that uses the Beatles’ vast catalog.
There’s little information on the project at this time. But one thing’s for sure: Sources told the New York Post that the production will not be based on Taymor's Across the Universe, the 2007 film that concerned a romance between a young American woman and a Liverpudlian artist set against the backdrop of the Vietnam War and the music of the Beatles.
Finally, the website Broadway Journal reported this week that the sold-out-every-week, mega-hit Hamilton recouped its entire $12.5 million capitalization. To which the world reacted: Wait, it hadn’t done that already?