In Case You Missed It: June 25-July 1

Week in Review   In Case You Missed It: June 25-July 1
 
Anastasia confirms its Broadway plans, Edward Snowden makes his Off-Broadway debut and Andrew Lloyd Webber gets into a cat fight.
Anastasia Hartford HR
Christy Altomare Joan Marcus

Anastasia, the new stage musical inspired by the 1997 animated film, is now an official Broadway entry for the 2016-2017 season.

The show, which premiered recently at Hartford Stage, will open on Broadway April 24, 2017, at the Broadhurst Theatre, producers Stage Entertainment USA, Bill Taylor and Tom Kirdahy announced this week.

Also revealed was the Broadway cast, which will be the same as the Hartford one, including Christy Altomare as Anya, Derek Klena as Dmitry, John Bolton as Vlad and Caroline O’Connor as Lily.

The expanded stage production, featuring a score by Tony Award winners Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty, and an all-new book by Tony winner Terrence McNally, premiered earlier this spring at Hartford Stage.

Darko Tresnjak, a Tony winner for A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder, directs.

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Daniel Radcliffe
Daniel Radcliffe Joseph Marzullo/WENN

The U.S. government can keep whistle blower Edward Snowden on the run, but they apparently can’t stop him from accruing Off-Broadway credits.

The infamous informer will guest star in every performance of Privacy at the Public Theater, via a pre-recorded video. The co-production with Donmar Warehouse is inspired by a post-Snowden view on privacy and technology and encourages the use of cell phones during the show. Daniel Radcliffe stars in the show, which begins July 2.

Snowden, of course, made international headlines in 2013 when he copied and leaked classified National Security Agency documents. His actions shed light on issues of government secrecy and surveillance and fueled worldwide debates on the matter of informational privacy.

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Ronald Perelman
Ronald Perelman Aubrey Reuben

Ronald O. Perelman, the former chairman of Carnegie Hall and one of the richest moguls in the world, is going to donate $75 million (chump change for him) to build a long-in-the-works performing arts center located at the World Trade Center site.

The new complex, which will be named for the billionaire (natch), will feature three flexible spaces, able to accommodate audiences of 499, 299 and 100. The spaces can also be combined into one theatre that seats 1,200. Dance, concert, opera and theatre works will all be produced at the venue, which will also house the Tribeca Film Festival each April.

An arts center was a key part of architect architect Daniel Libeskind’s plan for the rebuilding of the site. Various plans have been hatched over the past decade or so, including one involving the Signature Theater Company, but they’ve all gone south for one reason or another.

The $75 million will add up to roughly a third of the $240 million the center is expected to cost.

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Theatre music doesn’t hit the pop charts very often anymore. Hamilton has been a big recent exception.

Now, the “Broadway for Orlando” recording of the Burt Bacharach and Hal David song “What the World Needs Now Is Love” has become a second exception. The song debuted in the Billboard Hot 100 chart at No. 86 for the chart dated July 9.

Dozens of Broadway stars gathered to perform the song, which has been released as a single to raise funds for the victims (and the victims’ families) of the June 12 mass shooting at the gay nightclub Pulse in Orlando, FL.

Playbill’s accompanying video of the recording has racked up nearly a million views since debuting June 13, with the single debuting ati ju number one on iTunes on June 22. Billboard reports that the song was downloaded 48,000 times in the week ending June 23.

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The cast of <i data-rte2-sanitize="italic">Katdashians! Break the Musical!</i>
The cast of Katdashians! Break the Musical!

Don’t get in a cat fight with Andrew Lloyd Webber. You will lose.

The composer of Cats has issued a legal warning to the creators of Katdashians! Break the Musical!, the new Off-Broadway show that re-imagines the celebrity family as cats.

The show, which began previews June 16 at The Elektra Theatre, bills itself as “the very unauthorized musical parody of the Kardashians re-imagined as cats” and a “cat musical parody mash-up.”

According to a legal letter obtained by PageSix of the New York Post, Lloyd Webber’s attorneys claim that the musical is “not a parody of Cats” and that the composer’s property is being “extensively misappropriated.”

Katdashians! creators Bob and Tobly McSmith, the duo behind the Full House! musical parody, told the publication that they were surprised by the action but have agreed to replace any Cats songs with their own original tunes.

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New Playbill Look HR

Finally, a little home-grown news from here at Playbill.

As of July 1, the iconic yellow Playbill logo—one of the most recognizable images in the theatre—underwent a change. The program has eliminated the borders around the logo and cover art for most Broadway programs. It is the first major design change to the magazine’s look in more than 40 years.

Playbill President and CEO Philip S. Birsh said, “Playbill has had many different looks throughout our 132-year history. We’ve currently been sporting the classic bordered Playbill logo that millions of people love and recognize since the mid-1970s. Over the past few years, different shows have collaborated with us to experiment with our logo treatment. Today we unveil a cleaner, more contemporary feel for nearly all Broadway covers to reflect the energy and excitement of the shows on Broadway as well as our robust community of theatregoers.”

The new design follows quickly upon the heels of Playbill.com’s redesign, which was unveiled in February 2016.

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