In Case You Missed It: September 3-9

News   In Case You Missed It: September 3-9 Both Danny DeVito and the play Marvin's Room get their Broadway debuts, and Spamilton, the Hamilton spoof, opens and more.
Danny DeVito
Danny DeVito Photo by Joey L. / FX

You’d think, with his long career, that Danny DeVito would have stepped on a Broadway stage some time in the past.

But, no. The actor will rectify that this season in a new production of Arthur Miller’s The Price. In the play, in which two estranged brothers fight over the legacy of their parents, DeVito will play Gregory Solomon, an old and wily furniture dealer who is appraising the value of the family estate. It’s not the biggest role in the drama, but it can be a showpiece, as Solomon is the source of much of the play’s comedy.

DeVito joins the previously announced John Turturro, Tony Shalhoub and Jessica Hecht in the Roundabout Theatre Company revival. Steppenwolf co-founder Terry Kinney will direct the drama, which is set to begin previews February 16, 2017, and officially open March 16 at the American Airlines Theatre.

For being a lesser-known Miller play, The Price has spent a good deal of time on Broadway. This will be its fifth staging. It was last seen on Broadway in 1999 directed by James Naughton.

DeVito began his career Off-Broadway. He most recent New York stage appearance was in 1981.

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Scott McPherson
Scott McPherson

More Roundabout Theatre Company news!

The nonprofit announced that it would be giving Scott McPherson’s comic drama Marvin’s Room its Broadway premiere next summer.

The play, McPherson’s only success before he died of complications from AIDS at the age of 33, was a critical and commercial hit in 1991, beginning at Playwrights Horizons and transferring to commercial run. The play, which traffics in themes of family and mortality, won several awards and was made into a film starring Meryl Streep, Leonardo DiCaprio, Diane Keaton and Robert De Niro.

The new staging will be directed by Obie winner Anne Kauffman. A growing force Off-Broadway for several seasons, this will be Kauffman’s Broadway bow.

Performances are scheduled to begin June 8, 2017, with an official opening night set for June 29.

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The cast of Spamilton Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic

The Hamilton spoof, Spamilton, opened this week Off-Broadway. The work of Forbidden Broadway creator Gerald Alessandrini, the show is the first of his creations to take on a single target as its subject.

Critics, who have probably run out of ways to praise Hamilton, were happy to see the show sent up. As AMNY put it, “After a year and a half of gushing critical acclaim and countless awards, it feels good—in fact, downright cathartic—to take a step back and poke fun at the history-themed musical for an hour or so."

The Times called is a “smart, silly and often convulsively funny thesis.” Time Out New York said “the laughs are huge and nonstop,” while complimenting the “jaw-dropping ensemble.” And The Hollywood Reporter said the show was “so infectiously fun that it could easily run as long as its inspiration."

So now New York has two Alexander Hamilton-based stage hits on its hands.
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Wells Fargo likely lost a lot of theatre business this month.

The bank's recent advertising campaign promoting its upcoming Teen Financial Education Day went over like a lead balloon with artists. The ads, which implied it is more valuable for young people to pursue a career in the sciences rather than the arts, sparked outrage on social media among the Broadway community.

The bank quickly issued an apology to artists. A representative from Wells Fargo, an American banking and financial services company, issued the following statement to Playbill.com September 4: “Wells Fargo is deeply committed to the arts, and we offer our sincere apology for the initial ads promoting our September 17 Teen Financial Education Day. They were intended to celebrate all the aspirations of young people and fell short of that goal. We are making changes to the campaign’s creative that better reflect our company’s core value of embracing diversity and inclusion, and our support of the arts. Last year, Wells Fargo’s support of the arts, culture and education totaled $93 million.“

Be that as it may, it's doubtful the Wells Fargo wagon is going to welcomed on the street of any theatre fan anytime soon.

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A musical. A wedding setting. ABBA songs.

Sound familiar?

No, it’s not that show! It’s a new stage musical adaptation of Muriel’s Wedding, the 1994 Australian film comedy that made a star out of Toni Collette. The show will premiere November 6-December 30, 2017 at the Sydney Theatre Company.

The musical will feature a score comprised of ABBA pop hits alongside original songs by Kate Miller-Heidke and Keir Nuttall. The film’s central character, who fantasizes about her own wedding day, is obsessed with the songs of the Swedish pop group.

The film’s original screenwriter and director, PJ Hogan, will write the musical’s book, which is receiving a contemporary update for its stage debut. (That means Twitter is involved somehow.) It will be directed by Simon Phillips, director of the stage musical adaptation of Priscilla Queen of the Desert.

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