In Case You Missed It: The Crucible's Coming Back to Broadway and "Duck Dynasty" Closed Up Shop Early

News   In Case You Missed It: The Crucible's Coming Back to Broadway and "Duck Dynasty" Closed Up Shop Early
 
There are a few people without whom, one feels, Broadway would grind to a halt. One is producer Jeffrey Richards, who seems to back half the productions on the Great White Way. Another is Scott Rudin, who seems to produce the other half.

Rudin, currently represented on Broadway with Skylight, The Audience and Fish in the Dark — that's three, count ‘em, three hits, folks, the last of which recouped its investment just this week — announced this week that he will produce a Broadway revival of Arthur Miller's The Crucible in 2016.

According to an Actors' Equity casting notice, rehearsals will begin in January 2016 with a first preview currently scheduled for Feb. 29. The production will play a limited engagement through July 17.

Neither a director nor a theatre has been named. Nor have the roles of John Proctor, Abigail Williams or Elizabeth Proctor been cast. But you know that Rubin has a few stars up his sleeve, or he wouldn’t be doing the drama.

The show was most recently done on Broadway in 2002, in a well-reviewed production that starred Liam Neeson and Laura Linney.

Liam Neeson, Brian Murray and Laura Linney in the 2002 Broadway revival of <i>The Crucible</i>
Liam Neeson, Brian Murray and Laura Linney in the 2002 Broadway revival of The Crucible

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The longstanding Theatre for a New Audience is doing well lately by collaborating with smaller companies. Its presentation of Soho Rep's production of An Octoroon turned into one of the biggest hits in the nonprofit’s history. Now its got another popular success with its engagement of Fiasco Theater's The Two Gentlemen of Verona, which this week extended for a second time.

Fiasco is the same troupe that was behind the recent critically acclaimed Into the Woods production at Roundabout Theatre Company.

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Guess that deal with the Devil didn’t work out so well.

A few months ago, there was a furor in the theatre world when it was learned that the wildly popular A&E series "Duck Dynasty" would be turned into a musical. Industry members wondered aloud why members of the Broadway community, many of whom are LGBT and pro-LGBT, would choose to work with the Robertsons, who have in the past voiced pointedly bigoted viewpoints.

The Robertson Family on "Duck Dynasty"
The Robertson Family on "Duck Dynasty"

Nonetheless, the show went forward. And now it is no more. The Las Vegas stage production of The Duck Commander Musical ended its run May 17 at the Rio Hotel and Casino — just a month after it premiered. Tickets were originally on sale through June 30. Newsies director Jeff Calhoun directed and choreographed the 90-minute musical that is based on the 2012 book, "The Duck Commander Family: How Faith, Family, and Ducks Built a Dynasty."

Representatives for the production issued the following statement: "The production is thrilled to have had the opportunity to develop The Duck Commander Musical at the Rio. Much has been learned from this limited engagement, and from the great support from everyone who has come to see this first staging of this completely new musical. Duck Commander will now consider several possible opportunities for the next stage in the life of the show, including extended sit-down engagements in interested cities, as well as a national tour." Hear that, interested cities?

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We haven’t heard the last of Amiri Baraka.

It was announced this week that Woodie King, Jr.'s New Federal Theatre would stage the final play by late controversial poet and playwright Baraka. The work is titled The Most Dangerous Man In America (W. E. B. Du Bois). It will play at the Castillo Theater Off-Broadway this summer.

Directed by King, Jr., performances are scheduled for May 28-June 28, with an opening night set for June 11.

Baraka's final play follows W.E.B. DuBois, co-founder of the NAACP, a scholar and political activist who was indicted in 1951 by the U.S. government at the age of 82 for being "an agent of foreign power." The story moves back and forth between the opinions of the Harlem community, witnesses' testimony and courtroom battles. Real-life footage of historical events and speeches will also be part of the production.

W.E.B. DuBois
W.E.B. DuBois
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