March 27, 2015

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Playbill Presents
PLAYBILLder Spotlight: NYC's Beacon School Presents Caroline, or Change

New York City's Beacon School "offers an inquiry-based college preparatory program with technology and arts infused throughout the curriculum" and is a hotbed of young theatre talent. The school presents Tony Kushner and Jeanine Tesori's Caroline, or Change through March 28. Playbill was on hand for the first performance of the show featuring Marla Louissaint in the role of Caroline Thibodeaux, an African-American maid confronting life changes in the burgeoning civil rights era. Jo Ann Cimato directs. See all cast and crew details here. For tickets and info, visit beaconschool.org. Make your own Playbill at playbillder.com.

The Shows
Sondheim Birthday Cabaret Features Favorites From Into the Woods, Part 2

On March 22, Broadway stars collected at NYC’s 42 West to perform a cabaret of Stephen Sondheim classics to celebrate the master’s 85th birthday and the March 24 home video release of Disney’s film version of Into the Woods. In Part Two of show highlights, Lilla Crawford, Tituss Burgess, MacKenzie Mauzy and Trevor Vaughn sing more from Into the Woods including "Stay With Me" and "No One is Alone." Watch Part One.


Doctor Zhivago's Kelli Barrett Speaks About Originating New Roles

The epic musical Doctor Zhivago is based on the Boris Pasternak Nobel Prize-winning novel which takes its characters on a search for love during the final days of Czarist Russia, the First World War and the chaos of the Russian revolution. Tam Mutu, Kelli Barrett, Tom Hewitt, Paul Nolan and Lora Lee Gayer head the cast. As the show readies for the Great White Way, Kelli Barrett talked about her desire to create new roles based on authentic aspects of her personality. See what Tam Mutu has to say about making his Broadway debut.

Playbill Presents
Chita Rivera Previews Kander and Ebb's The Visit

Two-time Tony Award winner Chita Rivera returns to Broadway on March 26, when John Kander, Fred Ebb and Terrence McNally's new musical The Visit begins previews at the Lyceum Theatre. On March 24, in anticipation of the start of performances, Chita Rivera took to the stage of the Lyceum to perform the song "Love and Love Alone," accompanied by Michelle Veintimilla. The production is directed by Tony Award winner John Doyle, and choreographed by Tony nominee Graciela Daniele. Read more about the history of the long awaited musical.

The Shows
Sondheim Birthday Cabaret Features Favorites From Into the Woods, Part 1

On March 22, Broadway stars collected at NYC’s 42 West to perform a cabaret of Stephen Sondheim classics to celebrate the master’s 85th birthday and the March 24 home video release of Disney’s film version of Into the Woods. In Part One of show highlights, Abby Mueller, Chip Zien, Catherine Walker, James Monroe Iglehart and Christopher Sieber perform favorites from Into the Woods. Watch Part Two.

Playbill Presents
EXCLUSIVE: Leslie Kritzer Previews Emotional Cast Recording of The Memory Show

The Off-Broadway cast recording of Transport Group Theatre Company’s The Memory Show was released online March 12 but CD sales began yesterday at your favorite stores. The Zach Redler (music) and Sara Cooper (book and lyrics) musical featured stars Catherine Cox and Leslie Kritzer as a mother and daughter trying to overcome conflicting versions of their shared past. In this exclusive preview, Kritzer and Redler met at the Yellow Sound Label recording studio to perform the heart-rending "Me and My Mother." Order the album at yellowsoundlabel.com.

Playbill Presents
EXCLUSIVE: The Fortress of Solitude Players Display Musical Heroics for Original Cast Recording

Today, Ghostlight Records releases the original cast album of the world premiere musical The Fortress of Solitude both online and in stores. Produced by The Public Theater, the show is based on Jonathan Lethem’s best-selling novel of the same name. The score features sounds of soul, funk, punk and rap. In this exclusive peek into the recording studio, cast members run through "Superman/Sidekick." Music and lyrics are by Michael Friedman; book is by Itamar Moses. The production was conceived and directed by Daniel Aukin. A concert event will be held April 13 at Joe's Pub to celebrate the release. To order the album, visit www.sh-k-boom.com.

Playbill Presents
Fun Home Reveals New In-the-Round Staging at Circle in the Square

Director Sam Gold took to microphone at the Circle in the Square Theatre to reveal the brand new in-the–round staging for the Broadway production of Fun Home. This concept differs from The Public Theater's production that featured a rotating turntable-based stage, but retains the intimate atmosphere of the downtown theatre. He also explained the complex workings below the floor—the advanced automation system belies what would appear to be a very simple set. Check out a teaser for the show, which begins previews March 27.

Playbill Presents
Brand New Doctor Zhivago Commercial Previews Epic Musical

Based on the Nobel Prize-winning novel and the 1965 film which won five Academy Awards, the new musical Doctor Zhivago will begin performances at the Broadway Theatre on March 27. Tam Mutu, Kelli Barrett, Tom Hewitt, Paul Nolan and Lora Lee Gayer head the cast. Book is by Michael Weller, music is by Lucy Simon, with lyrics by Michael Korie and Amy Powers. See Tam Mutu talk about making his Broadway debut.

Playbill Presents
Stephen Sondheim/Andrew Lloyd Webber Mashup Celebrates Dual Birthday of Theatre Legends

To celebrate the dual birthday of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Stephen Sondheim (they both celebrate on March 22), Playbill enlisted the help of Benjamin Rauhala to create a special tribute to these two all-time greats of musical theatre. On location at the world-famous Sardi's Restaurant, Ruhala (on piano) was joined by friends Lindsay Mendez (vocals) and Mairi Dorman-Phaneuf (cello) to perform a mashup of "You Must Love Me" (written especially for the film adaptation of Evita and then included in later stage productions) and "Children Will Listen" (from Into the Woods). Watch an exclusive clip from Disney's Into the Woods film.

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