PLAYBILL.COM'S THEATRE WEEK IN REVIEW, Oct. 12-18: Roundabout Enjoys a New Company and The Winslow Boy Wows Audiences

By Robert Simonson
18 Oct 2013

Jenny Gersten
Photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN
The musical features a book by Craig Lucas and a score full of Gershwin tunes. It is based, of course, on the Academy Award-winning 1951 film that starred Gene Kelly and Leslie Caron. And here's an interesting detail: Bartlett Sher, who worked with Lucas on The Light in the Piazza, is the "creative consultant" on the musical. That must be the modern, corporate term for "show doctor."

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Three years ago, Jenny Gersten got her dream job, taking over as the artistic director of the Williamstown Theatre Festival. And now she is leaving her dream job to accept a bigger dream job.

Gersten shared the news in an Oct. 15 email that she will depart Williamstown at the end of this year to take on a rather non-theatrical post: executive director of the New York City non-profit Friends of the High Line. The 2014 summer at Williamstown will be the final season Gersten plans. She will remain involved to help oversee the execution of the season.



Gersten previously served as associate producer at Williamstown from 1996-2004. She was first female artistic director in the festival's long history. At the helm, she turned the company into something of a New York transfer machine. In recent years, Williamstown has guided two major musicals to New York City following their developmental productions at the festival: Far From Heaven was staged at Playwrights Horizons Off-Broadway last spring, and The Bridges of Madison County will have its Broadway premiere in early 2014.

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In more artistic-director-shuffle news from across the Pond, Rufus Norris has pulled down the plum job of director of London's National Theatre. He will succeed Nicholas Hytner in April 2015.

Norris, who has been an associate at the National since 2011, was most recently represented there by his production of James Baldwin's The Amen Corner at the Olivier Theatre earlier this summer; he began the year by directing the world premiere of Tanya Ronder's Table in the Shed. He is best known on these shores for the unsuccessful Broadway production of the successful London show Festen.

Norris, who was born in 1965 and spent his childhood in Africa and Malaysia, trained at RADA and was an actor for several years before turning to directing.

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Finally, submitted without comment: Disney's Tony-winning musical The Lion King, which arrived on Broadway in October 1997, will break a record this week when it becomes the first Broadway musical to hit the $1 billion mark at the box office.