PLAYBILL.COM'S THEATRE WEEK IN REVIEW, March 1-7: Bryan Cranston Goes All The Way and Adele Dazeem Takes the Stage

By Robert Simonson
07 Mar 2014


Lin-Manuel Miranda
Photo by Corey Hayes

Speaking of politicians, The Public Theater has found a place for Hamilton, the unlikely new musical by In the Heights star and creator Lin-Manuel Miranda, which explores the life of American Founding Father Alexander Hamilton. It will premiere as part of the Public's 2014-15 season.

Formerly titled Hamilton Mixtape, the new musical will star Miranda in the title role, under the direction of Thomas Kail. Performances are scheduled to begin Jan. 20, 2015, for a run through Feb. 22.

Inspired by the book "Alexander Hamilton" by Ron Chernow, the musical incorporates historial figures such as George Washington, Aaron Burr, James Madison and Thomas Jefferson. The project first attracted attention when Miranda brought the house down performing a song from the score for President Obama and the First Family at the White House in 2009. A YouTube video of the event was widely viewed.

Hamilton may be one of the many Public projects that could have a commercial future. The Public engagement is supported by producers Jeffrey Seller, Sander Jacobs and Jill Furman, all of whom helped usher Miranda's In the Heights to Broadway in 2008.


It's that time of year when nonprofits begin to announce their coming season line-ups.

Classic Stage Company has two intriguing offerings in the wings. It will produce a revival of the Rodgers and Hammerstein seldom-seen musical Allegro (one of the duo's few flops), helmed by John Doyle. Also on tap is a Hamlet starring Peter Sarsgaard. A director has not been announced for the latter production.

Finally, "Sex and the City"'s Mr. Big himself, Chris Noth, will star as Christopher Marlowe's Doctor Faustus — another guy who thought he was Mr. Big for a while.


Idina Menzel
photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN

Sure, Idina Menzel starred in the original production of Rent, won a Tony Award for Wicked, acted on the hit show "Glee," and provided the voice of Elsa in the smash animated film "Frozen." But, let's be honest: She was never truly famous until John Travolta botched her name at the 2014 Academy Awards ceremony March 2.

Menzel was at the broadcast to sing "Let It Go," the Oscar-nominated song from "Frozen." Travolta, there to introduce her, seemed to be having some trouble with his tongue, or the teleprompter, or something. For, in his pronunciation, "Idina Menzel" came out as "Adele Dazeem." (Most of the same letters, just not in the right order.)

Travolta's flub soon went viral, burning up Twitter and other avenues of social media. Late night comedians made hay of the mistake. ("I'm Conan O'Brien, or, as John Travolta calls me, Kevin Ozeem.") Slate posted a handy article in which you could "Travoltify" your name by typing it into a box and clicking. It has since become the most read "article" in Slate history. (For the record, my Travoltified named is, ahem, Rosie Suzzivan.)

The producers of If/Then, the new musical starring Menzel, showed they had a sense of humor by published a faux Playbill biography insert for Adele Dazeem, who was set to step in for Menzel. The purposely mangled notice said that Dazeem's previous Broadway credits include the musicals "Nert" (i.e. "Rent") and "Wicked-ly" (i.e. "Wicked") and the hit Disney movie "Farfignugen" (i.e. "Frozen").

Bright side: No one will ever pronounce Idina Menzel's name incorrectly again.