Stars Zachary Levi and Krysta Rodriguez were joined by librettist Austin Winsberg ("Gossip Girl"), songwriters Alan Zachary and Michael Weiner ( Secondhand Lions, Twice Charmed), director Bill Berry, choreographer Josh Rhodes and several company members as they sat down to chat about the new musical First Date, as well as their own real-life experiences on first dates. Performances begin July 9 at Broadway’s Longacre Theatre. Watch Rodriguez preview a tune from the show.
Michael Urie stars in Jonathan Tolins' outrageous one-man comedy Buyer & Cellar. The production opened June 24 Off-Broadway at the Barrow Street Theatre after a spring 2013 run at Rattlestick Playwrights Theater. Urie plays Alex More, a struggling actor who takes an odd job in the basement of Barbra Streisand's home, where he meets and bonds with the icon. Will the bond carry over into real life, or is it meant for the basement only? Stephen Brackett directs. Read the Playbill story.
Sadie Sink — a standby in Annie on Broadway — takes a camera backstage at the Palace Theatre to give Playbill an exclusive look at what goes on behind the scenes. In the first part of this two-part video series, Sink shows us the theatre's green room and "secret hallway," and visits the dressing rooms of J. Elaine Marcos, Clarke Thorell, Lilla Crawford, and the two dogs who play "Sandy." To watch part two of Sadie Sink's backstage tour, click here.
Sadie Sink — a standby in Annie on Broadway — takes a camera backstage at the Palace Theatre to give Playbill an exclusive look at what goes on behind the scenes. In the second part of this two-part video series, Sink visits some of the other children who play orphans in the musical to find out their favorite things in their dressing rooms. She also stops by the "swoffice" to chat with the show's adult swings. To watch part one of Sadie Sink's backstage tour, click here.
Sherie Rene Scott returned to 54 Below with her cabaret show Piece of Meat. The show unravels a narrative (in her words and in the songs of artists like Kate Bush, Talking Heads, Joni Mitchell and Noah & The Whale) of a long-time vegetarian debating a return to carnivorous ways. Here, Scott hits the 54 Below kitchen pre-show as chef Andre J. Marrero prepares an espresso-marinated hangar steak — on the rare side, of course. Will Scott dive in and enjoy the pleasures of the flesh? For tickets and info visit www.54Below.com.
Created in 1992 by Tony Award-winning director and choreographer Jerry Mitchell as a fund raising event for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, the inaugural Broadway Bares featured seven dancers stripping on a bar and raised about $8,000. Twenty-plus years later, the event is a completely choreographed extravaganza of modern burlesque. On June 23, Broadway Bares 23: United Strips of America hit an all-time record high (for the fourth year in a row!) adding $1,430,241 to BC/EFA’s coffers. The evening featured special appearances by 2013 Tony Award winners Judith Light, Billy Porter, Alan Cumming and musical performers The Skivvies. Read the Playbill story.
Sandra Bernhard, Lea DeLaria and Scott Thompson stopped by Seth’s Broadway Chatterbox to chat with host Seth Rudetsky about their careers and their June 29 pride-themed show at (Le) Poisson Rouge titled So Over the Rainbow. Billed as an “assault on your senses,” the performance featured music, standup and characterizations from the three — solo and in tandem. For info, visit www.lepoissonrouge.com. Read Seth’s weekly column. Watch the entire Chatterbox episode at SethTV.com.
The next episode of "On Stage Across America" will feature an exclusive with "Glee"'s Matthew Morrison, a behind-the-scenes chat with the newly-minted 2013 Tony Award winners, an on the road look at the sensational group The Midtown Men and more!
On the first Saturday of each month, "On Stage Across America" — a new monthly series uniting Playbill Magazine and Time Warner Cable news channel NY1 — will bring interviews with Broadway stars, writers, producers and directors, as well as the latest backstage theatre scoop, to Time Warner subscribers across the U.S. Each show will also include a list of theatre events relevant to your local market. The series will also be available on local On Demand channels in TWC markets. Click here for your local listings.
The world premiere of The Jungle Book officially opened at Chicago's Goodman Theatre July 1; performances were recently extended to Aug. 11. Mary Zimmerman directs the production, which is based on Nobel Laureate Rudyard Kipling's 1893 collection of stories set in the Indian jungle and the 1967 Disney animated film. The cast is led by ten-year-old Akash Chopra as stubborn hero Mowgli (Roni Akurati plays the role at select performances), Kevin Carolan as Baloo the bear, Usman Ally as Bagheera the panther and Thomas Derrah as Kaa the evil serpent. The production will transfer to Boston's Huntington Theatre Company, running Sept. 7-Oct. 6. Read the Playbill story.
Set in a prep school dedicated to the creation of strong, ethical black men, Tarell Alvin McCraney's play-with-gospel-music Choir Boy opened July 2 as part of The Studio at Stage II - Harold and Mimi Steinberg New Play Series at New York City Center. The production is directed by Trip Cullman (Assistance; Murder Ballad; Lonely, I'm Not) and stars Nicholas L. Ashe, Kyle Beltran, Tony Award winner Chuck Cooper, Grantham Coleman, Austin Pendleton, Jeremy Pope and Wallace Smith. Choir Boy was commissioned by MTC and is a co-production with Alliance Theatre in Atlanta. Read the Playbill story.
Jackie Hoffman (Princess Winnifred ) and John "Lypsinka" Epperson (The Queen Aggravain) co-starred in the Transport Group's one-night-only concert presentation of the Tony Award-nominated musical Once Upon a Mattress June 17 at the Pershing Square Signature Center. Composer Mary Rodgers was on hand for a post-performance discussion of the 1959 musical that has lyrics by Marshall Barer and a book by Barer, Dean Fuller and Jay Thompson. Song highlights include “Sensitivity,” “Yesterday I Loved You” and “Happily Ever After.” Read the Playbill story.
A veteran of shows like of Hairspray, Jesus Christ Superstar and Rent, Shayna Steele sat down with Seth to chat about her days on Broadway and her current music career — her new album will be released in the fall. While demonstrating her very creative high riffing with several of her signature tunes, Steele revealed how the presence of Luciano Pavarotti disabled her ability to hit high notes. Steele then performed the audition song (a TV show theme, of all things!) that got her cast in Rent. Read Seth’s weekly column. Visit Seth’s online home at SethTV.com.
Musical theatre performers Nick Cearley and Lauren Molina are The Skivvies, the award-winning (and scantily-clad!) musical duo who perform stripped-down versions of eclectic covers and eccentric originals. Here, special guest Andrew Keenan-Bolger and Broadway pit drummer Shannon Ford offer up some musical assistance as the two perform a cover version of Bruno Mars’ "Heaven” on the sun-drenched rooftop of the Second Stage Theatre. Read the Playbill story about The Skivvies’ 54 Below gig on July 5.
New York City Center kicks off its new Off-Broadway program Encores! Off-Center with The Cradle Will Rock, the 1937 Marc Blitzstein (book, music, lyrics) sung-through musical which tells the story of Larry Foreman and his attempts to unionize the town's workers and combat the greedy businessman Mr. Mister, who controls the entire town. In this glimpse at rehearsal, Raúl Esparza and Anika Noni Rose perform “Nickel Under the Foot” and “The Cradle Will Rock.” For the fascinating history of the production, read the Playbill story.