PLAYBILL.COM'S THEATRE WEEK IN REVIEW, Feb. 8-14: Hugh Jackman to Host the Tonys and Two Off-Broadway Shows Open

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14 Feb 2014

Hugh Jackman
Hugh Jackman
Joseph Marzullo/WENN

Neil Patrick Harris did a knockout job hosting the Tony Awards ceremony the last three years. But for the 2014 show, Broadway favorite Hugh Jackman will return to host the annual broadcast live from Radio City Music Hall June 8.

The evening will mark Jackman's fourth time hosting the Tony Awards. Like Harris, he did the job three years running, hosting the 57th, 58th and 59th Annual Tony Awards (2004-06). Jackman received an Emmy Award for hosting the 58th Annual Tony Awards in the category of Outstanding Individual Performance in a Variety or Music Program.

Very likely, Harris would have found himself too busy to be host, anyway. This spring, he returns to Broadway as an actor, taking the lead in the musical Hedwig and the Angry Inch, which begins previews March 29 and opens April 22. So, while he may not be playing host, Harris could appear at the ceremony as a nominee.

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Two productions lost some major talent this week.

Diahann Carroll, who was to return to Broadway this spring in a revival of A Raisin in the Sun with Denzel Washington, exited that venture. LaTanya Richardson Jackson will replace her in the role of matriarch Lena Younger.

A representative for the production told Playbill.com that Carroll withdrew from the production due to the vigorous demands of the rehearsal and performance schedule.

Carroll, who is 78, confirmed this in a statement she issued: "The pace of filming movies and TV projects is quite different than the extensive amount of time preparing and appearing live on Broadway eight times a week. I enjoyed working with Scott Rudin, Denzel Washington, Kenny Leon and an amazing cast and I wish them well."

A Raisin in the Sun was to mark the Broadway return of the acclaimed actress after more than a 30-year absence from the New York stage. Carroll is a Tony Award winner for No Strings.

Meanwhile, Off-Broadway, film star Maggie Gyllenhaal — an increasingly regular presence on the New York stage — withdrew from the MCC Theater production of Penelope Skinner's The Village Bike, which is scheduled to begin performances in May at the Lucille Lortel Theater.

Gyllenhaal cited that classic excuse, "scheduling conflicts," as the reason for her exit. It was recently announced that she would make her Broadway debut opposite stage and screen actor Ewan McGregor in the Roundabout Theatre Company production of Tom Stoppard's The Real Thing this fall.

No replacement for Gyllenhaal has been announced for The Village Bike.



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