In a very unusual dust-up in the New York theatre world last week, a miffed Tony-winning director gathered up his ball and jacks and production of Hamlet and walked it across the street from one nonprofit, who is no longer his BFF, to another he liked better.
It’s not uncommon for a projected production to run asunder owing to artistic differences and be 86’d from a season. But for that production to jump ship and find a new port in a different theatre is very unusual indeed.
The show in question is a highly anticipated staging of Hamlet starring Oscar Isaac, a very hot property right now, owing to his role in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, among other things. It was to have been seen at Theater for a New Audience, under the direction of Sam Gold.
It was scheduled to open next June, but Gold felt challenged and unsupported by TFANA’s longtime artistic director Jeffrey Horowitz and the theatre’s dramaturg, Jonathan Kalb, a respected theater critic and scholar, according to a story in the New York Times. (Yes, it’s that kind of wonky theater story, where a dramaturg is one of the key players.)
Apparently, the director and the theatre did not see eye to eye on Gold’s adaptation of Hamlet. And so Gold got on the horn with Oskar Eustis at the Public Theater, which is now trying to find a place for the show in its 2016-2017 season. Both Gold and Isaac have worked at the Public Theater in the past.
All parties are trying to work out a deal that is satisfactory to all, but if no proposal works for Gold, wrote the Times, “Mr. Horowitz wrote in an email to Mr. Eustis, his theatre would ‘vigorously defend its integrity and what we believe is unfair, damaging and an injustice.’”
For a hot minute there, it looked like Hamilton would hang on to half of its Tony-winning cast. Lin-Manuel Miranda, Phillipa Soo and Leslie Odom Jr. announced shortly after the Tony Awards that they would depart July 9. (Miranda and Odom won Tonys.) But Renée Elise Goldsberry and Daveed Diggs, who played Angelica Schuyler and Thomas Jefferson, and both won Tonys, made no immediate move toward the exit.
That status quo did not last long. Goldsberry and Diggs will join the exodus of leads from the show. Diggs will leave on July 15, which is, you know, this weekend. Goldsberry will leave sometime this fall.
Goldsberry reportedly will join the cast of Altered Carbon, Netflix’s ten-episode sci-fi drama that stars Joel Kinnaman.
Roundabout Theatre Company has announced the complete cast for Love, Love, Love, which is penned by King Charles III playwright Mike Bartlett.
Michael Mayer will direct a cast made up of Zoe Kazan, Amy Ryan, Richard Armitage, Ben Rosenfield and Alex Hurt.
Bartlett’s dark comedy begins in the swinging sixties in London and spans more than four decades. It examines how the baby boomer generation has grown and adapted, and their place in today’s world.
Performances of Love, Love, Love will begin Off-Broadway September 22 with an opening night slated for October 19 at the Laura Pels Theatre.
New York has been home to a Chicago since 1996. Now the Big Apple will welcome a second Second City.
In addition to the long-running revival of Chicago at the Ambassador Theatre that will celebrate its 20th anniversary this fall, a production the musical by the Takarazuka Theatre of Japan will play July 20-24 at the David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center, 17 blocks north.
Presented as part of the annual Lincoln Center Festival, the production will feature Takarazuka’s signature all-female cast in the classic Kander and Ebb show.
The two productions apparently are on friendly terms. How friendly? They are planning a joint press conference July 18.
In the ludicrous, but tantalizing rumor department, New York Post columnist Cindy Adams, the last of the old-school entertainment gossips, reported that Bette Midler, star of the upcoming spring Broadway revival of Hello, Dolly!, will let original Dolly Carol Channing, who is 95, play two matinees per week in the production.
Adams quoted both the producer Scott Rudin and the publicist Rick Miramontez emphatically denying the story. But Adams went ahead with the rumor anyway.
In an interview with Playbill.com this past spring, Channing, who originated the role of Dolly Gallagher Levi in the 1964 musical, talked about a one-on-one meeting she had with Midler in Palm Springs, CA, shortly after the revival was announced. Along with representatives of the show, Channing also denies she will be reprising the role at all.
At least the two women have met, anyway.