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Celebrity Takeover

Forest Whitaker’s Hughie Pushes Back Start of Previews

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If you are one of the many people who’ve been eagerly anticipating the Broadway debut of Academy Award winner Forest Whitaker in the revival of Eugene O’Neill’s Hughie, you’ll have to wait just a couple of days longer. The production was originally slated to begin previews on February 5; previews will now begin on February 8. Despite, the slight delay, opening is still scheduled for February 25 at the Booth Theatre.

Whitaker will star alongside stage veteran and Tony Award winner Frank Wood in the short two-character play set in the lobby of a small hotel on a West Side street in midtown New York during the summer of 1928. The play is what’s known as a two-hander — essentially a monologue — about the recently deceased night clerk of a grim hotel on Manhattan’s West Side who’s still mourned by “Erie Smith,” a drunk hustler keen on impressing Hughie’s replacement, “Charlie Hughes,” with reminiscences of past hijinks and adventures.

Whitaker will star as “Erie Smith and Wood will take on the role of “Charlie Hughes.” Tony winner Michael Grandage will direct the play.

Whitaker has built an impressive resume in films such as “Lee Daniels’ The Butler,” “Bird,” and “Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai.” In 2007, he won an Academy Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role for his performance as Ugandan dictator Idi Amin in 2006’s “The Last King of Scotland.” He also is a noted director who helmed the iconic girlfriend film “Waiting To Exhale” starring Whitney Houston, Loretta Devine, and Angela Bassett.

Wood won a Tony Award in 1999 for Best Featured Actor in a Play for Side Man. He also played “Bill” in the Broadway production of August: Osage County.

Hughie was last seen on Broadway in 1996 at the Circle in the Square Theatre in a production directed by and starring Al Pacino.

For more information about Hughie and to purchase tickets, visit here.

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Celebrity Takeover

Tituss Burgess Has New Music, A New Movie, & No Time For Mess + The Preacher’s Wife Musical Update

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Tituss Burgess' Saint Tituss EP cover
Tituss Burgess' Saint Tituss EP cover

On Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen, Tituss Burgess gave us an update on his musical adaptation of the 1996 movie, The Preacher’s Wife – starring Denzel Washington and Whitney Houston. On the late-night talk show, a viewer called in to ask if there had been any updates regarding the show and Burgess shared that:

“ We are very close to signing with a hot-shot producer in New York, which means that the show is closer to appearing in London or here. But there’s also a recent development which could delay it for the better. You’ll find out about it later”

So not only do we know that the musical is still on its way to bless us, but there is an announcement about the show on the way! If you ask me, this is incredibly exciting. Tituss Burgess’ career has gone from stage to screen, and his abilities as an actor and singer are undeniable. Knowing that we are closer to seeing his skills as a musical theatre composer is mad exciting. Watch a clip from the interview above.

While we wait for The Preacher’s Wife Musical, listen to Burgess’ newly released EP Saint Tituss. Burgess sings his face off as he skillfully talks about issues that are personal and political — all while wrapping things up with a joyous celebration of resilience as positivity. He also has two songs that feature Daniel J. Watts including the single 45

St. Tituss is available on Spotify, apple music, and other streaming platforms.

He also has a new movie on the way. “Dolemite Is My Name” starring Eddie Murphy along with Burgess, Mike Epps, Chris Rock, & more will premiere at the Toronto Film Festival. A national release date has not been set as of yet but is sure to be on its way.

 

While discussing the new movie during the same interview, Cohen asked Burgess about his relationship with Murphy. The way Cohen presented the question insinuates there might have been a problem between the two because of a ‘problematic past with the gays’ on Murphy’s part. The response given by Burgess is swift and loaded with “you tried it, but you won’t get me”:

“He wasn’t problematic for Tituss. We had a wonderful time. We talked about Dreamgirls and he should have won the Oscasr, I believe. He was great. Any troubles he may have had with gay people I guess are gone because he loved me.”

It is the following facial expression and the interaction that comes afterward that makes live television great. You can see Burgess say something to someone off-camera which leads Cohen to ask what he’s saying. Burgess replies with a soon-to-be iconic response to everything: “Keep going, girl. Do your show.”

and this is why we live.

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Cast List

Amber Riley & MJ Rodriguez Will Star in Little Shop of Horrors

Drew Shade

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Amber Riley and Mj Rodriguez

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Olivier Award winner for her portrayal of Effie White in London’s West End production of DreamgirlsAmber Riley (Dreamgirls UK) and Pose star Mj Rodriguez will star in a reimagined production of Little Shop of Horrors at Pasadena Playhouse in California.

Riley will take on the iconic voice of Audrey II while Rodriguez will star as Audrey alongside George Salazar (Be More Chill) as Seymour.

The show will run from Sept. 17-Oct. 20 with an official opening set for Sept. 25.

Little Shop of Horrors is considered a classic. It’s a horror-comedy rock musical with music by Alan Menken and lyrics and a book by Howard Ashman. The story follows a hapless florist shop worker who raises a plant that feeds on human blood and flesh. It debuted Off-Broadway in 1982 and the movie version of 1986 introduced the world to young talents of Gina and Pam Tisha Campell and Tichina Arnold.

Directed by Mike Donahue, the design team includes scenic design by Dane Laffrey; costume design by Danae McQueen; lighting design by Josh Epstein; sound design by Veronika Vorel; and choreography and puppet design by Sean Cawelti.

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