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Pride Lands & Chill: The Lion King Will Be The First Musical To Ever Play Antarctica

Andrew Shade

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The Lion King is set to go where no show has ever gone before. One of Broadway’s longest-running musicals has played on every continent except one but soon that will change. Disney takes on their biggest challenge yet, opening on April 1st 2019, in a 2000 seat ice theatre.

Find out more about the history-making production! Watch until the end!

 

HAPPY APRIL FOOL’S DAY!

FROM BROADWAY BLACK & THE ENTIRE THEATRE COMMUNITY! 

 

Founder/Editor-In-Chief of BroadwayBlack.com | Actor | Artist | 1/3 of @OffBookPodcast | Theatre connoisseur | All Audra Everything | Caroline over Change | I'm Not Charl Brown | Norm Lewis is my play cousin | Producing an all-black production of Mame starring Jenifer Lewis in my head

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A Must See

Will Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Apparate to Broadway?

Broadway Black

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Harry Potter fans rejoice, as the eight installment in the thrilling children’s series has finally opened on the West End at the Palace Theatre to rave reviews. Based on a story by creator J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child takes place nineteen years after Deathly Hollows ended. The two-part play is written by Jack Thorne, with direction by John Tiffany.

It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband and father of three school-age children.

While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places.

Jamie Parker (Harry Potter), Norma Dumezweni (Hermione Granger), and Paul Thornley (Ron Weasley) lead a company of 42.

The production released a block of 250,000 tickets on August 4th for the second half of 2017, which have all already sold out.

Now the question remains: will U.S. fans get to see their favorite wizarding hero take the Broadway stage? Producers have all but confirmed that the show will transfer some time as early as 2017, possibly in a Shubert house yet to be announced. Personally, I think they should take the massive 1860+ Lyric Theatre, currently the home of Cirque du Soleil Paramour.

Not that I hold a bias or anything.

But I’ve also started reading the text, which has just been released in stores, and while it’s great, it just isn’t the same as seeing the magic of Tiffany’s direction with your own eyes. Tiffany is one of my all time theatrical directors, having seen Once, Let the Right One In, and The Glass Menagerie. That combined with Steven Hoggett’s movement and choreography, with music by Imogen Heap — I weep in awe just thinking about it.

Last fall, the production faced some backlash when Olivier winner Dumezweni joined the cast as Hermione Granger, originally played by Emma Watson in all eight films. Diehard, entitled fans must have misread every single book, as her race, confirmed by Rowling, is never specified. Then again, let’s be real, of course she had a white Hermione in mind.

The show, again, received backlash this week after the book release with fans enraged that it’s, in fact, a script and not a novel, and that it reads like fan fiction.

Despite all the nontroversy, Harry Potter is, once again, taking the world by storm, and it’s only getting started.

For tickets, visit Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.

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A Must See

Phylicia Rashad Brings Head of Passes To Mark Taper Forum

Jazmine Harper-Davis

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Tony Award-winning actress Phylicia Rashad will return to the Mark Taper stage in Head of Passes, a powerful, deeply moving new drama about family and the power of faith by playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney (The Brother/Sister Plays). Directed by Tina Landau, Head of Passes begins performances on September 13 and continues through October 22, 2017. The opening night is set for September 24. Additional casting has yet to be announced.

Family and friends are gathering to celebrate Shelah’s (Rashad) birthday under the leaky roof of her home at the mouth of the Mississippi River. But an unwanted birthday party and unrelenting rains are only the first challenges in this contemporary parable inspired by the Book of Job in which unexpected events turn the reunion into the ultimate test of faith and love. As her world seems to collapse around her, Shelah must fight to survive the rising flood of life’s greatest challenges in this poetic and piercing new play.

Head of Passes,which took home two Lucille Lortel Awards for Lead and Featured Actress in A Play, was last seen at The Public Theater in New York, where it received rave reviews. New York Times theater critic, Ben Brantley praises Rashad’s performance saying, “…Ms. Rashad gives the impression that she could definitely hold her own on Shakespeare’s blasted heath. Portraying a sorely tested Southern matriarch, she can be found railing against God and the elements with a harrowingly Lear-like rage.”

Tickets for the Mark Taper Forum’s 50th season are currently available by season ticket membership only. For information and to charge season tickets by phone, call the Exclusive Season Ticket Hotline at (213) 972-4444. To purchase season memberships online click here.

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Celebrity Takeover

Dreamgirls London Starring Amber Riley Finds It’s Dream Cast

Andrew Shade

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As previously reported, Amber Riley will be taking to the stage on The West End as Effie in Dreamgirls. It will be the first time that a full production has been mounted on a major London stage. It comes 35 years after the original 1981 production opened on Broadway starring The Dreamgirls we all know and cherish today, Jennifer Holiday, Sheryl Lee Ralph, & Loretta Devine.

We have been patiently waiting for the entire cast to be revealed and it’s finally here. Giving the exclusives on everything @DreamgirlsLDN via twitter is Baz Bamigboye, Daily Mail entertainment columnist, and boy, oh, boy does he spill all the beans we need.

Playing the roles of Deena & Lorrell alongside Riley’s Effie are Liisi LaFontaine and Ibinabo Jack, respectively.

He didn’t stop there. Bamigboye also revealed that Curtis Taylor Jr. will be played by Joe Aaron Reid, James “Thunder” Early aka Jimmy will be played by Adam J Bernard, and C.C. White will be played by Tyrone Huntley.

And the cherry on top of it all came when it was announced that the original composer of Dreamgirls, Henry Krieger is working on a new song for the opening of Act II. He also wrote “Listen” for the Dreamgirls movie, made famous by Beyonce. “Listen” was also turned into a duet between Deena Jones and Effie White for the most recent national tour of Dreamgirls in 2009. We wonder what Krieger will cook up this time. We’ll make sure to keep you in the loop when we find out.

Click HERE for more information on tickets and show dates

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Coming Soon

Aja Naomi King To Read The Mountaintop In LA

Broadway Black

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Aja Naomi King will play “Camae” in the reading of Katori Hall’s hit play, The Mountaintop, at the James Bridges Theater UCLA May 19-22.

The Yale School of Drama graduate is having a breakout year! In addition to this reading, King also plays “Michaela Pratt” on ABC’s hit drama “How to Get Away With Murder” and “Cherry” in this year’s “The Birth of a Nation”. But don’t let the actress fool you, her roots are in the theatre! During her years at Yale the versatile performer took on A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Little Shop of Horrors and Angels in America!

She will, no doubt, shine in The Mountaintop:

On the evening of April 4, 1968, Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated outside room 306 of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis. What happened inside room 306 on the evening of April 3 is the subject of Katori Hall’s The Mountaintop. Hours after King’s final speech, punctuated by his immortal line, “I’ve been to the mountaintop,” the celebrated reverend reveals his regrets as he and a hotel maid talk into the late hours of what will be his final day.

The play will also star Larry Powell as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and will be directed by Roger Guenveur Smith.

We love to see our favorite television and film stars maintain their connection to the theatre! We firmly believe it is the best way to better oneself and find new inspiration in the craft! Who knows? Maybe there’s a broadway role for Aja in the near future? You know Broadway Black will be ready and waiting!

Visit here to purchase tickets to what’s sure to be a moving performance!

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Celebrity Takeover

Michelle Williams Will Star in Aida at The Muny

Andrew Shade

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Meet me in St. Louis! Seriously. This summer, Grammy Award-winner Michelle Williams, known for being 1/3 of Destiny’s Child, will return to the stage in a role she knows very well. She will star as Aida at The Muny, an outdoor musical amphitheatre in Forest Park, St. Louis, Missouri. In 2003, the star made her Broadway debut in the title role of Elton John and Tim Rice’s Aida.  Since that graceful entrance into the lights, Williams has found a home that she can always return to, having done so previously starring in The Color Purple, Chicago, & Fela!

Screen Shot 2016-03-04 at 12.14.56 PM

The Muny‘s production of Aida will be directed by Matt Lenz and choreographed by John Rua with music direction by Andrew Graham. The rest of the cast has yet to be announced. However, Muny artistic director and executive producer Mike Isaacson had this to say in a statement:

“We’re thrilled Michelle Williams will star as our Aida. It is one of the most iconic roles in contemporary musical theater, and I can’t wait to see her create her particular brand of musical magic on the Muny stage.” 

“Aida” closes the season for The Muny, following after “The Wizard of Oz” (June 13-22), “42nd Street” (June 24-30), “The Music Man” (July 5-11), “Young Frankenstein” (July 13-19), “Mamma Mia!” (July 21-28) and “Fiddler on the Roof” (July 30-Aug. 5). Season tickets go on sale March 5. Single tickets go on sale May 28.

The news was announced on IG by @RealMichelleW

 

JUST IN: @realmichellew will return to the role of #AIDA at @themuny! #BroadwayBlack

A photo posted by Broadway Black (@broadwayblack) on

 

 

The original Broadway production won four 2000 Tony Awards including Best Actress by Heather Headley, who originated the title role.

Recently Michelle has co-hosted ABC Television’s The View & been quite insightful on the reality show Fix My Choir on the Oxygen Network.

Watch Michelle Williams sing a small snippet of Easy as Life 13 years ago below and imagine how much of a slay she’ll be in the role today.

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A Must See

Audra McDonald To Make West End Debut In Lady Day

Broadway Black

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You may remember we told you that Broadway’s superwoman Audra McDonald would be taking a leave of absence from the upcoming production of Shuffle Along, Or The Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed for three months starting in June through September 25. At the time, we didn’t have the details and we didn’t dare speculate. Now, we know that it’s for a great reason. McDonald will make her West End debut this summer in her show-stopping, Tony Award-winning performance as “Billie Holiday” in Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill.

The play, written by Lanie Robertson and directed by Lonny Price, tells the story of the legendary jazz icon’s loves and losses through a turbulent but extraordinary life. Providing the backdrop to these stories are the moving and stirring songs that Holiday is most famous for – “God Bless the Child,” “What a Little Moonlight Can Do,” “Strange Fruit,” “Crazy He Calls Me,” and “Taint Nobody’s Biz-ness.” The production will play at Wyndham’s Theater from June 25 to September 3. The official opening is scheduled for July 5. 

In Shuffle Along, McDonald will take on the role of “Lottie Gee” and Brian Stokes Mitchell will appear in the role of “F.E. Miller.” Billy Porter takes on the role of “Aubrey Lyles,” with Brandon Victor Dixon and Joshua Henry as “Eubie Blake” and “Noble Sissle.”

McDonald made Broadway history with a record-setting sixth Tony Award for her perfomance in Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill. She also has the distinction of being the first person to receive awards in all four acting categories. She has also won Tony’s for Carousel, Master Class, Ragtime, A Raisin in the Sun, and Porgy and Bess. We’ll cross our fingers and hope that her performance in the West End production will wow British audiences as much as it did those on Broadway and bring her an Olivier Award.

For tickets and more information about the West End production of Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill visit here.

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