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Celebrity Takeover

Michelle Williams Will Star in Aida at The Muny

Drew 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!

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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.

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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Box Office

Dave Chappelle Live On Broadway Grosses Over 1.4 Million Despite Blackout

Drew Shade

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Dave Chappelle/Netflix. Photo by Mathieu Bitton
Dave Chappelle/Netflix. Photo by Lester Cohen

Dave Chappelle/Netflix. Photo by Lester Cohen

Comedian Dave Chappelle made his Broadway debut July 9th with Dave Chappelle Live on Broadway at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre.

Originally scheduled to close July 13th the residency was extended an additional week through July 20. Made possible by the In Residence on Broadway series which is a collaboration between Live Nation, The Araca Group, and Entertainment Benefits Group.

Saturday nights are the money makers on Broadway especially during the middle of July, in what we New Yorkers like to call tourist season. However, that all came crashing down when a power outage shut down most of the 41 Broadway houses this past Saturday. The blackout didn’t stop the show for most of those Broadway casts. They took to singing in the New York City streets, but the overall Broadway ticket sales took a 10% hit for the week.

Chappelle somehow came out unbothered by the blackout in his first week on Broadway at the Lunt-Fontanne. In just four nights on Broadway, the comedian raked in over 1.4 million, making him the 6th highest selling ticket of the week with an average ticket price of $243. He followed behind Hamilton at $2.67m  The Lion King at $2.39m, To Kill a Mockingbird at $1.7m, Wicked at $1.5m, and Moulin Rouge at 1.49m.

So, your Saturday night show is canceled, what do you do? Dave Chappelle does to impromptu sets at Gramercy Theatre and The Comedy Cellar.

 

 

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So there was a blackout on Broadway…. all roads lead to the #ComedyCellar.

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Celebrity Takeover

Cuba Gooding Jr. Returns to the Role of Billy Flynn in Chicago

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Cuba Gooding Jr. in a promotional photo as Billy Flynn.

Show me the money! Cuba Gooding Jr. (A Trip to Bountiful) returns to Broadway’s ‘Chicago.’

Cuba Gooding Jr. in a promotional photo as Billy Flynn.

Oscar Winner and Broadway alumni, Cuba Gooding Jr., has returned to Broadway. Cuba has returned to ‘Chicago’ through February 10th. After a previous Broadway and West End run in the show, Cuba is back playing Billy Flynn. Now taking on the role for the third time, Cuba is back and better than Ever.

“This is the first time I’ve sang professionally, period. This is my first musical” Cuba said, “The hardest thing I’ve ever done physically is singing and dancing, eight shows a week, six days a week.”

The Oscar winner returned to the Ambassador Theatre on January 7th to do a month-long run in the show. He’d previously spent six weeks in the role in October of 2018 and before that he’d opened the show’s west end revival. Cuba is the latest in the line of stars to join the Broadway company of Chicago. Cuba is joining the likes of Todrick Hall, Tony Yazbeck, Usher Raymond, and Wayne Brady as one of the few stars to play Billy Flynn on Broadway. Cuba is ready to bring the “razzle dazzle” to the Ambassador Theatre, eight shows a week, and we’re prepared to see him hit his mark and take the stage.

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