The Broadway Musical Blog – Musical theater news and gossip from the Great White Way

Dishing out daily (or almost daily) Broadway musical news and gossip. The companion site to The Broadway Musical Home (, a directory of Broadway musicals with the story, songs, merchandise, video clips, lyrics, tickets, rights & awards for almost 200 shows.

Archive for August, 2009

Full cast for Broadway’s Fela announced

The upcoming Broadway transfer of Fela, which opens November 23, will star Sahr Ngaujah and Kevin Mambo alternating in the title role, Lillias White (Dreamgirls) as Funmilayo and Saycon Sengbloh (Hair, Aida, Wicked The Color Purple) as Sandra.

The rest of the company includes Corey Baker, Hettie Vyrine Barnhill, Lauren de Veaux, Nicole Chantal de Weever, Elasea Douglas, Rujeko Dumbutshena, Catherine Foster, Aimee Graham Wodobode, Rasaan-Elijah Green, Abena Koomson, Ismael Kouyate, Gelan Lambert, Farai Malianga, Shakira Marshall, Afi McClendon, Adesola Osakalumi, Jeffrey Page, Daniel Soto, Iris Wilson and J.L. Williams.

Casting changes for Billy Elliot on Broadway

Alex Ko will step into the title character in Broadway’s Billy Elliot as Kiril Kulish departs the show in early October. He will join David Alvarez, Trent Kowalik and Tommy Batchelor in the Billy rotation beginning the week of Oct. 5.

Also leaving the production are Haydn Gwynne, the current Mrs. Wilkinson, and David Bologna, one of the actors currently playing Michael. They will be succeeded by Kate Hennig and the current understudy for Michael, Keean Johnson, who will alternate with Trevor Braun in the role.

More returning stars – Bonnie Langford, Deidre Goodwin, Tom Hewitt and Kecia Lewis-Evans will star in Chicago once again

Bonnie Langford (Gypsy) will once again take over the role of Roxie Hart, Deidre Goodwin (Jesus Christ Superstar, The Rocky Horror Show, The Boys from Syracuse, Nine, A Chorus Line) that of Velma Kelly, Tom Hewitt (Dracula, The Boys from Syracuse, The Lion King) Billy Flynn and Kecia Lewis-Evans (The Drowsy Chaperone, Ain’t Misbehavin’, Big River, Dreamgirls) Matron “Mama” Morton in Broadway’s Chicago.

Full cast announced for Ragtime on Broadway – Includes Bohmer, Darrington, Noll, Petkoff, Steggert and Umoh

The Broadway revival of Ragtime, which opens on November 15 at the Neil Simon Theatre, will star:

Ron Bohmer (Father)
Quentin Earl Darrington (Coalhouse Walker, Jr.)
Christiane Noll (Mother)
Robert Petkoff (Tateh)
Bobby Steggert (Mother’s Younger Brother)
Stephanie Umoh (Sarah)
Christopher Cox (The Little Boy)
Sarah Rosenthal (The Little Girl)
Mark Aldrich (Willie Conklin)
Aaron Galligan-Stierle (Henry Ford)
Jonathan Hammond (Harry Houdini)
Dan Manning (Grandfather)
Michael X. Martin (J.P. Morgan)
Michael McGowan (Stanford White)
Donna Migliaccio (Emma Goldman)
Josh Walden (Harry K. Thaw)
Savannah Wise (Evelyn Nesbit)
Eric Jordan Young (Booker T. Washington)

Ensemble members include: Sumayya Ali, Terence Archie, Corey Bradley, Jayden Brockington, Benjamin Cook, Carey Brown, Jennifer Evans, Carly Hughes, Lisa Karlin, Valisia LeKae, James Moye, Tracy Lynn Olivera, Mamie Parris, Bryonha Parham, Nicole Powell, Kaylie Robinaccio, Arbender J. Robinson, Benjamin Schrader, Wallace Smith, Catherine Walker, Jim Weaver and Kylil Williams.

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Aaron Tveit will return to play Gabe in Broadway’s Next to Normal

Another member of the Seattle Catch Me if You Can is headed back to Broadway: Aaron Tveit (Wicked, Hairspray), who originated the role of Gabe in Broadway’s Next to Normal, will resume performances as Gabe starting September 7!

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Kerry Butler (Xanadu, Little Shop of Horrors, Hairspray) to step in as Rock of Ages’ new Sherrie

Kerry Butler (Xanadu, Little Shop of Horrors, Hairspray, Beauty and the Beast, Les Miserables, Blood Brothers) will be taking over as Sherrie in Broadway’s Rock of Ages beginning September 21.

She’ll be performing six days a week, with her understudy stepping in on Sundays during her six-month engagement (she will most likely be leaving to play the role she originated in the Seattle version of Catch Me if You Can in its Broadway appearance).

If you’ve never seen this gorgeous powerhouse of an actress, you’ll have nothin’ but a good time seeing her in this entertaining show. Congrats to Rock of Ages! I predict you’ll sell out a few more shows now.

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Ragtime reveals poster artwork!

What do you think of the design?

RUMOR: Mandy Patinkin is looking to return to Broadway in La Cage aux Folles

According to the New York Post, Tony Award winner Mandy Patinkin (Evita, Sunday in the Park with George, The Wild Party, The Secret Garden, Falsettos) is looking to take on the role of Georges in the transfer of La Cage Aux Folles.

Harvey Fierstein, who wrote the book for the musical, said of casting the role: “I can think of 20 people who could play Georges, and Mandy is right at the top of that list. First of all, he’ll sing those songs beautifully. Second, he’s a great actor. And third, I know how much he values his family, and that is what La Cage is really about—family.”

Casting is still unofficial … but we can only hope Mandy will be returning to the Great White Way!

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The creative team for Broadway’s The Addams Family announced

Producers just announced an amazing creative team for The Addams Family, the new Broadway musical based on Charles Addams’ cartoons, which is set to open at Broadway’s Lunt-Fontanne Theatre on April 8, 2010.

They include puppeteer Basil Twist (Arias with a Twist), lighting designer Natasha Katz (The Coast of Utopia and Aida), sound designer Acme Sound Partners (In the Heights), music director Mary-Mitchell Campbell (Company), orchestrator Larry Hochman (Spamalot), dance arranger August Eriksmoen (Memphis), hair designer Tom Watson (Wicked), make-up designer Angelina Avallone (The Little Mermaid), special effects designer Greg Meeh (Spamalot), fight director Rick Sordelet (The Lion King), associate director Heidi Miami Marshall  and production supervisor Beverley Randolph.

The Addams Family has a book by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice (Jersey Boys), music and lyrics by Andrew Lippa (The Wild Party), direction and design by Phelim McDermott and Julian Crouch (Shockheaded Peter, Satyagraha) and choreography by Sergio Trujillo (Next to Normal, Jersey Boys).

Starring Nathan Lane and Bebe Neuwirth as Gomez and Morticia, the musical features Terrence Mann as Mal Beineke, Carolee Carmello as Alice Beineke, Kevin Chamberlin as Uncle Fester, Jackie Hoffman as Grandmama, Zachary James as Lurch, Adam Riegler as Pugsley, Wesley Taylor as Lucas Beineke and Krysta Rodriguez as Wednesday.

I can’t wait for this show!

West Side Story no longer bilingual; Fez hat dance scene cut from Bye Bye Birdie

The bilingual West Side Story revival, which incorporated “the unprecedented element of selectively weaving Spanish throughout both the book and songs,” is reverting back to English.

This week, two songs that had previously been performed in Spanish – “A Boy Like That” (“Un Hombre Asi”) and “I Feel Pretty” (“Siento Hermosa”) are now being delivered mostly in English. The Spanish sung by the Sharks in the “Tonight” quintet is now some of the only Spanish that remains in the show.

Arthur Laurents who wrote and directed the musical said that “from the outset, the Spanish in West Side Story was an experiment. It’s been an ongoing process of finding what worked and what didn’t, and it still continues.”

Another big change is in store for a classic Broadway musical according to Gina Gershon, the actress playing Rose in Broadway’s upcoming production of Bye Bye Birdie. One of the big dance numbers in the show, in which Rose is traditionally chased by a number of men wearing fez hats, has been cut from the production because producers thought it “a little too gang rape-y.” Read the full article here.

I was pretty taken aback by these drastic (and in my opinion, unnecessary) changes. How about you?

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