Category Archives: Theatre Announcements

NORTH SHORE MUSIC THEATRE PRESENTS THE BIG, FAT, HIT MUSICAL  ‘HAIRSPRAY’

October 30 – November 11, 2018 

Bill Hanney’s award-winning North Shore Music Theatre (NSMT) concludes the 2018 Subscription Season with Broadway’s big, fat, hit musical, HAIRSPRAY, playing for two-weeks only from Tuesday, October 30 thru Sunday, November 11, 2018.

 “I cannot think of more satisfying way to end this record-breaking season than with a bubbly, eye-popping, and powerful production of Hairspray,” said Bill Hanney, NSMT owner and producer. “The final show of the subscription season has to be like a fantastic dessert. It needs to be memorable, put a smile on your face, fill you up, and make you want to come back for more. This hysterical and heartwarming show is a favorite of mine, and with Blake Hammond, Brooke Shapiro and this amazing cast under the direction of Jeff Whiting, I know we have the recipe for success!”

HAIRSPRAY, winner of the 2003 Tony Award for ‘Best Musical,’ is piled bouffant-high with laughter, romance, and infectious musical numbers. Set in Baltimore, 1962, Tracy Turnblad is a big girl with big hair and an even bigger dream: to dance her way onto TV, and into the heart of teen idol Link Larkin. Tracy’s audition makes her a local star and soon she is using her new-found fame to fight for something bigger than her hair – racial integration. HAIRSPRAY is an irresistible, feel-good show with a Tony Award-winning book by Mark O’Donnell and Thomas Meehan and a Tony Award-winning score by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman featuring the hit songs “Welcome To The ‘60s,” “You Can’t Stop The Beat,” “Mamma, I’m A Big Girl Now,” “I Know Where I’ve Boon,” and many more.

The cast of HAIRSPRAY will be led by Blake Hammond as Edna Turnblad and Brooke Shapiro as Tracy Turnblad. Blake Hammond is stepping into the role of Edna Turnblad once more having played her in the Broadway company of Hairspray. He has also appeared on Broadway in Living on Love, First Date, Sister Act, Elf, Billy Elliot, The Lion King, The Music Man, Kiss Me Kate, and On The Town. His Off-Broadway credits include When Pigs Fly, Carnival and Do Re Mi at Encores. Other credits include National Tours of Something Rotten, Cinderella, The Addams Family, and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. Brooke Shapiro returns to North Shore Music Theatre where she was last seen as Jan in the 2014 production of Grease. She has performed off-Broadway in My Big Gay Italian Midlife Crisis, The Calico Buffalo, and did the first NYC reading of Love in Hate Nation (a new musical by Joe Iconis). Brooke has also performed in regional theaters across the country including Goodspeed Opera House, Cape Playhouse, Zach Theatre, Florida Studio Theatre, and Gateway Playhouse.

Performances are October 30 thru November 11, Tue – Thurs at 7:30 pm, Fri & Sat at 8 pm, matinees Wed, Sat and Sun at 2 pm. For tickets and information call (978) 232-7200, visit nsmt.org, or visit the box office at 62 Dunham Rd., Beverly, MA.

 

 

MRT’s Musical-Comedy Whodunit, “Murder for Two”, To Open with Original Star and Co-creator

 At The Merrimack Repertory Theatre From

October 17 through November 11

Joe Kinosian
(Photo Joan Marcus)

Joe Kinosian, the original star and co-creator of the Off-Broadway sensation Murder for Two will lead the Merrimack Repertory Theatre (MRT) cast of the musical-comedy whodunit October 17 – November 11 at the Nancy L. Donahue Theatre at Liberty Hall, according to Artistic Director Sean Daniels and Executive Director Bonnie J. Butkas.

Murder for Two, framed by the authors, Kinosian and Kellen Blair, as The Marx Brothers meet Agatha Christie, will be the second show of MRT’s 40th Anniversary Season and its 264th production since 1979.

“A hilarious musical whodunit,” according to The New Yorker, Murder for Two played Off-Broadway for nearly two years and earned a slew of Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle awards and nominations. The New York Times called the show, “Ingenious! A snazzy double-act.”

Making his New England debut in the show, Kinosian plays all six of the suspects in the murder mystery, and he will be joined by Martin Landry as the detective in this original musical with book and music by Kinosian and book and lyrics by Blair. JC Clementz will direct.

Part Vaudeville, part murder mystery spoof, Murder for Two features one murder, two actors, six suspects, and one piano, wildly shared by both actors. In the zany story, every guest has a motive. Was it the prima ballerina, the widow, the niece, the psychiatrist, or even the detective? The two actors play 13 roles in the homage to everything from Agatha Christie to “Murder She Wrote” to the board game Clue.

A veteran of more than 700 performances in the role, Kinosian said his grandmother showed him his first Marx Brothers film as preschooler. “Their anarchic combination of intellectual screwball wordplay and physical zaniness has never stopped appealing to me. Like Vaudeville, we definitely wanted to channel that comedically broad ‘anything for a laugh’ approach.”

Kinosian has played the role in a two-year tour of America, as well as in productions in Korea, Japan, England, and China. His New York credits as an actor also include the cult favorite Dear Edwina. His regional theatre credits include The Nerd, An Act of God, and Dirty Blond with Emily Skinner.

Landry’s credits include the national tour of Murder for Two and the Off-Broadway productions of Dragons Love Tacos and Dear Edwina. A longtime affiliate of Steppenwolf Theatre in Chicago, director Clementz lists Irving Berlin’s I Love a Piano and The Devil’s Music: The Life and Blues of Bessie Smith among his credits.

For tickets or information, visit www.mrt.org, or call the Box Office at 978-654-4678.

 

 

ArtsEmerson Presents “Measure For Measure”

CONTEMPORARY SOCIETY AND SHAKESPEARE’S POLITICAL EPIC COLLIDE IN 

MEASURE FOR MEASURE 

FEATURED AT ARTSEMERSON
BY CHEEK BY JOWL AND THE PUSHKIN THEATRE MOSCOW ——
SIX PERFORMANCES ONLY – OCTOBER 24-28, 2018 EMERSON CUTLER MAJESTIC THEATRE, BOSTON
 

ALEXANDER ARSENTYEV AND ANNA VARDEVANIAN
Photo credit: Johan Persson

Boston’s leading presenter of contemporary world theatre, proudly welcomes Cheek by Jowl (UK) and The Pushkin Theatre Moscow (Russia) with Measure for Measure. This production of Shakespeare’s play by the international award-winning director Declan Donnellan and designer Nick Ormerod asks vital and unsettling questions about how we are governed and, in the process, unmasks the true nature of authority, love and justice. Performed in Russian with English surtitles, The Pushkin Theatre Moscow and Cheek by Jowl will share Shakespeare’s tale through an unsettling dissection of power and shame that is as shocking as it is revelatory. The Times (London) calls the cast of Measure for Measure electrifyingly intense and disturbing that they make your hair stand on end.” Novaya Gazeta calls it “a shattering portrait of contemporary Russia.”

“Throughout our nine seasons, we’ve forged deep connections with Russian artists and narratives as part of our ‘World on Stage’ commitment,” says artistic director David Dower. “Declan Donnellan is similarly rooted in cross cultural exchange; his collaboration with Moscow’s Pushkin Theater is a perfect pairing for us. Donnellan’s visceral, visually audacious staging is stunning and his all-Russian cast is masterful. Shakespeare’s classically ‘problematic play’ suddenly emerges as a fresh, sharp, and emotionally powerful tale of our own problematic times.” 

About Measure for Measure
Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure was written between 1603 and 1604, classified initially as a comedy. However, the production history exemplifies the complex nature of the play, each with a nearly unique perspective. The story takes place in Vienna under Lord Angelo’s iron-fist rule. He revives forgotten laws on morality and sexual license and decides to make an example of Claudio, a young man who has had pre-marital sex with his fiancée, Juliet. Hearing of Claudio’s death sentence, his sister the novitiate Isabella resolves to petition Angelo for her brother’s life. Despite his outward strict moral code, Angelo tells Isabella he will only free her brother if she sacrifices her virginity to him. 

The limited run of only six performances takes place October 24 through 28, 2018 at the Emerson Cutler Majestic Theatre, located at 219 Tremont Street in downtown Boston.

www.ArtsEmerson.org,  617.824.8400, 

SpeakEasy Stage To Present the Boston Regional Theatre Premiere of the 2015 Tony Award-winning Musical FUN HOME  

Runs October 19 Through November 24 At The Calderwood Pavilion

FUN HOME will run from October 19 through November 24 at the Calderwood Pavillon, 527 Tremont Street in Boston’s South End. Featuring music by Tony Award winner Jeanine Tesori and a book and lyrics by Tony Award winner Lisa Kron, FUN HOME is a landmark musical about seeing one’s parents through grown-up eyes. Based on Ms. Bechdel’s best-selling memoir of the same name, this groundbreaking musical introduces us to Alison at three different ages, revealing memories that celebrate the curiosity of childhood, the challenges of coming out, and the complexities of family.

     SpeakEasy Founder and Producing Artistic Director Paul Daigneault will direct this production of FUN HOME. Winner of three Elliot Norton Awards including the 2014 Norton Prize for Sustained Excellence, Mr. Daigneault had directed dozens of Boston premieres, including the company’s recent productions of The Scottsboro Boys, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, and Allegiance. 

     The artistic team also includes IRNE Award-winning Music Director Matthew Stern and Choreographer Sarah Crane. 

     Amy Jo Jackson (Alison), Ellie van Amerongen (Medium Alison) and Marisa Simeqi (Small Alison) will play Ms. Bechdel at different ages in this compelling musical.  Also in the cast are Laura Marie Duncan, Luke Gold, Desiré Graham, Cameron Levesque, Madi Shaer, Tyler Simahk, and Todd Yard.  

 FUN HOME will run for six weeks, from October 19 through November 24, 2018, in the Roberts Studio Theatre in the Stanford Calderwood Pavilion at the Boston Center for the Arts, 527 Tremont Street in Boston’s South End.

617.933.8600 or visit www.SpeakEasyStage.com .                 

John Douglas Thompson To Play Emile Griffith In Boston Production

“Man In The Ring”

The Story Of Boxing Champion

Emile Griffith To Open 

At The Huntington 

John Douglas Thompson

In exciting news for both boxing and theatre fans, the Huntington Theatre Company production of Man In The Ring will be opening at the Calderwood Pavilion at the Boston Center for the Arts on November 16. The play, written by Pulitzer Prize winner Michael Cristofer, will run through December 22. Man In The Ring chronicles the life of former Welterweight and Middleweight Champion Emile Griffith. 

Griffith’s story will span the time of his humble beginnings in the Virgin Islands, his love affairs, and the tragedy in the ring that forever changed his life. It its a complex story that is both touching and tragic.

I am very excited to hear that John Douglas Thompson has been cast in the role Emile Griffith as an older man. Mr. Douglas is one of the best actors on stage today, and I had the pleasure of seeing him in the world premiere of Terry Teachout’s Satchmo at the Waldorf n 2012. He was simply phenomenal that night. Most recently, he played Starkeeper in the Broadway production of Carousel. It will be interesting to see him play Griffith as an older man who if suffering from the effects of his years in the ring as well as the emotional turmoil from the Benny Paret fight.  

Kyle Vincent Terry

Kyle Vincent Terry will be playing the younger Griffith. Mr. Terry served as fight choreographer for The Royale which I saw last year at the Merrimack Repertory Theatre. The fight scenes in that production were very creative and well done. It is a challenge to create what happens in a boxing ring onto a stage, and Mr. Terry work was quite impressive.

Playwright Michael Cristofer won the Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize for his 1977 play The Shadow Box. In his script for Man In The Ring, Mr. Cristofer explores Emile Griffith’s struggle with his homosexuality which was an open secret in the boxing world during his career. Benny Paret’s taunts of Griffith before their tragic fight have always been thought to have contributed to Emile’s fire in the ring that night.

“Emile Griffith was a true hero in my book”, says Cristofer. “He was a young immigrant form the Virgin Islands and a man struggling with his identity while in a brutal sport who, as an older man slipping into dementia, worked to find peace amid the love, pain, and joy that was his life.”

Emile Griffith

Huntington Artistic Director Peter DuBois says “One of the hardest things to do in theatre is to tell the full story of a complex person’s life. Michael Cristofer beautifully captures the excessive, eccentric, and emotional parts of Emile’s amazing story by mixing the champ’s easy charm with the raw and traumatic things he experienced.”

The cast also includes Victor Almanzer as Luis, Griffith’s lover and later his caretaker, Starla Benford as Griffith’s mother Emelda, Krystal Joy Brown as his wife Sadie, Gordon Clapp as manager Howie Albert. Sean Boyce Johnson is cast as Benny “Kid” Paret with Carla Martinez playing his wife Lucia. Eliseo Sosa will play Paret’s manager Manuel Alfaro. 

Man In The Ring will be directed by multiple Tony Award  nominee Michael Greif. Michael McElroy is the music director and composer of incidental music. 

Man In The Ring

Huntington Theater Company

Playing at the Calderwood Pavilion, Boston Center For The Arts

527 Tremont Street, Boston 

November 16 through December 22, 2018

huntingtontheatre.org

617.266.0800

Broadway Legend Chita Rivera To Appear At  Huntington Theater’s  Calderwood Pavillon 

One Night Only

October 13

Chita Rivera

Three-time Tony Award-winning actress, singer, and dancer Chita Rivera performs for one night only alongside music director and host Seth Rudetsky on Saturday, October 13 at the Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA at 5pm and 8pm.  Produced by Mark Cortale Productions, the performance is the first in the new “Broadway @ the Huntington” series.

The show is an unscripted mixture of music and intimate, behind-the-scenes tales of Ms. Rivera’s career, prompted by questions from Mr. Rudetsky, who hosts “Seth’s Big Fat Broadway” and “Seth Speaks” on Sirius/XM Satellite Radio’s “On Broadway” channel.

Ms. Rivera will perform hits from her vast musical theatre repertoire, which includes originating the roles of Anita in West Side Story (prem. 1957), Rose Grant in Bye Bye Birdie (1960), and Velma Kelly in Chicago (1975).  She also has appeared in Broadway productions of Can-Can (1953), Bajour (1964), Merlin (1983), Jerry’s Girls (1985), and Nine (2003), as well as her autobiographical show Chita Rivera: The Dancer’s Life (2005).  Ms. Rivera earned 10 Tony Award nominations and won Tony Awards for her performances in The Rink (prem. 1984) and Kiss of the Spider Woman (1993).  She most recently originated the role of Claire and was nominated for a Tony Award in the Kander-Ebb-McNally musical The Visit, which premiered on Broadway in 2015.  Ms. Rivera received the Lifetime Achievement Tony Award in 2018 and the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Barack Obama in 2009.

Chita Rivera and Seth Rudetsky

“I’m delighted to welcome Chita Rivera, a true Broadway legend, to the Huntington,” says Artistic Director Peter DuBois. “Her career spans the modern Broadway history, and she has created so many iconic roles in the musical canon. This show is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to hear theatre history from a woman who, quite literally, helped make it.”

Saturday, October 13, 2018 at 5pm and 8pm

The Huntington’s Calderwood Pavilion at the Boston Center for the Arts , 527 Tremont Street, Boston

huntingtontheatre.org

 617 266 0800

Huntington Theatre Box Office, 264 Huntington Ave. and the Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA Box Office, 527 Tremont St.

The Roommate Featuring Adrianne Krstansky and Paula Plum Opens At The Lyric Stage October 19

Written By Jen Silverman and Directed By Spiro Veloudos

Runs Through November 18

Paula Plum and Adrianne Krstansky

Sharon, middle-aged and recently divorced, needs a roommate to share her Iowa home.  Robyn needs a place to hide and a chance to start over.  But as Sharon begins to uncover Robyn’s secrets while sharing music, books, and an occasional toke, she discovers a deep-seated desire to transform her own life completely.

It’s a subversive, absorbing comedy about what it takes to re-route your life –and what happens when the wheels come off.

Written by Jen Silverman, this production is directed by Spiro Veloudos. 

The Roommate runs from October 19 through November 4.

Lyric stage, 140 Clarendon Street, Copley Square, Boston

Box Office: 617.585.5678

lyricstage.com 

SpeakEasy Stage Company Presents “Between Riverside and Crazy”

Pulitzer Prize Winning Play Runs September 14 Through October 13 

Written by Stephen Adly Guirgis, BETWEEN RIVERSIDE AND CRAZY is a dark urban comedy that explores, with both disarming tenderness and street-smart wit, the slippery nature of justice, and the grit it takes to move on.  In an effort to hang on to one of Manhattan’s last great rent-stabilized apartments, ex-cop Walter “Pops” Washington does battle with a dazzling array of outlandish characters, each one a celebration of the glorious contradictions that make up human nature.  

Mr. Guirgis is a member and former co-artistic director of LAByrinth Theater Company in New York City. His plays, which have been produced on five continents and throughout the United States, include Our Lady of 121st Street (Drama Desk, Lucille Lortel, Outer Critics Circle Best Play nominations); Jesus Hopped the ‘A’ Train (Edinburgh Festival Fringe First Award, Barrymore Award, Olivier Nomination for London’s Best New Play); In Arabia We’d All Be Kings (2007 LA Drama Critics Best Play, Best Writing Award); The Last Days of Judas Iscariot (10 Best – Time Magazine & Entertainment Weekly); and The Little Flower of East Orange. His Broadway debut, The Motherfucker with the Hat (dir: Anna D Shapiro), received 6 Tony Award nominations including Best Play. 

Tiffany Nichole Greene will helm SpeakEasy’s production of BETWEEN RIVERSIDE AND CRAZY.  

The cast for this New England Premiere production is Tyrees Allen, Octavia Chavez-Richmond, Maureen Keiller, Celeste Oliva, Alejandro Simoes, Stewart Evan Smith, and Lewis D. Wheeler.

BETWEEN RIVERSIDE AND CRAZY will run for five weeks, from September 14 through October 13, in the Roberts Studio Theatre in the Stanford Calderwood Pavilion at the Boston Center for the Arts, 527 Tremont Street in Boston’s South End.

617.933.8600 or visit www.SpeakEasyStage.com.                

 

 

 

 

“Jersey Boys” Comes To The Ogunquit Playhouse

Northeast Regional Premiere

Runs September 5 Through October 28

The multi-Tony Award-winning, international sensation that took Broadway and the world by storm, makes its Northeast premiere at the Ogunquit Playhouse, on stage September 5 through October 28. Jersey Boys takes audiences on an exhilarating journey behind the music of mega-stars Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons. The musical was penned by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice with music by Bob Gaudio and lyrics by Bob Crewe. It follows the incredible story of four guys bound by one dream, who worked their way from the streets of New Jersey to the heights of stardom. Audiences around the world have gone wild over the electrifying performances of the golden greats that took these hometown boys from Jersey all the way to the top of the charts: “Sherry,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You,” “Dawn,” “My Eyes Adored You,” and many more. 

Jonathan Mousset

Starring as Frankie Valli, lead vocalist of The Four Seasons is Jonathan Mousset. He has performed in many regional theatres across the U.S. in such shows as Newsies, In the Heights, and Godspell. Mr. Mousset has also performed in concerts at New York City venues including 54 Below, the Times Center, and the Town Hall. Matthew Guy Magnusson makes his Ogunquit Playhouse debut as Tommy DeVito, lead guitar player of The Four Seasons. Mr. Magnusson has numerous regional theatre credits including Grease, Spring Awakening, American Idiot, and Ring of Fire. 

Performing as Bob Gaudio, songwriter behind The Four Seasons is Andy Christopher. Mr. Christopher has performed as Buddy Holly in the National Tour of Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story and in many regional theatres across the U.S. including Bucks County Playhouse, Flat Rock Playhouse, West Virginia Public Theatre, The Muny, Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera, Great Lakes CFA, Fulton Theatre, Maine State Music Theatre, Casa Mañana, and the Ogunquit Playhouse where he got his start in 2012. Returning to the Playhouse to star as Nick Massi, The Four Seasons bassist is Matthew David Amira. Mr. Amira was last seen at the Ogunquit Playhouse in the 2016 production of The Hunchback of Notre Dame. His many regional theatre credits include Madame Defarge, She Loves Me, Fiddler on the Roof, and South Pacific among others.

207.646.5511  ogunquitplayhouse.org 

ArtsEmerson Presents The U.S. Premiere Of “Hamnet” By Ireland’s Dead Centre

At Emerson Paramount Center, Boston

September 20 through October 7

Ollie West
(Photo Credit: Gianmarco Bresadola)

ArtsEmerson, Boston’s leading presenter of contemporary world theatre, proudly welcomes Dead Centre’s (Ireland) Hamnet, co-directed and co-written by Bush Moukarzel and Ben Kidd. Hamnet opens September 20 and runs through October 7. A multimedia theatre experience, Hamnet brings Shakespeare’s only son, who died at age 11 without knowing his famous father, to the stage. A riveting performance carried chiefly by a solo young actor confronts what it means—and what it costs— to be great. ArtsEmerson and Dead Centre will provide Boston audiences a final chance to see Ollie West perform in the role of 11 year old Hamnet who The Guardian calls “riveting [and] completely poised”. The companies celebrate West’s farewell performance as well as welcoming the young and talented Aran Murphy to take over the role of Hamnet in the final week of performances at the Emerson Paramount Center. 

Hamnet is an entirely ArtsEmerson show in the way it upends convention,” shares ArtsEmerson Artistic Director David Dower. “It’s a completely surprising, and deeply moving, contribution to the world of Shakespeare. In focusing on his son, a whole new portrait of the man emerges. And it’s audacious, entrusting this emotionally complex story to the care of its young star. Dead Centre is a fresh and rising voice out of Ireland that is emerging on the world stage with this piece. It makes a perfect opening to our 9th season.” 

Shakespeare’s only son takes center stage. William Shakespeare had one son: Hamnet. While William was away working in London, Hamnet died at 11 years old without ever knowing his famous father. How do our dreams impact our families? Do adults really have it all figured out? Or are we blind to what we could have done better until it’s too late? In Hamnet, a tour-de-force performance from a young actor confronts what it means—and what it costs—to be great, and how living in the shadow of that greatness can keep one in the dark. In this moving, meticulous, multimedia wonder, ambition clashes with family responsibilities in a way that rivals the stakes of a great Shakespearean tragedy. Running time: 60 minutes. 

The production runs three weeks at the Emerson Paramount Center’s Robert J. Orchard Stage, located at 559 Washington Street in downtown Boston. www.ArtsEmerson.org, by phone at 617.824.8400, or in person at the box office.