Audrey’s Theatre Whirl: ‘A Raisin in the Sun,’ and ‘If/Then’ Headed to Broadway

Written by MCJStaff   // September 10, 2013   // 0 Comments

 

‘A Raisin in the Sun’ amazing cast: Denzel Washington, Diahann Carroll, Anika Noni Rose, Sophie Okonedo
from,eurweb.com

Compiled by Audrey J. Bernard

*LaChanze plans to return to Broadway for the first time since winning a Tony in 2006 for “The Color Purple.”  Producers of If/Then announced that the singer and actress will star opposite Idina Menzel in the new musical that reunites the creative forces behind “Next to Normal” — music by Tom Kitt, story by Brian Yorkey and direction by Michael Greif.

If/Then will play Broadway’s Richard Rodgers Theatre (226 West 46th Street, NYC) in spring 2014, beginning preview performances on Tuesday, March 4, 2014 and officially opening on Thursday, March 27, 2014.

If/Then will feature choreography by Larry Keigwin, founder of the contemporary dance company, KEIGWIN + COMPANY. Keigwin choreographed the new musical, Tales of the City, at ACT as well as the recent off-Broadway revival of Rent. He is making his Broadway choreography debut with this production.

If/Then will feature set design by Tony Award-Nominee Mark Wendland (Next to Normal, The Merchant of Venice), costume design by Emily Rebholz (Bloody, Bloody Andrew Jackson; Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike), lighting design by Tony Award-Winner Kenneth Posner (Kinky Boots, Wicked) and sound design by Tony Award-Winner Brian Ronan (Next To Normal, The Book of Mormon). The production will feature musical direction by Carmel Dean and orchestrations by Tony Award-Winners Michael Starobin and Tom Kitt.

The company of If/Then will feature Joe Cassidy (Working), Miguel Cervantes (American Idiot, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee), Curtis Holbrook (West Side Story, Xanadu), Stephanie Klemons (In The Heights), Tyler McGee (Ghost), Ryann Redmond (Bring It On), Joe Aaron Reid (Catch Me If You Can) and Ann Sanders (Leap of Faith). They join the previously announced Idina Menzel, LaChanze, Anthony Rapp, James Snyder, Jerry Dixon, Jenn Colella, Jason Tam, and Tamika Lawrence in the Broadway-bound musical.

If/Then will have its world premiere in a pre-Broadway out-of-town engagement at the National Theatre in Washington, D.C., beginning preview performances on Tuesday, November 5, 2013 and running through December 8, 2013.

Tickets for the world premiere engagement in Washington, D.C. go on sale to the general public on Sunday, September 8, 2013 and will be available at thenationaldc.com, by phone at (800) 514-3849, or in person at the National Theatre box office (1321 Pennsylvania Avenue NW).

*The Bridges of Madison County will begin previews on Monday, January 13, 2014 and officially open on Thursday, February 27, 2014 at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre (236 West 45th Street, NYC). Tickets can be purchased at Telecharge.com or by calling (212) 239-6200.

As previously announced, four-time Tony Award nominee Kelli O’Hara(Nice Work If You Can Get It, The Pajama Game), and stage & screen star Steven Pasquale (Reasons To Be Pretty, “Rescue Me) will star in the Broadway-bound musical The Bridges of Madison County. Tony Award-winner Bartlett Sher (The Light in the Piazza, Awake and Sing, Golden Boy) will direct.

For Ms. O’Hara, this will mark a reunion with director Bartlett Sher, who directed her Tony-nominated performances as Nellie Forbush in South Pacific and Clara in The Light in the Piazza. Mr. Pasquale returns to the stage in this musical; he previously starred in reasons to be pretty and A Man of No Importance.

The show comes to Broadway direct from its acclaimed, sold-out run at Williamstown Theatre Company where it ran from August 2-18, 2013.

The Bridges of Madison County, the story about a devoted Iowa housewife and her unlikely love affair with a National Geographic photographer has inspired seven of the theater’s most distinguished artists to create a new Broadway musical.

The Bridges of Madison County features music and lyrics by Tony Award-winner Jason Robert Brown (Parade, The Last Five Years)and a book by Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize-winner Marsha Norman (‘night Mother, The Color Purple, The Secret Garden). It will be directed by Tony Award-winner Bartlett Sher (The Light in the Piazza, Awake and Sing, Golden Boy), who reunites with his celebrated Tony Award-winning South Pacific design team, including scenic design by Michael Yeargan, costume design by Catherine Zuber, and lighting design by Donald Holder. Sound design is by Jon Weston (How to Succeed…, The Color Purple).

The lead producers of The Bridges of Madison County are Jeffrey Richards, Stacey Mindich, and Jerry Frankel. They will be joined by Tulchin Bartner Productions, Jay & Cindy Gutterman and Cathy Chernoff, Scott M. Delman, Aaron Priest, Red Mountain Theatre Company, Warner Bros. Theatre Ventures, Bellanca Smigel Rutter, Will Trice, and The Shubert Organization.

*Tony Award-winner and two-time Academy Award-winner Denzel Washington will star as Walter Lee Younger in Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun, opposite film, television and Tony Award-winning stage star Diahann Carroll as Lena Younger, in her first Broadway appearance in over 30 years.  The production will be directed by Tony Awardnominee Kenny Leon.

Previews begin March 8, 2014, with opening night on April 3, 2014 at the Barrymore Theatre (243 West 47thStreet, NYC), where the original production of A Raisin in the Sun opened 55 years ago. A Raisin in the Sun is a limited engagement, running 14 weeks only through June 15, 2014.

The production will also star Academy Award-nominee Sophie Okonedo (Hotel Rwanda) making her Broadway debut as Ruth Younger and Tony Award-winner Anika Noni Rose (Caroline, or Change) as Beneatha Younger. Sophie Okonedo is appearing with the permission of Actors’ Equity Association. The Producers gratefully acknowledge Actors’ Equity Association for its assistance with this production.

Rounding out the cast are Stephen Tyrone Williams (Lucky Guy) as Joseph Asagai, Jason Dirden (Fences) as George Murchison, and Tony Award-nominee Stephen McKinley Henderson (Fences) as Bobo.  Added to the cast are David Cromer, who directed the Obie-winning Our Town and Tribes. He will play Karl Lindner; also new to the cast is 13-year-old Bryce Clyde Jenkins, who makes his Broadway debut as Travis Younger.  Additional casting will be announced soon.

Originally produced in 1959, Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun was the first play written by an African American woman to be produced on Broadway, where it won the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Play. The Washington Post has called it “one of a handful of great American plays – it belongs in the inner circle, along with Death of a Salesman and Long Days Journey into Night.” The New York Times has hailed it as “the play that changed American theatre forever.”

Set on Chicago’s South Side, A Raisin in the Sun revolves around the divergent dreams and conflicts within three generations of the Younger family: son Walter Lee (Denzel Washington), his wife Ruth (Sophie Okonedo), his sister Beneatha (Anika Noni Rose), his son Travis and matriarch Lena, called Mama (Diahann Carroll). When her deceased husband’s money comes through, Mama dreams of moving to a new home and a better neighborhood in Chicago. Walter Lee, a chauffeur, has other plans: buying a liquor store and being his own man. Beneatha dreams of medical school. The tensions and prejudice they face form this seminal American drama.

Scenic design is by Mark Thompson. Costume design is by Ann Roth. Lighting design is by Brian MacDevitt. A Raisin In The Sun will be produced by Scott Rudin.

*Previews began Thursday, September 5, 2013 for The American Repertory Theater’s production of The Glass Menagerie. Opening night will be Thursday, September 26, 2013 at the Booth Theatre (222 W 45th Street, NYC). Tickets can be purchased at Telecharge.com, by calling (212) 239-6200 or at the box office of the Booth Theatre.

The production will star multiple Tony and Emmy Award-winner Cherry Jones as Amanda Wingfield, film and stage star Zachary Quinto as Tom, two-time Tony-nominee Celia Keenan-Bolger as Laura, and Brian J. Smith as Jim, the Gentleman Caller.

From director John Tiffany and the Tony Award-winning team behind Once comes a spell-binding new production of Tennessee Williams’ masterpiece The Glass Menagerie. Amanda Wingfield (Cherry Jones) is a southern belle past her prime, living with two grown children in a small apartment in St. Louis. Amanda dreams of a better life for her shy and crippled daughter Laura (Celia Keenan-Bolger), and so she pushes her son Tom (Zachary Quinto) to find a “gentleman caller” for the girl. However, the arrival of the gentleman caller (Brian J. Smith) sends shockwaves through the family, and causes cracks to form in the delicate fantasies that have kept them going. A beautiful play full of poetry and longing, The Glass Menagerie makes its triumphant return to Broadway in an exquisite and groundbreaking new production.

The Glass Menagerie has set and costumes by Bob Crowley, lighting by Natasha Katz, and sound by Clive Goodwin. Original music is composed by Nico Muhly, and movement by longtime Tiffany collaborator Steven Hoggett.

Producers Jeffrey Richards, John N. Hart Jr., and Jerry Frankel recently announced a student rush policy for the 17-week limited engagement of the revival of The Glass Menagerie.  A limited number of student rush tickets, which are subject to availability, can be purchased with a valid student ID at the box office of the Booth Theatre when the box office opens for the day of the performance on a first-come first-served basis. The box office of the Booth Theatre opens at 10am Monday through Saturday, and at noon on Sunday. Student rush tickets are $35 each and limited to two (2) tickets per customer.


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A Raisin in the Sun

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