Broadway Fast 5: January
It’s a new year and a supposedly “slow” month for Broadway sales but there sure is a lot of news floating around and we’ve rounded up some of our favorite stories from this month in our Fast 5!
If you’re from Wisconsin, you’re used to rooting for the home team so get ready to cheer as Wisconsin-raised Kyle Taylor Parker takes over as Lola in Kinky Boots on Broadway. Original Lola Billy Porter will take 3 months away from the role to complete other creative projects before returning to the boots in New York. At that time, Parker is scheduled to return to his previous position as the touring Lola, astounding audiences around the United States. His Broadway debut was as an Angel and Lola understudy in the Cindy Lauper/Harvey Fierstein/Jerry Mitchell fan favorite.
And in other Harvey Fierstein news, Broadway.com confirmed that Mr. Fierstein will write the book of a new Mrs. Doubtfire musical (based on the classic Robin Williams film) and Alan Menken, composer of Aladdin, has signed on to the project as well. There is no word on the timing of the project moving forward.
While Sting’s The Last Ship and Idina Menzel-led If/Then announced closing dates Gigi, featuring Vanessa Hudgens began performances at the Kennedy Center with a planned opening on The Great White Way in March. This month Andrew Lloyd Weber also alluded to the fact that Cats may return to Manhattan, possibly featuring former Pussy Cat Doll Nicole Scherzinger who played the role of Grizabella in the recent revival of the musical in the West End. Sounds like exciting developments are on their way to the city that never sleeps!
After the limited Broadway engagement of The Elephant Man is over, the show will live on, making its transfer to the West End. It has earned rave reviews for performance and also warm reception over the background story of Bradley Cooper’s emotional attachment to the role.
5. The next live TV musical
While NBC reportedly ponders between The Music Man and The Wiz as it’s next TV live musical, it looks like the Fox network is getting in on the game by announcing casting for its 2016 live TV production of Grease featuring Julianne Hough and Vanessa Hudgens. Either way, the biggest news this month seemed to be the announcement that Disney is working on a live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast, announcing Emma Watson as Belle.