Sad news, musical triumphs and the scoop on a new musical film….it’s all in this months Broadway Fast 5!
Twenty-one year old Kyle Jean-Baptiste made history in July when he was both the first African American and youngest ever Jean Valjean on Broadway, filling in for the role as an understudy. He regularly played Constable and Courfeyrac in the production, his first on Broadway after recently graduating from Baldwin Wallace in the spring. Tragically, on Aug. 29 he accidentally fell from a fire escape and passed away. The theater community spent much of early Sept. honoring his memory including dimming the lights on the Imperial Theater, where Les Miserables is held.
Alecia Moore, more popularly known as pop/rock music legend P!nk, is working on a musical inspired by her life and featuring her music. Previously called MEAN (The Musical), the title has been changed to True Love and the show is set for a second developmental workshop this October.
Hamilton, the hip-hop musical about the founding father, has taken the Broadway world by storm, bringing in huge numbers each week and houses full of famous faces. The musical also released a cast recording in Sept. that was previewed with NPR and available widely for download. Lin-Manuel Miranda, the show’s creator and star even offered up the possibility of hearing the music on the radio in the future. Miranda was recently recognized with a MacArthur Foundation “Genius” Grant for his creativity.
Director Rob Marshall (Chicago, Into the Woods) will helm a new live-action musical film of Marry Poppins. The Disney movie is said to be set in London approximately 20 years after the original. Finding Neverland screen writer is set to pen the film and songwriting duo Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman (Smash, Hairspray) will compose a new score and original songs.
Glee favorite, Broadway alum and Youtube hit Darren Criss organized the very first Elsie Fest in New York, an event that was said to be the Coachella for Broadway. The line-up for the event read like a whos-who of Broadway and added a little flair to the end of summer season.