1. An early look at the 20th anniversary cast of Rent!
Jonathan Larson’s Tony-winning musical Rent is hitting the road this fall in honor of the groudbreaking show’s 20th anniversary. Rent will kick off on September 20 in Dallas, and play more than 60 cities across the country. The show’s cast members rehearsed a few numbers and met the press on August 23. See the sneak peek here!
2. Lin-Manuel Miranda announces (another) new project
Once you’re in the Mickey Mouse Club, you’re in it for life. After writing songs for Disney’s Moana and appearing in the upcoming Mary Poppins sequel, Lin-Manuel Miranda will team up with certified Disney legend Alan Menken. The two will pen tunes (and adapt some familiar ones) for a new live action take on The Littler Mermaid according to Deadline. The Little Mermaid has had a significant impact on Miranda’s life and career; the Hamilton creator credits the film as part of the reason why he and his wife Vanessa named their son Sebastian.
3. Yes, there will be a Newsies movie.
It’s official! The rumors were true and Newsies will make its worldwide cinema debut in early 2017, starring Jeremy Jordan, reprising his Tony Award-nominated performance as Jack Kelly. It’s all thanks to those folks over at Disney Theatrical Productions teaming up with Fathom Events. Those joining Jordan from the original Broadway cast include Kara Lindsay as Katherine, Ben Fankhauser as Davey and Andrew Keenan-Bolger as Crutchie, with North American tour stars Steve Blanchard as Joseph Pulitzer and Aisha de Haas as Medda Larkin. Additional cast from the Broadway and North American tour ensemble will also return. Jordan and the returning original Broadway cast members will join the cast of the North American tour for one performance only, which will be filmed on September 11 at the Hollywood Pantages Theatre in Hollywood in front of an invited audience.
4. Hairspray Live! continues to add to already starry cast
The nicest kids in town! This month Rosie O’Donnell, Sean Hayes and Andrea Martin all joined the starry cast of the NBC live musical event scheduled for Dec. 7! They join a starry cast including Harvey Fierstein as Edna Turnblad, Jennifer Hudson as Motormouth Maybelle, Ariana Grande as Penny Pingleton, Derek Hough as Corny Collins, Dove Cameron as Amber Von Tussle, Garrett Clayton as Link Larkin, Martin Short as Wilbur, Kristin Chenoweth as Velma Von Tussle and newcomer Maddie Baillio as Tracy Turnblad. O’Donnell will appear as the Gym Teacher, Hayes as Mr. Pinky and Martin as Prudy Pingleton.
5. Andrew Lloyd Webber now has 3 shows on Broadway
Fancy-footed felines, a kid band that can roll with surprise visits from music icons and that masked man—they’re all currently rocking the Great White Way thanks to seven-time Tony winner Andrew Lloyd Webber. Following the return of his iconic 1983 tuner Cats on July 31, the music maker and producer once again marks three hit musicals simultaneously running on the Main Stem. School of Rock, which is playing at the Winter Garden, nabbed four Tony nominations in 2016, while The Phantom of the Opera continues to make audiences fall in love 28 years later at the Majestic. The stars of Lloyd Webber’s works, including Great White Way trailblazer Alex Brightman, angel of music James Barbour and glam pop pussycat Leona Lewis, recently snapped a pic with the mastermind, showcasing his legacy and knack for amplifying diverse and delightful stories on the stage. Here’s to you, Andrew Lloyd Webber!