TV and movie star Jim Belushi (pictured above) is back on Broadway starring in the revival of Garson Kanin’s Born Yesterday which will end its limited run on July 31. The production received two Tony nominations for its leading lady and its costume design. Belushi was last seen on Broadway in 1993 in Herb Gardner’s Conversations With My Father. He was also in Joseph Papp’s production of Pirates of Penzance. His most recent film was Roman Polanski’s Ghost Writer.
Christian Brandjes, Katie White, Richard Lambert, Kelly Meg Brennan, and Kelli Bocock-Natale are set to star in the New Phoenix Curtain Up production of Sarah Ruhl’s celebrated play In the Next Room, or The Vibrator Play, directed by Robert Waterhouse. The play was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize and the Tony Award in 2010. The company will continue its season with a co-production with Red Thread Theatre, the one woman show Vivian starring Josephine Hogan, directed by Darlene Pickering-Hummert. By the way, Ruhl’s latest play Stage Kiss is now playing in Chicago.
BUA will present the east coast premiere of Recovery Mode (June 25-July 17), a comedy by Matthew Burlingame based on the true story by Matthew Crehan Higgins that was broadcast worldwide by the podcast Cocktails and Cream Puffs. The play had its world premiere earlier this year at Lambda Players in Sacramento. Directed by Joey Bucheker, the local production will star Gary Andrews, Danny Beason, Matthew Crehan Higgins, Marc Sacco, and Victoria Perez.
Chautauqua Theater Company will launch its first New Play Workshop Festival this summer (July 21-31), presenting three new plays in repertory. Also another first for the company, playwright Kate Fodor has been commissioned to write a new play. Initial discussions will be held this summer followed by a workshop of full production next year. Fodor’s play 100 Saints You Should Know was presented in a workshop a few years ago and was subsequently produced in New York at Playwrights Horizons.
For the first time ever, the Shaw Festival is presenting the musical My Fair Lady (through October 30), which is based on Shaw’s Pygmalion. A musical version of Shaw’s Candida titled A Minister’s Wife just opened at Lincoln Center. Someone should revive the little seen operetta The Chocolate Soldier, based on Shaw’s Arms and the Man.
Nicole Cimato, Paschal Frisina, Philip Farugia, and Danielle McKay will star in the upcoming production of Fame The Musical which will be presented at Artpark August 12-18, directed by Randy Kramer and choreographed by Lynne Kurdziel-Formato. Based on the popular 1980 movie, the musical first premiered at the now gone Coconut Grove Playhouse in Miami, in 1988.
Speaking of movie to musical versions, this year Broadway has been populated by several: Catch Me if You Can, Sister Act, Priscilla Queen of the Desert, and Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown. All but the last are still running, and national tours are already in the works. Also in the works, Sleepless in Seattle, a musical based on the 1993 movie, scheduled to open June 2012 at the Pasadena Playhouse.
Billy Elliot (the musical) has been extended in Toronto through September 3. The national tour will play Rochester November 29-December 11. The Broadway production just celebrated its 1,000th performance.
Shea’s concludes its current season with the touring production of West Side Story (June 7-12). Based on its latest Broadway revival, the show was directed by the legendary Arthur Laurents (pictured right), who also wrote the book. Laurents died earlier this month at 93.
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