Today on Broadway: Thursday, November 21, 2019


Grammy Noms, CONSTITUTION, BHANGIN’ IT, and MOTHER RUSSIA joins La Jolla season, John Mulaney’s New Musical Netflix Special, + recommendations!

“Today on Broadway” is a daily, Monday through Friday, podcast hitting the top theatre headlines of the day.

Any and all feedback is appreciated:
Ashley Steves [email protected] | @NoThisIsAshley
James Marino [email protected] | @JamesMarino
Matt Tamanini [email protected] | @BWWMatt

(A) 1. HADESTOWN, OKLAHOMA!, More Cast Albums Receive 2020 Grammy Award Nominations

Wednesday was a very exciting day for music fans and musicians because, yesterday, the 2020 Grammy Awards nominations were announced. The Recording Academy recognized five cast recordings in the Best Musical Theater Album category for the 2020 Grammy Awards, including AIN’T TOO PROUD: THE LIFE AND TIMES OF THE TEMPTATIONS, HADESTOWN, MOULIN ROUGE! THE MUSICAL, THE MUSIC OF HARRY POTTER AND THE CURSED CHILD – IN FOUR CONTEMPORARY SUITES, and OKLAHOMA!

Included in the nominations are both the lead singers of each respective recording and the albums’ producers.

Other Broadway-adjacent nominees for this year’s awards were  Barbra Streisand for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album), WAITRESS composer-lyricist and star Sara Bareilles for Best American Roots Performance, and composer Marc Shaiman for Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media for his work on MARY POPPINS RETURNS.

The 62nd GRAMMY Awards will air on January 26th on CBS.


(J) 2. WHAT THE CONSTITUTION MEANS TO ME, Bhangra Musical, Lauren Yee Premiere Join LEMPICKA in New La Jolla Season

California’s La Jolla Playhouse will present two world premieres as part of its 2020–2021 season, as well as the Tony- and Pulitzer Prize-nominated WHAT THE CONSTITUTION MEANS TO ME.

The first world premiere, BHANGIN’ IT, will hail from composer Sam Willmott and writers Mike Lew and Rehana Lew Mirza and will explore the world of competitive Bhangra, which is traditional Punjabi dance. Amy Anders Corcoran will direct the staging, a co-production with McCarter Theatre Center.

The second world premiere will be the debut of MOTHER RUSSIA by Lauren Yee. Directed by Tyne Rafaeli, the comedy explores the love triangle that unfolds between two Russian surveillance workers and Katya, a fallen pop star.

And finally, Heidi Schreck’s Pulitizer Prize finalist play WHAT THE CONSTITUTION MEANS TO ME will head to the theatre following its upcoming tour stops to L.A., Chicago, and more.

The three shows join the previously announced LEMPICKA, which will open in 2020 before its likely Broadway transfer the following year.

Two additional shows will be announced at a later date, as will casting for the above shows.


(A) 3. David Byrne, Andre De Shields, & Annaleigh Ashford Join John Mulaney’s New Musical Netflix Special

Yesterday, it was announced that comedian and OH, HELLO star John Mulaney will be releasing a new musical Netflix special that will “recapture the magic of that bygone television era when children sang songs about their feelings with celebrity guests on funky outdoor sets.”

The new special, JOHN MULANEY & THE SACK LUNCH BUNCH will, of course, star Mulaney as well as the eponymous bunch of children aged 8 to 13. And those aforementioned celebrity guests are some pretty big names: David Byrne, Andre De Shields, Natasha Lyonne, Annaleigh Ashford, Shereen Pimentel, Richard Kind, and Jake Gyllenhaal. “The result is a collage of Broadway caliber showstoppers, comedy sketches for all ages, meditations on the unknown from children and adults, and a papier-mache volcano. It’s funny, musical, joyous, anxious, and surprisingly profound,” Mulaney says. 

John Mulaney & The Sack Lunch Bunch is directed by Rhys Thomas and will launch globally on Netflix on Christmas Eve, December 24th.


(A) 4. Recommendations…

The Undefeated: André De Shields of ‘Hadestown’ knows you’re never too old to reach for an EGOT

All New York’s A Stage: New York City Small Theater Industry Cultural and Economic Impact Study

+ American Theatre: Studies Show Big Impact of Small Theatres in NY, Chicago

(A) 5. In Other News…

FIRES IN THE MIRROR, Starring Michael Benjamin Washington, Extends Off-Broadway Again

Anna Wintour to Co-Host Special Performance of TINA: THE TINA TURNER MUSICAL

Gavin Lee and Sierra Boggess Will Star in Concert Version of MR. MAGOO’S CHRISTMAS CAROL

Casts of HADESTOWN, OKLAHOMA!, BEETLEJUICE, More Sing on Carols for a Cure: Volume 21

Signature Theatre’s revival of Anna Deavere Smith’s monologue play FIRES IN THE MIRROR has announced another extension to its run. The production, directed by Saheem Ali and which stars Michael Benjamin Washington, will now run through December 22nd. The Signature revival officially opened November 11.


Famed Vogue editor Anna Wintour will co-host a special performance of TINA: THE TINA TURNER MUSICAL at the end of January. The one-night-only event, which will include a cocktail reception hosted by Wintour prior to the performance, will benefit RAINN, the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network, which is the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization. Says Wintour, “Tina’s story is an inspirational story of triumph and courage, overcoming obstacles and defying odds. We are so proud to partner with the production company behind TINA and RAINN, to bring attention to this issue and help put an end to it.”

A select number of event packages inclusive of a premium ticket to the performance and access to the cocktail reception are available. The benefit will be held on January 31, 2020.


Also in the news, The Actors Fund in association with Universal Theatrical Group and Margaret Styne will present a one-night-only concert version of MR. MAGOO’S CHRISTMAS CAROL on December 16 at the Gerald W. Lynch Theater at John Jay College.

The performance will be directed by Carl Andress with  orchestrations by John McDaniel. Gavin Lee and Sierra Boggess will lead the cast, which also includes Claybourne Elder, Kyle Selig, Matthew Scott, Michael Potts, Don Darryl Rivera, Frederic Odgaard, Klea Blackhurst, Jennifer Cody, Jeff Blumenkrantz, Stephen DeRosa, and Jeff Hiller, with additional casting to be announced soon.

Originally airing in December 1962, MR. MAGOO’S CHRISTMAS CAROL features a score by Jule Styne and Bob Merrill and was the first animated holiday special produced specifically for TV. Proceeds from the concert version will benefit the programs and services of The Actors Fund. You can get tickets at starting at $75.


And finally, it’s that time of the year: the annual Broadway CAROLS FOR A CURE has been released. The 21st volume features 18 yule and Hanukkah tracks from the companies of over a dozen Broadway musicals, including HADESTOWN, OKLAHOMA!, BEETLEJUICE, AIN’T TOO PROUD, TOOTIES, THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA, COME FROM AWAY, ALADDIN, WAITRESS, WICKED, DEAR EVAN HANSEN, FIDDLER ON THE ROOF, and FREESTYLE LOVE SUPREME.

The album also features tracks from Broadway Musicians AFM Local 802 and The Broadway Baby Mamas.

This year’s release includes a digital download with bonus content, such as behind-the-scenes videos from the album’s recording. CAROLS FOR A CURE as always benefits Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS and is available at the Broadway Cares store as a CD and digital download for $25.



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