/* Mobile Menu Retract ---------------------------------*/

Jackie Burns and Kara Lindsay Return to Wicked National Tour October 31

The national tour of Stephen Schwartz and Winnie Holzman’s Wicked welcomes the return of Jackie Burns and Kara Lindsay beginning October 31 at San Diego Civic Theatre.

Michael Wartella
Michael Wartella

Burns again plays the green-skinned Elphaba with Lindsay as her popular roommate Glinda. The two actors are scheduled to continue with the tour in Los Angeles and Salt Lake City.

Burns and Lindsay are joined by Michael Wartella, who returns to Oz as Boq—a role he has played both on Broadway and in the national tour. The current cast also includes Jason Graae as The Wizard, Jody Gelb as Madame Morrible, Mili Diaz as Nessarose, Jon Robert Hall as Fiyero, and Chad Jennings as Doctor Dillamond.


Burns, who is Broadway’s longest-running Elphaba, also starred in the national tour of If/Then. Lindsay previously performed the role of Glinda in the Broadway company and national tour. She has also appeared on Broadway in Newsies and Beautiful. Their return to the Wicked national tour coincides with the musical’s 15th anniversary on Broadway, which was recently celebrated by NBC with A Very Wicked Halloween. Watch performances from the TV special, including those by Kristin Chenoweth and Idina Menzel, here.

(Updated October 31, 2018)

Lin-Manuel Miranda Brings Freestyle Love Supreme to Off-Broadway

A month after Lin-Manuel Miranda hits the big screen in Mary Poppins Returns and just days after he wraps up his return to the title role in Hamilton for a run in Puerto Rico, the multi-hyphenate will present, along with Hamilton director Thomas Kail, improv hip-hop troupe Freestyle Love Supreme to Off-Broadway audiences beginning January 30, 2019.

READ: Everything We Know So Far About Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton in Puerto Rico

For 32 performances (the run will last through March 2) at Ars Nova’s Greenwich House Theatre, Andrew Bancroft, Arthur Lewis, Bill Sherman, Chris Sullivan, Anthony Veneziale, and Utkarsh Ambudkar will create one-night-only shows; cell phones will be required to be checked at the door. Miranda produces and may be a guest performer.
Conceived of by Kail, Miranda, and Anthony Veneziale, Freestyle Love Supreme begins previews January 30 before opening February 12 at the Greenwich House Theater, 27 Barrow Street. Tickets on sale now at freestylelovesupreme.com.

When Lin and I were developing In the Heights, our friend Anthony kept grabbing Lin during breaks from rehearsal and freestyling. When I heard them, I knew they were on to something special,” said Kail in a statement. “We spent years crafting the show after that, and many of our favorite, and most hilarious memories, are from Freestyle Love Supreme shows. We’ve been waiting for just the right moment to bring the show back to New York. It’s time!”

Freestyle Love Supreme is the most exciting thing I’ve ever been a part of in my life. There is nothing like a live hip-hop show that is improvised from the first moment til the final curtain, and the skill set required to pull it off has introduced me to this deep bench of multi-hyphenate genius musician emcees,” added Miranda. “No two shows are the same, each show its own experience. I’m so thrilled to get the band back together; and even though I’m a co-producer this time around, I selfishly hope they let me jump onstage a couple of times over the course of the run. FLS for life.”

Each show will find the performers crafting an 80-minute musical based on suggestions from the audience. The name comes from the John Coltrane suite A Love Supreme.

Playbill Vault’s Today in Theatre History: October 28

1928 Six-time Tony-winning costume designer Florence Klotz is born. Her designs are worn by the original casts of Follies, A Little Night Music, Pacific Overtures, On the Twentieth Century, Rags, City of Angels, Kiss of the Spider Woman, and dozens more Broadway shows.

1954 N. Richard Nash‘s play about a con-man’s visit to a small Western town, The Rainmaker, opens at the Cort Theatre. Geraldine Page stars in the 125-performance Broadway run and then goes on to do the London production in 1956. The critically-acclaimed play is made into a movie in 1956 and is the basis for the 1963 stage musical, 110 in the Shade. Woody Harrelson and Jayne Atkinson star in a 1999 revival of the show for the Roundabout Theatre Company.

1979 Arnold Soboloff, who is playing Smee, the sidekick to Captain Hook, in Peter Pan at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre, dies of a heart attack. He finishes a song in Act II of the show, goes off into the wings, and then collapses. He is 48 years old.

1985 Wallace Shawn‘s Aunt Dan and Lemon opens at the Public Theater, with Shawn and Linda Hunt in the cast. It runs 191 shows, even though Variety portrays it as “stupifyingly dull … Another whatsit with no plot, flabby writing, no scene structure, arbitrary and unmotivated characterizations and extraneous graphic sex. In short, zero dramatic craftsmanship.”

2001 Andrew Lloyd Webber and Alan Ayckbourn‘s revised musical confection, By Jeeves, opens at Broadway’s Helen Hayes Theatre, some 27 years after it opened in Great Britain as simply Jeeves. Broadway audiences don’t take to this musical version of P.G. Wodehouse‘s Bertie Wooster stories, however, and it closes after just 73 performances, the shortest run ever for a Lloyd Webber show in its Broadway debut.

2003 Kevin Kline plays Falstaff in Lincoln Center Theater‘s production of William Shakespeare‘s Henry IV. Also in the cast are Ethan Hawke, Michael Hayden, Audra McDonald, Dana Ivey, Byron Jennings, and Richard Easton. The production wins the 2004 Tony Award as Best Revival of a Play.

2010 The first New York City revival of Tony Kushner‘s ambitious two-part, six-and-a-half-hour Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes opens Off-Broadway at the Signature Theatre. Directed by Michael Greif, the groundbreaking Reagan-era-set epic about fictional and historical characters commingling in the time of AIDS features Robin Bartlett, Christian Borle, Bill Heck, Zoe Kazan, Billy Porter, Zachary Quinto, Robin Weigert, and Frank Wood.

2012 All Broadway shows are canceled as New York prepares for the arrival of Hurricane Sandy. In the wake of the widespread flooding and blackouts caused by the storm, performances do not resume until October 31.

2013 Wallace Shawn stars in the American premiere of his Grasses of a Thousand Colors, opening Off-Broadway at the Public Theater. The play is about a doctor who tries to solve world hunger by rejiggering the metabolisms of animals to tolerate eating their own kind. It also stars Julie Hagerty, Emily Cass McDonnell, Kristina Mueller, and Jennifer Tilly.

More of Today’s Birthdays: Elsa Lanchester 1902. Dody Goodman 1915. Cleo Laine 1927. Joan Plowright 1929. Jane Alexander 1939. Ivo van Hove 1958. Ayad Akhtar 1970. Justin Guarini 1978.

Watch highlights from the 2015 Encores! production of Paint Your Wagon, featuring Justin Guarini:

Spend a 2-Show Day at Shake & Bake: Love’s Labour’s Lost

Follow cast member Mary Glen Frederick through a two-show day at Shake & Bake: Love’s Labour’s Lost at the 50-seat custom space at 94 Gansevoort Street. Each night the performers prepare and serve the audience an eight-course tasting menu, complete with wine pairings, throughout the action of the play.

The cast includes Oge Agulué as Longaville, Mary Glen Fredrick as Rosaline, Matthew Goodrich as Berowne, Rami Margron as Maria/Costard, Charles Osborne as Don Adriano de Armado/Boyet, Darren Ritchie as King Ferdinand of Navarre, Victoria Rae Sook as Princess of France, Alex Spieth as Understudy, Alan Trinca as Understudy, and Joe Ventricelli as Chef.

The production features design by Shawn Lewis with Justin West as associate designer.

Follow her through her two-show day below:

First Look at the Come From Away National Tour

The national tour production of the award-winning musical Come From Away began performances at Seattle’s 5th Avenue Theatre October 9 where it will continue through November 4.

The production stars Kevin Carolan (Newsies), Harter Clingman (Peter and the Starcatcher), Nick Duckart (In the Heights), Chamblee Ferguson, Becky Gulsvig (School of Rock the Musical), Julie Johnson (Memphis), Christine Toy Johnson (The Music Man), James Earl Jones II (The Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess), Megan McGinnis (Les Misérables), Andrew Samonsky (South Pacific), Danielle K. Thomas (Avenue Q), Emily Walton (August: Osage County), Marika Aubrey, Jane Bunting, Michael Brian Dunn, Julie Garnyé, Adam Halpin, and Aaron Michael Ray.


With a book, music, and lyrics by Tony and Grammy nominees Irene Sankoff and David Hein, Come From Away is directed by Tony winner Christopher Ashley (Come From Away) with musical staging by two-time Tony nominee Kelly Devine (Rocky) and music supervision by Grammy nominee Ian Eisendrath.

Flip through photos of the production below:

Megan Hilty and Josh Radnor Star in Kennedy Center Little Shop of Horrors Beginning October 24

The Broadway Center Stage production of Little Shop of Horrors plays the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts’ Eisenhower Theater October 24–28.

Michael James Leslie Joseph Marzullo/WENN

The cast includes How I Met Your Mother‘s Josh Radnor, seen on Broadway in The Graduate and Disgraced, as down-on-his-luck plant-shop worker Seymour, Tony nominee Megan Hilty (Wicked, Smash, Noises Off) as Audrey, Tony nominee Lee Wilkof (who originated the role of Seymour in the original Off-Broadway production) as Mr. Mushnik, Tony nominee Nick Cordero (A Bronx Tale, Bullets over Broadway) as Orin Scrivello, D.D.S., Amber Iman (Shuffle Along, national tour of Hamilton) as Crystal, Amma Osei (Rock of Ages) as Ronnette, and Allison Semmes (Motown ) as Chiffon.

Michael James Leslie, who originated the role of the Voice of the Plant in the Los Angeles, London, and Broadway productions of Little Shop, again voices Audrey II in the Kennedy Center presentation of the popular musical. Leslie recently replaced Tony winner James Monroe Iglehart, who departed the company due to unforeseen circumstances unrelated to the production, according to a Kennedy Center spokesperson.


Mark Brokaw (Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella) directs with choreography by Emmy nominee Spencer Liff (So You Think You Can Dance, Head Over Heels, Hedwig and the Angry Inch).

The limited engagement also features musical direction by Joey Chancey, set design by Tony winner Donyale Werle, lighting design by Cory Pattak, costume design by Jennifer Caprio, sound design by Tony winner Kai Harada, and projection design by Alex Basco Koch.

Conceived and executive-produced by Jeffrey Finn, the Broadway Center Stage series launched last season with semi-staged productions of Chess, In the Heights, and How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. In addition to Little Shop, this season will feature Meredith Willson’s The Music Man (starring Tony nominee Norm Lewis) and The Who’s Tommy.


Click here for ticket information.

Andrea McCardle Will Play Miss Hannigan in Annie

Andrea McArdle, who was Tony-nominated for originating the title role in the 1977 Broadway smash Annie, will play Miss Hannigan in the Axelrod Performing Arts Center production of the Martin Charnin, Charles Strouse, and Thomas Meehan musical. Performances runs November 2–8 in Deal Park, New Jersey.

McArdle returns to the role for a second time, having played Miss Hannigan at North Carolina Theatre in 2010.

Annie is directed and choreographed by So You Think You Can Dance Emmy Award nominee and Broadway Wicked veteran Al Blackstone.


Featuring a book by Meehan, music by Strouse and lyrics by Charnin, Annie opened in April 1977, making McArdle a star overnight. At the time, she was the youngest performer ever to be nominated for a Tony as Best Lead Actress in a Musical. Her co-star, the late Dorothy Loudon, won the Tony for her performance as Miss Hannigan.

McArdle’s Broadway appearances also include Les Misérables, Starlight Express, Beauty and the Beast, and State Fair.

For tickets, visit AxelrodArtsCenter.com.

The Heart of Rock & Roll Ends San Diego Run October 21

The Heart of Rock & Roll, the new musical inspired by the music of Huey Lewis and the News, ends its West Coast run October 21. Directed by Gordon Greenburg (Holiday Inn), the show opened September 17 at the Old Globe Theatre in San Diego, California. The musical features Matt Doyle (The Book of Mormon, Spring Awakening) and Katie Rose Clarke (Miss Saigon) in the leading roles.

The Heart of Rock & Roll follows Bobby (Doyle), a Chicagoan whose failed band leads to him returning to corporate America. While working, he meets his boss, Cassandra (Clarke), who has also traded in her personal life for a professional one. Together, the two realize their dreams when Bobby gets another shot at stardom and Cassandra is up for the CEO job. And, of course, there’s a little bit of love mixed in.

Written by Jonathan Abrams (book) with a story by Tyler Mitchell and Jonathan Abrams and orchestral arrangements by Brian Usifer (Frozen, Kinky Boots), The Heart of Rock and Roll was awarded the Edgerton Foundation New Play Award.

The rest of the cast includes Paige Faure, John Dossett, Patrice Covington, F. Michael Haynie, Billy Harrigan Tighe, and Lindsay Nicole Chambers, Orville Mendoza, and Zachary Noah Piser. The creative team features Lorin Lataro (choreography), Derek McLane (scenic design), Paloma Young(costume design) and Howell Binkley (lighting design).