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See Waitress’ Eddie Jemison and Joey McIntyre Meet the Press

Ahead of making their Waitress debuts, Joey McIntyre and Eddie Jemison met the press at Sardi’s in New York City January 29.

McIntyre will return to Broadway as Dr. Pomatter, beginning a limited engagement February 4, taking over for Tony Award winner Gavin Creel. The New Kids on the Block singer-songwriter and actor, who previously performed on Broadway in Wicked, is schedule to play Jenna’s love interest through April 7.

Jemison returns to the role of Ogie, the character he created in the 2007 film that the musical is based on, February 11, marking his Broadway debut. The star is scheduled to reprise his performance as the eccentric Revolutionary War reenactor through April 28, taking over from Tony Award nominee Christopher Fitzgerald.

The current cast stars Waitress composer Sara Bareilles as Jenna as well as Charity Angél Dawson as Becky, Benny Elledge as Cal, Lenne Klingaman as Dawn, Larry Marshall as Joe, and Ben Thompson as Earl.

Flip through photos of the press day with Joey McIntyre and Eddie Jemison below:

EXCLUSIVE: Alan Menken, Jodi Benson, Paige O’Hara, Judy Kuhn, Lillias White, and Donna Murphy Talk Making Disney Musical Magic

When The Little Mermaid debut in 1989, the film set off a tidal wave of musical theatre storytelling through animation—the studio’s saving grace and a form that would become synonymous with the Disney name. Songwriting team Alan Menken and Howard Ashman masterminded that original musical, which now celebrates its 30th anniversary and 30 years since its two Academy Award wins for Best Original Score and Best Original Song “Under the Sea” in 1989. Sebastian’s boisterous showstopper may have won the hearts of the Academy, but Jodi Benson as the voice of Ariel personifies the Disney philosophy.

To hear Benson sing “Part of Your World” is to be transported back to the beginning, to the moment where she and the Mermaid team set the precedent for stories led by strong princesses and unbeatable leading women—as well as the demand for the best in vocal talent.

Benson was the first Broadway talent tapped to lend her voice, having made her Main Stem debut in Smile. From 1989 to 2010, composer Menken continued casting theatre talent to sing his Disney scores, including Paige O’Hara for Beauty and the Beast’s Belle, Judy Kuhn for Pocahontas’ titular savior, Lillias White for Hercules’ lead muse Calliope, and Donna Murphy for Tangled’s Mother Gothel.

In celebration of The Little Mermaid’s 30th, Disney gathered Menken and these five leading ladies to talk about their characters, singing Menken music, and more for a bonus feature available only on the upcoming re-release of The Little Mermaid as part of the Walt Disney Signature Collection.

Available on digital, 4k Ultra HD, and Movies Anywhere February 12 and on 4k Ultra HD and Blu-ray February 26, The Little Mermaid also includes new bonus features inside the original recording sessions; a new installment of Stories From Walt’s Office, featuring “Gadgets & Gizmos” Disney kept in his office; a “#TreasuresUntold” special, revealing secrets about the original movie; DCappella’s fresh music video of “Part of Your World”; sing-along mode; and classic bonus features like deleted scenes, audio commentary from directors Ron Clements, John Musker, and Menken. Plus, only available on digital, three additional hours of bonus features and “Part of Your World” – A 30-Year Retrospective where Menken and Benson talk about finding Ariel’s voice, the peak of Disney “I Want” songs, and more.

Playbill got the exclusive peek inside “Alan Menken and His Leading Ladies,” filmed in New York City. Take a look at these two clips (above and below) as Menken, Benson, O’Hara, Kuhn, White, and Murphy gather around the piano to discuss the creation of their movies and sing from the songs they put their stamp on.

Watch Murphy re-create her performance as Mother Gothel below!

Amour and The Umbrellas of Cherbourg Composer Michel Legrand Dead at 86

Celebrated French composer Michel Legrand, who wrote the scores for Jacques Demy’s movie musicals The Umbrellas of Cherbourg and The Young Girls of Rochefort as well as the 2002 Broadway musical Amour, has died. He was 86.

Legrand first came to prominence with his sweepingly romantic score to 1964’s The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, in which Catherine Deneuve and Nino Castelnuovo found and lost love. He went on to compose the scores for movies as varied as The Thomas Crown Affair (which earned him an Academy Award for the song “Windmills of Your Mind) and Yentl, which brought him another Oscar. He ultimately won three Oscars, out of 13 nominations.

Though Cherbourg was adapted for the stage in 1979, Legrand didn’t write an original score for a Broadway musical until 2002’s Amour, starring Malcolm Gets and Melissa Errico. Though short-lived, Amour brought Legrand a Tony nomination and led to an album with Errico, Legrand Affair. With Herbert Kretzmer, he also wrote the score for 2008’s Margeurite, an adaptation of La Dame aux Camélias set in 1940s occupied Paris.

Beginning his career as an arranger and conductor for legendary French performers ranging from Edith Piaf to Maurice Chevalier and eventually working with everyone from Frank Sinatra to Barbra Streisand and Sting, Legrand was born February 24, 1932. He is survived by his wife.

Opera Adaptation of Doubt Heads to PBS’ Great Performances

PBS airs the Minnesota Opera production of Doubt January 25 at 9 PM as part of its Great Performances series. The contemporary opera is based on John Patrick Shanley’s Tony- and Pulitzer Prize-winning play of the same name, which later became an Academy Award-nominated film.

Composed by Douglas J. Cuomo (Atomic Opera, Anna Christie, Hamlet) and directed by Kevin Newbury (Kansas City Choir, Fellow Travelers), the production stars Grammy award winner Christine Bewer, Adriana Zabala, Matthew Worth, and Denyce Graves. Christopher Franklin will conduct.


In Doubt, tensions surface when the principal of a Bronx Catholic school, Sister Aloysius Beauvier, comes to suspect that Father Flynn is abusing the school’s only African-American child.

Go Inside the First Rehearsal for Chick Flick the Musical

Chick Flick the Musical, the new musical with book, music, and lyrics by Suzy Conn (Suffra-Jets, The Mercer Girls), is set to begin performances Off-Broadway at the Westside Theatre February 21 ahead of a March 7 opening. The musical is directed by David Ruttura with choreography by Sarah O’Gleby.

In Chick Flick, Sharon Catherine Brown, Lindsay Nicole Chambers, Carla Duren, and Megan Sikora star as four best friends as they unwind, watch a chick flick, and play their favorite drinking game. The new musical comedy is a celebration of female friendship, laughter, and life lessons from the movies we know and love.

Flip through photos of the first rehearsal below:

Chick Flick is presented by Broadway Venture Capital Fund, and executive producers are Richard Frankel and Joe Watson.

For more information visit ChickFlicktheMusical.com.

Let Freedom Ring!, Starring Audra McDonald and Brian Stokes Mitchell, Livestreamed From The Kennedy Center January 21

Six-time Tony Award winner Audra McDonald and two-time Tony Award winner Brian Stokes Mitchell headline Let Freedom Ring!, a free tribute concert in honor of the late Civil Rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. at Kennedy Center Hall January 21.

McDonald and Mitchell, who co-starred on Broadway in Ragtime and Shuffle Along, reunite for the 6 PM concert on Martin Luther King Day that is presented by the Kennedy Center and Georgetown University. McDonald and Mitchell are joined by the Let Freedom Ring Choir and musical director Rev. Nolan Williams Jr.

The performances will be live-streamed on the Kennedy Center Facebook and YouTube pages and at kennedy-center.org.

Free tickets (up to two per person) are being distributed on the day of the performance starting at 4:30 PM at the entrance to the Hall of Nations, available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Overflow seating will also be available at Millennium Stage North (near Eisenhower Theater) for patrons to view a simulcast of the performance.

London Follies Revival Cast Album Now Available

Warner Music Group’s Arts Music has digitally released a cast album of the 2017 London revival of Stephen Sondheim and James Goldman’s Follies. The recording preserves the performances of the 2017–2018 cast, which was led by Imelda Staunton as Sally Durant Plummer, Janie Dee as Phyllis Rogers Stone, Peter Forbes as Buddy Plummer, Philip Quast as Ben Stone, and Tracie Bennett as Carlotta Campion.

Janie Dee Johan Persson

The production returns to the National February 12, 2019, in a cast newly led by Joanna Riding as Sally and Alexander Hanson as Ben. Dee, Forbes, and Bennett will all reprise their roles from the 2017 run.


This album, available on Apple Music/iTunes and Spotify (with a physical release on the way), marks the second time this production has been recorded; a performance was broadcast live to movie theatres with the National’s NTLive series November 16, 2017, with several encore screenings following.


Helmed by Dominic Cooke, Follies began performances at London’s National Theatre in August 2017, completing its run in January 2018. The production featured scenic and costume designs by Vicki Mortimer, choreography by Bill Deamer, musical supervsiion by Nicholas Skilbeck, musical direction by Nigel Lilley, lighting design by Paule Constable, and sound design by Paul Groothuis.

Set in a decaying Broadway theatre, Follies centers on a reunion of former Ziegfeld-esque follies girls who gather to relive their past and rehash old wounds and regrets. The legendary original 1971 Broadway production was co-directed by Harold Prince and the late Michael Bennett, who also supplied choreography. Sondheim’s Tony-winning score, a mix of pastiche and complex, character-driven material features “I’m Still Here,” “Broadway Baby,” “Losing My Mind,” “In Buddy’s Eyes,” “The Road You Didn’t Take,” and “Too Many Mornings.”

8 Magical Moments the Cast of Broadway’ Beautiful: The Carole King Musical Will Never Forget

On January 12, 2014, Beautiful: The Carol King Musical officially opened at the Stephen Sondheim Theatre on Broadway. It was the second bio-musical to open that season (A Night With Janis Joplin opened fall 2013) and, later, Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill showcased a moment in the life of Billie Holiday. But only Beautiful has lasted five unstoppable years.

Nominated for seven Tony Awards, including Best Musical, the production took home two wins: one for original Carole King Jessie Mueller and one for sound design by Brian Ronan—proving that the music and sound of Carole King drives the production and continues to move the earth under the feet of audiences. In celebration of their fifth anniversary on Broadway, the cast of Beautiful shares their most memorable nights onstage:

“Stepping into Carole King’s shoes more than 1,000 times over the past three years has been a privilege. I have been very fortunate to spend time with a woman whom I respect in a profoundly personal way. I have many favorite Beautiful moments, but the Kennedy Center Honors stands out for me as one of the greatest. Having the opportunity to pay tribute to Carole King alongside some of my favorite artists like Aretha Franklin and James Taylor was a dream come true. Seeing the look on Carole’s face when Aretha knocked ‘Natural Woman’ out of the park was truly extraordinary. It was an honor to be included in the celebration of Carole’s legacy.” – Chilina Kennedy, who plays Carole King

“After more than four years at Beautiful, it’s impossible to pinpoint one single high point. There were the times Carole King made a surprise appearance at the curtain call, electrifying the audience and the entire company with a spontaneous singalong. There was our performance at the Kennedy Center Honors, when we visited the White House, met the Obamas, and sang alongside Aretha Franklin and James Taylor. The faces of our audience members I see every night during the curtain call, many moved to tears, all having the time of their lives. And the birthdays, marriages, and babies that we have celebrated, the lives we have lost and mourned, and the family we’ve created that continues to grow with each passing year.” – Paul Anthony Stewart, who plays Don Kirshner

“The first time I saw Beautiful was when I went to see my good friend Jessica Keenan Wynn make her Broadway debut. We had just done Heathers together, and I remember getting so excited seeing her face on the side of the building. As the show started it hit me: That’s my friend in a big Broadway musical! I could never have imagined that within a year I would be up there with her.” – Evan Todd, who plays Gerry Goffin

“When I first saw Beautiful, I was completely blown away by Carole King and Cynthia Weil as women and artists. Carole is beyond amazing—her vulnerability, her strength, how she is equally heartbreaking and inspirational. And Cynthia is so smart, sassy, unapologetic, and also wonderfully loyal and loving. I am so thankful to now go to work and be reminded of what women are capable of, and I’m so proud to be a part of telling their story.” Kate Reinders, who plays Cynthia Weil

Beautiful is my first—and who knows, maybe my only—Broadway show, and for that I’ll always remember it. The night I made my debut is both a vivid memory and a total blur. I vividly remember sitting alone in my dressing room as ‘places’ was called, overwhelmed with nerves, and asking aloud, ‘Why do you do this to yourself?’ I remember the dry mouth. I remember people telling me to ‘just enjoy and take it all in’ and I remember thinking, ‘How could anyone do that?’ I have no idea what happened onstage—that’s where it gets blurry—but I’ve been here ever since. Happy Birthday, Beautiful, and thank you for finding in me the neuroses I never knew I had.” – Ben Jacoby, who plays Barry Mann

“Gerry Goffin came to a preview in San Francisco. I kneeled down next to him and said, ‘Hello sir, is there anything I can get for you?’ “He said, ‘Ah Genie!,” which is my character’s name, I play Carole’s mother in the show, ‘you are so beautiful. I loved you, you know. You were a great playwright.’ Genie wrote plays. I thought, ‘I bet Genie would have loved hearing that.’” Liz Larsen, an original cast member who plays Genie Klein

“My favorite memory was rehearsing for the Tony Awards with Carole King herself. While waiting backstage she told us, ‘We must fight to stay in the wonder of what we get to do.’ She went on to explain that as years go by in this business, we can take for granted this amazing life we get to lead. That there will be days when you don’t want to give your everything, but it’s in those moments we must fight to remember how lucky we are. Being in this brilliant long-running show, I carry this advice with me every time I go onstage. It truly has been some kind of wonderful!” –Melvin Tunstall, original Broadway cast member and current swing

“One of my favorite memories is doing the Tony Awards with Carole herself, and then rushing back on the bus to the theatre to watch the announcement for Best Lead Actress in a Musical. We heard Jessie [Mueller]’s name announced and the lobby literally exploded in screams, tears, laughter, hugs, and a whole lot of jumping up and down! Ashley Blanchet—our original Little Eva—got a video of it and I feel like it encapsulates the amount of love and support this cast, crew, and entire building has for each other.” – Sara Sheperd, original Broadway cast member and current dance captain