The cast for “Love in Hate Nation” — the follow up to Tony Award-nominee Joe Iconis’ musical “Be More Chill” — has been announced.
The cast includes Sydney Farley (Gloria “Ya Ya” Meeks), Amina Faye (Susannah Son), Jasmine Forsberg (Brenda “Rat” Ratowski), Lauren Marcus (Miss Asp), Kelly McIntyre (Sheila Nail), Lena Skeele (Dorothy Donaldson), Emerson Smith (Kitty Minx), Ryan Vona (The Guy) and Tatiana Wechsler (Judith Ramone).
The world premiere is scheduled to begin performances at the Two River Theater Company in Red Bank, NJ, Saturday, Nov. 9 and continue through Sunday, Dec. 1. The opening night performance is 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 15.
Tickets available by calling 732-345-1400, visiting the box office at 21 Bridge Ave. and at tworivertheater.org
“The Bodyguard” begins with a bang — a gun shot, actually — that made every single theatergoer in the 1,200-seat Paper Mill Playhouse jump. It ends with pop music star Rachel Madden, elevated above the audience — alone in the spotlight.
First produced in London in 2012 and recently revived, the American production ends its 5-week U.S. debut this weekend and continues its national tour Jan. 10-15 at the Orpheum Theatre in Minneapolis, the second site for the 20 American cities tour. More dates are expected to be announced. Most of the tour consists of 5-day stints, but several cities are booked for two- to three-week sit downs, including Chicago, Los Angeles and Costa Mesa. (Complete schedule below)
It’s the slickest production I’ve ever seen at the Millburn, NJ, a nonprofit venue that has become a launch pad for Broadway musicals recently, including “Newsies,” “Honeymoon in Vegas,” and earlier this month “A Bronx Tale.” “Bandstand,” which premiered there in 2015 is scheduled to make its Broadway debut April 2017.
Paper Mill Playhouse has launched its 2016-17 season with “The Producers” and will follow it with the U.S. premiere of “The Bodyguard.”
First, a hit Broadway musical winning a record-breaking 12 Tony Awards and ran for six years. (“Hamilton” had the most Tony Award nominations-16.)
Second, a musical based on Lawrence Kasdan’s 1992 movie that first was staged in London (2012-14), launches its national tour in Millburn (Nov. 25 to Jan. 1) starring Grammy Award-nominated R&B singer Deborah Cox and, one assumes, eventually will make its way to Broadway.
Usually a Broadway show that wins only one Tony Award, or just got nominated for one Tony, emphasizes the positive. Not “Something Rotten.” It ran a full-page ad in the NYTimes proclaiming itself a “Loser,” after taking home only 1 of the 10 awards for which it was nominated.
An excellent article recently published in the NYTimes explores the producers chutzpah. Reporter Michael Paulson writes, ” ‘The “Rotten!’ ad was devised the day after the Tony Awards, when the show’s dejected marketing team gathered at the offices of its advertising agency, SpotCo, to figure out what to do next.”
After all, the irony of the whole thing is “Something Rotten” is about two struggling playwrights who are desperate to best their chief rival — Will Shakespeare — and the only Tony the show got was for Christian Borle, who plays Shakespeare.
So the producers of the show that was nominated for “Best Musical” decided to point out what great company they were in including other “losers” that didn’t take home the Best Musical award, such as “West Side Story,” “Grease,” “Mama Mia!” and “Wicked.”
“You’re always hoping that you’re going to win, but if you don’t, you have to think about how to position your show,” Kevin McCollum, the lead producer of “Rotten!” told the NY Times. “Very few shows have the confidence to go with the headline ‘Loser!,’ but it illustrates that we’re confident enough to acknowledge our loss and celebrate those that came before us.”