‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ Closing Up Shop + More NY Theater News

Photo Source: Ryan Foust

On Broadway and beyond, a curtain can rise as quickly as it can fall; a star can be swapped as easily as Bernie Telsey can say, “That’s enough.” Theater is the beating heart of New York show business and, if you want to make it here, it’s crucial you’re up to date on incoming projects, latest castings, and other industry news. Don’t worry, Broadway baby, Backstage has your back. Every week, we’re rounding up the can’t-miss stories no thespian should live without, so you can focus on important matters like hitting your high F. Curtain up and light those lights!

The chocolate factory is closing.
Following its opening this past spring, Broadway’s “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” has announced it will play its final performance at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre on Jan. 14, 2018. The tuner, based on the Roald Dahl film, stars Christian Borle as iconic Willy Wonka, leading a cast that includes Emily Padgett, Ben Crawford, and Jackie Hoffman. At the time of closing, it will have played 27 preview and 305 regular performances.

Harvey Milk musical to bow Off-Broadway.
“A Letter to Harvey Milk,” a San Francisco-set musical peripherally about the first openly gay politician, Harvey Milk, will have its world premiere Off-Broadway. Playing at the Acorn Theatre Beginning Feb. 21, 2018, the piece will be helmed by Evan Pappas, and feature a book and score by Ellen M. Schwartz, Cheryl Stern, Laura I. Kramer, and Jerry James. Casting has not yet been announced.

“Amy and the Orphans” rounds out its cast.
Roundabout Theatre Company’s upcoming production of “Amy and the Orphans” has announced its complete casting. Joining previously announced star Jamie Brewer will be Debra Monk, Josh McDermitt, Vanessa Aspillaga, Mark Blum, and Diane Davis. Directed by eight-time Tony nominee Scott Ellis, the play will run at the Laura Pels Theatre Off-Broadway beginning Feb. 1, 2018.

Encores! names two new Off-Center artistic directors.
Two theater luminaries have been named co-artistic directors for the upcoming 2018 season for Encores! Off-Center. Director Anne Kauffman (“Mary Jane”) and composer Jeanine Tesori (“Fun Home”) will head up duties, succeeding the late Michael Friedman in the role. Tesori reunites with Encores! Off-Center, following her four-season tenure as founding artistic director. Notable past Encores! Off-Center productions include the Sutton Foster-starring “Violet,” which ultimately transferred to Broadway along with Foster, and the late Jonathan Larson’s “tick, tick… BOOM!,” which starred a pre-“Hamilton” Lin-Manuel Miranda and Leslie Odom, Jr.

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