Sara Bareilles Is Heading Back to the Diner + More New York Theater News

Photo Source: Boneau/Bryan-Brown

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!

Sara Bareilles will return to the diner.
Sara Bareilles, who received a Tony nomination for writing the music and lyrics for Broadway’s “Waitress,” will once again step into the show’s leading role. Bareilles will replace current star Betsy Wolfe, playing Jenna Hunterson beginning Jan. 16, 2018. She’ll star opposite Grammy winner Jason Mraz for just two weeks of performances, until he departs and is replaced by a to-be-announced star Jan. 28. Bareilles is slated for a six-week engagement this time around, following her first stint as the titular pie-maker earlier this year.

Springsteen will continue to run.
Bruce Springsteen’s Broadway box office-breaking experience, “Springsteen on Broadway,” has announced yet another extension. The Boss will continue to lay it down at the Walter Kerr Theatre through June 30, 2018. The show, which runs at five performances a week, had already extended once through February.

“The Homecoming Queen” cast is announced.
Atlantic Theater Company has announced full casting for its upcoming world premiere production of “The Homecoming Queen,” by Ngozi Anyanwu. When the drama begins performances Jan. 10, 2018, the cast will include Oberon K.A. Adjepong, Segun Akande, Ebbe Bassey, Vinie Burrows, Patrice Johnson, Mirirai Sithole, Mfoniso Udofia, and Zenzi Williams. Directed by Awoye Timpo, performances will run through Feb. 11.

Broadway was thankful for Thanksgiving.
The days before and after Thanksgiving are pretty notorious for bringing in big ticket sales for Broadway shows—but this year producers had a lot to be thankful for. A whopping five Broadway shows broke their respective house records for box office sales for a given week of performances: “Dear Evan Hansen,” “Hello, Dolly!,” “Come From Away,” “The Band’s Visit,” and, of course, “Hamilton” all took in more than their theaters ever had over the course of a week.

An Off-Broadway hit gets another extension.
MCC’s world premiere production of “School Girls; Or, the African Mean Girls Play,” has extended for a second time. The dramedy, written by Jocelyn Bioh and directed by Tony winner Rebecca Taichman, will now run at the Lucille Lortel Theatre through Dec. 31.

It’s the end of the road for “M. Butterfly.”
In less encouraging news, the Broadway revival of David Henry Hwang’s “M. Butterfly,” directed by Julie Taymor, will close at the Cort Theatre six weeks earlier than the limited engagement was scheduled to play through. The politically-charged drama, which stars Clive Owen, will bring down its final curtain Jan. 14, 2018.

The Grammys celebrate theater.
While the Tony Awards celebrate all things theater, Broadway got in on the action with this week’s Grammy announcements, too. For the cast album Grammy Award, Broadway hits “Dear Evan Hansen,” “Come From Away,” and “Hello, Dolly!” all received nominations (a shift from years past in which there have generally been five recipients). Winners will be announced Jan. 28, 2018.

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