‘Supergirl’ Star Melissa Benoist Is the New Carole King + More Theater News

Photo Source: The CW/Joan Marcus

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!

“Supergirl” will feel the earth move on Broadway.
Melissa Benoist, best known for her titular portrayal in The CW’s “Supergirl,” will swap her cape for a piano and step into the role of Carole King in Broadway’s “Beautiful.” Benoist, who is also an alumna of the musical series “Glee,” will make her Broadway debut in the leading role (which won original star Jessie Mueller a Tony Award), beginning performances June 7. She’ll play a limited engagement in the track through Aug. 4, succeeding Chilina Kennedy, who has been in the role since Mueller departed in March 2015.

“Dear Evan Hansen” scribe heads Off-Broadway.
Steven Levinson, who won a Tony Award for his book for “Dear Evan Hansen,” will return to that musical’s Off-Broadway home with the world premiere production of his new play “Days of Rage.” The drama, set in 1969, will begin performances at Second Stage’s Tony Kiser Theater Oct. 2 and will be directed by Trip Cullman. Casting will be announced shortly.

Two Tony nominees head to Second Stage.
Tony-nominated stage stalwarts Bryce Pinkham (“A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder”) and Kate Baldwin (currently in “Hello, Dolly!”) will lead the world premiere production of “Superhero,” also rounding out Second Stage Theatre’s Off-Broadway season. The new musical by Tony winners Tom Kitt (“Next to Normal”) and John Logan (“Red”) will begin performances Jan. 31, 2019 at the Tony Kiser Theatre.

Salonga says “So long.”
Tony Award winner Lea Salonga has set her departure date from the Broadway revival of “Once on This Island.” Salonga will play her final performance in the role of goddess of love Erzulie on June 24 and will be succeeded by current cast member and understudy Darlesia Cearcy. The musical, running now at Circle in the Square Theatre, is directed by Michael Arden and is currently nominated for eight Tony Awards, including best musical revival.

“A Bronx Tale” will make history.
In what will mark the first time in history one actor will play the same role in a play, film, and musical, Chazz Palminteri will join the cast of Broadway’s “A Bronx Tale” in the role of Sonny, playing a limited run beginning May 24. Palminteri wrote and starred in “A Bronx Tale,” a one-man play, Off-Broadway in 1989, before adapting the drama as a film screenplay, in which he also starred.

MTC assembles a sugar-sweet cast.
Manhattan Theatre Club has announced full casting for the world premiere production of “Sugar in Our Wounds,” a new play by Donja R. Love, with direction from Saheem Ali. Beginning performances at New York City Center — Stage II on June 5, the piece will star Stephanie Berry, Sheldon Best, Fern Cozine, Tiffany Rachelle Stewart, and Chinaza Uche.

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