‘Tootsie’ Announces Broadway Run, Lead + More New York Theater News

Photo Source: Polk & Co.

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!

“Tootsie” is officially coming to Broadway.
We’re in the heat of the current Broadway season but the next one is already beginning to take shape. It’s been confirmed that the musical adaptation of “Tootsie” will play Broadway at a to-be-announced theater in spring 2019, following its world premiere tryout out of town in Chicago this coming fall. The tuner will star Tony nominee Santino Fontana as struggling actor Michael Dorsey (and Dorothy Michaels), and will feature a book by Robert Horn and a score by David Yazbek (represented on Broadway this season with “The Band’s Visit”). Tony-nominated director Scott Ellis will helm. Additional casting is to-be-announced.

MTC assembles scorching new season.
Speaking of the next theater season, Manhattan Theatre Club announced three productions on and Off-Broadway for its 2018–19 season. First up will be the American premiere production of Richard Bean’s “The Nap,” bowing at Broadway’s Samuel J. Friedman Theatre Sept. 4. Also at the Friedman will be the Broadway premiere of “Moonlight” scribe Tarell Alvin McCraney’s “Choir Boy,” directed by Trip Cullman and beginning performances Dec. 27. Off the Main Stem playing Off-Broadway’s MTC at New York City Center will be Jaclyn Backhaus’ “India Pale Ale,” a world premiere production that will begin previews Oct. 2. Casting for each respective production is to come.

More “Iceman” casting has cometh.
The highly anticipated Denzel Washington-starring revival of Eugene O’Neill’s “The Iceman Cometh” has announced the remainder of its cast. In addition to Tammy Blanchard, who will play the prostitute Cora in the classic drama, the ensemble will include Bill Irwin, Nina Grollman, Thomas Michael Hammond, Dakin Matthews, Jack McGee, Clarke Middleton, Reg Rogers, Carolyn Braver, and others. “Iceman” takes its first bow March 22 at the Jacobs Theatre; the Scott Rudin production will be directed by George C. Wolfe.

Irish Rep announces three-play production.
This spring, Irish Repertory Theatre will present “Three Small Irish Masterpieces,” an in-rep production featuring three beloved Irish plays. The lineup will include William Butler Yeats’ “The Pot of Broth,” Lady Augusta Gregory’s “The Rising of the Moon,” and “Riders to the Sea” by John Millington Synge. Charlotte Moore will direct the multi-tiered production, beginning performances March 2.

Shakespeare in the Park will be back before you know it.
The Public Theater has announced its lineup for this coming season’s Shakespeare in the Park presentations. The free program will kick off with a brand new production of “Othello” on May 29, and will be followed by an innovative adaptation of “Twelfth Night,” beginning July 17. The latter, featuring an original score by Shaina Taub, will be reimagined following its 2016 Public Works presentation, and will see Tony winner Nikki M. James reprising her role. All Shakespeare in the Park productions are staged at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park.

Ol’ Blue Eyes sets sights on the stage.
Frank Sinatra Enterprises has announced plans to turn the storied performer’s life into a bio-musical. Also featuring Sinatra’s iconic songbook (which garnered the late talent an impressive nine Grammy Awards), “Sinatra the Musical” will feature a book by Emmy Award winner Danny Strong (“Empire”), and is currently aiming for a premiere in early 2020, with an eventual aim for Broadway. Casting and other members of the creative team, including a director, have yet to be announced.

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