Christian Borle, Mandy Gonzalez + Casey Cott Bring ‘The Who’s Tommy’ to D.C.

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Photo Source: Joan Marcus

You don’t have to be a Broadway baby to scratch your onstage acting itch. In fact, all around the country—and outside of it—there are bustling theater communities producing works so vibrant they’d have Edward Albee rolling over in his grave. Want in on that action? You’d be wise to know the ins and outs of industry happenings, and this is a good place to start: From across the pond and back again, here is the week’s biggest regional theater news.

A throwback made new again.
“The Who’s Tommy” is heading to the Kennedy Center in a brand new staging led by a slew of theater’s biggest names. Two-time Tony winner Christian Borle will star alongside Mandy Gonzalez, “Riverdale” star Casey Cott, Wesley Taylor, Manu Narayan, and Kimberly Nichole. Featuring new choreography and direction by Josh Rhodes, the production will run April 24–28 in Washington, D.C. Adapted from the 1969 concept album, the musical features music and lyrics by The Who member Pete Townshend with a book by Des McAnuff and Townshend.

The storm rages on to Chicago.
“Frozen” continues to cast icy spells across the country. Next up, the Disney film-turned-musical will play Chicago’s Cadillac Palace. Featuring a score by Bobby Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez, and book by Jennifer Lee, the tuner will play an 11-week engagement beginning Oct. 21, 2020. (The stop is more brief than usual, so as to ensure the tour hits as many cities as possible.) Casting for the engagement has not yet been announced.

The storm rages on to Chicago.
“Frozen” continues to cast icy spells across the country. Next up, the Disney film-turned-musical will play Chicago’s Cadillac Palace. Featuring a score by Bobby Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez, and book by Jennifer Lee, the tuner will play an 11-week engagement beginning Oct. 21, 2020. (The stop is more brief than usual, so as to to ensure the tour hits as many cities as possible.) Casting for the engagement has not yet been announced.

Tiler Peck teams with Ahrens + Flaherty.
Casting is complete for the brand new Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty musical “Marie, Dancing Still,” which begins performances in Seattle at the end of the month. Leading the cast will be New York City Ballet principal dancer Tiler Peck in the title role, starring opposite Terrence Mann. The two will be joined by Tony nominees Louise Pitre and Dee Hoty, as well as Tony winner Karen Ziemba. Directed by Tony winner Susan Stroman, the production will run March 22–April 14.

A tiny, beautiful production announcement:
Nia Vardalos is gearing up to bring “Tiny Beautiful Things” to Los Angeles. The Academy Award nominee, who adapted Cheryl Strayed’s memoir of the same name for the stage, will reprise her role as Sugar at the Pasadena Playhouse in a run slated for April 10–May 5. Directed by Tony winner Thomas Kail (“Hamilton”), the four-person drama debuted in a sold-out run at the Public Theater in 2016, before a return engagement the following year. Additional casting for the West Coast run is to come.

“Cagney” lives to see another day.
The Pioneer Theatre Company in Salt Lake City has announced its 2019–20 programming slate, kicking off the season with the now-Broadway-bound musical “Cagney.” A biomusical based on the life of performer James Cagney, the piece played a sold-out Off-Broadway run in 2015 before returning for a return engagement the following year. Featuring a book by Peter Colley with a score by Christopher McGovern and Robert Creighton—who also plays the title role—the Utah run is slated for Sept. 20–Oct. 5.

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Casey Mink
Casey Mink is the senior staff writer at Backstage. When she's not writing about television, film, or theater, she is definitely somewhere watching it.
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