Yancy Greene for Broadway Bares 2021
(Photo: Roberto Araujo)
Here’s a quick roundup of stories you might have missed recently.
Broadway Bares Stays Online Another Year
Broadway stars will take it off for a good cause again this year—once again from home. The striptacular Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS benefit Broadway Bares: Twerk From Home will be held virtually on June 20 at 9PM ET. The tantalizing event will be directed by Bares creator and Tony winner Jerry Mitchell, with co-directors Laya Barak and Nick Kenke. Over 170 dancers will perform for the benefit, which will be choreographed by Barak, Kenkel, John Alix, Al Blackstone, Frank Boccia, Karla Garcia, Jonathan Lee, Ray Mercer, Dylan Pearce, Jenn Rose, Luis Salgado, Michael Lee Scott, Gabriella Sorretino, Kellen Stancil, Rickey Tripp and James Alonzo White. “Being back with the Broadway Bares family to create Twerk from Home has been an incredible reminder of how beautiful our theater community is, both inside and out,” Mitchell said. “We’ll be back in person in 2022 to celebrate Bares’ 30th birthday. Until then, let’s Twerk from Home!” Watch it at broadwaycares.org/bares2021, on Broadway Cares’ YouTube channel or on broadwaybares.org. Though the stream is free, donations are welcome.
Dorothy Dandrige: The Musical Gets Reading
N’Kenge will star in a private industry reading of Dorothy Dandrige: The Musical, directed by Tony winner Tamara Tunie, on May 27. The show, which tells the true story of Hollywood’s very first African- American movie star, features a book and lyrics by Emmy winner Trey Ellis and music and lyrics by Shelton Becton. Produced by N’Kenge and Richard Bell, the reading’s cast includes Aisha de Haas, Dawn Derow, Benjamin Eakeley, C.K. Edwards, Dewitt Fleming, Jr., Jared Grimes, Marva Hicks, John Preator, Natalie Renee and Stuart Zagnet. Dorothy Dandridge: The Musical is a joyous, spectacular song and dance celebration of a gorgeous woman pioneer who dared to dream. The show is slated for a two-week workshop with Amas Musical Theatre and will be featured in the company’s fourth annual “Dare to be Different” Festival at A.R.T./New York Theatres in spring 2022.
Anthony McCarten & Scooter Braun to Create Phantom Retelling
Phans of Broadway’s The Phantom of the Opera know the story is based on Gaston Leroux’s 1910 novel Le Fantome de L’Opera. Andrew Oscar-nominated screenwriter Anthony McCarten and his Muse Of Fire Productions has teamed with Scooter Braun’s SB Projects and producer/financier Compelling Pictures’ Denis O’Sullivan & Jeff Kalligheri for Phantom, the working title of a music-filled, big scale contemporary psychological thriller film loosely inspired by the novel, according to Deadline. The movie will be set in London’s contemporary music scene. Braun, who manages a roster of music stars like Idina Menzel, Ariana Grande, Justin Bieber, Demi Lovato and more, will engage a group of today’s leading songwriters and music producers to create new songs for the film. A production timeline and casting will be announced later.
Broadway Advocacy Coalition Announces New Program
The Broadway Advocacy Coalition has launched its newest program, Reimagining Equitable Productions. Created to address equity concerns, the program will develop custom workshops designed to confront inequalities in rehearsal and performance spaces. Through a multi-day workshop, cast, creatives, management and producers will come together to engage in a process of deepening relationships, developing an awareness of inequitable systems and their histories, envisioning alternative possibilities and identifying systems of accountability. BAC will initially work with the companies of Company and Tina: The Tina Turner Musical. Disney Theatrical Productions will be working with BAC on a customized pilot process alongside members of the companies of Broadway’s Aladdin and The Lion King as well as touring productions of Frozen and The Lion King. “The industry is finally awakening to the importance of utilizing the first day of rehearsal for naming a standard of equity within the workplace and measures of holding that standard accountable,” said BAC Co-Founder and President Britton Smith. REP was developed by Smith, Zhailon Levingston, Leia Squillace and Columbia Law School professor and Director of the Center for Institutional and Social Change Susan Sturm.