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Broadway Ducats: Joshua Henry Signs With UTA; ‘War Horse’ Tour, ‘Raisin’ Recoup

By | Wednesday June 11, 2014 @ 1:42pm PDT

EXCLUSIVE: Joshua Henry, a Broadway star currently playing Sutton Foster’s loveScreen Shot 2014-06-11 at 12.20.23 AM interest in Violet, has signed with UTA. One of the theater’s most sought-after young actors, Henry was a standout in Susan Stroman’s production of The Scottsboro Boys, a serious musical by John Kander and the late Fred Ebb. Henry earned Tony nominations for his performances in both shows. He also appeared in major roles in Diane Paulus’ production of Porgy And Bess and in Green Day’s American Idiot.  He will continue to be managed by Station 3.

Producers of the Tony-winning revival of A Raisin In The Sun, starring Denzel Washington, said the show — the highest-grossing play on Broadway — has recouped. Though no figures were released, the New York Times put the price tag at $4.25 million. The production, staged by Tony winner Kenny Leon, began previews on March 8 at the Barrymore Theatre and shutters this weekend. Read More »

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Tony Tally: ‘Gentleman’s Guide’ Kills With Four Wins Including Best Musical; ‘Raisin’ Revival Shines On Three More

Refresh for the latest…

Update, 11:20: And here are the tallies: Most Tony Awards for a musical:  A Gentleman’s Guide To Love & Murder (four, including best musical) and Hedwig And The Angry Inch (including best musical revival). For a play: A Raisin in The Sun (including best revival of a play). The night’s biggest losers: Bullets Over Broadway (six nominations, no awards); The Cripple of Inishmaan (six nominations, no awards) Les Miserables (three nominations, no awards).

Update, 11:06: The big lollipop goes to A Gentleman’s Guide To Love And Murder for Best Musical. And that’s all, folks.

Update, 10:54: Jessie Mueller wins for Best Actress in a Musical for Beautiful, and we’re in the home stretch, folks.

Update, 10:43: Another non-suprise: The Tony for Best Musical Revival goes to Hedwig And The Angry Inch.

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Update, 10:31: The real Carole King does an emotional pitch for Beautiful and Jessie Mueller performs Will You Love Me Tomorrow – the best number and the best moment from that show. Then CK joins her for  a bluesy I Feel The Earth Move. And, no surprise, Neil Patrick Harris wins for Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical, for Hedwig.

Tonys CranstonUpdate, 10:00: Here’s Sting singing a number from his upcoming show, The Last Ship. A little earlier: Tony has always had trouble making the non-musicals look good on TV. This … Read More »

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Scott Rudin’s Digital `Raisin’; Disney’s Underdog `Aladdin’; Jane Fonda’s Fringe `Trial’

By | Friday May 16, 2014 @ 9:59am PDT

GerardColumn_badgeEXCLUSIVE: Times Square is teeming this week with out-of-town producers who descend each year in the weeks before the Tony Awards to see shows and sit through seminars run by people who think they know their business better than denizens of the flyover. They’re an important block among the 860 Tony voters and courting them during the confab, run by the Broadway League, runs hot and heavy. Jon Stewart and Tommy Tune made heartfelt keynote speeches; producers worked the crowd. None more avidly, even passionately, than Scott Rudin, whose powerful production of A Raisin In The Sun – starring, as you may have heard, Denzel Washington — is in the running for Best Revival of a Play. If you’ve seen those ubiquitous ads for The Book Of Mormon, you know that Rudin goes his own way in promoting his shows; Raisin is no exception.

Screen Shot 2014-05-16 at 12.46.52 PMThis week, the visiting producers began receiving what ticket buyers will have on offer starting next week: The first-ever digital souvenir booklet for a show. Instead of a cheesy oversize booklet, they’ll get a pocketable flash drive with a 68-page program. I have it (Tony voters will also be getting it next week, gratis) and it’s exquisite.

raisinThe Raisin presentation includes photos, both archival and from the production, along with extensive interviews with the entire company, plenty of commentary from Washington on the play and on his colleagues, and essays on the significance of Lorraine Hansberry’s accomplishment by such luminaries as novelist Jeffrey Eugenides and Veep executive producer Frank Rich.

“We felt we couldn’t do what we wanted to do in a short printed book,” Rudin told me. “We wanted the amount of content that the play demanded and this satisfied that. We also felt that the audience receives information differently than they ever have, and that with a few rare exceptions, most sophisticated theatregoers would rather take home a USB key they can put in their pockets instead of a printed book of an inconvenient size and minimal content. I hope we’ll do this for everything now. It’s got wonderful material — why would we ever now do anything else?”

So: Rocky may have the championship fight, but Raisin has the knockout. And look for another one this fall, when A Delicate Balance brings Glenn Close back to Broadway. No word from Rudin on whether a digital booklet is in the works for Mormon.

Related: ‘Kinky’s’ Booty & ‘Rocky’s’ Knockout Punch Raise Bar In Broadway Ad Landscape

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Denzel’s Younger Turn; ‘Irma’s’ French Toast; Susan Stroman’s Frozen Dessert

A RAISIN IN THE SUN cap 1431_BGerardColumn_badgeThe Tony-nominated revival of A Raisin In The Sun, coming a decade after a production in which Sean Combs made his Broadway debut as Walter Lee Younger, had some people wondering whether it was too soon. But as it turns out, that’s a discussion for pedants. Great plays deserve to be mounted as often as the talent is there to breathe life into them, and with Denzel Washington as Walter for a new generation, A Raisin In The Sun breathes life aplenty. Washington proved he was as comfortable on the stage as on screen four years ago, in a revival of August Wilson’s Fences – when James Earl Jones’ titanic performance as sanitation man and ex-baseball player Troy Maxon still cast a long shadow. Washington had no trouble making the role of Troy his own, and that’s the case today, as well: This elegant actor balances the ebullience of a man who dreams, with the world-weariness of someone tired of seeing those dreams deferred, as Langston Hughes alluded to in the poem that gives the play its name.

Walter is as angry at the world as the Jimmy Porter of Look Back In Anger, as angry as Stanley Kowalski in A Streetcar Named Desire: young men infuriated by a world in which the cards are eternally stacked against them and the house always wins. Washington makes you feel, deeply, that terrifying, sad, inspired, hopeless, crushing yet ultimately liberating admix of emotions through which Walter careers from one hour to the next, one day to the next. Read More »

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Obamas Attending ‘A Raisin In The Sun’ On Broadway Tomorrow

By | Thursday April 10, 2014 @ 7:20pm PDT

dezel washington barack obamaBroadway has made no secret of casting Hollywood A-listers in the past few years in an effort to fill more seats, and tomorrow the Great White Way will be getting two particularly prestigious patrons. If all goes to plan, President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama are set to attend the 8 PM performance of the revival of A Raisin In The Sun at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre. The president will be in NYC earlier in the day on official biz. This latest version of the revered 1959 Lorraine Hansberry play stars Denzel Washington in the Oscar and Tony winner’s first return to Broadway since 2010′s Fences. The Kenny Leon-directed and Scott Rudin-produced play sees A Raisin In The Sun return to the very theater where it first opened more than 50 years ago. Having had previews last month, the play — which is set on Chicago’s South Side, where the Obamas have a home in the upscale Kenwood neighborhood — opened on April 3 to a limited engagement that sees it running just to June 15. I’m assuming the Obamas, who will be heading back to D.C. after taking in the show, didn’t have to pull too many favors to get tickets to the nearly sold-out run. But with a hot commodity like this, it helps that they know people.

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‘A Raisin In The Sun’ Rounds Out Cast For Broadway Revival To Star Denzel Washington And Diahann Carroll

By | Thursday August 29, 2013 @ 8:10am PDT
Mike Fleming

The supporting cast has been set for the revival of the Lorraine Hansberry play A Raisin In The Sun, headlined by Tony-winning Fences star Denzel Washington and Diahann Carroll, who is making her first Broadway appearance in 30 years. They have set a September 21 on-sale date for tickets to the 14-week limited engagement. Previews begin March 8 before an opening night April 3, 2014 at the Barrymore Theatre. That is where the original production opened in 1959, which will be 55 years ago when the revival opens. Kenny Leon is directing and Scott Rudin is producing. Added to the cast are David Cromer, who directed the Obie-winning Our Town and Tribes. He will play Karl Lindner; also new to the cast is 13-year-old Bryce Clyde Jenkins, who makes his Broadway debut as Travis Younger. Read More »

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Denzel Washington Heads Back To Broadway In ‘A Raisin In The Sun’

By | Thursday August 1, 2013 @ 4:52pm PDT

Denzel Washington will star opposite Diahann Carroll in the Broadway revival of Lorraine Hansberry’s classic A Raisin In The Sun. Previews begin March 8, 2014, with opening night on April 3, 2014 at the Barrymore Theatre where the original production opened 55 years ago. Set on Chicago’s South Side, A Raisin In The Sun revolves around the divergent dreams and conflicts within three generations of the Younger family: son Walter Lee (Washington), his wife Ruth (Sophie Okonedo), his sister Beneatha (Anika Noni Rose), his son Travis and matriarch Lena, called Mama (Carroll). Rounding out the cast are Stephen Tyrone Williams, Jason Dirden, and Stephen McKinley Henderson. Washington won a Best Actor Tony for his performance in 2010′s Fences. The Kenny Leon-directed A Raisin In The Sun is a limited engagement, running 14 weeks only through June 15, 2014. Washington currently can be seen in Universal’s action thriller 2 Guns with Mark Wahlberg which opens tomorrow.

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