Broadway: Breaking News

Settle in for the latest from the world of New York theatre, where the Tonys, a free Broadway concert, and a couple of long-awaited debuts are in the news. For the latter: it might be more than half a year away, but hey, when two-time Pulitzer Prize winner August Wilson’s Jitney books its Broadway debut it’s theatre news that calls for any number of celebratory bells, whistles, and confetti tosses. After all, it is the last of Wilson’s 10 American Centuryor Pittsburghcycle of plays capturing the African-American experience in the 20th-century that’s going to make it to Broadway (even if it did have a sell-out Off-Broadway run at both Second Stage and Union Square theatres in 2000, and went on to pick up an Olivier Award for Best Play of the Year following a month-long run in London at the National Theatre’s Lyttelton Theatre in late 2001).

jitney broadway

Adding even more stage cred to the announcement is that directing Jitney will be Ruben Santiago-Hudson, whose history with Wilson’s work includes performances in two of the Cycle’s Broadway premieres, Gem of the Ocean in 2004 and Seven Guitars,  for which he won a 1996 Best Featured Actor Tony. Santiago-Hudson has also directed a number of Wilson’s plays Off-Broadway, including The Piano Lesson, for which he won both Obie and a Lucille Lortel Awards.

Jitney, which will play at MTC’s Samuel J. Friedman Theatre, begins previews on 12/28/16 with a projected opening date of 1/19/17. Cast and the show’s creative team TBA. (


chicago jaime camil

Fans of the popular CW series Jane the Virgin will be happy to learn that one of the show’s stars, Jaime Camil, will be making his Broadway debut on May 31st as lawyer Billy Flynn in the long-running musical revival Chicago. Camil, who plays a high profile, self-centered telenovela star on JTV should prove an excellent fit for the egotistical Flynn character...of course it doesn’t hurt that the actor has the sort of serious musical chops that have netted him four platinum-selling albums and leading roles in his native Mexico in West Side Story, Hook, Aladdin, and The Mambo Kings.

Camil, whose limited engagement ends on July 3rd, joins current Chicago stars Bianca Marroquín (Roxie Hart), Amra-Faye Wright (Velma Kelly), Raymond Bokhour (Amos Hart), NaTasha Yvette Williams (Matron “Mama” Morton), and R. Lowe (Mary Sunshine).


sean hayes act of god

Check it out free of cost, come rain or shine: Stars in the AlleyShubert Alley, that is, between 44th & 45th Sts./Broadway and Eighth Avenue. The date is Friday, June 3rd and the time is 12:30 to 2:30pm.

An outdoor concert in the heart of Broadway’s Theatre District, Stars in the Alley ushers in this year’s Tony Awards with performances from over 30 new show and long-running favoriteswith featured star appearancesaccompanied by a 12-piece live orchestra.

Hosting the event are 2010 Tony nominee Sean Hayes (currently starring in An Act of God at Broadway’s Booth Theatre), and CBS Sunday Morning correspondent Mo Rocca, who made his Broadway debut as a Bee VIP in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee in 2007.      

“We’re thrilled that Sean and Mo can join us in celebrating the end of a very exciting season,” said Charlotte St. Martin, President of the Broadway League, which is producing the event.

And while we’re on the subject of the 70th Annual Tony Awards, 2016 marks the introduction of additional behind-the-scenes video content streaming by BroadwayHD, one of the show’s official sponsors. During the telecast from the Beacon Theatre, the Backstage Livestreamavailable on both and TonyAwards.compromises “exclusive backstage content, including first reaction interviews with award winners moments after they have received their Tony, real-time reactions as winners are announced and as casts prepare to perform onstage, pre-recorded content from dress rehearsals, and more.”

Launched last October by Tony-winning Broadway producers Stewart F. Lane and Bonnie Comley, BroadwayHD’s far-reaching mission involves the promotion and preservation of live theatre, thus making Broadway and other noteworthy productions available to a global audience.

 “Through our partnership with BroadwayHD, we are able to share all of the magic, excitement and chaos that happens backstage on Tony night. For the first time ever, our fansno matter where in the world they may bewhether on their couch or their mobile devicewill experience intimate behind-the-scenes moments that will allow them to feel as if they are at the Beacon Theatre in New York City," said St. Martin and Heather Hitchens, President of the American Theatre Wing.

(The 70th Annual Tony Awards will be broadcast live on June 12th from 8pm to 11pm ET/delayed PT. For more information visit and and follow @TheTonyAwards on Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat.)


alan cumming

If you’ve heard the buzz about the white-hot red-hot Off-Broadway show White Rabbit Red Rabbit, you probably know a) it’s only performed on Monday nights at 8pm, and b) a different star takes on the solo piece every week.

What you might not know is that this internationally acclaimed blend of comedy and drama is by Iranian playwright Nassim Soleimanpour, who found a way to share his theatrical voice with the world even while forbidden to leave his country. And the work itself has a veil of mystery about it...not just for theatregoers, but for the actor du jour as well. With no prior knowledge of the script and no director of rehearsal, performers step onstage with skill, chutzpah and not a whole lot more. Kind of like the actor’s nightmare... only voluntary!

The show has been playing at the Westside Theatre (407 W. 43rd St.) since this past March. Here are the dates and celebrities who will taking up the challenge between now and July 11th.

May 23: Shohreh Aghdashloo

May 30: DARK

June 6: Alan Cumming

June 13: George Takei

June 20: Rachel Dratch

June 27: Reg E. Cathey

July 4: DARK

July 11: Kathy Najimy


About the Author

City Guide Theatre Editor Griffin Miller moved to New York to pursue an acting/writing career in the 1980s after graduating magna cum laude from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. Since then, she has written for The New York Times, For the Bride, Hotels, and a number of other publications, mostly in the areas of travel and performance arts. An active member of The New York Travel Writers Association, she is also a playwright and award-winning collage artist. In addition, she sits on the board of The Lewis Carroll Society of North America. Griffin is married to Richard Sandomir, a reporter for The New York Times.

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