Broadway’s casting floodgates are open and not just for the new 2013-2014 season, either. Suddenly it’s that time of year when star contracts wind down and a surge of news hits the theatrical buzz front. So buckle up, my stage-savvy friends, as we’re in for a big fat changeover all over the Great White Way.
Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark – On September 15, Reeve Carney, the blockbuster’s original Spidey/Peter Parker, will be shedding his skin-tight superhero ensemble for projects undisclosed. Who his replacement will be is still up in the air (so to speak), with open casting taking place later this month in LA and NYC. A newbie may be picked, but chances some a buff young guy whose name we sort of know from a defunct mini-series or sitcom will be taking over the role. In addition, Parker’s love interest, Mary Jane, currently played by Rebecca Faulkenberry, will also be replaced at the open call. So, wholesome-looking 30somethings who sing real well and can pass for a high school girl (more or less), it’s time to brush off that sheet music and head to the vocal coach.
Matilda the Musical – Well it’s ta-ta-old-chap-in-Headmistress-Trunchbull-drag to Olivier-winning/Tony-nominated Bertie Carvel and lovely Lauren Ward, who plays Matilda’s sweet and insightful teacher, Miss Honey. Both will be exiting the hit musical on September 1st to be replaced by Tony nominee Craig Bierko (The Music Man and Guys and Dolls on Broadway; Cinderella Man and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas on the big screen; and tons of TV, including my personal favorite, his temporarily-regular role on Boston Legal). Meanwhile, taking over for Ward is Jill Paice, who originated the role of Laura Fairlie in Lloyd-Webber's The Woman in White and was last seen on Broadway in the Hitchcock parody, The 39 Steps. Bierko and Paice will join the cast on September 2nd.
Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike – Earlier this week Tony winner Julie White (The Little Dog Laughed) took over as Masha, replacing Sigourney Weaver. Do keep in mind, however, White will only be playing the role until August 25th, the Tony-winning comedy’s swan-song performance.
Casting announcements for upcoming shows include:
Pinkham and Mays
A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder - Bryce Pinkham will costar opposite Jefferson Mays when the critically acclaimed comedy (The Hartford Stage and San Diego’s Old Globe Theatre) takes over the Walter Kerr Theatre on October 22nd. Pinkham last appeared on Broadway as Carl Bruner in Ghost and before that as a member of Broadway’s Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson cast.
After Midnight – The rotating cast for this jazz-infused musical celebrating Duke Ellington's years at the Cotton Club will kick off with stars Fantasia (American Idol; The Color Purple) and Dule Hill (Psych; Stick Fly). After Midnight begins previews on October 18th and opens November 3rd.
A Time to Kill – The first John Grisham bestseller to cross over from film to Broadway also announced a couple of new cast members: Patrick Page, who originated the role of Dr. Osborne/the Green Goblin in Spider-Man and played De Guiche in the recent revival of Cyrano De Bergerac; and Tony winner Tonya Pinkins (Jelly’s Last Jam; The Wild Party; Radio Golf). Previews begin September 28th for an October 11th opening.
A Raisin in the Sun – A limited-run production with a OMG! company headed by Denzel Washington and Dianhann Carroll that also Tony Award winner Anika Noni Rose (Caroline, or Change.). The revival, set to run for 14 weeks only, is set begin previews on March 8th.
Anthony Rapp has joined the cast of If/Then, the new musical by the Pulitzer Prize- and Tony Award-winning creative team behind Next to Normal. Mr. Rapp joins the previously announced Tony Award winners Idina Menzel and LaChanze in the world premiere musical. If/Then, which is previewing this fall at Washington D.C.’s National Theatre, comes to Broadway’s Richard Rodgers Theatre next spring (previews March 4th; opening March 27th). The show reunites Rapp and Menzel, who costarred in their breakthrough performances in the original cast of Rent.