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JULY 11, 2022


NATONIA SPEAKS OUT ON BROADWAY MASK POLICY


As we enter another new phase for Broadway’s return, July brought a mask-optional policy for theatergoers. While the idea of easing up on COVID restrictions is appealing, it also poses a threat for the talent that brings Broadway shows to the stage.

When A4D’s NaTonia Monét heard about the new policy, she tweeted out a reminder that this could cause a danger to an already fragile industry. Her message went viral and the story was picked up by Spectrum News NY1 TV.

NaTonia has always spoken her mind about the things she believes in… she’s been at the forefront speaking out on issues that are important to her. And she’s passionate about her Broadway career… she has worked so hard to be a swing in Tina: The Tina Turner Musical.

In her television interview, NaTonia reminds everyone, ‘This is not just a hobby for us, this is our livelihood. If we’re out and we can’t perform, we’re not getting paid either.’

NaTonia is an intelligent and articulate dancer. She speaks out when others might be hesitant. Her voice was heard and she reminds all of us that we must remain vigilant. Asking audiences to wear a mask for the duration of a Broadway show is a small price to pay for the return of the heartbeat of New York City.

You can catch NaTonia’s interview on Spectrum News NY! Television below. And Bravo! to NaTonia for standing up for her convictions and for the industry she loves…
 

WATCH NATIONIA’S TV INTERVIEW HERE >

 

CHRISTINE EBERSOLE, MANDY PATINKIN, LYNN NOTTAGE & MORE SET FOR 2022 THEATER HALL OF FAME INDUCTION
The Theater Hall of Fame has announced its 2022 inductees are Tony-winning actors Christine Ebersole, Bill Irwin, and Mandy Patinkin, Pulitzer Prize-winning playwrights Lynn Nottage, Suzan-Lori Parks, and posthumously, Ntozake Shange, director Frank Galati, and sound designer Abe Jacob. Nottage had been announced for the 2021 celebration but was unable to attend the induction ceremony. The 2022 gala induction is on November 14 at the Gershwin Theatre, home of the Broadway’s Wicked. The invitation-only event is produced by Terry Hodge Taylor. The Theater Hall of Fame was founded in 1971 by James M. Nederlander, Earl Blackwell, and Gerard Oestreicher. To be eligible for nomination, the theater professional must have at least 25 years in Broadway theater, five major productions, or be a leader of off-Broadway or a regional theater pioneer. The 200+ voters are past Hall of Fame inductees as well as members of the American Theater Critics Association. 

HUGH JACKMAN, MYLES FROST, DONNA MURPHY & MORE GUEST STARS ANNOUNCED FOR BROADWAY BARKS
Broadway Barks is returning to Shubert Alley on Saturday, July 9 for the first time in three years. Bernadette Peters and The Music Man’s Sutton Foster will host. Joining them are Hugh Jackman, Shuler Hensley, Jayne Houdyshell, Eddie Korbich, Jefferson Mays and Marie Mullen, Tony-winning MJ star Myles Frost, Mr. Saturday Night’s Shoshana Bean and Randy Graff, Hadestown’s Jewelle Blackman, Beetlejuice stars Alex Brightman and Kerry Butler, Company’s Bobby Conte, Claybourne Elder, Christopher Sieber, and Jennifer Simard, Paradise Square’s John Dossett, Dear Evan Hansen’s Jared Goldsmith, Hamilton’s Tamar Greene, A Strange Loop’s Antwayn Hopper, James Jackson Jr., John-Michael Lyles, and Jason Veasey, Funny Girl’s Ramin Karimloo and Jane Lynch, Six’s Abby Mueller, POTUS’ Suzy Nakamura and Julie White, Wicked’s Talia Suskauer, Randy Rainbow, and Donna Murphy. Broadway Barks will feature adoptable animals from New York City animal shelters and adoption agencies. For over 20 years, more than 2,000 cats and dogs have been part of Broadway Barks with approximately 85% that have successfully found forever homes. The event is produced by Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. Adoptees will make their Shubert Alley stage debuts alongside some of Broadway’s favorite stars. Peters founded Broadway Barks with her friend, the late Mary Tyler Moore, in 1998.

CHITA RIVERA & CYNTHIA ERIVO HONORED WEST SIDE STORY ON PBS’ A CAPITOL FOURTH
During PBS’ annual A Capitol Fourth special, Chita Rivera and Cynthia Erivo took to the stage to honor the 65th anniversary of West Side Story. Rivera, the legendary Tony Award winner and one of the most nominated performers in Tony history, lead the anniversary celebration by honoring the musical’s composer, Stephen Sondheim, and presenting the National Symphony Orchestra performing a special musical tribute to one of Broadway’s most successful shows. The celebration concluded with Erivo performing a rendition of Somewhere. Hosted by country singer Mickey Guyton, the broadcast also featured performances from Darren Criss, Emily Bear, Loren Allred, Yolanda Adams, Andy Grammer, Gloria Gaynor, Keb’ Mo’, and the National Symphony Orchestra under the direction of top pops conductor Jack Everly.

BEAUTY AND THE BEAST: A 30TH CELEBRATION IS SET FOR DECEMBER 15
ABC is celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Disney classic film Beauty and the Beast with a two-hour hybrid animated and live-action special. Beauty and the Beast: A 30th Celebration will air on December 15 at 8pm ET and will be available the next day on Disney+. Jon M. Chu will executive produce and Hamish Hamilton will serve as director. The cast, whose performances will be woven throughout the original feature film, will be announced at a later date. The Broadway musical Beauty and the Beast ran from April 1994 through July 2007 and garnered nine Tony nominations, including a nod for Best Musical and a win for Best Costume Design. It played 46 previews and 5,464 regular performances on Broadway. Beauty and the Beast was the inaugural Broadway musical from Disney Theatrical Productions.

TONY WINNER JESSE TYLER FERGUSON JOINS CAST OF HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL: THE MUSICAL: THE SERIES

Tony winner Jesse Tyler Ferguson is joining Season 3 of High School Musical: The Musical: The Series. The season will premiere on July 27 on Disney+. Created by Broadway’s Tim Federle, the series is about a group of East High students who attend school where the popular High School Musical movies took place. Also joining the cast this season is Jojo Siwa as Madison and Corbin Bleu as himself. High School Musical: The Musical: The Series stars Into the Woods’ Julia Lester, pop star Olivia Rodrigo, Broadway’s Kate Reinders, Joshua Bassett, Matt Cornett, Sofia Wylie, Dara Reneé, Frankie Rodriguez, Olivia Rose Keegan, Adrian Lyles, Saylor Bell, Meg Donnelly, and Jason Earles. The third season is set at Camp Shallow Lake, where the Wildcats and fellow campers stage a high-stakes production of Frozen. The season will also feature songs from Camp Rock and the High School Musical franchise.

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The Broadway Show with Tamsen Fadal, the weekly nationally-syndicated Broadway-focused TV show, has been honored with two 2022 New York Emmy Award nominations. Host and executive producer Tamsen Fadal is nominated in the category of Talent: Program Host / Moderator / Correspondent. The Broadway Show is included in the Magazine Program (Series) category. Formerly titled Broadway Profiles with Tamsen Fadal, the series earned a 2021 New York Emmy Award...

LINCOLN CENTER THEATER’S NEW VERSION OF CAMELOT MOVES BROADWAY BOW TO 2023
The new production of Lerner and Loewe’s Camelot has new dates. The musical features lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner and music by Frederick Loewe and features a new book by Aaron Sorkin based on Lerner’s original book. Bartlett Sher will direct. The new dates at Lincoln Center Theater’s Vivian Beaumont Theater are March 9, 2023 with an open on April 13, 2023. Camelot was Lerner and Loewe’s 1960 follow up to My Fair Lady. This epic tale features King Arthur, Queen Guenevere, and Sir Lancelot. The score includes If Ever I Would Leave You, What Do the Simple Folk Do? and the title song. Camelot marks a return to Lincoln Center Theater for director Sher who earned a Tony Award for helming the 2008 revival of South Pacific. He has also directed My Fair Lady, The King and I, Awake and Sing!, The Light in the Piazza, Fiddler on the Roof, and many more.

ALMOST FAMOUS FINDS BROADWAY HOME & SHIFTS DATES FOR FALL BOW
Almost Famous, the new musical based on the 2000 film of the same, will play the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre with performances beginning on October 3. Opening night is now set for November 3. Almost Famous features music by Tony, Grammy, Emmy, and Pulitzer Prize winner Tom Kitt, lyrics co-written by Kitt and the film’s Oscar-winning screenwriter and director Cameron Crowe, who also penned the book. The production is directed by Jeremy Herrin and choreographed by Sarah O’Gleby. The musical had its world premiere at San Diego’s Old Globe in 2019. Several stars from the world premiere will reprise their performance on Broadway, including Solea Pfeiffer as Penny Lane, Casey Likes as William Miller, Drew Gehling as Jeff Bebe, Anika Larsen as Elaine Miller, and Rob Colletti as Lester Bangs. The 1973-set musical chronicles the coming of age of 15-year-old music fan William (Likes) as he travels with the band.

JOY WOODS, RYAN VAZQUEZ & MORE SET FOR WORLD PREMIERE OF THE NOTEBOOK MUSICAL
The world premiere of the new musical, The Notebook has its cast and will begin performances at Chicago Shakespeare Theater on September 6. Based on the Nicholas Sparks novel of the same name, The Notebook features music and lyrics by Ingrid Michaelson and a book by Bekah Brunstetter. Tony winner Michael Greif and Schele Williams will co-direct with Katie Spelman choreographing. Portraying leads Allie and Noah across their lifetimes are Jordan Tyson as Young Allie, current Six star Joy Woods as Middle Allie, and Tony winner Maryann Plunkett as Older Allie. John Cardoza will play Young Noah, Ryan Vasquez as Middle Noah, and John Beasley as Older Noah. The Notebook tells the love story of a mill worker named Noah Calhoun and a rich girl named Allie. After Noah leaves for World War II, Allie meets another man and is about to get married when Noah returns and their romance reignites.

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It's time to give a standing ovation to the winners of the 2022 Jimmy Awards. The future stars who won the top prize are Kendall Becerra (San Diego, CA) and Nicholas Barrón (San Antonio, TX) were crowned champions at the annual ceremony on June 27. Kate Reinders hosted the event, which was held live in-person for the first time in three years at Broadway’s Minskoff Theatre. Becerra and Barrón each received $25,000 to further their education. Becerra wowed judges with her performance of Breathe from In the Heights, while Battle sang This Is Not Over Yet from Parade

 
       
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