Theater News: Sweeney Todd, The Griswolds’ Broadway Vacation, Two Jews, Talking, I’m Revolting and Autism Friendly Performances

A Sweeney Todd devival is heading to Broadway with Josh Groban, Annaleigh Ashford, Hamilton Director Thomas Kail and producer Jeffrey Seller. Sweeney Todd – full title: Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street – features music and lyrics by Sondheim and book by Hugh Wheeler. It has been revived several times on and off Broadway.

Groban, starred in the 2016 Broadway production of the musical Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812Ashford (Broadway’s 2017 revival of Sunday in the Park with Georgethe FX dramaImpeachment: American Crime Story).

Kate Rockwell (Mean Girls) and Hunter Foster (The Bridges of Madison County, Little Shop of Horrors) stars as Ellen and Clark Griswold in the new musical The Griswolds’ Broadway Vacationbased on the beloved film franchise and featuring a book, music, and lyrics by The Other Josh Cohen writing team David Rossmer and Steve Rosen. The Broadway-aimed musical will begin its world premiere run at Seattle’s 5th Avenue Theater September 10th.

Also in the cast Livvy Marcus and Nathan Levy as Audrey and Rusty Griswold, respectively, with Jay Klaitz as Cousin Eddie, and Alan H. Green as Naked Commando. Also featured are Carol Angeli, Sydni Beaudoin, Sarah Bishop, Lindsay Nicole Chambers, Jennifer Cody, Merritt David Janes, Julian DeGuzman, Rohit Gopal, Olivia Griffin, Garett Hawe, Jaygee Macapugay, Heather Makalani, Jennifer Noble, Michael Olaribigbe, Julio Rey, Jody Reynard, Matthew Sims, Jr., Jonathan Wagner, and Brandon Whitmore. Newly joining the company are Megan Reinking as the alternate for Ellen Griswold and swings Connor Russell and Brenna Mikale Wagner.

Donna Feore directs and choreographs.

Tony & Emmy Award Winner Hal Linden (The Rothschilds, Barney Miller) and legendary television star Bernie Kopell (The Love Boat, Get Smart, That Girl) have arrived in New York and recently met Joe Allen for a toast to their new comedy Two Jews, Talking. Written by Emmy, Peabody, and Golden Globe winning writer Ed. Weinberger, the two-hander is directed by OBIE Award-winning director Dan Wackerman and will have an open-ended run off Broadway at the Theater at St. Clement’s (423 West 46thth st). Previews began on Saturday, August 20th at 2:00 PM. The official opening is slated for Monday, August 29th at 7:00 PM.

Dan Wackerman, Ed Gaynes, Tim Jerome, Catrina Honadel, Bernie Kopell and Hal Linden

Bernie Kopell, Dan Wackerman, Hal Linden

Tim Jerome, Bernie Kopell, Hal Linden

Bernie Kopell, Ed. Weinberger, and Hal Linden

Cast and crew toast

Two Jews, Talking takes us on a hilarious romp through time! Two one-act plays bring Lou and Bud together in the Biblical past, and Phil and Marty together in contemporary Long Island. They philosophize about women, sex, food, the divine, and destiny in this tale of companionship and friendship. The show’s humor evokes a sense of nostalgia for simpler times – when comedy was rooted in pure fun.

“After 3 years of Covid, it’s time to laugh again,” said director Dan Wackerman. “Hal Linden and Bernie Kopell are just what the doctor ordered. They are truly masters of comedy and it’s an honor and a pleasure to be directing them in an original play by the legendary Ed. Weinberger – a name synonymous with some of the greatest comedies in the history of television. We New Yorkers need and deserve a show like this!”

Two Jews Talking was first presented as a staged reading at the Flat Rock Playhouse in North Carolina. All four performances at the 500-seat theater were sold out.

Tickets are $79.50 and $119.00. Performances are on Fridays at 7:00 PM, Saturdays at 2:00 PM and 7:00 PM, and Sundays at 3:00 PM.

Drama Desk Award nominee Knud Adams (English) teams up with Relentless Award winner Gracie Gardner (2020-2021 Tow Playwright-in-Residence) for her Off-Broadway debut. I’m Revolting is at Atlantic Theater Company Linda Gross Theatre, 336 West 20th September 8 to October 16th.

Cast Includes Gabby Beans, Laura Esterman, Glenn Fitzgerald, Peter Gerety, Emily Cass McDonnell, Alicia Pilgrim, Portia and Patrick Vaill.

I’m Revolting is a play set at a skin cancer clinic — “not the famous one,” the show’s description notes. There, multiple patients are in the waiting room, about to learn what parts of themselves, and how much, they’re going to lose. Not everyone in the room is a skin cancer patient; some are just there for support, but regardless, nobody wants to be called into the doctor’s office. The play explores what it means to live in a body, particularly one that isn’t working as it should, and what it’s like to deal with those — or be those — that don’t quite understand.

TDF, the not-for-profit service organization for the performing arts, is proud to present our 11th season of Autism Friendly Performances (AFP) for individuals on the autism spectrum or with other developmental or cognitive disabilities. The season begins on Sunday, October 2 at 1 pm with The Lion King at the Minskoff Theater and continues with the first-ever Autism Friendly Performance of New York City Ballet’s production of George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker® on Sunday, November 27 at 1 pm at Lincoln Center’s David H. Koch Theater. Wicked on Sunday, February 12, 2023 at the Gershwin Theatre, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child on Sunday, April 30, 2023 at the Lyric Theater and a final show to be determined round out the AFP lineup.

“We’re thrilled to announce this 2022-23 season for several reasons,” said Lisa Carling, Director of TDF Accessibility Programs. “Not only does the demand for these performances for families with children and adults on the autism spectrum increase each year, but this marks the 11th time we’ve worked with the marvelous folks at Disney Theatrical Productions to present an Autism Friendly Performance of The Lion King. Our AFP program launched in 2011 with Disney’s landmark musical, and our upcoming Autism Friendly Performance of The Lion King will take place 11 years to the day of that groundbreaking performance. Since then, Disney Theatrical Productions has run with the ball and presented several Autism Friendly Performances of The Lion King across the country, as well as Autism Friendly Performances of Frozen and Aladdin he broadway. We will also mark a historic first this year: thanks to New York City Ballet, we will present the inaugural Autism Friendly Performance of the company’s legendary production of George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker®. We have wanted to expand AFP to dance and The Nutcracker was the obvious choice for a family outing during the holidays. We’re grateful to the folks at NYC Ballet for their cooperation. It will be a spectacular and life-changing experience for so many in the audience.”

AFP tickets typically go on sale six to eight weeks before a performance and are sold only through TDF’s website. Tickets to The Lion King are currently on sale. For more information on that performance, CLICK HERE.

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