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News Roundup: k.d. lang to the Cotton Club, "Spider-Man" Gets a New Hero

By Robert Kahn
|  Monday, Sep 16, 2013  |  Updated 4:28 PM EDT
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Cotton Club Returns with k.d. lang

O&M Co. Photo

k.d. lang, pictured with Wynton Marsalis, will celebrate Duke Ellington's years at the Cotton Club with a 17-musician band

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Pop icon k.d. lang will make her Broadway debut in the new musical “After Midnight,” producers Scott Sanders and Wynton Marsalis said in a joint statement this weekend.

The Grammy-winning singer will join the company following fellow vocalist Fantasia as the second “special guest star,” beginning Feb. 11 and continuing through March 9.

“After Midnight” is a new production of “Cotton Club Parade,” which played two sold-out engagements at City Center. Celebrating Duke Ellington’s years at the Cotton Club using original arrangements, “After Midnight” is directed and choreographed by Warren Carlyle and features the big-band sounds of Wynton Marsalis’ Jazz at Lincoln Center All-Stars.

The opening night cast includes the previously announced Dulé Hill and Tony Award winner Adriane Lenox ("Doubt"). Previews begin at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre on Oct. 18, ahead of a Nov. 3 opening. Tickets for Lang’s engagement, $60-$142, go on sale Nov. 4 through Telecharge.com.

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Reeve Carney, Broadway’s original “Spider-Man,” played his final performance Sunday in order to begin shooting for the new HBO series “Penny Dreadful.” Broadway rocker Justin Matthew Sargent, known for his turn as Drew in “Rock of Ages,” steps into his tights effective evening performances tonight at the Foxwoods Theatre.

“We looked for our new lead in L.A. and New York. During Justin’s rehearsals as the alternate Peter Parker/Spider-Man, we realized this is the guy to take over for Reeve. He is one of Broadway’s great rockers,” said producers Michael Cohl and Jere Harris.

Sargent comes to the accident-plagued and consistently popular musical direct from the Broadway company of “Rock of Ages,” where he played the lowly bartender turned rock star. “Spider-Man Turn Off The Dark” features music and lyrics by Bono and The Edge

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Tickets are on sale for “Il Divo: A Musical Affair,” featuring the operatic pop group and guest Heather Headley (“Aida,” “The Bodyguard”), which begins performances Nov. 7 at the Marquis Theatre.

The week-long run will offer songs from “The Phantom of the Opera,” “Carousel” and “West Side Story,” among others. It’s the first-time the quartet will appear together on Broadway, though baritone Carlos Marin was cast as Marius in “Les Misérables” when the show premiered in Spain in 1993, and tenor David Miller played Rodolfo in Broadway’s “La Bohème” in 2003. A video preview of the performance is below.

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Spine-tingling moments in theater history: Standing next to Tom Jones and Tony Orbach during intermission at Sunday’s 20,000th performance of “The Fantasticks” at the Snapple Theater Center. Orbach, whose dad Jerry was the original El Gallo, thanked the lyricist for the invite to the show and beamed as he was recognized by production veterans on hand for the anniversary show.

Follow Robert Kahn on Twitter@Robert Kahn

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