News Roundup: “Hedwig,” New Fierstein Play, “Five Years” Reunion … And More

Matthew Murphy

More details are drifting out now about the coming production of “Hedwig and the Angry Inch,” which has Neil Patrick Harris back on Broadway for the first time since 2004’s “Assassins.”

The musical, with text by John Cameron Mitchell and music and lyrics by Stephen Trask, will open April 22 at the Belasco Theatre, with previews beginning March 29.

Harris, in the title role, plays the transgender singer made famous in the 1998 Mitchell/Trask musical. “Hedwig” will feature musical staging by Emmy Award nominee Spencer Liff (“So You Think You Can Dance”). Michael Mayer (“Spring Awakening,” “American Idiot”) directs.


A new play by Harvey Fierstein will get its world premiere this spring at the MTC’s Samuel J. Friedman Theatre. “Casa Valentina,” to be directed by Joe Mantello, will begin previews April 1, ahead of an April 23 opening.

According to press notes, the play -- Fierstein’s first in three decades -- will be particularly Fierstein-esque: “Back in 1962, most men went to the Catskill Mountains to escape the summer heat, but others took the two-hour drive to escape something else entirely: being men.”

“Valentina” tracks a group of heterosexual men who gather at a bungalow colony to dress and act as women, the notes continue: “But when faced with the opportunity to become an official organization, these ‘self-made women’ had to decide whether public recognition would help them gain a place in open society or spell their own personal disaster.”

Look for casting news in the coming weeks.


Jason Robert Brown’s “The Last Five Years” had a second life last spring at Second Stage, and fans will get to revisit the musical yet again as 54 Below presents the series “The Last Five Years in Concert,” with the show’s recent stars.

Adam Kantor and Betsy Wolfe will reprise their roles at Broadway’s nightclub from Oct. 16-19 to celebrate the new cast recording from Sh-K-Boom / Ghostlight Records. The full band will reunite as well, and composer Brown himself will be at the piano for the first two performances, with Andrew Resnick taking over for the back half.


And finally -- hey, can we get a little “Eye of the Tiger” going here? -- Broadway has found its Rocky Balboa and Adrian for the upcoming staging of “Rocky” at the Winter Garden Theatre.

The persistent pugilist will be played by Andy Karl, currently seen in “Jersey Boys,” while his love interest will be played by Margo Siebert in her Broadway debut. Karl played the role during 2011 readings in New York.

“Rocky” creator and star Sylvester Stallone produces the stage production along with Stage Entertainment, and the hard-working Alex Timbers (“Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson”) directs. “Rocky” starts doling out punches Feb. 11, before opening officially on March 13.

Follow Robert Kahn on Twitter@RobertKahn

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