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WAKE UP with BWW 8/5/2015 - THE WIZ LIVE! Finds Dorothy, Cumberbatch in HAMLET, McDonald & Swenson in Williamstown & More!

Good morning, BroadwayWorld! Because we know all our readers eat, sleep and breathe Broadway, what could be better than waking up to it? Today's big news: NBC's THE WIZ LIVE! has found its Dorothy, Benedict Cumberbatch becomes HAMLET at the Barbican, McDonald & Swenson take the stage in Williamstown and more!

Next up in our series of stars introducing BWW's morning feature is Tony winner Linda Lavin (portrait by Walter McBride), who will soon be seen on Broadway in OUR MOTHER'S BRIEF AFFAIR. Among her past credits are THE LYONS, COLLECTED STORIES, THE TALE OF THE ALLERGIST'S WIFE, THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK, GYPSY, BROADWAY BOUND, LAST OF THE RED HOT LOVERS, IT'S A BIRD...IT'S A PLANE...IT'S SUPERMAN and more!

Linda Lavin wants you to WAKE UP with BWW!

TODAY'S TOP ITEMS:

- NBC's THE WIZ LIVE! has found its Dorothy, announced early this morning on TODAY!
- Benedict Cumberbatch stars in HAMLET, beginning tonight at the Barbican, while GRAND HOTEL opens in Southwark.
- Audra McDonald & Will Swenson lead A MOON FOR THE MISBEGOTTEN, starting tonight in Williamstown.
- And 54 Below is busy with a Theodore Bikel tribute and KulturfestNYC's ANOTHER HUNDRED YEARS!

WAITRESS at A.R.T.

NEWS YOU MISSED YESTERDAY:

- Tony winner Frank Langella is returning to Broadway in THE FATHER this spring.
- Julie Andrews will helm MY FAIR LADY in Sydney next year!
- NYC Ballet soloist Georgina Pazcoguin will succeed Megan Fairchild in ON THE TOWN...
- David Alan Grier will play the Cowardly Lion in NBC's THE WIZ LIVE!
- A CONFEDERACY OF DUNCES, starring Nick Offerman, could be headed to Broadway...
- John Rapson & Kevin Massey will star in the GENTLEMAN'S GUIDE national tour.
- We got a first look (right) at WAITRESS at A.R.T., plus a peek at Barbra Streisand wearing designs by the late Arnold Scaasi, and highlights from CYMBELINE at Shakespeare in the Park!
- The cast of SPRING AWAKENING will reunite again, and Michael Urie and more have signed on for the upcoming CLUE tribute, all at 54 Below.
- And NBC's BEST TIME EVER WITH NEIL PATRICK HARRIS will hold an NYC casting call!

Broadway Weather Forecast: Partly cloudy with a high of 87 degrees and clear tonight!

Quote of the Day: A word from HAMLET star Benedict Cumberbatch...

"The further you get away from yourself, the more challenging it is. Not to be in your comfort zone is great fun."
-- Benedict Cumberbatch (via BrainyQuote)

Video of the Day: Watch THE WIZ LIVE!'s Shanice Williams audition for the role of Dorothy!
And a Happy Birthday shout-out to Jim Stanek, who turns 44 today!
Stanek is currently an understudy for 'Bruce' in Broadway's Fun Home and a swing in A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder. His past Broadway credits include The Story of My Life, Lestat, Little Women, The Rivals, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum and Indiscretions. He has appeared off-Broadway in Desperate Writers, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Freud's Last Session, Jacques Brel Returns and Jacques Brel Is Alive and Well and Living in Paris, Frankenstein, A New Musical, Slut, Captains Courageous and more. Stanek has also participated in several concert productions, including Best Food Forward, Oh, Boy! and Saturday Night.
Jim Stanek in York Theatre's SATURDAY NIGHT last year.
Photo by Jenny Anderson

See you bright and early tomorrow, BroadwayWorld!

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