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Wake Up With BWW 3/22: HADESTOWN Begins Previews, and More!

Good morning, BroadwayWorld! Happy Friday! Finish off your week by catching up on the latest Broadway news!

First, we'd like to wish a happy first preview to Hadestown, which officially begins performances tonight on Broadway!

Yesterday, it was announced that Seyi Omooba has been dropped from Birmingham Hippodrome's The Color Purple after she made homophobic comments on social media. The actress was set to play Celie, but was removed from the cast after her comments came to light.

We've got your first look at Audra McDonald and Michael Shannon in their first photoshoot for Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune! Check out the photo below!

Ain't Too Proud is officially open on Broadway! We brought you the reviews last night, as they were coming in live. Check them out in the story below!

Want to read more about these and other top stories? Keep scrolling! Want our morning reports delivered via email? Subscribe here!

Wake Up With BWW 3/22: HADESTOWN Begins Previews, and More!
1) Wake Up With BWW 3/22: HADESTOWN Begins Previews, and More! Seyi Omooba Dropped from THE COLOR PURPLE Following Homophobic Social Media Posts

Last Friday, on Twitter, Hamilton actor Aaron Lee Lambert shared a screenshot of a Facebook post by Oluwaseyi (Seyi) Omooba - who had just been announced as playing Celie in Leicester Curve and Birmingham Hippodrome's revival of musical The Color Purple. Curve and Birmingham Hippodrome have responded, stating that Omooba has been removed from the cast of The Color Purple. (more...)

2) Wake Up With BWW 3/22: HADESTOWN Begins Previews, and More! AUGUST RUSH to Make World Premiere in Chicago; Creative Includes John Doyle, Glen Berger, Mark Mancina, and more

Chicago audiences will be the first to see August Rush: The Musical, a world premiere musical crafted by some of the top creative artists working in American theater today, based on the Oscar-nominated Warner Bros. film about a musically gifted orphan and the search for his birth parents.. (more...)

3) Wake Up With BWW 3/22: HADESTOWN Begins Previews, and More! Ryan Murphy to Host a Performance of THE PROM April 9th

Six-time Emmy Award winner Ryan Murphy announced today on Instagram that he will host a special performance of THE PROM to benefit Hetrick Martin, GLAAD and The Trevor Project on Tuesday, April 9.. (more...)

4) Wake Up With BWW 3/22: HADESTOWN Begins Previews, and More! Review Roundup: Critics Come See About AIN'T TOO PROUD On Broadway!
by Review Roundups

Ain't Too Proud - The Life and Times of The Temptations opened last night, March 21, at Broadway's legendary Imperial Theatre.. (more...)

5) Wake Up With BWW 3/22: HADESTOWN Begins Previews, and More! Photo Coverage: Meet the Cast of Paper Mill Playhouse's BENNY & JOON
by Walter McBride

Paper Mill Playhouse will soon present the East Coast premiere of Benny & Joon with book by Kirsten Guenther, music by Nolan Gasser, lyrics by Mindi Dickstein, based on the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer motion picture written by Barry Berman and Leslie McNeil.. (more...)

Wake Up With BWW 3/22: HADESTOWN Begins Previews, and More!
Next up in our "mug shots" series is Darren Criss
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Today's Call Sheet:

HADESTOWN officially begins previews on Broadway tonight!

Following two intertwining love stories - that of young dreamers Orpheus and Eurydice, and that of King Hades and his wife Persephone - Hadestown invites audiences on a hell-raising journey to the underworld and back. Mitchell's beguiling melodies and Chavkin's poetic imagination pit industry against nature, doubt against faith, and fear against love. Performed by a vibrant ensemble of actors, dancers, and singers, Hadestown delivers a deeply resonant and defiantly hopeful theatrical experience.

Written by celebrated singer-songwriter Anaïs Mitchell and developed with innovative director and Tony Award® nominee Rachel Chavkin, the cast of Hadestown is led by the acclaimed actors from its sold-out run at London's National Theatre: Reeve Carney, André De Shields, Amber Gray, Eva Noblezada, and Patrick Page. They are joined by Jewelle Blackman, Yvette Gonzalez-Nacer, and Kay Trinidad as the Fates. The Workers Chorus is played by Afra Hines, Timothy Hughes, John Krause, Kimberly Marable, and Ahmad Simmons. The full cast also includes swings Malcolm Armwood, T. Oliver Reid, Jessie Shelton, and Khaila Wilcoxon.

What's new: Get a First Look at AIN'T TOO PROUD on Broadway!

Wake Up With BWW 3/22: HADESTOWN Begins Previews, and More!

Ain't Too Proud - The Life and Times of The Temptations opened last night, March 21, at Broadway's legendary Imperial Theatre (249 West 45th Street). Check out more photos of the cast in action here!

Ain't Too Proud is the electrifying new musical that follows The Temptations' extraordinary journey from the streets of Detroit to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. With their signature dance moves and unmistakable harmonies, they rose to the top of the charts creating an amazing 42 Top Ten Hits with 14 reaching number one. The rest is history - how they met, the groundbreaking heights they hit and how personal and political conflicts threatened to tear the group apart as the United States fell into civil unrest. This thrilling story of brotherhood, family, loyalty and betrayal is set to the beat of the group's treasured hits, including "My Girl," "Just My Imagination," "Get Ready," "Papa Was a Rolling Stone" and so many more.

What we're geeking out over: Get a First Look at Audra McDonald and Michael Shannon in FRANKIE AND JOHNNY IN THE CLAIR DE LUNE

Wake Up With BWW 3/22: HADESTOWN Begins Previews, and More!
Photo Credit: Miller Mobley

The new Broadway production of Terrence McNally's Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune, starring Tony, Grammy and Emmy Award winner Audra McDonald and two-time Academy Award nominee Michael Shannon, directed by Obie Award winner Arin Arbus, will play the Broadhurst Theatre (235 West 44th Street) on Broadway. Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune will begin previews on Saturday, May 4, 2019 and open officially on Thursday, May 30, 2019. The strictly limited 16-week engagement concludes on Sunday, August 25, 2019.

Check out the just-released photo of McDonald and Shannon!

What we're watching: John Mulaney Reveals Inspiration for Next SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE Musical Sketch

John MULANEY was a guest on last night's episode of Conan. During the interview, CONAN brings up Mulaney's famous musical SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE sketches.

CONAN asks if "Diner Lobster" and "Bodega Bathroom" are part of a trilogy of musical sketches, and if audiences should be expecting a third the next time he hosts. MULANEY replies, "I'm not sure what the next would be, I think it might be the G train."

And a Happy Birthday shout-out to Stephen Sondheim, and Andrew Lloyd Webber, who turn 89 and 71, respectively, today!

Wake Up With BWW 3/22: HADESTOWN Begins Previews, and More!

Stephen Sondheim is widely acknowledged as the most innovative, most influential, and most important composer and lyricist in modern Broadway history. He is the winner of an Academy Award, numerous Tony Award, multiple Grammy Awards and a Pulitzer Prize. Some of his other accolades include a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Kennedy Center Honors (1993), the National Medal of Arts (1996), the American Academy of Arts and Letters' Gold Medal for Music (2006) and a special Tony Awards for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre (2008).

Sondheim wrote the music and lyrics for Road Show (2008), Passion (1994), Assassins (1991), Into the Woods (1987), Sunday in the Park with George (1984), Merrily We Roll Along (1981), Sweeney Todd (1979), Pacific Overtures (1976), The Frogs (1974), A Little Night Music (1973), Follies (1971; revised in London, 1987), Company (1970), Anyone Can Whistle (1964) and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (1962), as well as the lyrics for West Side Story (1957), Gypsy (1959), Do I Hear a Waltz? (1965) and additional lyrics for Candide (1973). Side by Side by Sondheim (1976), Marry Me a Little (1981), You're Gonna Love Tomorrow (1983) and Putting It Together (1993/99) are anthologies of his work, as is the new musical Sondheim on Sondheim. He composed the film scores of Stavisky (1974) and Reds (1981) and songs for Dick Tracy (Academy Award, 1990). He also wrote songs for the television production "Evening Primrose" (1966), co-authored, with Anthony Perkins, the film The Last of Sheila (1973) and, with George Furth, the play Getting Away with Murder (1996), and provided incidental music for the plays The Girls of Summer (1956), Invitation to a March (1961) and Twigs (1971). He won Tony Awards for Best Score for a Musical for Passion, Into the Woods, Sweeney Todd, A Little Night Music, Follies and Company. All of these shows won the New York Drama Critics Circle Award, as did Pacific Overtures and Sunday in the Park with George, the latter also receiving the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. Saturday Night (1954), his first professional musical, finally had its New York premiere in 1999 at Second Stage Theatre.

Wake Up With BWW 3/22: HADESTOWN Begins Previews, and More!

Andrew Lloyd Webber has won seven Tony Awards, three Grammy Awards, an Academy Award, a Golden Globe, the Kennedy Center Honor and many others. His musicals include "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat," "Jesus Christ Superstar," "Evita," "Cats," "The Phantom of the Opera," "Sunset Boulevard" and "School of Rock." This year his shows will be seen in over 200 cities around the world. Lloyd Webber owns seven West End theatres including the world famous London Palladium and the Theatre Royal Druly Lane.

Webber is passionate about the importance of music in education and the Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation has become one of Britain's leading charities supporting the arts and music. In 2016 the Foundation funded a major new national initiative which endowed the American Theater Wing with a $1.3 million, three-year grant to support theatre education opportunities for underserved young people and public schools across the U.S.

See you bright and early Monday, BroadwayWorld!

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