BUZZ

Here We Go Again! Season Three of Lifetime Channel's Broadway Balances America Will Premiere in August

Ryan Gilbert

Grab an extra cup of coffee because your mornings are about to get a Great White Way-sized makeover! Lifetime Channel's award-winning morning show The Balancing Act will present the third season of its six-part special series Broadway Balances America, sponsored by Broadway Across America. Season three of the series, which takes you backstage of some of Broadway's most-beloved musicals, will premiere on the Lifetime Channel in August.

This season of Broadway Balances America provides behind-the-scenes excerpts and interviews highlighting the shows that are featured on Broadway Across America’s 2016-2017 Broadway series nationwide, including The Illusionists—Live From Broadway, the Broadway.com Audience Choice Award-winning musical Finding Neverland, An American in Paris, The Bodyguard, Disney's The Little Mermaid and the Tony Award-winning revival of Rodgers + Hammerstein's The King and I. Our hosts get up close and personal with the casts and crews, even experiencing what it’s like to take the show on the road.

This season of Broadway Balances America provides behind-the-scenes excerpts and interviews highlighting the shows that are featured on Broadway Across America’s 2016-2017 Broadway series nationwide, including The Illusionists—Live From Broadway, the Broadway.com Audience Choice Award-winning musical Finding Neverland, An American in Paris, The Bodyguard, Disney's The Little Mermaid and the Tony Award-winning revival of Rodgers + Hammerstein's The King and I. Our hosts get up close and personal with the casts and crews, even experiencing what it’s like to take the show on the road.

So, do you want to know what the third season of Broadway Balances America has in store for you? Of course you do! You'll meet The Illusionists' Jeff Hobson (aka “The Trickster”), who'll pull off an illusion that'll leave you speechless; go behind the scenes of the new musical Finding Neverland with Tony-winning director Diane Paulus and Emmy-winning choreographer Mia Michaels; uncover the beautiful world within An American in Paris and find out how the stars maintain their bodies and minds while touring the country; head to Florida to meet renowned R&B artist Deborah Cox as she prepares to headline the national tour of The Bodyguard; get an in-depth backstage peek at Disney's The Little Mermaid; and take a closer look at the powerful, yet fundamentally different, female characters in Rodgers + Hammerstein's classic The King and I.

“We are so happy to take The Balancing Act’s viewers behind-the-scenes of the most popular Broadway shows, meeting some of the actors/directors/choreographers who bring it all to life,” said Jeanne Kelly, Supervising Producer for The Balancing Act. “Everyone can now experience the excitement, music and magic that is Broadway, right in their local community.”

The air dates for the third season Broadway Balances America will be:

The Illusionists—Live From Broadway on August 8
Finding Neverland on September 26
An American in Paris on November 7
The Bodyguard on November 21
Disney's The Little Mermaid on January 4, 2017
Rodgers + Hammerstein's The King and I on January 16, 2017

Broadway In Boston & Autism Speaks Will Offer an Autism-Friendly Performance of Cinderella

Ryan Gilbert

Autism Speaks, the world’s leading science and advocacy organization, will continue its partnership with Broadway In Boston by co-hosting an autism-friendly performance of Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella on October 4 at 5:30PM. Cinderella will head to Boston on September 29 where it will play the Boston Opera House through October 11 as part of the Lexus 2014-2015 Broadway In Boston Series.

Autism Speaks, Broadway In Boston and the national tour of Cinderella are collaborating on all aspects of the development and execution of this performance, including the reduction of jarring sounds and intensity/volume level, elimination of strobe lights focused on the audience, trained support staff and volunteers and calming areas for audience members. All elements of the theater experience will be tailored to meet the needs of individuals and families affected by autism, including slight production adjustments, trained support staff to provide assistance, calming areas and a supportive, judgment-free environment.

“I strongly believe all children should get the chance to experience live theater, and I’m honored that we are able to participate in this special program,” said Cinderella’s lead producer Robyn Goodman, in a statement. “Cinderella is an inspiring character who realizes impossible things happen every day. I think her message of hope and compassion will especially resonate with families affected by autism, and I’m thrilled to bring this story to them.”

Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh will serve as the Honorary Chairman of the event committee, a role he also fulfilled last fall when Autism Speaks, Broadway In Boston and Disney Theatrical Productions delivered the first-ever autism-friendly performance of The Lion King in Boston to 2,500 autism community members.

“I applaud Autism Speaks and Broadway In Boston for making an event like this possible again," said Mayor Walsh, in a statement. "I personally witnessed the pure joy expressed by the people in the audience at the The Lion King performance last fall and many of them told me what a huge impact it had on their entire family.”

The musical version of the classic fairytale Cinderella was originally made for TV in 1957, starring Oscar winner Julie Andrews. The new production features a completely reimagined book by Douglas Carter Beane, jaw-dropping transformations and all the moments you love—the pumpkin, the glass slipper, the masked ball—plus some surprising new twists! Be transported back to your childhood as you rediscover some of Rodgers and Hammerstein's most beloved songs, including "In My Own Little Corner," "Impossible/It's Possible" and "Ten Minutes Ago" in this romantic musical.

Ready Boots? Start Walking! National Tour of Kinky Boots Opens in Minneapolis

Broadway.com Staff

The sex is in the heel and the show is ready to start! The national tour of Kinky Boots opens in Minneapolis on July 28. The Tony Award-winning musical will play the Orpheum Theatre through August 2. The show stars Kyle Taylor Parker and Steven Booth.

Kinky Boots follows a struggling shoe factory owner who works to turn his business around with help from the most unlikely person. Together, these two become an unstoppable team, and find that they have more in common than they ever dreamed possible...proving that when you change your mind about someone, you can change your whole world.

Inspired by a true story, Kinky Boots features a joyous, Tony-winning score by Cyndi Lauper, direction and Tony-winning choreography by Jerry Mitchell and a hilarious, uplifting book by four-time Tony winner Harvey Fierstein. The Broadway production opened in April 2013 and went on to win six Tonys, including Best Musical, Best Score, and Best Choreography. The original Broadway cast recording took home a Grammy Award in 2014 for Best Musical Theater Album.

The cast features Parker as Lola, Boots as Charlie Price, Lindsay Nicole Chambers as Lauren, Joe Coots as Don, Craig Waletzko as George and Grace Stockdale as Nicola.

Don’t miss your chance to see this most amazing musical; buy your tickets today!

Here She Goes...Again! Idina Menzel Will Reprise If/Then Performance on the Road

Ryan Gilbert

A Broadway supernova is soaring over the United States! Tony and Broadway.com Audience Choice Award winner Idina Menzel will headline select stops on the If/Then national tour. The Frozen star will reprise her Tony-nominated performance as Elizabeth (Liz/Beth) for the Denver, Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, Tempe and Costa Mesa stops. Additional casting for the tour will be announced at a later date. The tour will kick off on October 13 at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts.

If/Then is especially meaningful for me because I had the opportunity to develop it for several years with the creative team, whom I have come to consider family,” said Menzel, in a statement. “I’m so thrilled to launch the show’s national tour and to send it off across the country and around the world. I am very much looking forward to sharing this original musical with Broadway fans who weren’t able to travel to New York and see it there.”

Menzel made her Broadway debut in Rent and has since appeared in Aida and Wicked, for which she won a Tony Award. Her screen credits include Rent, Enchanted, Glee and, of course, Frozen. Her latest album Holiday Wishes debuted at #1 on Billboard’s Holiday Albums chart last year, and she is set to embark on a world tour this summer.

Directed by Michael Greif, If/Then features music by Tom Kitt, with book and lyrics by Brian Yorkey. The writers earned the Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize for penning Next to Normal. If/Then earned Tony Award nominations for Best Original Score and Best Actress (Menzel). The musical tells the story of Elizabeth, a woman on the verge of turning 40 who returns to New York City to make a fresh start. If/Then premiered at the National Theatre in Washington, D.C. in November 2013.

“I am thrilled that Idina will be playing these select cities, in the time-honored touring tradition established by Broadway’s leading stars like Angela Lansbury, Yul Brynner and Ethel Merman,” said producer David Stone, in a statement. “I look forward to having audiences discover and embrace if/Then and to give Broadway fans across the country the unique opportunity to see a genuine superstar at the height of her powers, in a role that was literally tailored for her.”

Can't wait to see If/Then in your city? Watch the video below to go behind the music and get into the gorgeous score of the musical!

Check Out Dorothy's Louboutins! Orange County Gets Swept Up in The Wizard of Oz Frenzy

Ryan Gilbert

Come out, come out! Dorothy Gale is throwing on her ruby red Louboutins and strutting down the yellow brick road! The Merry Old Land of Oz will soon take over California's picturesque Orange County when The Wizard of Oz lands at Segerstrom Center for the Arts on February 11. Fans can't wait to see the new staging of the classic musical, featuring new songs by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, and there are enough pre-show activities planned to keep eager theatergoers in a twister-like tizzy. From a hands-on tornado demo to photo ops with the yellow brick road to a fun-filled Wizard of Oz facts display, fans will be over the moon rainbow and doing the march of the Munchkins. As soon as you're done checking out this Christian Louboutins store's display, buy your tickets to see The Wizard of Oz at Segerstrom Center from February 11 through 23. That way you can say, "You went to see the Wizard!"

Ben Davis, Newcomer Kerstin Anderson & Ashley Brown Will Lead the New National Tour of The Sound of Music

Ryan Gilbert

Climb every mountain, ford every stream, follow every rainbow, till you find your dream cast! Broadway alum Ben Davis and newcomer Kerstin Anderson will headline the previously announced tour of Rodgers & Hammerstein's The Sound of Music, as Captain Georg von Trapp and Maria Rainer, respectively. Directed by two-time Tony Award winner Jack O’Brien, this brand new production of The Sound of Music will officially launch at the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles in September, before continuing to cities across the country.

“I’ve always believed Maria was a 'star-making' part, rather than the leading role we remember from the movies; so I went looking for someone with star-making magic,” said director O’Brien, in a statement. “And in through the audition door one day walked Kerstin Anderson, still studying at Pace University in New York. She opened her mouth, she sang and the tears welled up in my eyes. If ever there were an enchanting young woman standing on the brink of discovery—this was it! And now, the discovery is about to be all of ours!”

In addition to Davis and Anderson, The Sound of Music will feature Broadway favorite Ashley Brown (Mary Poppins) as The Mother Abbess, Merwin Foard as Max Detweiler, Teri Dale Hansen as Elsa Schraeder, Dan Tracy as Rolf and Paige Silvester as Liesl. The von Trapp children will be played by Erich Schuett (Friedrich), Maria Knasel (Louisa), Quinn Erickson (Kurt), Svea Johnson (Brigitta), Mackenzie Currie (Marta) and Audrey Bennett (Gretl).

The ensemble includes Carey Rebecca Brown, Ron Brown, Caitlin Burke, Christopher Carl, Kyla Carter, Austin Colby, Daniella Dalli, Elisabeth Evans, Donna Garner, Meghan Hales, Adam Hill, Jenavene Hester, Jeremy Lanuti, Darren Matthias, Kelly McCormick, Julia Osborne, Andrea Ross, Brent Schindele and Jim Schubin.

Featuring music by Richard Rodgers, lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II and a libretto by Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse, The Sound of Music tells the story of the musical von Trapp family and the nun who becomes their nanny and eventual step-mother. Set in Austria on the eve of World War II, the score includes favorites such as the title song, “My Favorite Things,” “Do Re Mi,” “Edelweiss” and “Climb Ev'ry Mountain.” This new production will feature scenic design by Douglas Schmidt, lighting design by Natasha Katz and sound design by Ken Travis.

The show's original Broadway mounting earned it the Best Musical Tony Award and the film based on the show won five Academy Awards including Best Picture. The Sound of Music Live!, starring Carrie Underwood, Stephen Moyer, Audra MacDonald, Laura Benanti and Christian Borle, aired on NBC in December 2013 to huge ratings.

Perfectly Marvelous! Cabaret Revival to Launch National Tour in 2016

Ryan Gilbert

And now presenting the Cabaret Girls and the Kit Kat Boys...across the country! The Roundabout Theatre Company’s Tony-winning production of Cabaret will kick off a national tour in Providence, RI on January 26, 2016. The tour plans to visit over 20 cities in North America. Casting and official dates will be announced shortly.

Featuring a score by John Kander and Fred Ebb and a book by Joe Masteroff, Cabaret is set in the infamous Kit Kat Klub, where the Emcee, Sally Bowles and a raucous ensemble take the stage nightly to tantalize the crowd—and to leave their troubles outside. The musical features some of the most memorable songs in theater history, including “Cabaret,” “Willkommen” and “Maybe This Time.”

Roundabout's acclaimed production of Cabaret opened on April 24, 2014 with Alan Cumming reprising his Tony-winning role as the Emcee. The show continues on Broadway starring Cumming and Emma Stone at Studio 54. The creative team includes direction by Sam Mendes, co-direction and choreography by Rob Marshall, set and club design by Robert Brill, costume design by William Ivey Long, lighting design by Peggy Eisenhauer and Mike Baldassari and sound design by Brian Ronan.

Cabaret premiered on Broadway in 1966 and won eight Tony Awards, including Best Musical. Roundabout’s production of Cabaret opened on Broadway on March 19, 1998, and won four Tony Awards including Best Revival of a Musical. The tuner is based on the play by John Van Druten and stories by Christopher Isherwood.

Can’t wait for Cabaret to visit your city? Click below to see highlights from the Broadway production!

Now Is the Time! National Tour of Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella Throws a Ball in Tempe

Broadway.com Staff

A lovely night! A lovely night! A finer night you know you’ll never see! The new national tour of Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella opens in Tempe on March 10. The hit Broadway musical will play ASU Gammage through March 15.

The musical version of the classic fairytale Cinderella was originally made for TV in 1957, starring Oscar winner Julie Andrews. The new production features a completely reimagined book by Douglas Carter Beane, jaw-dropping transformations and all the moments you love—the pumpkin, the glass slipper, the masked ball—plus some surprising new twists! Be transported back to your childhood as you rediscover some of Rodgers and Hammerstein's most beloved songs, including "In My Own Little Corner," "Impossible/It's Possible" and "Ten Minutes Ago" in this romantic musical.

Directed by Mark Brokaw, Cinderella earned nine 2013 Tony Award nominations, including Best Revival of a Musical and Best Book of a Musical. The production features choreography by Josh Rhodes, scenic design by Anna Louizos, costume design by William Ivey Long, lighting design by Ken Posner and sound design is by Nevin Steinberg.

The cast of Cinderella includes Paige Faure as Ella, Andy Jones as Topher, Beth Glover as Madame, Kecia Lewis as Marie, David Andino as Jean-Michel, Blake Hammond as Sebastian, Aymee Garcia as Charlotte and Ashley Park as Gabrielle.

Get your tickets for this magical and unforgettable love story today!

Everybody Say Yeah! Tickets Now on Sale for the National Tour of the Tony-Winning Kinky Boots in Baltimore

Broadway.com Staff

Are you ready to journey to the "Land of Lola," ladies and gentlemen? Tickets are now on sale for the national tour of Kinky Boots in Boston! The 2013 Tony Award-winning musical will open on September 29 at The Hippodrome Theatre and close on October 4.

Kinky Boots follows a struggling shoe factory owner who works to turn his business around with help from the most unlikely person. Together, these two become an unstoppable team, and find that they have more in common than they ever dreamed possible...proving that when you change your mind about someone, you can change your whole world.

The show stars Kyle Taylor Parker as the fabulous drag performer Lola and Steven Booth as shoe-factory owner Charlie Price. The cast also features Lindsay Nicole Chambers as Lauren, Joe Coots as Don, Craig Waletzko as George and Grace Stockdale as Nicola.

Inspired by a true story, Kinky Boots features a joyous, Tony-winning score by Cyndi Lauper, direction and Tony-winning choreography by Jerry Mitchell and a hilarious, uplifting book by four-time Tony winner Harvey Fierstein.

Watch the video below to see why Kinky Boots has theatergoers saying, "Yeah!," and get your tickets to see the show today!

Spectacular New Staging of The Wizard of Oz Eases Into Orange County

Broadway.com Staff

The yellow brick road leads to Orange County! The new staging of the classic musical The Wizard of Oz will play the Segerstrom Center for the Arts from February 11 through February 23.

Featuring all the songs from the beloved film, this new staging also includes new songs by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice. The production originated in London’s West End in 2011 and also went on to have a sit-down run in Toronto.

The show stars Danielle Wade (winner of the Canadian reality contest Over the Rainbow) as Dorothy, Jamie McKnight as the Scarecrow, Mike Jackson as the Tin Man, Lee MacDougall as the Cowardly Lion, Jacquelyn Piro Donovan as the Wicked Witch of the West, Robin Evan Willis as Glinda and Cedric Smith as the Wizard.

The national tour will feature the same creative team from the West End and Toronto productions, which includes direction by Jeremy Sams, set and costume design by Robert Jones, choreography by Arlene Phillips, lighting design by Hugh Vanstone, sound design by Mick Potter and video/projection design by Jon Driscoll.

Get your tickets to see this classic story today!