Two big Broadway announcements.
Leslie Odom, Jr is returning this fall in his first new role since winning the Tony for “Hamilton.” Odom will star in “Purlie Victorious.” This is the play, not the musical, “Purlie,” unfortunately. But Odom will be a strong draw in the drama written by the late great Ossie Davis, Jr. Kenny Leon is directing and the cast features Vanessa Bell Calloway and Jay O. Sanders, so it can’t be bad. Do I wish Melba Moore was belting out the songs from the musical version with Odom? Yes. But we’ll take this in any case.
Next spring, Oscar winner Eddie Redmayne will re-create his role as the emcee in “Cabaret.” No word yet on who will play Sally Bowles. Jessie Buckley played the part in the West End version with Redmayne, but it’s unclear if she’ll do it here. “Cabaret” is always a hit when it’s revived. Alan Cummings made a big success of it with Michelle Williams, Emma Stone, and Sienna Miller each as Sally. None of them were “Broadway” people. If the producers could land Zendaya, that would be the box office explosion of all time.
Broadway always re-generates for a new season. The Tonys are over, some winners were cool, some were odd. “Kimberly Akimbo” wasn’t my choice for Best Musical, but “Strange Loop” wasn’t either the year before. That’s the way it goes. We’ll see on Tuesday next week if “KA” got a box office bump.
PS Rocker Melissa Etheridge, who I love, comes to Broadway in September with a one woman show called “My Window” is in “Come to My Window,” one of her great hits. She’ll tell stories of her life which include highs and lows. It should be very moving and show Etheridge as a very fine musician.