Thursday, February 22, 2024

Broadway Stars Line Up for Next Season: Leslie Odom, Jr. Coming This Fall in “Purlie Victorious,” Eddie Redmayne Next Spring in “Cabaret”

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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.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedmanhttps://www.showbiz411.com
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.
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