Sunday, 1 March 2015

Broadway News Round Up 31

Brandon O'Neill, Jonathan Schwartz and Brian Gonzales as Kassim, Omar & Babkak, Photo by Adam Jacobs

Since the big Aladdin news this week is the departure of Michael James Scott, Marisha Wallace and Bud Weber and the remainder of the original cast extending their contracts until February 2016, both of which I've already covered in separate posts, this news round up is actually going to be pretty light on Aladdin news!  But that's ok as it was the first week of Tech Rehearsals for the cast of The Hunchback of Notre Dame over at the Paper Mill Playhouse so there's plenty to catch up on there!

But first, whilst the big news this week for Aladdin on Broadway has been the remaining principle cast members extending their stay in Agrabah through to February 2016, Seattle's 5th Avenue Theatre have released a video of Aladdin's original Kassim, Brandon O'Neill, performing If I Loved You with Laura Griffith and Soliloquy from Carousel which ended today.

After Carousel, Brandon will be taking to the stage again later this year at the Ordway Center in Minnesota in The Pirates of Penzance.  Part of the Center's 30th Anniversary line up the show will run from August 4th till August 16th.  If you can make it, be sure to check it out!

And Aladdin's new Kassim, Steel Burkhardt, will be taking part in Baldwin Wallace at 54 Below on April 11th as he and other alumni join current seniors from Baldwin Wallace's acclaimed Musical Theatre Program at 54 Below.

Aladdin's Khori Petinaud will be making the leap from stage to screen soon.  Not sure where but keep an eye on her Twitter for more details as she is able to announce them!  Congratulations Khori!

Michael James Scott joins the cast of Something Rotten! talking about his first show and, on a scale of 1 to 10, just how rotten he was!

This week has seen the start of Tech Rehearsals at the Paper Mill Playhouse and the show's official press day so there's plenty of great Hunchback news to get through this week.

Let's start small, and by small I mean model size as TheaterMania has posted a picture of a set model for the show.  As you can see it looks very similar to the pictures of the La Jolla Playhouse set, a lot more real than Aladdin's bright colours and fantastical locations, a perfect match for the mood of the piece based on the incredible word of mouth generated by the show's San Diego run.

TheaterMania has also posted pictures of the cast and creative team from the Press Day. met the stars of the show on Press Day.

Broadway World posted two special videos giving an exclusive look behind the scenes as the Hunchback cast rehearsed and exclusive interviews as Richard Ridge met the cast.

And Esmeralda herself, Ciara Renee has taken over the Paper Mill's Instagram account this weekend for lots of behind the scenes peaks as the cast of The Hunchback of Notre Dame begin their Tech Rehearsals so make sure you check that out!! (especially Esmeralda and the Bellettes!)

I must admit, this seems to be a lot more press than the La Jolla run got ahead of its debut last year.  Could it be that after the incredibly strong word of mouth Disney Theatrical may be considering a Broadway run for Hunchback?  Obviously it depends on how well this run goes, but the last musical Disney debuted at the Paper Mill was Newsies and we all know what happened there.  Keep your fingers crossed!!

Finally, Hunchback star Patrick Page is having one of his childhood dreams come true.  Having brought so many Disney characters to life on stage, from Lumiere to Scar and now Frollo, Patrick will this summer be the voice of the Disneyland Parade and Fireworks!  What an incredible honour and achievement!  Congratulations Patrick!

The Hunchback of Notre Dame begins performances at the Paper Mill Playhouse on March 4th and runs through to 5th April with an official opening night on 15th March.

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