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Danielle Brooks doing 'Much Ado,' and more theater news

Queen musical heading to the Garden; Henry Winkler joins Alec Baldwin in "Twentieth Century" reading.

Danielle Brooks of "Orange Is the New Black,"

Danielle Brooks of "Orange Is the New Black," will play Beatrice in "Much Ado About Nothing" in Central Park this summer. Photo Credit: AFP / Getty Images / Lisa O'Connor

THE SHOW "Much Ado About Nothing"

THE DEAL “Orange is the New Black” star Danielle Brooks will lead the upcoming Shakespeare in the Park production of “Much Ado About Nothing,” as first reported by Variety. She will play Beatrice, who engages in a war of witty repartee with the equally difficult Benedict in the romantic comedy. The production (to be directed by Tony-winner Kenny Leon) begins performances at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park on May 21. Brooks earned a Tony nomination for her performance in the 2015 Broadway revival of “The Color Purple” and is part of the producing team of the Temptations musical “Ain’t Too Proud.”

THE SHOW “We Will Rock You"

THE DEAL A 2002 Queen jukebox musical that ran for years in London will finally receive its New York premiere in November at the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden as part of a new North American tour. It imagines a dystopian future where outlaws oppose cyberspace tyrants and long to create live music. The new tour is likely a product of the Oscar-winning Queen biopic “Bohemian Rhapsody.”


WHAT The Lucille Lortel Awards

THE DEAL Nominees for this year’s Lucille Lortel Awards, which focus exclusively on Off-Broadway productions, were announced last week. Recognized shows include “Be More Chill” and “What the Constitution Means to Me," which premiered Off-Broadway before transferring to Broadway. Also up for awards are “Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish,” “Merrily We Roll Along” and “Carmen Jones.” Wayne Brady will host the ceremony, which will take place May 5 at New York University's Skirball Center.

THE SHOW "Twentieth Century"

THE DEAL Henry Winkler, who won an Emmy for his turn as a flamboyant acting teacher on the HBO hit "Barry," is on board with Alec Baldwin and Anne Heche in Roundabout Theatre Company's reading of "Twentieth Century" on April 29. Other new cast members include Dan Butler, Stephen DeRosa, Julie Halston and Paul Alexander Nolan. The Ben Hecht-Charles MacArthur comedy about an egomaniacal director (Baldwin) and his temperamental discovery (Heche) is a benefit performance at Studio 54, 254 W. 54th St. — Daniel Bubbeo

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