WHO Laura Benanti
THE DEAL Having made a splash in the recent television broadcast of "The Sound of Music," Laura Benanti will host this year's Drama Desk Awards on June 1 at Town Hall. "I am thrilled to bring my particular brand of idiocy to what is usually a very classy affair," Benanti wrote on Twitter. Unlike the Tony Awards, the Drama Desk Awards consider Broadway and Off-Broadway productions together.
THE SHOW "tick, tick ... BOOM!"
THE DEAL The rock musical written by Jonathan Larson before "Rent," which received a short Off-Broadway run after his death, will be revived by City Center in June as part of its second annual Encores! Off-Center series. The cast will include "In the Heights" co-stars Lin-Manuel Miranda and Karen Olivo. The series also will feature the country revue "Pump Boys and Dinettes" and a one-night concert of Randy Newman's "Faust."
THE SHOW "Into the Woods"
THE DEAL The Fiasco Theater, the small ensemble that shot to fame with its inventive staging of Shakespeare's "Cymbeline" and is currently presenting "Measure for Measure" at the New Victory Theatre, will return next season with a scaled-down version of "Into the Woods." It will be produced by Roundabout at its Off-Broadway space, featuring only 10 actors and a single piano.
THE SHOW "South Pacific"
THE DEAL Erin Mackey has scored the plum role of Nellie Forbush in the Paper Mill Playhouse's upcoming staging of the Rodgers and Hammerstein classic "South Pacific." Performances start at the New Jersey venue April 9. Mackey appeared with Bryn Terfel and Emma Thompson in the recent concert production of "Sweeney Todd" at the New York Philharmonic.