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Rachel Dratch joins 'Love's Labour's Lost,' plus more theater buzz

Rachel Dratch attends the Girard-Perregaux and The Cinema

Rachel Dratch attends the Girard-Perregaux and The Cinema Society with DeLeon screening of Sony Pictures Classics' "I'm So Excited" in New York City. (June 6, 2013) Credit: Getty Images

Who Rachel Dratch

The musical "Love's Labour's Lost"

The deal Rachel Dratch, best known for her work on "Saturday Night Live," has joined the cast of the Public Theater's new musical version of "Love's Labour's Lost," which is the final selection of this year's Shakespeare in the Park season. It begins previews at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park on July 23.

Who Chita Rivera

The deal Although Chita Rivera turned 80 on Jan. 23, it's apparently not too late to throw her a party. Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS announced this month that "Chita: A Legendary Celebration," a one-night concert commemorating her career, will be held at the August Wilson Theatre (home to "Jersey Boys") on Oct. 7.

In a statement, executive director Tom Viola noted that Rivera has been a champion of the organization since its founding in the late 1980s.

The musical "Jungle Book"

The deal Disney's new stage musical of "The Jungle Book," which opened recently in Chicago and incorporates the well-known songs of the 1960s film, received mixed reviews from local critics, raising doubt as to whether the production, directed by Mary Zimmerman, will transfer to New York. In his Chicago Tribune review, Chris Jones wrote that the musical "trips up when it comes to emotional potential and its narrative trajectory" but also described it as "a classy, sophisticated, visually beautiful but cool-to-the-touch affair."

Who Bryn Terfel

The musical "Sweeney Todd"

The deal Opera star Bryn Terfel, who was supposed to star in a concert staging of Sondheim's "Sweeney Todd" with the New York Philharmonic in 2000 but had to be replaced, is finally going to swing Sweeney's razor at Avery Fisher Hall. The Philharmonic confirmed last week that it will present a new staging of "Sweeney Todd" next season with Terfel in the title role. People are already speculating on who should join Terfel as the equally villainous Mrs. Lovett. My vote would go to Bernadette Peters.

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