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'The Bridges of Madison County,' 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory' and more theater news

THE MUSICAL "The Bridges of Madison County"

THE DEAL O'Hara, who was originally slated to play Francesca in the out-of-town premiere of the musical version of "The Bridges of Madison County" at the Williamstown Theatre Festival later this summer, had to bow out because of her pregnancy. However, the show's producers confirmed that O'Hara will still star in the musical when it plays Broadway next season. Steven Pasquale, who is currently appearing alongside O'Hara in "Far From Heaven" at Playwrights Horizons, will join her.

WHO Fantasia

THE REVUE "After Midnight"

THE DEAL Months ago, it was announced that "Cotton Club Parade," a 90-minute revue depicting the exciting jazz entertainment and classy nightclub atmosphere one would have found in the 1920s at Harlem's Cotton Club, would transfer to Broadway this fall after two limited engagements at City Center. It's been confirmed that the show, now titled "After Midnight," will play the Brooks Atkinson Theatre starting in October and that it will star season 3 "American Idol" winner Fantasia, who appeared on Broadway in "The Color Purple" in 2007.

WHO John Grisham

THE PLAY "A Time to Kill"

THE DEAL The first Grisham novel to be adapted for the stage will play Broadway when "A Time to Kill" opens at the Golden Theatre in October. In a statement, Grisham expressed his satisfaction with Rupert Holmes' adaptation and said he was "looking forward to opening night."

THE MUSICAL "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory"

THE DEAL The long-awaited musical "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory," directed by Sam Mendes and starring Tony winner Douglas Hodge, finally opened in London -- to decidedly mixed reviews. Critics generally complained about the quality of the script and the new songs added to the famous ones from the 1971 film "Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory," while confirming it was a lavish, candy-filled spectacle. "Although there's been much talk of the technical difficulties involved in bringing the book to the stage, the real difficulty lies in preserving the story's humanity amid a swelter of special effects," Michael Billington wrote in The Guardian. It is currently unclear if or when the musical will transfer to Broadway.

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