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. It begins previews at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park on July 23.
‘Jungle’ gets mixed reviews in Chicago
Disney’s new stage musical of “The Jungle Book,” which opened last week in Chicago and incorporates the well-known songs of the 1960s film, received mixed reviews from critics, raising doubt as to whether the production, which was directed by Mary Zimmerman, will transfer to New York. In his Chicago Tribune review, Chris Jones wrote that it “trips up when it comes to emotional potential.”
BC/EFA to throw Chita Rivera an 80th birthday bash
Although Chita Rivera turned 80 years old back on Jan. 23, it’s apparently not too late to throw her a party. Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS announced this week that “Chita: A Legendary Celebration,” a one-night concert commemorating her career, will be held at the August Wilson Theatre on Oct. 7. In a statement, BC/EFA executive director Tom Viola noted that Rivera has been a champion of the organization since its founding in the late 1980s.
MCP’s next musical journey: ‘Titanic’
Manhattan Concert Productions, which presented a pretty spectacular semi-staged production of the musical “Ragtime” a few months ago, revealed Tuesday that it will tackle Maury Yeston’s 1997 Tony-winning musical, “Titanic,” in Februaryo, again at Avery Fisher Hall. Casting has yet to be announced.
Terfel finally going to play ‘Sweeney Todd’
Opera star Bryn Terfel, who was supposed to star in a concert staging of Stephen Sondheim’s “Sweeney Todd” with the New York Philharmonic back in 2000 but had to be replaced, is finally going to swing Sweeney’s razor at Avery Fisher Hall. The Philharmonic confirmed Tuesday that it will present a new staging of “Sweeney Todd” next season with Terfel in the title role. People are already speculating over who should join Terfel as the villainous Mrs. Lovett. My vote is for Bernadette Peters.
‘Beer on Broadway’ calls off encore run
The producers of “I Hope They Serve Beer on Broadway,” a new play based on the works of Tucker Max that recently premiered at the Roy Arias Theater in Times Square, canceled a planned transfer to a larger Off-Broadway theater at the last minute. Playbill.com broke the news on July 5, the same day the show was supposed to begin performances at 777 Theatre. According to a statement from the producers, they have decided “to take the show back into development.”
Heidi Klum at “Spider-Man” … Mayor Michael Bloom-berg and Billy Crystal at “Kinky Boots”... Megan Hilty at “First Date.”