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Behind the Curtain: Sting's 'Last Ship' set for Neil Simon Theater


Sting's "Last Ship" will be cruising into the Neil Simon Theater in the fall. Credit: Getty Images/Ethan Miller

Sting’s ‘Last Ship’ sails into Neil Simon
“The Last Ship,” the forthcoming Broadway musical with songs by Sting, will have a cast that includes Michael Esper (“American Idiot”), Aaron Lazar (“The Light in the Piazza”) and Fred Applegate (“The Producers”). As expected, it will play the Neil Simon Theatre, where the LBJ drama “All the Way” is now in previews. Opening night is currently slated for Oct. 26. A concert version of the musical will air on PBS on Feb. 21.

Carroll withdraws from ‘A Raisin in the Sun’
78-year-old Diahann Carroll, who was to co-star in this season’s Broadway revival of “A Raisin in the Sun” alongside Denzel Washington, has withdrawn from the production due to the demands of stage acting at her age. She was to play Lena Younger, the mother of Washington’s character, who longs to move her family from the inner city into the suburbs. She will be replaced by LaTanya Richardson Jackson.

Domingo to take part in NYCO tribute concert
Placido Domingo, whose big break occurred decades ago with the New York City Opera, will take part in “70 Years of the People’s Opera,” a concert on Feb. 21 at City Center to benefit the musicians of NYCO, which went bankrupt a few months ago following years of artistic and financial turmoil. It is still hoped in the industry that NYCO can somehow rise from the ashes or that a new opera company will take its place as the city’s other major opera company after the Met.   

Hill replaces Maltby in ‘Les Miz’ switch
It was revealed Wednesday morning that Charlotte Maltby – the college-age daughter of lyricist-director Richard Maltby, Jr. ("Closer than Ever"), who was to play Cosette in the Broadway revival of “Les Miz” – has been replaced by Samantha Hill, leading to speculation on Internet message boards as to why the change occurred. On Twitter, Maltby wrote, “Unfortunate things happen. But on her Facebook page, she suggested that the change had to do with her age.

First ‘Rocky’ preview called off
The first preview performance of “Rocky,” which was to take place on Tuesday night, was called off on Tuesday morning due to electrical issues at the Winter Garden Theatre that resulted in rehearsal delays. As of press time, the first preview was expected to take place on Thursday night.

Dancer sues ‘Spider-Man’ producers over injuries
The Broadway run of “Spider-Man” might be over, but its legal troubles are not. Dancer Daniel Curry, who was seriously injured during a performance a few months ago, has filed a complaint in New York Supreme Court against the show’s producers for negligence, as reported by  

Menzel to sing ‘Let It Go’ at the Oscars
Idina Menzel, who provided the voice for Elsa in the hit Disney film “Frozen” and is about to return to Broadway in “If/Then,” will perform the movie’s hit song “It It Go” at the Oscars on March 2. On Sunday night, Menzel and other “Frozen” cast members reunited to perform songs from the film at a Los Angeles concert.

Martin and Gyllenhaal set for new Roundabout season
Andrea Martin, who scored her second Tony Award last year for her supporting turn in “Pippin,” will headline the Roundabout Theatre Company’s revival of the backstage farce “Noises Off” next season. Roundabout also confirmed that Maggie Gyllenhaal will appear in Tom Stoppard’s “The Real Thing” alongside Ewan McGregor.

Spotted …
Neil Patrick Harris doing a preview set from “Hedwig and the Angry Inch” at Rockwood Music Hall on the Lower East Side … Rosie O’Donnell and Boy George at the “Taboo” reunion concert at 54 Below last weekend … Patti LuPone and Sutton Foster at “Disaster!”


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