August 28, 2015

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Playbill Presents
Highlights From World-Premiere Musical October Sky

Based on the 1999 film starring Jake Gyllenhaal, the new musical October Sky gets a world premiere at the Marriott Theatre in Lincolnshire, IL. Nate Lewellyn stars as Homer Hickam, a young man who begins to build rockets after Sputnik lights up the sky of his small Appalachian mining town. Book is by Aaron Thielen; music and lyrics are by Michael Mahler. Rachel Rockwell directs. Performances run through Oct. 11. Read the Playbill story.

Playbill Presents
Something Rotten! Stars Get Collegiate With "Dorm Room" Dining and Snacks Something Rotten! stars Brooks Ashmanskas and Brad Oscar both graduated college so recently that they consider their dressing room to be just another dorm room. In this exclusive behind the scenes video for Playbill's Back to School Week, the duo give a tour of their digs and show off the myriad of snacks they've stashed away, their hot dog machine and the full bar that could fuel a more-than-respectable toga party. is posting a week's worth of features to help our student, parent and teacher readers get set for the new school year. To see more of our Back to School stories, click here!
Playbill Presents
Spring Awakening Cast Offers Musical Peek at English/American Sign Language Production

Andy Mientus, Krysta Rodriguez and the cast of Spring Awakening met the press to present some numbers from the upcoming Broadway production. Utilizing deaf, hard of hearing and hearing actors, the show is presented in both spoken English and American Sign Language. Here, the company runs through "Mama Who Bore Me," "The Bitch of Living," "The Song of Purple Summer" and "Touch Me." See show details.

Playbill Presents
Newsboys of New York Reunite at 54 Below! Soundcheck With Side Show, "Pocahontas" and Bruno Mars Tunes

Former Newsies cast members collect tonight for two Newsboys of New York Reunite at 54 Below! concerts that celebrate the anniversary of the Broadway production coming to a close. In this exclusive peek at soundcheck, the performers run through tunes from Broadway favorite Side Show, Disney favorite "Pocahontas" and pop music favorites Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars. See show details.

Playbill Presents
Young Stars of The King and I, Fun Home, School of Rock, More, Help Playbill Prep for Back to School Week

Playbill was out and about in Times Square with the young stars of The King and I, Fun Home, The Lion King, Kinky Boots and School of Rock — The Musical to shoot some photos promoting our Back to School Week. Photographer Monica Simoes snapped shots of the kids posing, goofing around, jumping about and having tons of fun in Shubert Alley and then on the famous red steps of Duffy Square. is posting a week's worth of features to help our student, parent and teacher readers get set for the new school year. To see more of our Back to School stories, click here!

Playbill Presents
EXCLUSIVE: Sierra Boggess, David Burtka, Tyne Daly in the Studio for It Shoulda Been You Original Cast Recording

Sierra Boggess, David Burtka, Tyne Daly, Harriet Harris, Lisa Howard, Montego Glover, Josh Grisetti, Chip Zien and castmates hit the studio for the original cast recording of It Shoulda Been You on Ghostlight Records. They chatted about their appreciation for the show and ran through "Perfect," "That's Family," "Jenny's Blues" and many more from the score by Barbara Anselmi (music) and Brian Hargrove (lyrics), with additional by Jill Abramovitz, Carla Rose Fisher, Michael Cooper, Ernie Lijoi and Will Randall. Read the Playbill story. Purchase the album digitally or preorder the CD, available Oct. 9.

Playbill Presents
Broadway Stars Sleep Out to Raise Money for Homeless Kids

On Aug. 17, Covenant House held their third annual Sleep Out: Broadway Edition to raise money and awareness — their mission is to aid and shelter homeless youth. Some 60 Broadway personalities slept outdoors on the facility's sidewalk to show solidarity with homeless kids across New York City. Here, Stephanie J. Block, Chuck Cooper, Lilli Cooper and Capathia Jenkins give some insight into what it means to be homeless and what working with Covenant House has taught them. The event rasied over $260,000. Read the Playbill story. Donate now.

Playbill Presents
On the Town Cast Members Recreate Iconic Gene Kelly Dance Number

In celebration of what would have been dance legend Gene Kelly's 103rd birthday on Aug. 23, cast members of On the Town made a video recreating a dance number from the classic film version of the musical. Cory Lingner (an ensemble member) and Eloise Kropp (she plays Doll Girl and will soon star in Dames at Sea on Broadway) take on the steps created by Kelly and co-star Vera-Ellen. Performances of On the Town run through Sept. 6.

Playbill Presents
Amazing Grace Welcomes Spring Awakening to Broadway With Tear-Jerking American Sign Language Performance

On Aug. 16, Amazing Grace presented an open-captioned performance of the show. Cast members of the Broadway-bound Deaf West Theatre production of Spring Awakening — many of whom are deaf or hard of hearing — were in attendance. Unbeknownst to them, the Amazing Grace performers had secretly been rehearsing the titular hymn in American Sign Language. During the show's finale, both casts were in tears! Open captioining was provided by the TDF Accessibility Program.

Playbill Presents
"Obsessed!": The King and I's Ashley Park Talks Epic Fails, Then Hits Epic High Note

The King and I cast member Ashley Park joined Seth Rudetsky in the studio for the latest go 'round of "Obsessed!" Park demonstrated how she split her pants open (multiple times!) onstage at Mamma Mia! and how Ken Watanabe tore her wig off during a performances of The King and I. Then, Park sings a "fixed" version of "My Lord and Master" — more mega-high notes, please! Check out Seth's weekly column. Visit, Seth's online home.


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Spring Awakening

Deaf West’s production of SPRING AWAKENING floored the critics when it premiered in California, prompting the Los Angeles Times to write, "It's hard to enumerate all the ways in which Deaf West's SPRING AWAKENING is so very, very good." Now this unapologetically brilliant new production is coming to New York.

Click here for details.