The last few weeks have been busy in terms of theater news, with several shows announced for the 2013-2014 Broadway season, as well as some general theater news.
To start: Newsies! The Musical celebrated its one-year anniversary on Broadway, while Once had a cast switch-up, adding four new actors and actresses to its roster. (It also opened in London's West End.)
Meanwhile, Matilda and Motown the Musical had or will have their official debut this week. Here are a few other recent theater-related tidbits to know about:
Romeo and Juliet: Shakespeare's classic Romeo and Juliet will hit the Broadway stage September 19, following previews that start August 24. Orlando Bloom — AKA Legolas and That Dude Who Wasn't Captain Jack Sparrow in the "Pirates" franchise — will star opposite Tony Award nominee Condola Rashad. According to NY Theatre Guide, this is the first time in 36 years that Shakespeare's play will be produced on Broadway — and it'll have the new element of an interracial couple. (Yay!)
School of Rock: Remember that Jack Black movie where he played a wannabe-rock-star-turned-substitute-music-teacher? And then he tries to turn his class into the rock band he never had? The success of that film has nabbed the attention of Broadway legend Andrew Lloyd Webber, who said in an interview he plans to bring it onstage. School of Rock will join Lloyed Webber's resume alongside other productions like Phantom of the Opera and Evita.
Always...Patsy Cline: "American Idol" alum Crystal Bowersox (known as the show's season 9 runner-up, the first woman to reach that spot in three years) assumes the role of legendary country singer Patsy Cline in Always...Patsy Cline. According to its official website, "The show is based on a true story about the friendship between Patsy and her most devoted fan, Louise Seger, to be played on Broadway by Annette O'Toole." The musical is tentatively scheduled to open sometime in August.
First Date: A musical comedy/romance hybrid, First Date will enter previews July 9 and open at the Longacre Theatre August 4. The show deals with blind dates in the internet age, when every person is just a Google search away.
Hands on a Hardbody: After just a few weeks on Broadway, Hands on a Hardbody will be closing next week, April 13. There's still time to nab tickets to see the show before it does.
Betrayal: Real-life couple Daniel Craig (who you may know as 007) and Rachel Weisz ("Oz the Great and Powerful," "The Bourne Legacy") will star in this Broadway play about adultery). I think it's adorable that they'll get a chance to work together.
My Brother Marvin: Documenting the life of Marvin Gaye, who was shot by his father on April 1, 39 years ago, My Brother Marvin has been gaining a huge following as it tours the nation. Although the show is not a musical — Gaye's sister, Zeola, was not given permission to use her brother's songs — it does delve into the man behind the music, as well as a peek into the Gaye family.