This Week In Theater

Angela Tricarico

There is a new kitty in town. Mamie Parris, formerly of School of Rock The Musical is making her way to another Andrew Lloyd Webber musical: Cats. She is set to begin performances as Grizabella, The Glamour Cat on October 17. Pop star Leona Lewis, Broadway’s current Grizabella, will sing her final “Memory” when she departs the production on October 9. Prior to October 9, Parris could be seen as Patty, Ned Schneebly’s disapproving girlfriend in School of Rock: The Musical; Becky Gulsvig is set to replace her beginning October 10.

Green Day’s American Idiot will be reborn on the small screen. Billie Joe Armstrong has confirmed that HBO greenlit a film adaptation of the tuner, with script changes happening right now. There’s no timeline for filming yet, but Armstrong plans on reprising his Broadway role of St. Jimmy for the film. The original Broadway production opened in the spring of 2010 and played 422 performances. It uses the music of the “American Idiot” album to tell the story of three friends at a crossroads in their young lives.

In a change of tradition, producers of Broadway’s The Front Page revival have asked critics to come on the show’s actual opening night to review the show. Standard practice since at least the 1990s has seen critics visiting shows on specific preview dates so they will have more time to write a more thoughtful review. The Front Page is about newspapers in 1928, and the producers want to return to the style of the time period and have their reviews written following the opening night performance. Most critics seemed okay with the idea, but according to the New York Post a reporter from The Hollywood Reporter was not happy with the request.

This week, two straight plays will celebrate opening night on Broadway! First up is a new work, Heisenberg by Simon Stephens. According to Playbill, Heinsenberg follows two people (played by Denis Arndt and Mary-Louise Parker) and a life changing encounter between them in a London train station. Heisenberg opens on October 13 at MTC’s Friedman Theater. Second is a brand new adaptation of Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard, a show about a Russian nobility class struggling to stay relevant against the growing power of the peasant class. The revival stars Diane Lane, Joel Grey, Celia Keenan-Bolger and more Broadway favorites. It’s set to open October 16 at Roundabout Theater Company’s American Airlines Theater.