Theater News

The Weekend Report: Mean Girls Tour Photos; Spring Awakening Goes to China

Find out more of this week’s under-the-radar theater news.

Welcome to TheaterMania's Weekend Report, where you'll find recent news stories from the New York theater scene and beyond.

Spencer Liff, director and choreographer of Spring Awakening in China.
Spencer Liff, director and choreographer of Spring Awakening in China.
(© David Gordon)

Purple Summer Comes to China

Spencer Liff will direct and choreograph the first-ever professional production of Duncan Sheik and Steven Sater's Spring Awakening in China.

The production will open in January 2020 for a limited engagement of 13 performances, with a national tour to follow. Spring Awakening will have dialogue in Chinese, with songs sung in English. An all-Chinese creative team will create sets, lighting, sound, and costume design. Fiz Shapur will serve as musical director, with Xiaoyi Liu of the National Theatre of China serving as associate director.

Liff choreographed the recent Broadway revival of Spring Awakening, which is unrelated to this production.

Margaret Colin will star in The Perplexed.
Margaret Colin will star in The Perplexed.
(© David Gordon)

You Won't Be Perplexed With This Cast

Casting is set for Richard Greenberg's new play, The Perplexed, beginning performances February 11 at Manhattan Theatre Club's New York City Center — Stage I. Artistic director Lynne Meadow stages the production.

The company of The Perplexed will include Patrick Breen, Margaret Colin, Tess Frazer, Anna Itty, Ilana Levine, Zane Pais, JD Taylor, and Frank Wood, with further casting to follow. The design team includes Santo Loquasto (scenic design), Rita Ryack (costume design), Kenneth Posner (lighting design), and Fitz Patton (sound design).

In The Perplexed, two intertwined families gather in the massive library of a Fifth Avenue apartment to celebrate the nuptials of their children. Nothing goes smoothly and as the big moment approaches, the burning question is: Can everyone put aside long-smoldering jealousies and deep-seated grudges and just get through the ceremony?


• The 2020 Chita Rivera Awards will be presented May 17 at the NYU Skirball Center for the Performing Arts. Nominations will be announced April 24.

Rachel Chavkin and Jordan Roth will be honored at New York Theatre Workshop's 2020 gala, to be held February 3 at Capitale.

Rona Siddiqui has been named the 2019 recipient of the Billie Burke Ziegfeld Award, honoring emerging female musical theater composers. The award comes with a $10,000 grant.

Ayah Rifai will receive the 2019 Liz Swados Inspirational Grant, which honors distinguished female music educators in New York City. The prize is $5,000.

Stephen Payne has joined the cast of Signature Theatre's The Young Man From Atlanta by Horton Foote. He replaces Larry Pine in the role of Pete Davenport.

• Writer and performer Dael Orlandersmith will host her 60th birthday party as a benefit for off-Broadway's Wild Project. The November 23 event will feature three hours of music and performance, hosted by Chi Chi Valenti and Paul Alexander.

• The 2020 Obie Awards will be presented Monday, May 18 at Terminal 5. Rachel Hauck and Sam Pinkleton will serve as cochairs, with David Barbour, Mark Barton, Camille A. Brown, David Greenspan, Jennifer Ikeda, David Mendizábal, Diep Tran, and Anne Washburn serving as judges.

New York Stage and Film will honor producers Diana DiMenna and Tom Hulce at its winter gala, held December 8 at the Ziegfeld Ballroom.

• Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS will send $25,000 emergency grants to Community Foundation Sonoma County's Resilience Fund, Latino Community Foundation' NorCal Wildfire Relief Fund, San Francisco-Marin Food Bank, and Sonoma County Animal Services to help fight the ongoing California wildfires.

Hot Shots

Here are some photos from the goings-on around town this week: