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Friday Theatre News: End Of May Or Early June

Ok, technically closer to mid June, but still - I needed SOME sort of reference to tie in to the top story.

We've come to the end of another week in the non stop twists and turns that is 2020. It's been a week of theatre news - some good, some not so good. Here is a round up of all you need to know from the last 24 hours:

You would have needed to be living in a forest to have missed the biggest news in the last 24 hours. The long rumoured movie adaptation of Dear Evan Hansen is moving a step closer, with initial casting being heavily rumoured. Kaitlyn Dever looks set to sign on to play Zoe Murphy, while the original Broadway Evan, Ben Platt, is set to reprise his Tony award winning role for the movie version. While he may not be as fresh faced as he was when he was last playing the teen, this is Hollywood, and if they can de-age Robert De Niro in a movie, they can do anything. Stephen Chbosky is set to direct with Ben Platts father signed up as one of the producers.

Nothing is confirmed as yet, but at least it looks like this will be happening in the not too distant future. Your move, Wicked.

Hearing news on a brand new musical is always welcome, so the release of this song from forthcoming musical Halls has come as a breath of fresh air. The musical was written by George Stroud and Jennifer Harrison and follows 8 first year University students living in the same halls of residence, hence the name. Today they have released the song 'Flat 15B' which features in the show. This version stars some of the West ends finest including Olivia Moore, Alex Thomas-Smith, Sophie Isaacs, Millie O'Connell and Grace Mouat.

The show is expected to debut on stage next year with more details to be announced when we know when theatres can open their doors again.

There might not have been able to be a TONY awards this year, but we are not completely starved of theatre awards as the inaugral Antonyo awards have just been announced.

The Antonyo awards will celebrate the Black community in Broadway and Off-Broadway and will be held via a virtual ceremony that will be streamed on Youtube on June 19th. Presenters and performers include Audra McDonald, Tituss Burgess and Alex Newell. Nominees include TINA, Girl From The North Country and Jagged Little Pill for Best Musical

The Old Vic have announced their next streaming title. Mood Music played there in 2018 and will now be available to stream online from 7pm on Wednesday 8th July until Tuesday 14th July. Being completely honest, this was a show I didn't totally enjoy when I saw it in the theatre but am keen to see if it translates any better when watching at home.

Wales' Millennium Centre have announced that they will remain closed until January 2021. Due to the ongoing uncertainty caused by the global pandemic, managing director Matt Milsom has said with no guideline about when mass gatherings can resume, it was necessary to close to secure the future of the organisation. While West end theatres are currently closed until August, it does look increasingly possible theatres may not be able to reopen this side of Christmas.

The forthcoming touring production of 9 to 5 has been postponed until 2021. Due to start this year, it will now begin its run in Bristol on the 12th January. The West end production closed early due to the pandemic, but with no successive title in its home of the Savoy theatre, it is unclear what will play at the theatre when it reopens.

The winners of the Mercury Theatre and Perfect Pitch competition have been announced as Willy Mukendi, Joseph Riley and Millie Millington. The contest aimed to nurture the songwriting talents of people of any age or experience. The winning song 'Alone' was performed by Joseph Riley after being written by all three from separate parts of the UK. Many of us will know Willy as the runner of The Musical Theatre Appreciation Society. A big congratulations to all three.

It's the return of the weekly The Shows Must Go On series tonight, after a week off. Tonight's title is a good one - the NBC live version of The Wiz from 2015. Featuring a star studded cast including Queen Latifah, Amber Riley and Mary J Blige, this is the title I have been most excited to watch. Catch it from 7pm at for 48 hours only and come back tomorrow to see if it lived up to my pretty high expectations with my review.

Wicked icons Megan Hilty and Idina Menzel have reunited to perform a new rendition of 'For Good', one of the most beautiful songs fron the show. Megan originally performed alongside Idina when she played the understudy of Glinda, before her career took off and she blew us all away in Smash. Meanwhile, you would have to be living under a rock to not know about the incredible way Idina Menzel's career took off.

Watch their gorgeous reunion here:

And finally...

Writer and star of Waitress, Sara Bareilles, has released a new single. 'Little Voice' was originally recorded as a demo when she was 24, and despite being the title of one of her previous albums, was never released. It is now being used as the theme tune to the new TV series of the same name which Sara has produced. The show is said to be about finding your authentic voice in your 20s and is set to premiere on July 10th.

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