Broadway Buzz with Julie James: Matilda gets two cast recordings, Once is giving away prizes to fans, and more!

Hello Broadway-nation! Here’s a quick look at the big stories making the theatre world go-round:

This week Zachary Levi (NBC’s Chuck) & Krysta Rodriguez (Addams Family, NBC’s Smash) hit the studio with the cast of First Date to record their new cast album, due out this fall.

Big news that Matilda The Musical will get a Broadway cast recording – very exciting since many shows that originate in London often do not get a separate Broadway version – so as Tony nominees Bertie Carvel (Miss Trunchbull) & Lauren Ward (Miss Honey) prepare to depart the company next month, it will be great to have them preserved on CD. The street date is Oct. 22, so listen for both new albums soon on SiriusXM, Ch. 72!

The Tony & Grammy Award winning Once is thanking the show’s loyal fans with “ONCE WEEK” Tuesday, August 20 through Friday, August 23. Fans are invited to come to the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre (242 West 45th Street) daily for free events, prizes and a chance to win FREE tickets to the show through a lottery giving away 20 free tickets per performance! Can’t make it to the theatre? Exclusive online contests will take place each day of the week. Use #OnceWeek on Facebook & Twitter to join the fun!

Welcome to the Broadway boards to everyone at Soul Doctor, which opened Thursday night at Circle in the Square Theatre. The show tells the real-life journey of the so-called “Rock Star Rabbi” Schlomo Carlebach, including his friendship with the late Nina Simone.

A bunch of cool casting news this week: Emmy winning actor Tom Skerritt will make his Broadway debut this fall in the upcoming stage adaptation of John Grisham’s A Time To Kill, the first time a Grisham work has been transferred to a stage version. Tony Nominee Jessie Mueller (Clear Day, Edwin Drood) will portray icon Carole King in the new world premiere musical Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, which lands at the Stephen Sondheim Nov. 21, earlier than originally announced. Tony winner Christine Ebersole joins a bevy of other Broadway performers (Jessica Lange, Patti LuPone, Denis O’Hare) on the next season of “American Horror Story: Coven” playing what creator Ryan Murphy calls a “Glenda the Good Witch kinda gal.” And according to casting notices posted this week, The Last Ship, the new musical with a score by Grammy winning legend Sting, book by Tony winners John Logan (Red) & Brian Yorkey (who also won a Pulitzer for Next To Normal) is aiming for an arrival on Broadway in October 2014, with direction by Tony winner Joe Mantello (Wicked) & Choreography by Steven Hoggett (Once, Peter & The Starcatcher).

See you on the Great White Way and next week with more of the Broadway Buzz!

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