‘Twas a tough week on Broadway, theatre fans.  Two shows actually announced that they will close. The new (and very funny) musical First Date, starring Tangled and NBC’s Chuck star Zachary Levi and actress Krysta Rodriguez (Addams Family, NBC’s Smash) will play its last performance January 5 at the Longacre. By the closing date, the musical will have played 34 previews and 174 regular performances.  A more rapid shuttering will happen to A Time to Kill, the first ever adaptation of a John Grisham novel for the stage. The play will have its last performance at the Golden on November 17, less than one month after its official opening on October 20.   A bright spot: you can hear cast members discuss the show, including Tony winner Tonya Pinkins, on this week’s episode of Broadway Names with Julie James, On Broadway, Ch. 72 or on your own time, On Demand.  Check out On Broadway for tune-in times and more details. While you’re at it, feel free to listen in on an episode with Krysta Rodriguez including fun music from her show, First Date – it’s also On Demand!

A slight push-back for The Bridges of Madison County, the new musical by Tony winners Jason Robert Brown and Marsha Norman.  They’ll now begin previews January 17 at the Schoenfeld – rather than the previously announced January 13 – to accommodate a later start date for rehearsals.  They’ll still keep their opening date intact as February 27. The musical is starring 4-time Tony nominee Kelli O’Hara (Nice Work, Light in the Piazza) and Steven Pasquale (Reasons to Be Pretty, TV’s Rescue Me).

Congratulations Megan Hilty!  The beautiful Broadway and TV star married Brian Gallagher (Jekyll & Hyde) last weekend at The Venetian in Las Vegas wearing a gorgeous Badgley Mischka gown.  The happy couple announced the nuptials, which included just immediate family, to friends via email. What did part of the email state? “We decided we couldn’t wait to be Mr. and Mrs. Gallagher so we skipped the whole engagement thing.  We’re very sorry we didn’t get to celebrate with you, but we’d like to,” they said.  Apparently separate receptions are being planned for Seattle, Los Angeles and New York.  Many happy returns to the newlyweds!

Back here on Broadway, previews began this week for Billy Crystal in his Tony-winning 700 Sundays at the Imperial Theatre for a very limited 9-week engagement.  Official opening coming up November 13  playing through January 5.

And down in Washington, D.C., performances began for the pre-Broadway world-premiere of If/Then, the new musical by Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize-winning Next to Normal writers Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey.  I’m on the edge of my chair for this one, kids.  They play the National Theatre through December 8 before heading to the Richard Rodgers for previews beginning March 5. An official opening is set for March 27.  There’s a great cast in place, led by Wicked Tony winner Idina Menzel’s triumphant return to Broadway (also the Snow Queen in Disney’s upcoming Frozen)!

Alright, that’s my dish for this week! For more inside details on the latest tune in to “Broadway Buzz” every day On Broadway, Ch. 72. Watch this space next week for all the biggest stories!

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