Va­ri­ety salutes the artists mak­ing waves in the the­ater world

Variety - - Broadway To Watch - By GOR­DON COX


Am­bas­sador The­atre Group

“I’m new to the in­dus­try and ap­pre­ci­ate the very warm wel­come,” says Lewin, who with pro­ducer Caskey heads up the North Amer­i­can branch of Am­bas­sador The­atre Group. This year alone ATG de­buted two no­tably ren­o­vated venues: Broad­way’s Lyric (first tenant: “Harry Pot­ter and the Cursed Child”) and Bos­ton’s Colo­nial (“Moulin Rouge!”). “I en­joy the ex­pec­ta­tion that comes with ‘the next show,’ whether my role is the­ater owner, pre­sen­ter or pro­ducer,” Caskey says.


Di­rec­tor, “Once on This Is­land”

Af­ter forg­ing a ca­reer as an ac­tor on stage (“Big River”) and screen (“Anger Man­age­ment”), Ar­den has made a name for him­self as a di­ver­sity-minded di­rec­tor. Fol­low­ing his well-re­ceived Deaf West re­vival of “Spring Awak­en­ing,” his “Once on This Is­land” sur­prised the in­dus­try last sea­son by tak­ing home the Tony. “I am so very proud to be among a com­mu­nity who has al­ways fought for in­clu­sive­ness and so­cial jus­tice,” he says.


Play­wright, “School Girls; Or, the African Mean Girls Play”

The ac­tress (“The Cu­ri­ous In­ci­dent of the Dog in the Night-time,” “An Oc­toroon”) and play­wright made a ma­jor splash with her play “School Girls; Or, the African Mean Girls Play.” It was such a hit for MCC that the non­profit is bring­ing it back for a re­turn run. “As a first-gen­er­a­tion Ghana­ian-amer­i­can who writes African com­edy, I am look­ing for­ward to adding to the con­ver­sa­tion of how the di­as­pora is re­flected in the­ater,” she says.


Pub­lisher, Broad­way Brief­ing Britten’s sim­ple, smart idea — a cu­rated ag­gre­ga­tion of news of in­ter­est to the the­ater in­dus­try, emailed daily — quickly turned into re­quired read­ing. Now he’s ex­pand­ing with an in­dus­try­fo­cused site, Broad­way News, while keep­ing the daily news­let­ter go­ing strong. “We imag­ine Broad­way Brief­ing as way for ev­ery­one in this in­dus­try to start their day on the same page, lit­er­ally and metaphor­i­cally — to re­in­force the strong sense of com­mu­nity on Broad­way,” he says.


Ac­tor, “Je­sus Christ Su­per­star”

The­ater fans al­ready knew Dixon as a Tony nom­i­nee (“Shuf­fle Along”) and as the guy in “Hamil­ton” who ad­dressed Mike Pence, but this year the ac­tor (“Power”) broke big with his stand­out (and Em­mynom­i­nated) per­for­mance as Ju­das in NBC’S “Je­sus Christ Su­per­star.” With his ca­reer on the rise, he’ll al­ways con­sider the stage home. “The the­ater com­mu­nity has taught me to be an artist and col­lab­o­ra­tor, a more ex­pan­sive hu­man be­ing,” he says.

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