Goodbye Ben Platt, Groundhog Day, Bandstand, and Others…3 min read

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Ben Platt. Dear Evan Hansen.

Goodbye Ben Platt, and a Few Other Shows..

By Ross
There has been a lot of goodbyes being announced this week in the Broadway world. The musicals, Bandstand and Groundhog Day, which I both generally liked (click on every and all titles for my reviews), and Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812, which I thought was greatly over-rated will close shortly in the early days of September. On Your Feet!, the Broadway musical about the lives of music icon Gloria Estefan and Emilio Estefan, will also end its run at the Marquis Theatre on August 20 after 34 previews and 746 regular performances. That show I must admit I never saw, nor was I all that interested in seeing it.
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The beautiful set of Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812
Interestingly, the Broadway musical Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812 will close Sept. 3, following a turbulent couple of weeks. It’s no surprise after the debacle surrounding the recasting of the lead male, and the departure of its main draw, Josh Groban. Okieriete Onaodowan, a former Hamilton cast member and Groban’s replacement in the role of Pierre will finish out his run in the Great Comet Aug. 13. This would have been his earlier than first proposed and totally unsolicited final performance before Patinkin started his run, but all that changed when Patinkin pulled out due to the controversy swirling around his casting. Rightly so, although I must admit even I would have returned to see this musical with Patinkin in the part. Scott Stangland will play Pierre Aug. 15-20, with Malloy, who originated the role of Pierre in the musical’s Off Broadway premiere, stepping into the part for the final run of performances Aug. 22-Sept. 3. Many thought the show, beautifully designed by Tony Award winning Mimi Lien, could hold its own without the star power of Groban. It had a great amount of publicity before and after the Tony Awards, but they miscalculated and found themselves in trouble. It is unclear why a show that never saw an unprofitable week while Grobin was performing would so quickly fall apart, but the casting team mishandled the moment, and it, along with the show, collapsed in upon itself.
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Bandstand and Groundhog Day are both a bit of a surprise. The 2017 Olivier Award-winning musical Groundhog Day will end its Broadway run on Sunday, September 17, after 32 previews and 176 performances at the August Wilson Theatre. Three-time Tony nominee Andy Karl who plays the lead, weatherman Phil, a role he originated at the Old Vic Theatre in London suffered an infamous knee injury just days before opening night, but still managed to go on and get nominated. The handsome Karl who won the 2017 OlivierDrama Desk, and Outer Critics Circle Awards for Best Actor in a Musical, lost out to Ben Platt  at the Tonys. Karl will be greatly missed on the Broadway stage, not just for his boundless energy and handsome face, but he is a super talented leading man with star charisma.  But I’m sure he will be back. (for the full article, click here)
Groundhog Day August Wilson Theatre

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