Theatre News: MJ, Teachers Night on Broadway, The Actors Studio, Ragtime and The Wiz

Photo credit: Emilio Madrid

Ten year old triple threat Bane Griffith joined the cast of MJ in the role of ‘Little Michael’ beginning last night, Tuesday, January 31, sharing the role with Christian Wilson. Originally from Houston, Texas, Bane will make his Broadway debut in the production. He replaces Corey J. Bane will also make his television debut this year on an Emmy award winning sitcom. He is ecstatic to join the cast of MJ and to honor the “King of Pop,” Michael Jackson.

The Broadway League is set to hold Teachers Night on Broadway. Five-hundred New York City public school educators will gather on February 5th to attend the evening performance of Chicago. A press conference will be held in Times Square prior to the performance to acknowledge support of Broadway Bridges from UFT, the New York City Department of Education and the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment.

The Actors Studio announced two free events open to the public. First a staged reading of Lyle Kessler’s If You Love Me February 17-18 at 7 PM. The reading will be directed by Bobby Moresco and stars Chazz Palminteri. Next the company will then host The Actors Studio Short Film Festival on February 25 at 3 PM and 7 PM. Each program will be followed by a talk-back and Q&A with the filmmakers, guided by the moderator.

Originally scheduled for 2020 but postponed by COVID, the Broadway reunion concert of Ragtime, benefiting The Entertainment Community Fund, now has a 2023 date: March 27. Most of the original Broadway cast of the Ahrens and Flaherty musical reunite to perform including Audra McDonald, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Judy Kaye and Peter Friedman. Stepping in for the late Marin Mazzie as Mother will be Tony winner Kelli O’Hara.

Also featured will be Mark Aldrich, Shaun Amyot, John D. Baker, Dara Paige Bloomfield, Sandra M. Bonitto, Mark Cassius, Jamie Chandler-Torns, Albert Christmas, Dioni Michelle Collins, Jim Corti, Pierce Cravens, Larry Daggett, Bernard Dotson, Roberta Duchak, Donna Dunmire, Adam Dyer, Duane Martin Foster, Patty Goble, Darlene Bel Grayson, Elisa Heinsohn, David Hess, Rosena Hill, Adam Hunter, Mark Jacoby, Anne Kanengeiser, Mary Sharon Komarek (Dziedzic), Joe Langworth, Joe Locarro, Dan Manning, Michael X. Martin, Mary McCandless, Allyson Tucker Mitchell, Anne L. Nathan, Monica Patton (Richards), Lynette Perry, Orgena Rose, Gordon Stanley, Steven Sutcliffe, Todd Thurston, Vanessa Townsell-Crisp, Rema Webb, Leon Williams, Bruce Winant, and Eric Jordan Young.

The performance is currently sold out. Limited sponsorship opportunities are available by contacting Douglas Ramirez at For ticket holders who have retained tickets originally purchased in 2020, visit

The Wiz which is headed back to Broadway in the spring of 2024. It will first start with a national tour in fall of 2023 in Baltimore (where the original musical debuted in 1974). The show just announced an award-winning design team, including Oscar-winning Black Panther production designer Hannah Beachler and Emmy-winning Watchmen costume designer Sharen Davis. The design team also includes lighting design by Ryan J. O’Gara (Thoughts of a Colored Man) and wig design by Academy Award-winning Mia Neal (Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom). Casting has yet to be announced. The show will feature a book by William F. Brown with a Tony Award-winning score by Charlie Smalls (and others). The director will be Schele Williams (The Notebook, revival of Disney’s Aida), choreographer JaQuel Knight (Beyonce’s “Single Ladies”), Amber Ruffin (additional material), and Joseph Joubert (music supervision, orchestrations, & music arrangements). The production is described as a 21st Century Wiz combining elements of ballet, jazz and modern pop.

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