Lindsay Mendez to Star in Off-Broadway Revival of “Merrily We Roll Along”

Lindsay Mendez is rolling along

The 39-year-old half-Mexican American actress, singer and Broadway star has been cast in the highly anticipated off-Broadway revival of Merrily We Roll Along.

Mendez will play Mary and Jonathan Groff will play Franklin in the project, which will begin previews at New York Theatre Workshop on November 21 ahead of an official opening night on December 12.

The run is scheduled through January 8.

With a score by Stephen Sondheim and book by George FurthMerrily We Roll Along is based on a play by George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart, and features classic songs like “Old Friends,” “Not a Day Goes By,” and “Our Time.”

It tells the story of a trio of creative friends making their way in New York, and is famously told in reverse chronology.

Mendez won the “triple crown” (Tony, Drama Desk, and Outer Critics Circle Awards) for her performance in the 2018 Broadway revival of Carousel.

Mendez and Groff join the previously announced Daniel Radcliffe, who stars as Charley.

Presented in a special arrangement with Sonia Friedman Productions, the Menier Chocolate Factory (Artistic Director David Babani), and Patrick CatulloMerrily We Roll Along will be directed by Maria Friedman and choreographed by Tim Jackson.

The creative team for Merrily We Roll Along will include Catherine Jayes as music supervisor and Alvin Hough, Jr. as music director, with scenic & costume design by Soutra Gilmour, lighting design by Amith Chandrashaker, and sound design by Kai Harada.

Dave Anzuelo will serve as fight & intimacy director, with Jhanaë K-C Bonnick as stage manager.

Tickets will go on sale to the general public on Wednesday, September 21, at noon ET.

Raúl Esparza Among This Year’s Outer Critics Circle Awards Honorees

Raúl Esparza  is the (outer) critics choice

The 49-year-old Cuban American stage and television actor is among this year’s Outer Critics Circle Awards recipients, a collection of Broadway and Off Broadway ecipients that make up the organization’s first-ever slate of multiple honorees.

Raul Esparza

With the Tony Awards remaining a mere possibility this year, the 70th Annual Outer Critics Circle Awards took a different approach to an unusual, pandemic-shortened theater season: Instead of selecting traditional nominees with one winner from each category, the OCCnamed five honorees in each of its technical categories and up to six honorees in the acting categories. 

Esparza was named one of the honorees in the Outstanding Actor in a Playcategory for his acclaimed performance in Seared.

Esparza’s Searedco-star Krysta Rodriguezwas one of the honorees in the Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play category.

Matthew Lopez’s The Inheritance picked up an honoree designation for Outstanding New Broadway Play.

The Puerto Rican playwright penned the two-part play, which is set in New York three decades after the height of the AIDS epidemic.

John Ortiz was one of the honorees in the Outstanding Director of a Play for helming Halfway Bitches Go Straight to Heaven, while one of the play’s stars, Liza Colón-Zayas, was named an Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play honoree.

Karen Olivo picked up an honoree designation for Outstanding Actress in a Musical for her starring role in Moulin Rouge! 

Recalibrated to celebrate “widespread excellence in New York theater this season,” the OCC Awards – chosen by the official organization of writers on New York theatre for out-of-town newspapers and national publications – were announced by past honorees Kristin ChenowethBryan CranstonPatti LuPoneLin-Manuel Miranda, and Patrick Stewart.

The OCC is making a donation to The Actors’ Fundin support of its emergency relief efforts.

Here’s a look at the 2019-2020 Outer Critics Circle Award honorees:

OUTSTANDING NEW BROADWAY PLAY

Grand Horizons
Written by Bess Wohl

The Height of the Storm
Written by Florian Zeller
Translated by Christopher Hampton

The Inheritance
Written by Matthew Lopez

Linda Vista
Written by Tracy Letts

The Sound Inside
Written by Adam Rapp

OUTSTANDING NEW BROADWAY MUSICAL

Jagged Little Pill
Music by Alanis Morissette and Glen Ballard
Lyrics by Alanis Morissette
Book by Diablo Cody

Moulin Rouge!
Book by John Logan
Based on the 2001 Twentieth Century Fox Motion Picture written by Baz Luhrmann and Craig Pearce

Tina: The Tina Turner Musical
Book by Katori Hall
With Frank Ketelaar and Kees Prins

OUTSTANDING NEW OFF-BROADWAY PLAY

Cambodian Rock Band
Written by Lauren Yee

Greater Clements
Written by Samuel D. Hunter

Halfway Bitches Go Straight to Heaven
Written by Stephen Adly Guirgis

Make Believe
Written by Bess Wohl

Seared
Written by Theresa Rebeck

OUTSTANDING NEW OFF-BROADWAY MUSICAL

Darling Grenadine
Book, Music, and Lyrics by Daniel Zaitchik

Octet
Book, Music, and Lyrics by Dave Malloy

The Secret Life of Bees
Book by Lynn Nottage
Music by Duncan Sheik
Lyrics by Susan Birkenhead
Based on the novel by Sue Monk Kidd

Soft Power
Book and Lyrics by David Henry Hwang
Music and Additional Lyrics by Jeanine Tesori

A Strange Loop
Book, Music, and Lyrics by Michael R. Jackson

OUTSTANDING REVIVAL OF A PLAY
(Broadway or Off-Broadway)

Betrayal
Written by Harold Pinter

Fires in the Mirror
Written by Anna Deavere Smith

For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow Is Enuf
Written by Ntozake Shange

Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune
Written by Terrence McNally

A Soldier’s Play
Written by Charles Fuller

OUTSTANDING REVIVAL OF A MUSICAL
(Broadway or Off-Broadway)

Little Shop of Horrors
Book and Lyrics by Howard Ashman
Music by Alan Menken

The Unsinkable Molly Brown
Music and Lyrics by Meredith Willson
Book and New Lyrics by Dick Scanlan
Based on the Original Book by Richard Morris
Music Adapted by Michael Rafter

West Side Story
Music by Leonard Bernstein
Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
Book by Arthur Laurents
Based on a Conception by Jerome Robbins

JOHN GASSNER AWARD
(Presented for an American play, preferably by a new playwright)

Georgia Mertching Is Dead by Catya McMullen
Heroes of the Fourth Turning by Will Arbery
Our Dear Dead Drug Lord by Alexis Scheer
Pari sby Eboni Booth

OUTSTANDING BOOK OF A MUSICAL
(Broadway or Off-Broadway)
Diablo Cody, Jagged Little Pill
David Henry Hwang, Soft Power
Michael R. Jackson, A Strange Loop
Lynn Nottage, The Secret Life of Bees
Mark Saltzman, Romeo and Bernadette

OUTSTANDING NEW SCORE
(Broadway or Off-Broadway)
Susan Birkenhead and Duncan Sheik, The Secret Life of Bees
Ross Golan, The Wrong Man
Michael R. Jackson, A Strange Loop
Dave Malloy, Octet
Jeanine Tesori and David Henry Hwang, Soft Power

OUTSTANDING DIRECTOR OF A PLAY
David Cromer, The Sound Inside
Stephen Daldry, The Inheritance
Kenny Leon, A Soldier’s Play
Jamie Lloyd, Betrayal
John Ortiz, Halfway Bitches Go Straight to Heaven

OUTSTANDING DIRECTOR OF A MUSICAL
Stephen Brackett, A Strange Loop
Michael Mayer, Little Shop of Horrors
Diane Paulus, Jagged Little Pill
Alex Timbers,Moulin Rouge!
Ivo van Hove, West Side Story

OUTSTANDING CHOREOGRAPHER
Sidi Larbi Cherakoui, Jagged Little Pill
Raja Feather Kelly, A Strange Loop
Sonya Tayeh,Moulin Rouge!
Anthony Van Laast, Tina: The Tina Turner Musical
Travis Wall, The Wrong Man

OUTSTANDING ORCHESTRATIONS
Tom Kitt, Jagged Little Pill
Alex Lacamoire, The Wrong Man
Justin Levine, with Matt Stine, Katie Kresek, and Charlie Rosen,Moulin Rouge!
Christopher Nightingale, A Christmas Carol
Duncan Sheik and John Clancy, The Secret Life of Bees

OUTSTANDING ACTOR IN A PLAY
Ian Barford, Linda Vista
Edmund Donovan, Greater Clements
Raúl Esparza, Seared
Tom Hiddleston, Betrayal
Will Hochman, The Sound Inside
Jonathan Pryce, The Height of the Storm

OUTSTANDING ACTRESS IN A PLAY
Eileen Atkins, The Height of the Storm
Judith Ivey, Greater Clements
Joaquina Kalukango, Slave Play
April Matthis,Toni Stone
Mary-Louise Parker, The Sound Inside
Portia, Stew

OUTSTANDING FEATURED ACTOR IN A PLAY
David Alan Grier, A Soldier’s Play
John Benjamin Hickey, The Inheritance
Paul Hilton,The Inheritance
Samuel H. Levine, The Inheritance
John-Andrew Morrison, Blues for an Alabama Sky
Chris Perfetti, Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow

OUTSTANDING FEATURED ACTRESS IN A PLAY
Liza Colón-Zayas, Halfway Bitches Go Straight to Heaven
Montego Glover, All the Natalie Portmans
Marsha Mason,Little Gem
Krysta Rodriguez, Seared
Lois Smith, The Inheritance
Jennifer Van Dyck, The Confession of Lily Dare

OUTSTANDING SOLO PERFORMANCE
David Cale, We’re Only Alive For a Short Amount of Time
Laura Linney, My Name Is Lucy Barton
Aedin Moloney, Yes! Reflections of Molly Bloom
Deirdre O’Connell, Dana H.
Michael Benjamin Washington, Fires in the Mirror

OUTSTANDING ACTOR IN A MUSICAL
Jonathan Groff,Little Shop of Horrors
Joshua Henry, The Wrong Man
Adam Kantor, Darling Grenadine
Larry Owens, A Strange Loop
Isaac Powell, West Side Story
Aaron Tveit, Moulin Rouge!

OUTSTANDING ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL
Beth Malone, The Unsinkable Molly Brown
Janelle McDermoth, We’re Gonna Die
Karen Olivo, Moulin Rouge!
Shereen Pimentel, West Side Story
Elizabeth Stanley, Jagged Little Pill
Adrienne Warren, Tina: The Tina Turner Musical

OUTSTANDING FEATURED ACTOR IN A MUSICAL
Christian Borle,Little Shop of Horrors
Danny Burstein, Moulin Rouge!
Gus Halper, Sing Street
Jay Armstrong Johnson, Scotland, PA
Francis Jue, Soft Power
Daniel J. Watts, Tina: The Tina Turner Musical

OUTSTANDING FEATURED ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL
Eisa Davis, The Secret Life of Bees
Kathryn Gallagher, Jagged Little Pill
LaChanze, The Secret Life of Bees
Judy McLane, Romeo & Bernadette
Lauren Patten, Jagged Little Pill
Saycon Sengbloh, The Secret Life of Bees

OUTSTANDING SCENIC DESIGN
(Play or Musical)
Rob Howell, A Christmas Carol
Tim Mackabee, Seared
Derek McLane, Moulin Rouge!
Clint Ramos, Grand Horizons
Anthony Ward,The Height of the Storm

OUTSTANDING COSTUME DESIGN
(Play or Musical)
Vanessa Leuck, Emojiland
Jeff Mahshie, Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice
Mark Thompson, Tina: The Tina Turner Musical
Rachel Townsend & Jessica Jahn, The Confession of Lily Dare
Catherine Zuber, Moulin Rouge!

OUTSTANDING LIGHTING DESIGN
(Play or Musical)
Isabella Byrd, Heroes of the Fourth Turning
Heather Gilbert, The Sound Inside
Justin Townsend, Moulin Rouge!
Hugh Vanstone, A Christmas Carol
Hugh Vanstone, The Height of the Storm

OUTSTANDING PROJECTION DESIGN
(Play or Musical)
Luke Halls, West Side Story
Brad Peterson, Broadway Bounty Hunter
Lisa Renkel and Possible Productions, Emojiland
Aaron Rhyne, The Sound Inside
Hannah Wasileski, Fires in the Mirror

OUTSTANDING SOUND DESIGN
(Play or Musical)
Simon Baker, A Christmas Carol
Mikhail Fiksel, Dana H.
Peter Hylenski, Moulin Rouge!
Lee Kinney and Sanae Yamada, Is This A Room
Daniel Kluger, The Sound Inside

Trujillo Wins Outstanding Choreography Prize at Outer Critics Circle Awards

Sergio Trujillo is a Critics’ choice…

The Colombian choreographer earned Outstanding Choreography honors at this year’s Outer Critics Circle Awards.

Sergio Trujillo

Trujillo, a Tony Awards nominee this year, earned the recognition for his work on On Your Feet! The Emilio and Gloria Estefan Musical.

Meanwhile, Marco Ramirez won the John Gassner Award, which is presented for an American play, preferably by a new playwright, for penning The Royale.

The Latino playwright/author made his off-Broadway debut with the Lincoln Center Theater opening of the new drama about the early life of the boxer Jack Johnson.

The Outer Critics Circle’s prizes serve as an imperfect bellwether for the Tony Awards, since a number of significant titles in the Tony race – most notably Hamilton – weren’t eligible for the OCCs this year because they were recognized in prior incarnations and in previous years. Another Tony player, Shuffle Along, didn’t open in time to be considered by the OCCs.

OCC winners will receive awards at a May 26 ceremony at Sardi’s.

Here’s the full list of 2015-16 Outer Critics Circle Award winners:

OUTSTANDING NEW BROADWAY PLAY: The Humans
OUTSTANDING NEW BROADWAY MUSICAL: Bright Star
OUTSTANDING NEW OFF-BROADWAY PLAY: The Christians
OUTSTANDING NEW OFF-BROADWAY MUSICAL: Dear Evan Hansen
OUTSTANDING BOOK OF A MUSICAL (Broadway or Off-Broadway): Dear Evan Hansen
OUTSTANDING NEW SCORE (Broadway or Off-Broadway): Bright Star
OUTSTANDING REVIVAL OF A PLAY (Broadway or Off-Broadway): Long Day’s Journey Into Night
OUTSTANDING REVIVAL OF A MUSICAL (Broadway or Off-Broadway): She Loves Me
OUTSTANDING DIRECTOR OF A PLAY: Ivo van Hove, A View From the Bridge
OUTSTANDING DIRECTOR OF A MUSICAL: Michael Arden, Spring Awakening
OUTSTANDING CHOREOGRAPHER: Sergio Trujillo, On Your Feet!
OUTSTANDING SET DESIGN (Play or Musical): David Rockwell, She Loves Me
OUTSTANDING COSTUME DESIGN (Play or Musical): Jeff Mahshie, She Loves Me
OUTSTANDING LIGHTING DESIGN (Play or Musical): Justin Townsend, American Psycho the Musical
OUTSTANDING PROJECTION DESIGN (Play or Musical): Finn Ross, American Psycho the Musical
OUTSTANDING ACTOR IN A PLAY: Frank Langella, The Father
OUTSTANDING ACTRESS IN A PLAY: Jessica Lange, Long Day’s Journey Into Night
OUTSTANDING ACTOR IN A MUSICAL: Danny Burstein , Fiddler on the Roof
OUTSTANDING ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL: Cynthia Erivo, The Color Purple the Musical
OUTSTANDING FEATURED ACTOR IN A PLAY: Michael Shannon, Long Day’s Journey Into Night
OUTSTANDING FEATURED ACTRESS IN A PLAY (TIE VOTE): Pascale Armand, Eclipsed & Judith Light, Thérèse Raquin
OUTSTANDING FEATURED ACTOR IN A MUSICAL: Christopher Fitzgerald, Waitress
OUTSTANDING FEATURED ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL: Jane Krakowski, She Loves Me
OUTSTANDING SOLO PERFORMANCE: James Lecesne, The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey
JOHN GASSNER AWARD: Marco Ramirez, The Royale
SPECIAL ACHIEVEMENT AWARD: James Houghton, Signature Theatre Company