View Comments Here’s a quick roundup of stories you may have missed today. Hamilton Star Mandy Gonzalez Releases Single by Lin-Manuel MirandaHamilton’s Angelica Schuyler (and In the Heights’ original Nina), Mandy Gonzalez, today released “Fearless,” the title song to her new album, which is scheduled to drop on October 20. “Fearless” is written by Lin-Manuel Miranda, who wrote the Tony-winning musicals that put Gonzalez on the map. The seven-track album bridging pop and R&B features a powerful duet with Christopher Jackson, the Hamilton Tony nominee who appeared opposite Gonzalez during In the Heights. For fans of that musical, the album will feature an intimate new version of her signature song, “Breathe.” Pre-order today to receive a download of the fierce title track.Anastasia Star Ramin Karimloo Will Honor Ahrens & Flaherty at Primary Stages GalaRamin Karimloo is among a starry group set to offer performances and tributes at the 2017 gala for off-Broadway’s Primary Stages. Karimloo, who stars in Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty’s newest Broadway musical, Anastasia, will honor the Tony-winning songwriters at Tribeca 360º on October 16. In addition to the previously announced Tony-winning Once on This Island star Lea Salonga, the evening with feature Liz Callaway, Quentin Earl Darrington, Terrence McNally and Margo Seibert. Frozen writer Kristen Anderson-Lopez will also appear with her In Transit collaborators James-Allen Ford, Russ Kaplan and Sara Wordsworth.The SpongeBob Cast Album Is Going VinylMasterWorks Broadway’s cast recording for the upcoming Great White Way musical SpongeBob SquarePants is getting the vinyl treatment! Get ready to hear original tunes from Sara Bareilles, Cyndi Lauper, Panic! at the Disco, Plain White T’s, They Might Be Giants and more. The album features performances from the cast of the musical’s world premiere engagement at Chicago’s Oriental Theatre, including Ethan Slater in the title role with Lilli Cooper as Sandy Cheeks, Danny Skinner as Patrick and Tony nominee Gavin Lee as Squidward. The vinyl album will be released on November 3, just three days before SpongeBob SquarePants begins perfs at the Palace Theatre on Broadway.Kristin Chenoweth Wrote a Perfect Song About Her DogTony winner Kristin Chenoweth has combined our love of original tunes and cuddly canines in a new song! Obedience School, co-written with Chenoweth’s acclaimed musical director Mary-Mitchell Campbell, follows Chenoweth’s loving adventures with her overly eager pup Thunder. Listen below to the charming tune which Chenoweth is dedicating to the important work of the ASPCA. Ben Platt to Join Gavin Creel to Relive Embarrassing Onstage Moments for a Good CauseDear Evan Hansen Tony winner Ben Platt has joined the lineup for the benefit evening Let Me Try That Again, featuring Broadway stars sharing embarrassing onstage moments and then redeeming themselves by re-creating them. Platt joins the previously announced Tony-winning Hello, Dolly! featured player Gavin Creel for the cabaret that will take place on October 15 at 9:30pm at Feinstein’s/54 Below. Susan Blackwell is set to host the event that was co-founded by Junk star Steven Pasquale. The evening will benefit The Performing Arts Project.Cast Album of Celebrated Off-Broadway Musical Hadestown Is ReleasedHadestown, the new musical which debuted with New York Theater Workshop in 2016, releases its original cast recording today! Warner Music Group, in collaboration with Ghostlight Records, produces the album, which was recorded live during the show’s off-Broadway engagement. The new musical written by Anaïs Mitchell and directed by Tony-nommed Great Comet genius Rachel Chavkin, follows Orpheus’ mythical quest to overcome Hades and regain the favor of his one true love, Eurydice. The cast was led by Patrick Page as Hades alongside Damon Daunno as Orpheus and Nabiyah Be as Euridice, with Amber Gray, Shaina Taub, Chris Sullivan, Jessie Shelton and Lulu Fall. The cast will be live-streaming a listening party from Hadestown’s Facebook page on October 9, so be sure to tune in for a taste of this original score!
Jason Gotay (Photo: Emilio Madrid for Broadway.com) Strong-voiced star Jason Gotay has been cast as Che in New York City Center’s upcoming special gala staging of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s Tony-winning musical Evita. The previously announced production, directed by Sammi Cannold, music-directed by Kristen Blodgette and co-choreographed by Valeria Solomonoff and Emily Maltby, will run for two weeks from November 13-24.Gotay is a City Center alum who appeared earlier this year in the Encores! production of Call Me Madam. He has been seen on Broadway in Bring It On The Musical and Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark and off-Broadway in The Anthem and F#%king Up Everything.Gotay joins a previously announced cast that includes Solea Pfeiffer as Eva and Maia Reficco as Young Eva, along with Philip Hernandez as Magaldi and Enrique Acevedo as Perón, with an ensemble comprising Sergio Martín Almirón, Fabio Angelo, Isa Antonetti, Leah Barsky, Kristina Bermudez, Edgar Cavazos, Alexander Gil Cruz, Rebecca Eichenberger, Jennifer Florentino, David Michael Garry, Mariano Loguidice, Robin Masella, Phoebe Garcia Pearl, Patricia Phillips, Guillermina Quiroga, Maria Cristina Slye, Lucas Thompson, Daniel Torres and Ricardo A. Zayas.Cannold’s vision for Evita uses dynamic visual storytelling and an original approach to excavate new depths within Webber and Rice’s text, with Reficco playing Perón from ages 15-20 and Pfeiffer portraying her from ages 20-33. View Comments
After back-to-back rookie of the year campaigns, Westin Abbey (left) was champion of the EQ Cylinder Heads Southern Region for IMCA Sunoco Stock Cars. He is pictured with IMCA President Brett Root. (Photo by Bruce Badgley, Motorsports Photography)COMANCHE, Texas – After earning rookie of the year awards each of the last two seasons, Westin Abbey took the logical step up in 2016.The 16-year-old from Comanche, Texas, became the youngest driver to win a regional IMCA championship, topping the EQ Cylinder Heads Southern Region for IMCA Sunoco Stock Cars.Abbey, the youngest of four brothers to have made names for themselves on Lone Star State dirt ovals, won 14 of his 54 starts this season. He was eighth in the national points race with Boyd Raceway track and Allstar Performance State championships to his credit.“We didn’t plan on racing for points but we got caught up in it,” said Abbey, a junior at Comanche High School. “The second year of experience really made a big difference.”The regional Hobby Stock rookie of the year in 2014, Abbey had won three features in his first Stock Car campaign. He won six straight times between June 4 and June 24 this season.“This was a great year. It was pretty cool to win 14 times compared to last year,” said Abbey, also first to the checkers in the post-point season Showdown special at Kennedale Speedway Park.His three older brothers are best known for their Scoggin-Dickey Parts Center success, Steven as a rookie of the year, Dean as a two-time national champion and Jeffrey as this year’s national and IMCA Speedway Motors Super Nationals fueled by Casey’s champion.Westin, however, won’t be making the switch to an open-wheeled division in the near future.“I like the Hobby Stock and the Stock Car better. The Stock Car races smoother than a SportMod. It just handles way different,” Abbey stated. “I drove a SportMod in the middle of the year and didn’t like it as much.”He usually traveled with Jeffrey – they won features on the same night seven times this year – and Abbey is looking forward to his second Super Nationals.“This year was the first time I’d ever been to Super Nationals and it was a lot of fun, even with all the rain,” he said. “It was fun being one of the faster cars there.”Starts: 54Wins: 14Additional Top Fives: 23 HIS CREW: Father Randy and brothers Dean and Jeffrey.HIS SPONSORS: Abbey Racing of Comanche; TM Racing of Keller; Swenson Shocks of San Antonio; 517 Designs of Whitney; Tumbleweed BarBQue of Stephenville; KS Engineering of Albert Lea, Minn.; and Dynamic Drivelines of Des Moines, Iowa.