Justin Long, Chita Rivera head (and head back) to Broadway
Long is set to play student to Jeff Goldblum (who replaces Alan Rickman) starting April 3 for an eight-week engagement of Theresa Rebeck's "Seminar" at the Golden Theatre.
The original cast -- which included Lily Rabe, Hamish Linklater, Jerry O'Connell and Hettienne Park -- will wrap their run April 1; Long will take over Linklater's role.
Rebeck's ("TV's Smash," the recent "Poor Behavior" at the Mark Taper Forum) "Seminar" centers on four would-be writers who sign up for a class with a famed novelist-turned-tutor, causing friendships and careers to flourish or flounder.
Long's film credits include "Dodgeball" and "He's Just Not That Into You." He is probably still best known for a series of Apple commercials.
Meanwhile, Broadway vet Rivera, 79, this fall will star in "The Mystery of Edwin Drood," the interactive stage play based on the unfinished Charles Dickens work of the same name.
Since Dickens died before penning the ending, the audience decides the killer in the musical murder mystery. The play was last staged on Broadway in the mid-'80s, and won five 1986 Tonys, including best musical.
Rivera was the first actress to play Anita in the 1957 original production of "West Side Story." She has also earned her fair share of Tonys for roles in "Kiss of the Spider Woman" and "The Rink"; her last turn on Broadway was in 2005's retrospective "Chita Rivera: The Dancer's Life."
Fortunately, both Rivera and Long don’t have to cross borders to perform. The Stage reported that actor Michael Sheldon, who was appearing in the West End production of “Three Days in May,” had his passport application rejected because “acting was not a proper job.”
Perhaps someone should alert the Tony Awards.
-- Jamie Wetherbe
Photo: Chita Rivera. Credit: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times