Williamstown to Broadway

williamstown theatre festival exterior

From here to to Broadway.

Something to consider adding to your list of stuff to do this summer: a visit to Williamstown Theater Festival. You might just see the next Broadway hit.

The Tony Award nominees were announced Tuesday morning and the The Visit -- which opened at WTF last season and transferred to Broadway -- took five nominations. The Visit stars Chita Rivera and Rodger Rees, with a book by Terrance McNally and music and lyrics by Kander and Ebb (Cabaret, Chicago), so it has a great pedigree, and the show was many years in the making.

But it's also part of a recent trend of Williamstown launching Broadway shows.

In 2013 Jason Robert Brown's The Bridges of Madison County debuted at Williamstown before transferring to Broadway. While its run was short, the show picked up four Tony nominations.

Other Williamstown to Broadway transfers include Bradley Cooper's turn in The Elephant Man, and the recently opened Living on Love, with Renee Fleming and Anna Chlumsky.

And this summer? Williamstown's 2015 season includes a world premier of a new musical drama by Dominique Morisseau, Paradise Blue, starring Blair Underwood, De'Adre Aziza, and Andre Holland. It's also set for a world premier of Off the Main Road by Pulitzer Prize-winner William Inge, in a production that stars Kyra Sedgwick. And other productions include stars such as Audra McDonald and Cynthia Nixon.

Other Capital Region 2015 Tony connections

+ Schenectady drama teacher Bill Ziskin has been nominated for a Tony for Excellence in Theater Education.

+ Capital Region native Gabby Pizzolo, who made her Broadway debut as Matilda last year, is an understudy in Fun Home, a musical based on a graphic novel by Alison Bechdel, which picked up twelve Tony nominations Tuesday.

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