There are too many things that need to be discussed this week to write about just one topic.
1) Jonathan Groff is joining the cast of the off-Broadway musical sensation Hamilton. This news is everything to me for a few different reasons. 1- I LOVE Jonathan Groff. I have seen him in at least 7 different live productions over the years, some more than once, sat front row at his Joe’s Pub solo concert in 2010, and have been following his recently super successful film and TV career since it began. In addition to being very talented he is the nicest guy you will ever meet. 2- I was already SO excited by all the buzz surrounding Hamilton. Lin-Manuel Miranda (In the Heights) wrote and is starring in this new hip-hop musical about founding father Alexander Hamilton. It opened at the Public Theater last week to rave reviews, the rest of the Off-Broadway run has already sold out, and a Broadway transfer has already been announced for this summer. Theater fan favorite Brian D’Arcy James is currently playing King George but will be departing this weekend to star in the new Broadway musical Something Rotten, and Groff will be taking over. It is suspected Groff will transfer along with the rest of the cast, which would be his first appearance on Broadway since he departed his Tony-nominated run in Spring Awakening in 2008. It is unclear if a third season renewal of Looking would affect this, but I may or may not already be looking at plane tickets to NYC. Lin-Manuel Miranda has made it known that he is a big fan and friend of Groff, and even started the nickname “Groffsauce” for him on Twitter, so I should have known I could count on him. Thank you, Lin-Manuel Miranda. You are doing God’s work.
2) Lady Gaga is going to star in American Horror Story next season. I was shocked by this news for about a second before realizing it makes more sense than perhaps anything ever. I’ll admit, Freak Show lost me big-time towards the end. In my opinion, it unraveled much faster than the previous seasons and suffered from serious storytelling and lack of focus problems. I was disappointed enough that I was considering not returning for next season, but I love me some Lady Gaga far too much to not come back now. She’s going to be awesome, she’s going to get the second quarter of her inevitable EGOT, and she is a great choice to fill the void left by Jessica Lange. The theme of the season is apparently American Horror Story: Hotel, and I’m basically imagining it as an extended version of the Angel episode “Are You Now Or Have You Ever Been.” Damn you, Ryan Murphy, just when I think I’m out you suck me right back in.
3) I was thrilled to read this morning that author John Green’s first novel, Looking for Alaska, is finally being made into a film by the same writers and producers who adapted The Fault in Our Stars and the upcoming Paper Towns. Looking for Alaska has always been my favorite John Green book, and I’ve been waiting for this adaptation for a long time. I am pulling for Dylan O’Brien as Miles. He would be perfect.
4) I was so sad to say goodbye to one of my favorite sitcoms ever this week, Parks and Recreation. I will miss Pawnee, I will miss these wonderful characters, and I will miss their relationships. I mean, the way Ben looks at Leslie…who could ever want more? I thought the finale was excellent and ranks amongst the better series finales I’ve seen, and I don’t know that it’s entirely hit me yet that we won’t have a new episode next week. In the meantime, I will live happily in denial and rewatch some of my favorite moments from the series.
5) Now for a bit of shameless self-promotion…I am thrilled to have been chosen to write about TV as a contributor to Entertainment Weekly’s Community blog. For my first assignment I am writing nostalgia recaps of an old favorite show of mine, Wonderfalls. The first one is available to read here. I hope you will check it out!