Friday, November 13, 2009

Bits and Pieces for 11.13.09

Watch out for black cats and walking under ladders! It is Friday the 13th! Short column this week...

What You Might Have Missed This Week:

  • The November Poll is up and running. To your right... vote!
  • Glee Makes a Point with "Defying Gravity"
  • Off-Broadway Heats Up with 2 New Plays
  • Bonnie and Clyde is On the Radar
  • The Colors of Broadway
  • Sports on Broadway
  • And check out the "Blog Archive", too!

Another Op'ning, Another Show

Today, Friday the 13th, Irving Berlin's White Christmas opens at the Marquis Theatre. I guess since they already know they have hit on their hands, why be superstitious?

Lots of other shows have opened on the 13th of the month. Going back 15 years to 1994, 5 other musicals opened on the 13th - 3 of them in November: Billy Elliot (2008), Taboo (2003), and The Lion King (1997), and 2 in April: A Year with Frog and Toad (2003) and The Wild Party (2000). The most noteworthy play that I could find that opened on the 13th was The Little Dog Laughed (2006), and that was in November, too! 3 years flies by, huh?

Coming up one month from today: A Little Night Music opens Sunday, December 13. Let's hope that show has the luck of Billy Elliot and The Lion King.

Smoking Allowed

Caught this in an article from The Washington Post after googling Cate Blanchett in A Streetcar Named Desire. Seems that the actors on stage are all smoking real tobacco cigarettes, even though the Kennedy Center has a strict no smoking policy. Apparently, the rule does not apply to theatrical productions where the characters smoking is historically or thematically accurate. Even more interesting is that what the actors smoke is up to them, and this cast chose the real thing over herbal smokes. I bet the front rows love this!

Out with the Old...

I try not to be negative, but I take the departure of director Francesca Zambello from "Broadway-aimed" The First Wives Club as a good thing. Positive, if you will. While I am certain she has earned the critical praise she has gotten for her work in the international opera scene, she made a mess of Disney's The Little Mermaid, which closed after 2 years, good for most musicals, but not so much for Disney. I found that production absolutely boring to watch, and uncreative in getting the "under the sea" movement feel. I mean wheelies are great if you are a sand dweller, but fish and mermaids swim on all planes in the ocean, right? Someone should have taken her to see Finding Nemo: The Musical, a full-out Broadway show playing several times A DAY at Disney's Animal Kingdom. Her departure sounds like it could be their loss and, ultimately, their gain. And I'm super glad to see that another Rupert Holmes show might make it to Broadway, after all.

Extension Fever

Some good news on the theatre front: two shows announcing that they have been extended! And it couldn't happen to nicer, cooler people than Julie White, Justin Kirk, Mark-Paul Gosselaar and Carrie Fisher. Both The Understudy and Wishful Drinking were extended two weeks to January 17th

Have a great weekend! And please send in your comments! I love hearing from you and posting your thoughts - even when we don't agree! Jeff

(Photo from The Washington Post On Line)


  1. Actually, you could smell that cigarette smoke from a lot farther back the the first few rows. I was in the last row of the front section of the orchestra section, and I could smell it. I'm seeing it again next week- this time from the 3rd row- and I'm super excited, aside from being closer to the cigarette smoke, which I have no tolerance for. For Cate though, I'll suffer through it :)
    I'd really like to see The Understudy (if I hadn't seen Finian's on Wednesday, I'd have seen the Understudy, but I only had the one time slot left). Hopefully I'll get back to NYC in time to see it. Circle Mirror Transformation is another I'd like to see, and it was extended too, but probably not by enough. I'm heading back to NYC at the end of the month but just for the day and just to see The Royal Family.

  2. I've heard great things about The Understudy, and about The Royal Family. When you see it, write up a mini review and I'll post here if you want!



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