Sunday, April 4, 2010

Bits and Pieces for 04.04.10

Good news, bad news, sad news... which do you want first?

But before we start...


** - Read over these three blogs to help you decide on this month's poll!

Sad news first...


We knew her as Baby or Dainty June, but she was really June Havoc.  And despite how a certain musical depicted her, Ms. Havoc went on to a successful stage and film career.  A Tony nominee (for her play, Marathon '33), June Havoc starred and co-starred in many films and appeared on stages all across the country, including the national tour of Sweeney Todd as Mrs. Lovett in the early 1980's.  As a young child, of course, she was a headliner on the vaudeville circuit, at one time making more money than most adult performers.  Her sister, best known as Gypsy Rose Lee, she, and their mother, Rose, are immortalized in the musical, Gypsy.  Various reports have her passing away on March 29 at the age of 96 or 97.  Rest in Peace.

Bad news next...


Two shows have met their untimely deaths, just as the Broadway season is re-heating and sprinting toward the finish line.  Both The Miracle Worker and All About Me are closing today.  The latter was ravaged by critics who felt that individually Michael Feinstein and Dame Edna are just fine, but the pairing (along with a stupid plot contrivance) just didn't work.  The former got mostly mixed reviews - positives for stars Abigail Breslin and Alison Pill, not so nice notices for the awkward in the round staging by hot (and cooling rapidly) directorKate Whorisky.  Still, it is a shame when two shows with great potential don't live up to it.

Interesting (maybe)/Who cares (probably) news...


It is a shame on several levels that the "coming out" of two more celebrities is newsworthy.  Yes, this week, both Sean Hayes (Promises, Promises) and Ricky Martin (Les Miserables, the forthcoming Broadway revival of Evita) officially came out of the closet and announcing that they are both homosexual.  First of all, it is a shame that this has to be announced.  My dad doesn't announce, "I'm Troy Kyler, and I am a heterosexual."  Second, it is a shame because really very few people were surprised at all.  That is a shame because (myself included) people just assumed, based mostly on their stereotypical behavior that they were gay.  It couldn't have just been that Hayes was excellent at portraying a gay man on TV for years, or that Martin is just a very handsome guy who can sing and dance and relate to the ladies.  No.  Shame on all of us (myself included) who just assumed.  And third, it is a shame because the other immediate response following the "no duh" was "how will this effect their current projects?"  The fact is, it shouldn't.  Neither is selling or performing in a piece about being gay, gay sex or anything related, so who they share a bed with should have nothing to do with how their work is progressing.  And yes, that goes for Tiger Woods and who he sleeps with versus how he golfs, too.

And the great news...


It is a shame that the theatre community is actually justified in being surprised that next to normal recouped its investment.  Why?  Because in a perfect world, quality productions with quality books, scores, direction and performances should all recoup.  But even I, the biggest n2n fan on the planet, have to admit it didn't look good.  One:  The subject matter is difficult.  I mean singing and dancing about bi-polar disorder and other mental issues?  Really?  Two:  It is an original piece, based on an original idea.  Very few of those make it, especially in these based on a movie days.  Three:  The writers were unknown.  Now, people might give the next Yorkey/Kitt musical a try just because n2n was so fantastic.  Four:  It has no huge star power.  Granted, Alice Ripley is a pretty big Broadway name, now, but outside of New York, who has heard of her?  She's no Wolverine or Catherine Zeta-Jones, right?  Five:  Its off-Broadway run was not well-received, and it got out of town quickly.

And yet here we are... over a year ago, previews began.  It won three 2009 Tonys.  Its cast recirding is a best seller and in just over a week, it begins year two on Broadway.  Congratulations!  I guess this just proves that every once in awhile quality earns respect AND a little cash.

  • 0:  The number of days we have to wait for All About Me to close so that the theatre can be renamed for Stephen Sondheim!
  • 8: The number of days until I can spill my guts about what I thought of Million Dollar Quartet - it is killing me!
  • 29: The number of days until the 2010 Tony Award nominations are announced!

Happy Birthday Last week to:

3/28: Diane Wiest
3/29: Megan Hilty
3/30: Warren Beatty (Tony nominee for A Loss of Roses)
3/31: Christopher Walken
4/1: Debbie Reynolds
4/2: Linda Hunt
4/3: David Hyde Pierce

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