Sunday, May 23, 2010

Bits and Pieces for 05.23.10

Boy!  This week flew by, didn't it?

PLEASE take a moment to vote in this month's final poll, which closes next Sunday, May 30!



God of Carnage

Two Broadway shows announced their closing this week: the long-running, critically acclaimed production - and 2009 Tony winner for Best Play - God of Carnage. It was one of those plays, always on my list to see, but I just never got around to it.  Regional theatres, here it comes!  I guess I'll catch it out there somewhere.  The show will close June 6th.

A Little Night Music

The other, A Little Night Music seems both sad and inevitable.  Despite the New York Times' wholesale dismissal of the show, this is a case where the above-the-title stars more than earned their keep, and a supporting cast that was first-rate as well.  I still maintain that Catherine Zeta-Jones and Angela Lansbury are giving definitive performances as Desiree and Madame Armfeldt, respectively.  And to that end, it seems inevitable that the show is closing.  They were apparently hard pressed to find replacements that were up to the task.  (I would have loved to have seen what Gwenyth Paltrow and Blythe Danner might have done with the roles, as rumored).  What is sad is that I think, had this show and La Cage aux Folles swapped opening nights, the momentum might have favored Night Music.  Maybe, maybe not.  But now it just feels like they are throwing in the towel.  Imagine the rush to the BO should it win Best Revival, and/or Zeta-Jones and/or Lansbury wins the Tony!


Justin Barth (right) in Lend Me a Tenor

Broadway nearly lost two stars and the world a pop culture icon, when a New York to LA United airlines flight made an emergency landing in DC when a fire broke out in the cockpit.  On board, among the 100 passengers and crew were Lend Me a Tenor's Justin Bartha, his girlfriend, TV star and fashionista Ashley Olson and Jersey Boys' Jarrod Spector.  Thank God no one was injured and everyone made it safely to California.

I'm sure you read that Elie Wiesel objected to the use of himself as a character in Deb Margolin's play Imagining Madoff about the now jailed scam artist, who lost the fortunes of many, including Nobel Peace Prize winner Wiesel.  The play was to have premiered shortly in Washington, DC.  Ms. Margolin pulled the play, as "she was either unable or unwilling to make changes" to her play or the character in question. 

For an interesting and typically spot on discussion of this topic, please click here to read fellow Blogger Esther's take on the controversy.


Julie Taymor

Tony Award winning director Julie Taymor, most widely known for Disney's The Lion King, was honored by the New Dramatists Guild recently.  Following performances from The Lion King and a preview of a number from the much anticipated Spider-man: Turn Off the Dark, Taymor publicly admitted that 1) you can't to Spider-man half-assed and it will cost a fortune (rumored to be well over $50M already), and that 2)it will have to be a sellout for years to even think about recouping.  She's confident.  Let's hope she's right and she has another Lion King in the making.


Bobby Steggert

Congratulations to one of my favorite performers, Bobby Steggert, Tony nominee for his role in Ragtime, who will receive the second annual Dorothy Loudon Starbaby Award.  The award, named for the Broadway legend - called "Starbaby" by friends, will be given to Mr. Steggert in honor of both his performance in Ragtime and Yank! at the Theatre World Awards ceremony on June 8th.

10,000: Sometime during Thursday, this little blog got its 10,000th hit!  Thanks!  Now, if any of those translate into actual reading...
21: Days until the Tony Awards ceremony
3:  The number of new musicals opening within a week of each other (October 31 - November 7): The Scottsboro Boys, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, and Unchain My Heart: The Ray Charles Musical.  It'll feel like Spring!

And Happy Birthday last week to:

05/16: the late Henry Fonda
05/17: David Eigenberg
05/18: Robert Morse
05/19: the late Lorraine Hansberry
05/20: Tony Goldwyn
05/21: Paolo Montalban
05/22: the late Laurence Olivier

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