Sunday, June 27, 2010

Bits and Pieces for 06.27.10

Here's an (almost) all "by the numbers" edition of this weekly blog!



In my survey of the best Broadway plays of the decade, I missed one completely when compiling my list.  I do not negate the 20 I've already chosen, but this was a special play that is deserving of much more attention than it got (it opened just before the big strike a few years ago, and never regained momentum).  Let's call it number

10B.  Is He Dead?:  A play that is more than 100 years old is nothing.  But an over 100 year old play by none other than Mark Twain is newsworthy.  And this surprisingly funny farce/comedy was a riot, due in large part to both the writer, whose comedy chops are undisputed, and a Broadway cast full of Broadway stars.  Norbert Leo Butz and the likes of Jenn Gambatese, David Pittu and John McMartin  came together to make a mistaken-identity play feel fresh and alive.  Melodrama hasn't played this well since Snidely Whiplash!  And Butz in a dress proves that the old drag as disguise bit can be fresh and funny in the right hands.

  • $1.015M: The amount of money Broadway Bares XX: Strip-opoly made for BC/EFA!

  • 519: The number of performances of the revival of Hair, not including 29 previews.  The show closed in the black! 
  • 101: The number of performances of the 6-time Tony winning play, RED, not including 22 previews. The show closed in the black!  But who cares?  No one got to see it.  That is a sad shame.
  • 74: The number of performances of the review Sondheim on Sondheim, not including 38 previews. The show closed after a two week extension, and whether is made back its investment is unclear given that the Roundabout Theatre Company is a non-profit.

  • 65: The number of days before the 2-CD Orginal Broadway Cast Recording of Sondheim on Sondheim is released to the public.  While the final track listing is listed on, the real final track listing has not been decided.  At issue: just how much of Mr. Sondheim's narration will be included, which seems to imply that the actual song list should be complete.
  • 21/24: The number of days left to catch Alice Ripley in next to normal/the number of performances she is scheduled to play between now and July 18th, her departure date.

  • 9:  The number of fewer minutes audiences are seeing of Disney's The Lion King.  Gone is "The Morning Report."  Bad news for Zazu.  Even worse news for theatre goers.  Not only is the show shorter, but despite have made its money back more than a decade ago and discounts few and far between, producers will NOT be reducing the ticket price proportionally to the cut in run time.  Their press release says that cutting the show keeps it fresh for "today's audiences."  Hmmm.
  • 8: The number of performances left of Next Fall.  See it if you can.  You'll be moved, you'll laugh, and you'll probably leave having a huge fight with your companion!

Happy Birthday last week to:
06/20: Nicole Kidman, actress, The Blue Room
06/21: Judy Holliday, actress, Bells Are Ringing
06/22: Cyndi Lauper, actress, The Threepenny Opera
06/23: Bob Fosse, director/choreographer, Pippin
06/24: Walter Willison, actor, Grand Hotel: The Musical
06/25: Hunter Foster, actor, Million Dollar Quartet
06/26: Kevin Adams, lighting designer, American Idiot

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