Sunday, October 10, 2010

TheatreScene: October 4 - 10

Poll Results: When September Ends
LOGOS: Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown
LONDON THEATRE: Lend Me a Tenor: The Musical?
LOGOS: The Scottsboro Boys
Broadway Crossword by Blog #3, Part IV
Blogjack: The Theatre Community Rallies Against Gay Suicide


  • 2009: Hard to believe it has been a whole year already, but Carrie Fischer's one-woman show, Wishful Drinking opened on this date a year ago!


HAPPY BIRTHDAY: Liev Schreiber, Actor (A View from the Bridge)


  • 1789: The Oldest Opening of the Week: (Yes, you read that right!) Shakespeare's The Merry Wives of Windsor (and still a revival) opened 221 years ago at the John Street Theatre.  This theatre was built before this was even a country!  Built in 1767, and demolished in 1797, the theatre almost exclusively did Shakespeare's plays.  The one play not by the Bard was called The Critic, but that didn't kill the theatre, the resident company moved and the feed store next door needed the space.
  • 1955: The Diary of Anne Frank opened at the Cort Theatre.  It went on to win the Tony and Pulitzer.
  • 1960: Becket opened, starring none other than Laurence Olivier and Anthony Quinn.
  • 1977, 1995, 2005: Revivals of Hair (flop), Company (limited run), and A Chorus Line (hit) all opened on this date.
  • 2008: 13 opened two years ago.  I guess Kendra is 15 now?
  • You'd think that the item below this one would be the biggest news of the day, but I think musical theatre fans might just be more excited about this gem:  Carrie: The Musical will be getting a New York revival, courtesy of MCC Theatre, during the 2011 - 2012 season, at off-Broadway's Lucille Lortel Theatre.  Reserve early, folks!  I guess we are all going to see just how weak Eve was... again...
  • I am surprised that some of my blogging friends were surprised at the news that A Little Night Music was closing January 9.  Considering it was announced last week that the revival of House of Blue Leaves was taking the Kerr in the early spring, I'm not surprised at all.  The good news, fans, is that both La Peters and La Stritch will play through to the bitter end.
  • Another mystery solved: Sister Act: The Musical will begin previews on March 24, opening April 20, 2011 at the Broadway Theatre.  Man, they are lining up!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY: Glynis Johns, Actor (Original Cast - A Little Night Music)

  • 1919:  Was there a sequel?  The most curious title of the week: Hitchy-Koo [1919] opened on this date in 1919 at the Liberty Theatre for 56 performances, and featured Chief Eagle Horse.


  • 1974: Mack and Mabel opened at the Majestic Theatre, starring Bernadette Peters and Robert Preston.  This Jerry Herman tuner has been revised and announced for revival so many times...will it ever work?
  • 2009: Just a year ago, melancholy Jude Law opened as the melancholy Dane, Hamlet.
  • Mayor Bloomberg announced that $100M was marked for a performing arts center at the World Trade Center site.  I hope, sincerely, that this, like everything else associated with the site just happens, without argument or fanfare.


HAPPY BIRTHDAY: Michael Arden, Actor (The Times They Are A-Changin', bare, Aspects of Love)



  • 1982:  "Now and Forever" read the ads, and they were close to right.  On this date, Cats opened at the Winter Garden Theatre, where it would stay for 7,485 performances.  The show earned 11 Tony nominations, winning 7, including Best Musical, and one for Betty Buckley's Grizabella turn.  More interesting is the fact that its two biggest attributes - the set and the dancing - went Tony-less!
  • The Public Theater is on a roll.  Its production of Gatz, where the cast reads the entire novel The Great Gatsby, word for word is completely sold out.  Who says literature isn't entertaining?


  • Time Stand Still re-opens at the Cort Theatre, with Christina Ricci taking over for Alicia Silverstone.
  • The Scottsboro Boys and Driving Miss Daisy begin previews today on Broadway.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY: Toni Braxton, Singer, Actress (Disney's Beauty and the Beast)

  • 1979: Sugar Babies opened at the Mark Hellinger Theatre, starring Mickey Rooney, Ann Miller and Ann Jillian.  It ran for 1,208 performances, earning 8 Tony nominations, including Best Musical, and nods for Rooney and Miller.  The show also toured with Rooney and Miller for several years, making it one of the biggest hits of the season.


  • 1998: Swan Lake opened on Broadway.  It was the talk of the town as the ballet was modernized and the swans were gender-bent.  But the real news, ultimately, was that for the first time, a non-musical won Tonys for Best Direction of a Musical and Best Choreography, both by Matthew Bourne.  Tongues wagged, and the start of the campaign for Special Event Tonys began.  The same production is still touring, and was recently in the NYC area!
  • 2009: This time last year, Rosemary Harris, Tony Roberts and Jan Maxwell opened the revival of The Royal Family.
  • The off-Broadway smash hit, Our Town, directed by and originally starring David Cromer, announces that the show recouped its investment.  This version of the play also marked its longest professional run ever.

  • Actress Leigh Zimmerman begins performances as Velma Kelly in Chicago.  Zimmerman also appeared in The Will Rogers Follies and the original revival cast of Chicago, as Go-to-Hell Kitty.  Welcome back, Leigh!
  • FINALLY!  Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown begins previews at the Belasco Theatre.  No word on whether Patti LuPone has scared David Belasco's ghost out of the place yet!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY: Sigourney Weaver, Actress (Sex and Longing, original cast, Hurlyburly)

  • 1946: The Iceman Cometh a now classic and many times revived play by Eugene O'Neill, opened at the Martin Beck Theatre and ran for a mere 136 performances.

  • 1972: The follow up from the team that brought us Hair opened on this date at the Broadway Theatre.  Dude: The Highway Life was a dud, running only 16 performances.  But it did give us the late, great Nell Carter.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY: Marin Mazzie, Actor (Ragtime, next to normal)

  • 1961: The very first book musical from Jerry Herman, Milk and Honey, opened at the Martin Beck Theatre, earned 5 Tony nominations, including Best Musical and Best Composer.  It ran a very healthy 545 performances.

One Cat, Two Cast Recordings

  • 1965: A mere 4 years later and at the same theatre, one of Broadway's most beloved flops/cult musicals - what other show that ran for 16 weeks has 2 cast recordings? - opened.  Drat!  The Cat! starring Lesley Ann Warren, Elliott Gould, Charles Durning and a guy named Leo Bloom was a musical about a cat burglar.  The book was by Deathtrap playwright, Ira Levin.
  • Good luck with your new family, and come back soon!  Two time Tony winner Katie Finneran plays her final drunken performance in Promises, Promises today.
  • From giant star to giant Elf, Sebastian Arcelus plays his final performance in Jersey Boys today.  He, of course, is leaving that show to be the title star of Elf: The Musical.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY: Ben Vereen, Actor (original cast - Jesus Christ Superstar, Pippin, Fosse)
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