Sunday, November 28, 2010

TheatreScene: November 22 - 28


REVIEW: Brief Encounter
REVIEW: Elf: The Musical
Ever Since Phantom Opened on Broadway: The Last Years
Theatrical Thanksgiving 2010
Black Friday: My Broadway Gift List
Broadway on 34th Street: 2010 Edition


November 22

  • 1965:  The world was introduced to "The Quest," better known as "The Impossible Dream," when Man of La Mancha opened on this date at the ANTA Washington Square Theatre.  2,328 performances, 5 Tony Awards (including Best Musical 1966), and 4 theatre transfers later, the show closed.  It has since been revived several times.
  • Roundabout Theater Company's production of Mrs. Warren's Profession announces that it will close on November 28.  It is still a week longer than originally scheduled.  See you back here soon, Cherry!
TOPS AND BOTTOMS (November 15 - 21):
  • Top Gross: Wicked ($1.5M)
  • Top Attendance: The Merchant of Venice (102.4%)
  • Bottom Gross: Colin Quinn: Long Story Short  ($143K)
  • Bottom Attendance: A Life in the Theatre (45.1%)

HAPPY BIRTHDAY: Scarlett Johansson, Actor (A View from the Bridge)

November 23

  • 1959: Fiorello! notable for being a musical that won the Pulitzer Prize and for TYING for the Tony for Best Musical (the other was a little show called The Sound of Music), opened at the Broadhurst Theatre and played 795 performances.
  • 1993: The second part of the epic play Angels in America: Perestroika opened at the Walter Kerr Theatre, winning Best Play and playing in rep with part one, Millennium Approaches, for 217 performances.
  • 2009: Fela! said, "Yeah Yeah" for the first time on Broadway, one year ago at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre.  As of today, it has played 423 performances.
  • The National Tour of next to normal with original star Alice Ripley begins tonight in L.A.

  • Cathy Rigby announces that she will once again take to the skies as Peter Pan in a National Tour starting in 2011.  In 1999, she announced that she would be retiring from the role.  Today, at age 60, she must have realized you can't grow old as Peter Pan.
  • Here's something you don't hear very often: Sean Hayes, who missed the November 21 and 23 performances of Promises, Promises issued a statement that he was sorry he had to miss.  Considering he did 271 in a row, I think we can forgive him.  His understudy, Peter Benson, who was terrific in Cabaret, went on in Hayes' place.
  • Jennifer Grey, movie star and daughter to theatre legend Joel Grey won season 11 of TV's Dancing with the Stars.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY: Maxwell Caulfield, Actor (Chicago, An Inspector Calls)

November 24

  • 1950: The Broadway classic Guys and Dolls opened on this date at the 46th Street Theatre. It won all 5 Tonys it was nominated for, including Best Musical, and ran 1,200 performances.  Isn't it hard to imagine a time when Nathan Detroit and Miss Adelaide weren't a part of theatre?
  • 1986: The Marvin Hamlisch-Howard Ashman-Alan Menken musical Smile debuted at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre.  It ran only 48 performances, but remains a cult favorite.  A recent reading for a possible future production was held.
  • Tony winner Tyne Daly is in talks to return to Broadway in a revival of Master Class.  The play by Terrence MacNally originally starred Zoe Caldwell, who was replaced later in the run by Patti LuPone!
  • Broadway Bares XXI has set a date.  Performances will be Sunday, June 19, 2011 at the Roseland Ballroom.

  • One of my "On the Radar" shows, Bonnie and Clyde confirmed that it is aiming for Broadway in August 2011!  A new production is coming to Florida starring Laura Osnes and Jeremy Jordan.  Osnes and American Idiot star Stark Sands starred in the World Premiere earlier this year.  Read about that HERE.  I am already looking forward to next season!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY: Martin Charnin, Lyricist/Director (Annie)

November 25
  • 1975: The Longest Time Since a Show Opened on This Date: 35 years ago, Habeas Corpus, a comedy, opened at the Martin Beck Theatre.  You may not know anything about the play (I sure don't), but the cast sure is memorable: Celeste Holm, June Havoc (aka the real Dainty June), and Richard Gere co-starred.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY: Kevin Chamberlin, Actor (The Addams Family, Seussical the Musical)

November 26
  • 1761:  The Oldest Opening of the Week: Years before this was even a country, Hamlet opened on Broadway at the Chapel Street Theatre for an unknown number of performances. Lewis Hallam, one of the most renowned actors of the late 18th century played the melancholy Dane.  The theatre belonged to his step-father, theatre impresario David Douglass, who owned two New York theatres.  The Chapel Street Theatre was destroyed during the Stamp Act Riots, and would have been where Beekman Place is today.
  • The date is also notable for having 4 different productions of Hamlet open on this date throughout Broadway history.

  • The producers of the new play Elling announce that it will close on November 28th.  Are movie stars on the marquee less of a draw this season?  It looks that way... of course, in this case, quality probably also comes into play.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY: Marian Mercer, Actor (the original Marge MacDougal in the original Promises, Promises)


  • 2006: The Coast of Utopia, Part I: Voyage opened at the Vivian Beaumont Theatre.  The play, first of three parts, by Tom Stoppard went on to win the Tony Award for Best Play.  All three parts (Part II: Shipwreck and Part III: Salvage) were counted as one, nearly 8-hour production.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY: Alison Pill, Actor (The Miracle Worker, The Lieutenant of Inishmore)

November 28

  • 1951: Musical theatre lovers know this story better as Cabaret, but the original play is known as I Am a Camera and it opened on this date at the Empire Theatre.  It played 214 performances and starred Julie Harris as Sally Bowles.
  • 1957: The Pulitzer Prize winning play, Look Homeward, Angel opened, playing 564 performances at the Barrymore Theatre.
  • 60 Minutes runs an exclusive segment on the creation of Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark.
  • AT LAST!!! Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark begins previews at the Foxwoods Theatre!
  • A Life in the Theatre closes today at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre after 24 previews and 56 performances.
  • Elling closes today at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre after 22 previews and 9 performances.
  • Mrs. Warren's Profession closes today at the American Airlines Theatre after 35 previews and 65 performances.
  • The First National Tour of Billy Elliot: The Musical closes today at the Oriental Theatre in Chicago after 288 performances.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY: S. Epatha Merkerson, Actor (Come Back, Little Sheba, The Piano Lesson)

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  1. Jeff, last spring my family saw Tyne Daly in Master Class at the Kennedy Center. We all really enjoyed it and thought she was excellent. Granted, I don't have any other productions to compare it to.
    Sean Hayes is a class act. He impressed me in Promises Promises. It's always nice to be impressed by an actor off-stage as well as on. 271 shows in a row? That's incredible.

  2. Londy!

    I saw Tyne Daly in Gypsy back in 89. What a performsnce! She is a brilliant actress in any medium. I hope she does come back. I'd love to see her work again.

    Yes, Sean Hayes harkens back to the old days when the star showed up 8 times a week without fail, and really, truly only missed due to extreme circumstances. Indeed, I agree. He is one class act. I hope it isn't long before he does another Broadway show.



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