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Tuesday, March 14, 2006


Stage Addiction: Eric McCormack is Gaytastic!

Must-see of the Week:
Show People / Second Stage Theatre
Begins Previews March 16

Backstage comedies are inside jokes by their very nature, and Show People, about two desperate actors who take on an unorthodox gig for a mysterious banker, is probably no exception. But take a look at the talent Second Stage has assembled. The play is by Chris Weitz, the Oscar-nominated screenwriter of About A Boy, Good Company, and American Pie. The director is the man who brought John Leguizamo to worldwide acclaim, Peter Askin. And the cast? Just a Tony Award winner (Debra Monk), a TV/indie film queen (Judy Greer), a hot up-and-comer (Ty Burrell), and Weitz's own real-life godfather (television veteran Lawrence Pressman). Not shabby at all, and at least worth a look for fans of new plays.

This Week's Stage Addiction:

- What's up with Kristin Chenoweth? Her movie (The Pink Panther) and her TV show (The West Wing) bit the big one this spring, so she's anxious to come back to New York. But can she appear in two shows at once? She's rumored for The Pirates of Penzance at New York City Opera next spring, but ModFab hears she'll leave that production for the Broadway revival of The Apple Tree. Smart move, in our opinion...those opera queens are brutal.

- Don't say we didn't warn you (because we did). Broadway's Johnny Cash-apalooza, Ring Of Fire, opened up shop and took on the critics yesterday...and they beat that bitch like a dirty rug.

- Dueling producers from Toronto and New York went public with their catfight to bring Elton John's enormous West End smash, Billy Elliot, to North America next season. Mirvish Productions -- the brainchildren behind the record-setting Lord of the Rings musical which will open in Toronto any day now -- made "an aggressive bid" for the show to premiere their first, pushing NYC back at least a year or two (or three). Nothing against our Canuck neighbors, but Elliot would be missing out on a fortune by putting off Manhattan.

- Casting's afoot: Matthew Broderick will get starry on Broadway next year in The Starry Messenger, a premiere by Kenneth Lonergan (You Can Count On Me), while Jennifer Jason Leigh is leaving her Off-Broadway hit Abigail's Party. Will it move to Broadway with a new leading lady...say, Natasha Richardson, who is quietly in negotiation with the producers?

- Almost the moment Will and Grace ends its TV run in late May, the show's gay-for-pay leading man, Eric McCormack, will get back to romancing the ladies onstage in Some Girl(s), Neil Labute's latest about an engaged man visiting his ex-girlfriends one more time. One of the girl(s) will be fellow NBC Thursday veteran Maura Tierney (E.R.). Playing at the Lucille Lortel Theatre in the heart of the gay West Village on Christopher Street, will anyone buy McCormack as a straight guy onstage? Don't hit Boots and Saddles for a post-performance nightcap, Eric.

- That Threepenny Opera cast is the hottest thing I've ever seen. Check out more photos from the press preview. Cyndi Lauper looks amazing, and Ana Gasteyer? Divine. We love Alan Cumming, and not just because we've been invited to his parties. Nellie McKay will blow your socks off, and Jim Dale is long overdue for a theatrical renaissance. This is going to be the gayest, wildest, most fabulous thing of the season. I am officially psyched.

- We were in shock and awe that Les Miserables was already returning to Broadway, but now its writers are prepping a new travesty musical, The Pirate Queen, for its pre-Broadway tryout in Chicago beginning October 3rd. The queen in question will be played by Stephanie Block (The Boy From Oz). No word on whether the new production sucks a lot, or just a little.

- 50th Street's Dodger Stages is now New World Stages. Mark your tickets accordingly.


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