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Tuesday, March 21, 2006


Stage Addiction: Hobbits Are Terrible Showgirls

News from the rialto:

- First things first: tickets for the Broadway transfer of The Lieutenant of Inishmore go on sale Sunday, March 26th. You should grab them immediately. ModFab saw it this past weekend off-Broadway (where it's completely sold-out and packed to the walls), and it's bloody brilliant. Martin McDonagh is a genius, and may definitely score that Tony Award he's long overdue for.

- Blind Item #1: which soon-to-open Broadway show is having so much out-of-town trouble that investors are skittishly trying to pull out their cash? Hint: it's not Lestat. Or The Wedding Singer. (Which is not to say they're not having their own problems.)

- The first photos are in from the new Lord of the Rings musical in Toronto, and I'm dismayed. It looks like a bad Las Vegas strip show, only with hobbits. The biggest problem they seem to have is their 5-hour running time, which they are trying to shape to just under four in time for their opening on Thursday. Remember to eat your elvish bread first.

- If you want to a Tony Award, you can forget about bribing voters. Save that shit for Crash and the Oscars.

- First there was ABBA. Then there was Chess. Then, God help us, there was Mamma Mia. Continuing the long, downard musical slide is Kristina, Benny and Bjorn's latest stage adaptation, which had a high-profile workshop this week. The reviews from those who attended were, um, mixed. To say the least.

- Looks like The Light in the Piazza will close in July...but not before being broadcast by PBS in mid-June. (Yay!) ModFab's inside sources (yes, we do have some) say that the original cast members who have left the show will not return...at star Victoria Clark's request. Discussions were started with Kelli O'Hara to return as the daughter, but apparently her role in The Pajama Game has her feeling a little too big for her britches, in Clark's opinion. The upside for audiences is that everyone who's seen the new cast likes them better than the originals, anyway.

- More Victoria Clark news: it's not public yet, but she has accepted the role of Nellie Forbush in the eagerly-awaited revival of South Pacific next season, under the direction of Bartlett Sher.

- If you like the inane humor of Spamalot, here's an opportunity to be equally inane for their one-year Broadway anniversary: join the world's largest coconut orchestra to get them in the Guiness Book of World Records. (Side note: remember when Broadway had dignity?)

- Blind Item #2: Testy, testy. One of Broadway's newest leading men, having received polite but less-than-stellar reviews, is making noise that he'll leave the show months early...leaving fans and audience members -- who have already bought tickets -- in the lurch.

- If you found yourself shut out of Cate Blanchett as Hedda at BAM this month, console yourself...you've still got a shot to see a far more promising production there. Beginning April 18th, Lynn Redgrave will be Lady Bracknell in Sir Peter Hall's revival of The Importance of Being Earnest. Miriam Margolyes, possibly the greatest living character actress today, plays Miss Prism.

- Pay attention, show queens: Michael John LaChiusa (The Wild Party, Marie Christine) will give a free talk next week (March 29th) at Lincoln Center, where his musical Bernarda Alba is currently surviving on subscribers and mixed reviews. LaChiusa also made it onto the Billboard charts this week with the recording of See What I Wanna See, which played the Public last fall.

- Oh, and show queens? Brian Stokes Mitchell is finally making a solo CD. The line forms to the left outside the Virgin Megastore in Times Square on June 6th. No, you cannot get in line this early.

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