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Tuesday, July 25, 2006

 

Stage Addiction: Celebrity Chefs Are Actors, Too!

Can a show be considered a flop if it never even opened? Due to overwhelming demand, here are more songs from the show that may answer that question: Batman: The Musical.

- The big theatre news this week? We have to head all the way to California, where a pair of Broadway-bound musicals are beginning their lives. First up: the starry new revival of The Wiz, which just announced a cast including Wayne Brady (as the Scarecrow) and David Alan Grier (as the titular charlatan). Tony winner Anika Noni Rose had previously been mentioned for the role of Dorothy, but I guess she's too busy with movie musicals (she's one of the leads in December's Dreamgirls, opposite Beyonce and Jennifer Hudson). So Dorothy will now be newcomer Nikki James, beginning September 26th.

- Landing on Broadway even sooner will be Curtains, the last musical by John Kander and the late Fred Ebb (Cabaret); now in previews at L.A.'s Mark Taper Forum (starring David Hyde Pierce, Debra Monk, Karen Ziemba and Edward Hibbert), it will be transferring to a Broadway theatre once that theatre's current tenant closes...which should be any day now. (Hint: don't book tickets to The Wedding Singer too far in advance.)

- Spring Awakening is also Broadway-bound, with only one small problem standing in its way...all the theatres are already booked. Looks like they'll have to wait around until Sweeney Todd closes at year's end, and then take a shot at the Eugene O'Neill.

- Now that the excitement over Usher being Broadway-bound for Chicago has faded, who will the producers follow up with to keep momentum when the R&B star leaves October 1st? How about failed celebrity chef Rocco DiSpirito? No, we didn't think it was funny either.

- Wanna feel a little stage magic? Check out video of the Sitzprobe (first run-thru with an orchestra) for the cast of A Chorus Line. God, these songs sound great. ModFab is so excited for this show, we might lose control of our bladder when it opens.

- 2005 Tony Award winner Dan Fogler (Spelling Bee) will finally reappear on a stage in The Voyage of the Carcass, opening at SoHo Playhouse October 16th. Where has he and his magic foot been? Making four films, it seems.

- The national tour of Doubt has more star power than most, it seems. In addition to having Cherry Jones recreate her Tony-winning performance, it will also carry its other Tony winner, Adriane Lenox, through the tour's first stops in Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Francisco. Which makes it required viewing for California theatre lovers.

- Other bits: The John Doyle-directed revival of Amadeus in London will star Jonathan Broadbent as Mozart and Matthew Kelly as Salieri. Closer to home at the Williamstown Theatre Festival, Emmy Rossum (Phantom of the Opera) gets her Shakespeare on as the smarter half of Romeo and Juliet.

Last question: is Donna Murphy a Republican? Well, she's in Oliver Stone's patriotic-to-a-fault movie World Trade Center...does that count?

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