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Tuesday, August 01, 2006


Stage Addiction: Hogwarts Gone Wild!

Of course you've already heard the scandalous news: Daniel Radcliffe, aka Harry Potter, is going to star with Tony winner Richard Griffiths (The History Boys) next March in a London revival of Equus, the celebrated play about a boy, his psychologist, and poking eyeballs out of horses. (There's also the issue of Radcliffe's full-frontal nudity and onstage masturbation, which isn't what Professor Dumbledore had in mind at all.) Most pundits are too titillated to think straight, but I agree with The Playgoer's questioning of the casting. Equus is one of the most challenging plays of the 20th century. Can Radcliffe, a stage novice, actually pull it off? (Heh. Pull it off.)

The 10-year anniversary of Broadway's Chicago isn't going unnoticed by the producers, who are planning an enormous celebrity-packed performance for November 14th. Former players returning for one night only include Ann Reinking, Bebe Neuwirth, James Naughton, Joel Grey, Marcia Lewis, Chita Rivera, Brent Barrett, Gregory Harrison, Brooke Shields, Charlotte D'Amboise, Melanie Griffith, Marilu Henner, Patrick Swayze, Gregory Harrison, Alan Thicke and Wayne Brady, among many others. Like Roxie Hart herself, it don't come cheap: tickets range from $500-$5000 per person, with proceeds benefiting Safe Horizon.

- As if the return of their bombastic Les Miserables wasn't offensive enough, the newest Boubill/Schonberg musical, The Pirate Queen, has marked the Hilton Theatre for next February (once How The Grinch Stole Christmas clears out). Get this shit: "Based on the life of Grace O'Malley, a woman who led an extraordinary life as a pirate, cheiftan, lover and mother in 16th century Ireland," the show will "combine classic storytelling and a sweeping score with the powerful, vibrant traditions of Irish dance and song." Someone kill me now. Oh wait: "Mark Dendy of Taboo will create dances that evoke those of Riverdance." Okay, kill me RIGHT now.

- London's smash Sunday in the Park with George closes September 2nd. Is Broadway next? It depends on whether a theatre opens up this fall for producer Bob Boyett, who is itching to bring it across the pond.

- If you're one of the many freakazoid fans lining up each day for cancellation tickets outside the enormously overrated Jersey Boys, you should know that Mr. Frankie Valli, aka John Lloyd Young, has sold out to Hollywood. He'll be taking his eyes off of you on October 1st, beginning a television deal with ABC. Trust me, the world will continue on somehow.

- More Hairspray movie casting: James Marsden, "that other guy" in Superman Returns and X-Men, will play Corny Collins. He joins the already announced John Travolta, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Queen Latifah. And for the record, Marsden is not gay. Neither is Latifah. Or Lance Bass. Or...whoops.

- Kieran Culkin will headline Eric Bogosian's drama SubUrbia at Second Stage. He's Macauley's brother. He was Igby in that movie. Yeah. That's all there is to say about that.

- Go ahead, try and pretend you're not interested in My Deah, the Southern-fried adaptation of Medea by John Epperson (aka Lypsinka), starring Nancy Opel (Urinetown) and Bryan Batt (Jeffrey). If it gets any gayer, Paul Lynde will rise from the grave and make a guest appearance. Begins in October at the Abingdon on 36th Street.

- The world's most underrated actress, Kathleen Chalfant (Angels in America, Wit), will lead the Off-Broadway revival of Great Expectations in November.

- Perhaps trying to live up to their title, there are lots of cast changes underway in The Times They Are A'Changin'. Seems like the Bob Dylan musical isn't in the greatest shape at the moment, even though they've already booked their Broadway opening. Can you say Ring Of Fire, Part Deux?

- Dana Ivey joins Nathan Lane in Butley this fall at the Booth. Well, someone had to.

- High Fidelity has its cast complete. Now if it only had a theatre.

- Lots of A-List Chekhov on the way to the West End, including Kristen Scott Thomas (The English Patient) in The Seagull, Jessica Lange (Tootsie) in The Cherry Orchard. Now if we could only get Julianne Moore to revisit Uncle Vanya, the world would be complete.

- And last but certainly not least, please raise your razor high in tribute: Modern Fabulousity's #1 Show of 2005, Sweeney Todd, will close on September 3rd after a profitable run (it recouped after 19 weeks last spring). Run to see it if you can....it's simply too good to miss.


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