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2006 Verve Awards

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Best Arts and Culture Blog Nominee

Tuesday, October 17, 2006


Stage Addiction: Went for the Schwag, Left with the Spring

Your humble editor happily attended the press preview of Spring Awakening yesterday, even though we'd seen it last spring Off-Broadway. Why? To get the dish, of course -- we'd heard there were new songs and some restructuring afoot, and our carefully placed spies led us to believe the changes were going in the right direction. Of course, I didn't learn much at the preview ("minimal change" I think was the phrase), but I was reminded how talented these young kids are...and how great it is that an actual challenge to Broadway hegemony is being launched. The cast album is due December 5th, near the official opening, and their new website is already active. After spending time with them this afternoon, we officially say: go.

Desperate Housewives creator Marc Cherry wants to make Broadway musicals after he finishes chronicling the endlessly derivative arcs of Bree and company. Stay in Hollywood, Marc...we'll call you if we need you.

If Monty Python and the Holy Grail can be bastardized into a sparkling Broadway entertainment named Spamalot, then why can't The Life of Brian become an operatic oratorio? Why not, indeed. (Coming soon, I'm sure: The Meaning of Life as a Kabuki dance piece, and the entire Flying Circus reimagined as a death squad video game involving mutants.)

The award committees for the Tonys and the Obies have been announced. One is packed with stars, and the other is packed with talent. Neither is especially long on brains. Of course, had I been invited to participate, it would have been a totally different situation.

Here's the good news about The 24-Hour Plays happening next Monday: the quickly composed pieces will be performed by Jennifer Aniston, Elizabeth Berkley, Erika Christensen, David Cross, Rachel Dratch, Matthew Lillard, Anthony Mackie, Julianna Margulies, Rosie Perez, Sam Rockwell, Liev Schreiber, Pablo Schreiber, Wallace Shawn, Fisher Stevens and Nia Vardalos, and written by talents including Adam Bock, David Ives and Adam Rapp. Now the bad news: the only tickets left for the event, at the American Airlines Theatre, are for standby cancellations.

Worth noticing: The best actress you've probably never heard of (Elizabeth Marvel) will star in the new play by the best playwright you've probably never heard of (Robert Aguirre-Sacasa). Dark Matters, at Rattlestick Theatre in the West Village, follows up Sacasa's charming comedy Based on a Totally True Story last season at MTC. Tickets are cheap, too.



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