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Tuesday, November 28, 2006


Stage Addiction: I'm Rich, Talented, and Fabulous...and I Hate Myself

- Is Steven Spielberg going to direct the movie version of Jersey Boys? The official word: maybe. We think it's the best terrible idea we've heard all week, better than the rumor that Anna Nicole Smith would like a shot at playing Roxie in Chicago. Okay, well, maybe not better than THAT. But still.

- Our confidential sources tell us that The Scene -- the new Theresa Rebeck play starring Patricia Heaton and Tony Shaloub, which doesn't even begin previews for two more weeks -- has already staked out a small Broadway house for a transfer after the run at Second Stage. Which house could it be? Well coincidentally, one's recently come available.

- Is The Pirate Queen in serious trouble? That's the buzz coming out of Chicago, where the out-of-town tryout garnered mixed reviews and irritated audiences (it ran a little long, it seems). The producers have brought in two show doctors with stellar resumes, Richard Maltby Jr. (Nine) and Graciela Daniele (Dessa Rose). Our guess? With over three months until previews begin and nearly four until opening, the show has plenty of time to right itself.

- Please send your sympathies in care of the Barrymore Theatre, addressed to Raúl Esparza, the star of Company, who it seems has a very hard time believing in himself. Forget that he's a major Broadway star (Rocky Horror, Cabaret, Taboo, The Normal Heart, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang). Forget that he's a Tony nominee and Drama Desk winner. Forget that he's wealthier than 99% of New York actors. No, please, pity poor Raúl...he's got a controlling mother, see, and he's a very conflicted bisexual (a wife AND a boyfriend), and stardom is, well, rough on him. Aaawwwww. In case you think these are intimate, private secrets I'm revealing about him, consider my source: an interview with The New York Fucking Times. His sexuality's been well known for years, so yawn if you want. But it takes some kind of stones to get the whole world to feel bad for you when you're sitting on top of it.

- Speaking of Company...it's alright. Some brilliant choices, some not so. Some early choices made that seem to throw the entire enterprise onto the wrong track. It's undoubtedly a great musical -- every song is a complete stunner, and Barbara Walsh and Heather Laws may have to fight it out for a supporting Tony nomination. But the production is...well...iffy. (In all fairness, my fellow attendees in our private box at the Barrymore, Film Experience and Queering The Apparatus, liked it better than I did.)

- Yes, it's official: Kevin Spacey is coming back to Broadway. Board up the windows and hide your children.

- A bang-up Thanksgiving on Broadway last week, with a number of shows posting record weekly grosses. Sadly, one of the best is struggling at only 42% capacity: ModFab favorite The Little Dog Laughed. Save this show...go see it!

- That much-heralded revival of The Wiz closed its extended run in La Jolla last Sunday...with no word about any possible New York transfer. Producers must have balked at the price tag, but any way you slice it, it's a blow for director Des McAnuff, who planned Wiz to be his Jersey Boys follow-up. (Including the abovementioned Spielberg news, this really hasn't been his week, has it?)

- Okay, so he's no Anna Nicole Smith...but Huey Lewis is starring in Chicago through the holidays, and he's kitschy enough, right?

- Update from last week: The Culture Project isn't closing after all...just moving.

- And finally, in memoriam: rest in peace, Betty Comden. ModFab had a chance to meet and chat with Ms. Comden a few years back at a charity event, and found her to be one of the most charming women in the world. The Bronx is up, and the battery's down. As are we all, without her.



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