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Tuesday, January 23, 2007

 

Stage Addiction: Millionaires For Spacey!

The fallout from Kevin Spacey's salary demands (which was reported here last week) has hit the papers in full force. Michael Reidel at the Post gets the skinny, but ultimately, it means this: to pay that salary, the first 16 rows of the orchestra will be priced at $200 a seat, skyrocketing to $250 on the weekends. All other seats will be $102.75...no discounts for students, no rush, no groups. (The producer, with his back against the wall, did tell Reidel there will be 60 seats sold on the day of performance for $25 apiece...but doesn't say where. My guess? Back row of the balcony, obstructed view.) As The Playgoer mentions: ""If you don't have an AmEx Gold Card or an expense account or a friend in the show, you can't get a decent seat. We've priced you right out of the market." Sad state of affairs, because you want to know the irony? Like other movie stars -- Julia Roberts, Denzel Washington, Julianne Moore -- he isn't even going to be good in the play. He's playing an alcoholic out-of-work ACTOR, people...it lends itself to his broadest, most egomanical weaknesses. I'll be surprised if there's any scenery left at the end of the play that he hasn't eaten.

Same shit, different set: Last week Disney announced that they were closing their cartoon princess musical, Beauty and the Beast, to make room for their new cartoon princess musical, The Little Mermaid. This one has water. I'm guessing. Don't yawn, it's impolite.

Are you a single girl in the city? Want to meet eligible bachelors who just loooove Broadway musicals? Then try Singles Night On Broadway, the latest marketing ploy from the Great White Way. One piece of advice before you buy that ticket to Mamma Mia: straight boys, as a rule, do not go to Broadway. As a rule.

The last-minute contenders for Tony consideration are finally making their play: Coram Boy, the British hit from last season will take up residence in April at the Imperial Theatre, recently vacated by High Fidelity. It's an orphans-meet-racism drama with no actors known to American audiences (yeah, I know, but supposedly it's also "a rich and almost gothic drama, full of dastardly villains, cold-hearted aristocrats, devoted friends and passionate lovers, set against a background of cruelty, music and murder." Wow, it does sound British!) It does have one ace in its pocket: producer Bob Boyett has successfully led the Broadway transfers of The History Boys and Copenhagen to the winners' circle.

Interesting news from the Tony Award Eligibility Committee: somehow, the score for Mary Poppins -- including "Chim Chim-A-Ree", "Spoonful of Sugar" and "Supercalifragilisticexpalidocuious" -- is being considered a new score, and is therefore eligible. No such luck for A Chorus Line and Les Miserables, which had most of their creative elements deemed a "re-creation of the original." Arbitrary much, Tony?

Perhaps she's looking for something to do in between The Apple Tree and next fall's (reputed) appearance in Mel Brooks' Young Frankenstein. Whatever the reason, you'll be able to find Kristin Chenoweth doing her chirpy, klutzy thing at Encores! next May, as the headliner in the revue Stairway to Paradise. If you tell this to the nearest gay man in your vicinity, they will explode with excitement. Try it. It's entertaining.

No, Talk Radio isn't in trouble! Where would you get a crazy idea like that? I mean, yes, we're delaying previews and the opening, but that's just because we're changing the set. Honestly. I mean, of all the cockamamie...no, we're definitely not having problems in rehearsal! Where do these rumors start? I mean, honestly!

Not all theatre happens in New York, right? For those of you in the provinces, John Doyle's exquisite Sweeney Todd will begin its national tour in San Francisco next August; The Color Purple begins in Chicago in April; Philadelphia has All Shook Up next month; and Charlotte, Tampa, Baltimore and Philadelphia can all be excited that Cherry Jones has extended her contract in the tour of Doubt, and will now appear in their cities. If you live in North Dakota...sorry dude, got nothing for ya. But in Las Vegas, the most terrifying five words in the English language: Sandy Duncan in The Glass Menagerie. Quick, avert your eyes or you'll go blind.

London's Olivier nominations are out. The big surprise? Kevin Spacey, he of the $60K a week demands, was somehow passed over. His costars, who need significantly less money, were not. Methinks someone overpaid for talent.

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