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Tuesday, March 06, 2007

 

Stage Addiction: Harry Potter To Wave His Wand...On Broadway?

- Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, Xanadu: The Musical is bouncing back from its casting woes and landing, as planned, on Broadway. Well, maybe not exactly as planned -- with Jane Krakowski heading back to 30 Rock, a younger, prettier derivation -- Kerry Butler, who starred in Hairspray and Little Shop of Horrors -- will take on the difficult task of becoming Olivia Newton-John. The producers, who are ridiculously claiming that Butler was their first choice all along (well, she was cast in readings of the show before Krakowski), have also decided to push the show back into the summer, and out of Tony Award contention; beginning previews at the Helen Hayes on May 23rd, it will open, fittingly enough, on June 26th...just in time for Gay Pride Weekend.

- In the London revival of Equus last week, Harry Potter Daniel Radcliffe survived the critics pretty much unscathed (not to mention the bloggers desperate for pics of his nude scene...yes, I've seen them, and no, I'm not linking to them). It's also making a fortune at the box office. So does it come as any surprise that the talk of 42nd Street is a possible transfer to Broadway? Word is that the Harry Potter film schedule would only allow a limited run next October; my guess is that they'll pay him a small fortune to make it happen.

- Kill Me Now (Part 1): Andrew Lloyd Webber is writing a sequel to Phantom of the Opera. Because apparently, I haven't been punished enough in this lifetime.

- Man, it's been a rough week for plays, hasn't it? The early word on Prelude to a Kiss is not good, Dying City supposedly sucks something awful, and no one seems to care for Howard Katz. Let's hope for better stuff from Terrence McNally's Some Men, which Show Showdown dug at an early preview, and Liev Schreiber's revisioning of Talk Radio...your humble editor scored an invitation for Radio's opening night on Sunday, and we'll make sure you get a full report.

- There seems to be a nasty little catfight going on between the creators of Jersey Boys, as to who gets the credit for the show (and, it seems to follow, the show's success). Girls, girls...you're BOTH pretty, and each of you can go to the ball. (And I know it's a big hit and everything, but Shakespeare it ain't...I wouldn't fight too hard over who made the most manipulative piece of theatre seen this decade.)

- Here's some fun with the cast of Spring Awakening. Is it me, or are they rapidly becoming The Breakfast Club: The Next Generation?

- Thrills for those of you who live elsewhere in America: D.C.'s Signature Theatre Company has not one, not two, but THREE rarely-produced Kander and Ebb musicals on tap next season, with Chita Rivera starring in one of them. At the end of this month, Connecticut audiences will get to see Dael Orlandersmith's latest, The Blue Album, which might be the show I most want to see in America at the moment. Over in Chicago, Steppenwolf will give theatre lovers two world premieres by the most interesting new playwrights of recent years: Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa (Based on a Totally True Story) will preem Good Boys and True, about an Ivy League scandal, while Tracy Letts (Bug) will offer Superior Donuts, about the changing nature of...well, the donut industry. Nevertheless, I'm sure it will rock, and rock hard. Plays about donuts always do.

- Kill Me Now (Part 2): Hide the children and lock the doors...Grumpy Old Men: The Musical opens on Broadway in spring of 2008. I think my eyes are bleeding.

- On the heels of Fantasia Barrino's imminent appearance in The Color Purple, another moderately talented chanteuse is joining the show, albeit in a different city. Former child of destiny Michelle Williams, who closed out Aida a few years back, will take the role of Shug Avery in Chicago beginning next month. Expect her to follow that with a run in NYC.

PREVIEWING
  • The Year of Magical Thinking, Joan Didion's adaptation of her own memoir starring Vanessa Redgrave and directed by David Hare (March 6)
  • Tea and Sympathy, the first major revival of the classic gay drama directed by friend of ModFab Jonathan Silverstein (go Jonathan!) (March 6)
  • The Pirate Queen, the new musical exploring Irish history, riverdancing, and songs by the creators of Les Miserables (March 7)
  • Stay, a world premiere by Lucy Thurber directed by friend of ModFab Jackson Gay (go Jackson!) (March 8)
OPENING
  • 1001 Beds, Tim Miller's latest acclaimed performance piece (March 8)
  • Prelude To A Kiss, the romantic fantasy starring John Mahoney (March 8)
  • Talk Radio, Eric Bogosian's early drama starring Liev Schreiber (March 11)
CLOSING

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