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Tuesday, April 03, 2007


Stage Addiction: Dakota Fanning Can Do ANYTHING She Wants

- Call it the calm before the storm. Very little gossip or news leaked out of the New York theatre scene this week. Why? Because they're working -- every remaining Tony contender is now in rehearsals or has begun performances. The reviews last week for Curtains weren't very kind (although David Hyde Pierce got good marks), and we're not expecting much better from The Pirate Queen when it opens this Thursday...which leaves only two obstacles left in Spring Awakening's path to the Best Musical Tony: the fizzy pop of Legally Blonde, and the luxurious glamour of LoveMusik. Although both are receiving good early buzz, I'm not sure anything can stop Broadway's Awakening at this point. (Our Tony preview article is coming in mid-April...watch for it!)

- And speaking of Spring Awakening...Dakota Fanning wants to play the lead? Really? Have we thought this all the way through? Are we completely sure about this? (Gotcha. April Fool's.)

- There will officially be no theatre represented in the new performing arts center to be built at Ground Zero...but there will be some nearby. The Signature Theatre Company, which was to be a main tenant of the new building, pulled out of the plans, leaving the modern dance institution The Joyce Theater as the sole remaining tenant. Instead, Signature will move into the Fiterman building nearby. Is this a bad thing? A good thing? And considering we are almost six years past the tragedy and not one concrete block is in place, will any of this happen in our lifetimes?

- Mark your calendars: Sweeney Todd will open in limited domestic release on December 21st (that means NYC and LA), and open in wide release on January 11th, 2008 (that means most urban areas). So by January 12th, we'll all know if Johnny Depp's Cruella hairdo was the right choice...or not. We think...not.

- Because there's no D-list celebrity that the producers of Chicago won't cast to keep their creaky ship afloat, you can now look forward to the ass-tastic talents of Harry Hamlin and Lisa Rinna doing the perp walk at the Ambassador beginning June 19th. Rinna will actually prepare for the role (shock!) by first playing Roxie in Portland and again in Dallas prior to her Broadway stint. We must ask the obvious question: haven't the good people of Portland suffered enough?

- The Drowsy Chaperone continues to pack 'em in at the Marquis; as it enters its second year, it's beginning to hire replacements for the departing original cast members. John Glover has already taken over for The Man In Chair, from Bob Martin (who's off to headline the London production). When Sutton Foster leaves to wander over to Young Frankenstein later this month, she'll be replaced temporarily by Janine LaManna before turning it over in June to Mara Davi, who is currently a little further down 45th Street, playing Maggie in A Chorus Line. But that's small potatoes to the news that Miss Tottendale, aka Georgia Engel, will soon be played by legendary Laugh-In comedienne Jo Ann Worley! Or, as we call her around the ModFab HQ...Jo Ann Motherfucking Worley! Woo hoo!

- Awards Gossip: The Drama Desk Awards will be hosted by Kristin Chenoweth (The Apple Tree), while the announcements for the Outer Critics Circle Awards will be made by Victoria Clark (The Light in the Piazza) and John Lloyd Young (Jersey Boys). The starriest lineup is developing, however, at the Drama League Awards: the announced presenters include Bernadette Peters and Tony Kushner, and the Co-Chairs (among the fifty or so stars present) include Audra McDonald, Michael Cerveris, Ethan Hawke, Brian F. O'Byrne, Billy Crudup, and David Hyde Pierce.

- Yes, Virginia, you really can run off and join the circus...Cirque du Soleil auditions are next month. Start your stilt-walking lessons now!

- How about a juicy barely-blind item to end this week? We've heard from a cast member of a soon-to-open musical that the romantic leading couple are, in fact, romancing each other in private...despite the fact that the leading man's long-time girlfriend (a Tony winner, with whom he recently bought a $4M apartment) is leading the musical right across the street. Ohmigod you guys...



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