2007 Verve Awards

2006 Verve Awards

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Best Arts and Culture Blog Nominee

Tuesday, June 19, 2007


Stage Addiction: We Won A Tony, But We're Closing Anyway!

Since we skipped last week's Addiction, first we'll do a quick recap of what you probably already know by now:

- The Tony Awards happened. And as usual, no one watched except the readers of this blog and my Aunt Phyllis. Spring Awakening won 8 Tony Awards...and had a serious jump at the box office this week because of it. Expect it to last to Christmas at least, followed by a national tour.

- Everything else went to complete hell. Since we last spoke, The Pirate Queen, The Coast of Utopia, A Moon for the Misbegotten and Journey's End have already closed; by July, they will be joined by Talk Radio, LoveMusik, Radio Golf and Company. And that's not all the bad news; double Tony-winner Grey Gardens is sitting precariously on the fence, its long-term future in doubt. And there are those pesky but persistent rumors that Rent and Avenue Q won't live to see 2008. The list of closings doesn't just extend to current shows; the summer premiere of Treasure Island has also been canceled...I guess because Jack Sparrow and pirate queens weren't as popular as expected.

- But the good news is that new fall shows are on the way. In addition to the transferring Off-Broadway musical In The Heights, this fall will see Nathan Lane take the starring role in David Mamet's premiere November; Disney will drop anchor with The Little Mermaid; the all-star adaptation of Mel Brooks' Young Frankenstein will fight off the Hilton Theatre Curse; hunky Bobby Cannavale will headline a Broadway run of Mauritius, a world premiere by Theresa Rebeck (The Scene); Roundabout will drop Pygmalion at the American Airlines Theatre and The Ritz at Studio 54; and Tom Stoppard will return, fresh from his Tony win for Coast of Utopia, with his London smash Rock 'n' Roll. Not too shabby a lineup.

- Oh, and Xanadu had some drama: leading man James Carpinello (Saturday Night Fever) broke his foot in performance last week. He'll be replaced in the interim (and for opening night) by hunky Cheyenne Jackson (United 93, All Shook Up), who actually played the role in workshops. Good news for him, I'm sure; everyone I know who's seen it says it's pretty great. Judge for yourself.

So now you're all caught up. Here's the new news:

- Is the most recent new Stephen Sondheim musical, Bounce, finally going to make it to New York? Rumors are swirling that the show will be on the schedule for next spring at the Public Theater, who has recently workshopped the long-in-gestation project. (And if it is happening, let's hope the workshops have improved the piece beyond its erratic 2002 Kennedy Center production.) The director? Sondheim's new favorite, John Doyle, who directed the Broadway revivals of Sweeney Todd and Company, respectively.

- The heralded London revival of Guys and Dolls is coming to Broadway in time for next year's Tony race. No word on whether its original stars, Ewan MacGregor and Jane Krakowski, will reprise their roles. Pray to the theatre gods...

- Jake Gyllenhaal may come to Broadway. Yes. La Gyllenhaal. I am sexually aroused by the possibility. Orlando Bloom may also come to Broadway, if his London show proves to be a hit. Not aroused by that one, but still, he was a pretty cool elf in that hobbit movie. And as The Film Experience has already told us, Annette Bening will also hit the Great White Way next spring, in a new play directed by Spring Awakening's Tony-winning director Michael Mayer. I am excited, but not as aroused as Nathaniel is.

- Signature Theatre Company, which dedicates each season to the works of a different playwright, has announced their next four years...each of which will offer all seats for the unbelievable price of $20 a ticket. Next season will be the works of visionary Charles L. Mee; 2008-2009 will include the works of the revered Negro Ensemble Company. But the real stars follow after that: Susan Lori-Parks, followed by a season of Tony Kushner. Will New York see the first major revival of Angels in America? Start saying your prayers now...

- Quick, the New York International Fringe Festival is coming! Run for your lives!

- Perhaps the most irritating thing at the Tonys last week was the egregious loss of Kiki and Herb, who should have dropped trou and taken a poo right there in Radio City Music Hall. But instead, they're exacting revenge in a much-better way: a national tour. (And guess what it's called? Wait for it...Kiki and Herb, Alive on Broadway: The Year of Magical Drinking. LOVE IT!) Boston, San Francisco and Washington DC are the first dates, with more to follow.

- What's Good/What Blows links to a great article by Hunter Bell, one of the authors of the musical Title of Show, about how to fix the Tony Awards. We totally agree, Hunter.

- Lincoln Center loves Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens (Ragtime) enough to produce their new musical, The Glorious Ones, next spring. However, like their previous LCT show Dessa Rose, they don't love it enough to put it upstairs in the big theatre. So enjoy your stay in the basement Mitzi Newhouse Theatre, kids!

Heads up, Seattle: the creative team of The Light in the Piazza has reunited in your city. Go see it, and report back. We'll be waiting.

And finally, I'll end with some bad news: the new musical 10 Million Miles sucks balls. What once was buzzed as the next Spring Awakening is instead an insipid, cliche-ridden road trip into white-trash oblivion. Patty Griffin's songs are exquisite, but they are rendered inside a numblingly obtuse script and a terrible scenic design (a truck that flips into a bed...badly). Avoid at all costs.

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