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Tuesday, July 03, 2007

 

Stage Addiction: Audra Abandons Us To Go Make Out With Taye Diggs

- Now let us weep for the women of Broadway, as the steady stream of great actresses leaving 42nd Street turns into a raging river. Audra McDonald, who has picked up four Tony Awards over the last decade or so, is off to Hollywood to star in the Grey's Anatomy spinoff called Private Practice. (She'll play the wife of another Broadway exile, Taye Diggs.) Continue spinning the TV dial this fall, and you'll see newly-minted Tony winner Julie White (The Little Dog Laughed) co-starring on ABC's new sitcom Cavemen. As if these losses weren't severe enough...Tony winner Christine Ebersole is out of a job, because Grey Gardens is closing at the end of the month. Woe is us...

- Director Rob Marshall is beginning work on the movie musical adaptation of Nine, and the auditions have started for the many foxy women in Guido Contini's life. First in to see the director? Katie Holmes, Demi Moore, and Marshall's Chicagoans, Renee Zellwegger and Catherine Zeta-Jones. I vote Moore and Zeta, although this musical was made for Angelina Jolie if she can sing.

- Two week s ago, we told you about the rumored new production of Sondheim's latest musical, Bounce. This week...the book writer, John Weidman, confirms it for 2008. You are now free to commence screaming with glee. Oh, and last week, when we scooped everyone with the big news Spike Lee was going to announce? Turns out he's directing a Broadway revival of Stalag 17. You are now free to commence yawning uncontrollably.

- If anyone cares, Inherit The Wind closes this weekend. If anyone cares.

Time for some Casting News (yay!):
  • A Midsummer Night's Dream: Shakespeare in the Park suddenly got very star-heavy for August, with Martha Plimpton (The Coast of Utopia) as Helena, Jesse Tyler FergusonSpelling Bee) as Flute, George Morfogen (An Inspector Calls) as Egeus, Keith David as Oberon, Mireille Enos (Virginia Woolf) as Hermia, Tim Blake Nelson (O Brother Where Art Thou) as Quince, Laila Robins (Frozen) as Titania, Jay O. Sanders (Stuff Happens) as Bottom, and John Tartaglia (Avenue Q) as a Fairy (hee hee hee);
  • Things We Want: at the New Group in October, with Paul Dano (Little Miss Sunshine), Peter Dinklage (The Station Agent) and Josh Hamilton (The Coast of Utopia), to be directed by the one and only Ethan Hawke (Hurlyburly);
  • Mauritius: previously announced stars Bobby Cannavale (Will and Grace) and Allison Pill (Blackbird) will be joined by F. Murray Abraham (Amadeus), Dylan BakerSpider-Man 3) and Tony winner Katie Finneran (Noises Off) at Manhattan Theatre Club in September;
  • Iphigenia 2.0: The fantabulous Charles L. Mee play at Signature Theatre Company in August will feature Tony winner Victoria Clark (The Light in the Piazza) as Clytemnestra. Rockin'!
- Thanks to the magic of television, Raul Esparza's triumphantly irritating performance in Company -- which closed last Sunday -- will be seen for centuries to come. How, you ask? Has Esparza finally achieved immortality? Have the heavens parted and anointed him as Jesus, Part Deux? No...those things really only exist in Raul's mind. Instead, PBS, who filmed the final performances, will air the musical as part of Great Performances next season. It's worth seeing, even if I do get a little peeved at its leading man from time to time.

- Hey, I got an idea. Walmartopia: The Musical, anyone? Yeah, I didn't think so.

- Two years ago, rumors were everywhere that Hugh Jackman would follow up his Broadway triumph in The Boy From Oz with a revival of Pal Joey. But then Australia happened. And Viva Laughlin. So now the new guy who will sing "I Could Write A Book" and "Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered" will be Christian Hoff, who won a Tony last year for Jersey Boys. While I know that Jackman fans will be crushed, let me just say this: I've met Christian Hoff, I've had drinks with Christian Hoff, and I've seen Christian Hoff in action with the ladies. He is PERFECT to play this role. Absolutely. I may never have seen better casting in my life. And no, I'm not sure that's a compliment either, considering the part.

- Thanks to our friends at The Playgoer, we know many things we didn't know before. Among them? Fucking Neil Labute doesn't fucking take criticism fucking well at all.

- The new musical A Catered Affair has formally announced for Broadway next spring, and added new cast members to boot. In addition to Harvey Fierstein (Hairspray) and Faith Prince (Bells Are Ringing), you can now count on Tom Wopat (Glengarry Glen Ross) and Leslie Kritzer (Legally Blonde). And if anyone in California is going to see the out-of-town tryout next month, please send in a report!

- Last-minute recommendation: the best theatre company ever to come out of Austin, TX, Salvage Vanguard, is coming to New York for a two-week run starting Thursday. Do yourself a favor and check it out. Jason Neulander is a genius.

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