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Tuesday, August 28, 2007


Stage Addiction: My Next Audition Will Require Actors To Wear Bathing Suits While Doing Aerobics

- With most of New York's theatre community taking its annual two-week vacation (prior to the start of the fall season in September), the only Broadway news is actually coming from other cities. Chicago's hit production of August: Osage County (pictured left) will give its incredibly talented author, Tracy Letts (Bug, Killer Joe) his first-ever Broadway berth at the Imperial Theatre. They're moving fast...the show plans to begin previews in October. And out in L.A., there's word that Patti LuPone will be the star of A Waitress in Yellowstone, a new musical by none other than David Mamet (Glengarry Glen Ross). It's scheduled for next May, but don't think a new LuPone/Mamet vehicle doesn't have an eye on Broadway...especially since Mamet also wrote the tunes.

- As Young Frankenstein packs up and leaves Seattle this week to return to New York, the out-of-town tryout continues to deafen the world with the show's apparent mediocrity. The reviews haven't been all that helpful, unless you separate them into two groups: the mixed-to-negative reviews coming from legitimate theatre critics (Variety, The Stranger, Seattle Times) and the mixed-to-positive word coming from less reputable sources (The Post's Michael Reidel, who sat next to Mel Brooks as his guest -- begone, critical objectivity! -- and David Poland, an online film critic of questionable quality who's now decided to occasionally attend theatre, which he knows next-to-nothing about). They all agree it's going to be a huge hit, which of course it is. I know I've been gunning for this show, but I can't restrain myself; the savvier audiences of New York aren't going to tolerate Spamalot-lite from Brooks and Company. We've already got more craptastic "hits" than we know what to do with (Grease, etc.).

- How cool do the audition pictures (below) look for Fuerzabruta? They had to audition in a POOL, suspended in the AIR. That just friggin' rocks. And I love that the casting was determined by "their physical endurance, their emotional expressiveness, and how good they looked wet." Sexy wet people...my favorite! Anyone want to do a Modfabber Gathering...we pick a date this fall, and we all go together? Maybe have dinner in Union Square first? This is going to be the most amazing show of the fall...if you know De La Guarda, you know it's simply unmissable. Cannot wait!

- The NYC Fringe Festival is finally over (the award winners are here; a best-of-fest repeat runs through mid-September). So it's safe for you all to return to New York now.

- All About My Mother began previews in London last night. And still no word from our most trusted London correspondent. I'm so disappointed in him. I may never recover.

- It looks like that other Frankenstein musical is playing for keeps...with the classy and talented cast it just announced, it's clear they don't plan to play second fiddle to anyone. Among the assembled, who will join the previously-announced Hunter Foster (Urinetown), are Christiane Noll (Witches of Eastwick, Jekyll & Hyde), Steve Blanchard (Beauty and the Beast), Jim Stanek (Lestat) and Mandy Bruno (Les Miserables). Those might not be household names (despite the Tony nominations), but it's as solidly talented a cast as we've seen all year. They've also moved to the best Off-Broadway theatre in town (37 Arts), which recently had success with the Broadway-bound In The Heights.

- Nikki Blonsky, the star of the hit movie Hairspray, would like to join the Broadway cast in the future. Wow, have the Hollywood offers dried up already?

- My, but that Mark Twain play must really be something. Check out the lineup of talent joining Norbert Leo Butz in I'm Not Dead this fall on Broadway: Tony nominees Michael McGrath (Spamalot), John McMartin (Grey Gardens) and David Pittu (LoveMusik), as well as Marylouise Burke (Into The Woods), Patricia Conolly (The Coast of Utopia), Jenn Gambatese (Tarzan), Byron Jennings (Stuff Happens) and Tom Alan Robbins (The Lion King). The Yankees just wish their pitching squad had talent this deep...

- Next week, there's a fire sale on Off-Broadway musicals! The annual 20@$20 Campaign is on September 4-16, where you can see a wide variety of shows for the price of a movie (if you include the popcorn). To be fair, many of the shows are complete dreck...but I'll be taking advantage of some of the best, including Ivo von Hove's The Misanthrope at New York Theatre Workshop, Walmartopia at the Minetta Lane...and who knows, maybe I'll go see Altar Boyz again, because it's so cheap!

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