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Tuesday, September 11, 2007

 

Stage Addiction: The Devolution Will Be Televised

- There are many reasons to be glad you never bought tickets to see Legally Blonde: The Musical. It's not very good, so you can be glad about that. But now there's another reason to be happy you didn't shell out $120 to see it...it's going to be televised, in its entirety, on MTV later this month. It's still crap, but now it's free crap. Set your TiVo...I hope you like big, pink sets! (And congrats to the Blonde marketing team, who have ensured the show's continued tourist business for years to come, based on this telecast.)

- Lots of "confirmations" flying around the Great White Way this week. Harry Potter himself, Daniel Radcliffe, confirmed plans to remount Equus on Broadway next year (once he finishes filming the latest kid-wiz installment). Alfred Hitchcock's The 39 Steps will find a theatrical berth on Broadway earlier than that, at the American Airlines Theatre. And last but not least, country goddess Dolly Parton went on the record that 9 To 5 will hit Broadway in 2009.

- But who needs confirmations? Rumors are a lot more fun. Like the one the composers of [Title of Show] are spreading about their 2006 Obie-winning hit (which was one of the best musicals of the decade). Supposedly, [Title] will reopen on Broadway at the Booth Theatre...maybe as early as this spring, after The Seafarer ends its limited run. Equally juicy is the talk of a new Broadway-bound revival of All My Sons, starring John Lithgow, now in the works. And even better than that? The gossip from London: Jude Law. Hamlet. Next spring.

- The Little Mermaid continues to climb out from under its disastrous pre-Broadway run in Denver, hoping to turn terrible word-of-mouth into "we're fixing it" excitement. Enlisted in the cause: film "critique" David Poland, who came to the show's rescue (but not without lightly pissing all over it at the same time). I appreciate Disney's efforts to make lemonade out of their lemons, but pictures like this one don't give me a lot of confidence that it's fixable. (Or the one to the left, to be frank.)

- Show Queen Alert: how's this for a reunion, huh? Fabulous.

- Last week, we previewed the upcoming Broadway fall season. But everyone knows the more interesting stuff happens Off-Broadway, and this season is no exception. Here's a great starter guide to the highlights you can find off the stem in 07-08. I'd also add these two just-announced comedies: Christopher Durang's classic The Marriage of Bette and Boo (one of the first plays I ever truly adored, back in the 80's) and Paul Rudnick's latest, The New Century, which will get a sterling new production at Lincoln Center.

- Reality Contestant Alert: Not good enough for Grease, but definitely an Altar Boy.

- Breaking a long-standing tradition on Broadway, Young Frankenstein will not publicly announce their weekly grosses to the media. Why not? Because if they end up making records-setting amounts, jealousy will hurt their Tony Award chances. And if they're NOT breaking records, pundits will call the show a failure. They can't win...so they've decided not to play.

- Movie Musical Casting Alert: Bardem, Cruz, Cotillard, Zeta-Jones and Loren are set for Nine.

- Next month's new production of Die Mommie Die!, starring Charles Busch in his Sundance Award-winning role, just added the divine Kristine Neilsen to the cast as the vengeful maid Bootsie. And as everyone who has seen Neilsen onstage in Mrs. Witherspoon, Our Leading Lady, Omnium Gatherum or Based on a Totally True Story already knows, she's the best comedienne working in New York today. Which officially puts this show into the Must See category.

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