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Tuesday, October 16, 2007


Stage Addiction: The Gayest Gay in the History of Gay

This past weekend I finally got to Xanadu at the Helen Hayes...I really should have made it before now. Why? Because it is, hands down, without question, the gayest experience I've ever had. Gayer than the pride parade. Gayer than cocksucking. Gay gay gay gay gay. And that, in this case, is a great, fabulous thing. The show is pure cheap fun, transformed from shaky kitsch into entertaining musical comedy by a truly spectacular cast. (See it before the original group leaves -- Mary Testa and Jackie Hoffman, playing the villainesses, should be knighted for their years of dedicated service as second-banana comediennes. And Cheyenne Jackson, in addition to being a superb actor, is also the single sexiest thing I've ever seen on Broadway.) In the end, here's probably all you need to know: the final number includes dancing boys in go-go shorts, on roller skates, waving flags, swirling fluorescent sticks, in a wind machine, with two dozen disco balls spinning in the air. If you're into that, it's for you...and you should come out of the closet immediately.

- A Broadway revival of Godspell? Well okay, if we have to, we have to.

- Last week, the buzz in this column surrounded the production of Farragut North. Would it star Gyllenhaal? Would it star DiCaprio, who signed onto the movie version? Would it still be directed by Mike Nichols, who was also attached to The Country Girl? Would it happen at all? Would it not? My source confirmed last week that the Broadway production was still on. But what a difference a week makes. The problem (as it is in most things) is the movie version, whose probable director, George Clooney, doesn't want to compete with a legit doppleganger. So at the moment -- and I stress, at THIS particular, changeable moment -- it looks as if the play won't happen anywhere, on or off Broadway. The movie is eating the play for dinner. And the movie will star DiCaprio.

- While we're on the subject of Hollywood invading Times Square, let's discuss the recent reading of Spider-Man: The Musical that Julie Taymor staged with her Across The Universe co-stars, Evan Rachel Wood and Jim Sturgess. Reports are the piece seemed rock-solid to those who attended...but Wood, at least, will not continue on to the next stage. What is that next stage, exactly? It all depends on whether there is a fourth installment of the movie franchise; the third, released last May, didn't do as well as its predecessors. With contract renewals due for the principal cast, it's a very expensive gamble. But if the movie pulls together quickly, the music will wait until after it's released. If not, we could see it as early as Fall 2008. So here's the Hobson's Choice for culture mavens: which do you want more, the movie or the musical?

- A Catered Affair...extended yet again in San Diego. It's looking more like Piazza every single day. (Piazza, you may remember, was extended in Seattle for weeks in its pre-Broadway run.) And speaking of extensions, it looks like The Beebo Brinker Chronicles is going to become the first downtown hit of the season.

- And now, a completely gratuitous photo of Xanadu's Cheyenne Jackson, henceforth known as the ModFab Love Machine:

- Director John Doyle (Company) reconfirmed his next two shows, which have been rumored for a while now. After he finishes up with Catered Affair next spring on Broadway, he'll head back to the U.K., where he'll revive Sondheim's Merrily We Roll Along; then at the Public Theater in late 2008, he'll finally give New Yorkers a production of the composer's last musical, Bounce. (And in case you are, like me, wishing that he had directed the movie version of Sweeney Todd, take heart...at least it got an R rating. And Sondheim himself likes Tim Burton's version. But then...what else is he going to say?)

- Cool Stuff, NYC:
- Cool Stuff, Elsewhere:
  • London's Ewan MacGregor/Chiwetel Ejiofor staging of Othello, directed by Frost/Nixon's Michael Grandage;
  • Cate Blanchett, directing (The Year of Magical Thinking) and acting (Shakespeare) at Sydney Theatre Company, where she is a new co-Artistic Director;
  • Eric Idle's new play What About Dick? for only two performances in Los Angeles, but with a stunning cast including Billy Connolly, Tim Curry, Eddie Izzard, Jane Leeves, Emily Mortimer and Tracy Ullman;
  • the West End production of The God of Carnage, the latest by Yasmina Reza, starring Ralph Fiennes;
  • The History Boys, starring Queer As Folk's Peter Paige, at the Ahmanson in L.A.

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Blogger Paul said...

i'm kind of aching to see xanadu

am off to rent remixed next week so will give you the skinny from a rent virgins point of view

peter paige in my beloved HB? I assume he plays the "renegade" teacher (not the cop a feel teacher)?

10/16/07, 2:27 AM  
Blogger vance said...

there can never be a gratuitous photo of Cheyenne Jackson!

Seriously, Ive begun my countdown to the cast recording (apparently out in Jan, recording on the 28th of this month).

I've been living on this for now to feed my hunger: http://tapeworthy.blogspot.com/2007/09/suddenly-im-going-to-post-this-now.html

10/16/07, 10:15 AM  
Anonymous toonsntunes said...

re: Spider-Man: The Musical

Evan Rachel Wood is a whore, and I'm glad she's not going further.

Why can't we have both a play nad a movie at the same time!?

I don't feel that they are that much competition for each other.

Can't one of the Spring Awakening girls be MJ instead?? I vote Ilsa!!

10/16/07, 12:59 PM  
Blogger T$ said...

Xanadu rocks - glad you liked it. I saw it in previews - and everyone...I mean everyone...thought I was nuts for singing its praises. Thankfully the Times review vindicated me.

10/17/07, 5:08 PM  
Anonymous Mart ha said...

I saw it in preview, and Just Didn't Care that no one believed me (except for my nephew, who dragged me there) that it was so splendid. Then, I was lucky enough to bump into Douglas Carter Beane and thank him for his crazy gift to theatre.

And Cheyenne is delicious (and a dog adopter, too--what a mensch!).

10/17/07, 10:47 PM  

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