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Tuesday, December 11, 2007


Stage Addiction: Kneel Before The Oprah, Peons!

- Let's face it, people: Oprah is God. She can turn water into wine, Obama into a frontrunner, and now, her own musical into a Hollywood movie. While details are nearly non-existent, one has to say the big question abouta possible Color Purple movie musical is: who's playing Celie on the big screen? My guess is it won't be LaChanze; despite winning a Tony for the role, she's got zero recognition in the film world, and she's probably too old to boot. But I also think it won't be Fantasia, who has had trouble in her music career connecting to a wide mainstream audience (which is a necessity for a movie). I'd love to see Anika Noni Rose have a shot, but my guess is it'll be a newcomer, like Whoopi was all those years ago.

- I am loving the new In The Heights TV commercial. Isn't it a blast?

- If you haven't been able to score a ticket to the newly-minted hit August: Osage County, wanna see what it looks like? Here you go. I'm still in love with it, almost two months since I first saw it. Have to go again, and soon.

- The possible return of Usher to Broadway, in a revival of the musical Golden Boy, has theatre producers all a-twitter. (Not to mention teenage girls and gay men, who are giddy at the prospect of Usher shirtless, playing a boxer involved in an interracial romance.) Everyone is right to be excited, I think. Golden Boy is an underrated gem of a show, and in a limited-run situation -- I can't believe Usher would agree to an open-ended run -- the combination of R&B fans and Manhattan show queens is a recipe for box office gold.

- The original cast of Spring Awakening is starting to move on, with replacements on the way for the new year. But that doesn't mean it's all bad...especially when Richard Burton's mega-talented daughter, Tony nominee Kate Burton (Hedda Gabler), comes in to take over the adult female roles. And not everyone is leaving...the romantic duo, Lea Michele and Jonathan Groff, have re-upped for another six-month tour of duty.

- Hey, if the Roundabout can do it, why not Jeffrey Richards? The megaproducer has taken his three new Broadway productions -- August: Osage County, The Homecoming and November -- and created a sweet three-play discount package. At $67 per play, it's not too bad a deal for those who like to buy in bulk. (And getting good seats to the nascent hits August and November will more than make up for having to sit through Pinter again, right?)

- New York Magazine has released their Best Theatre of 2007 list, the first of what will be many (including ModFab's, at a more appropriate time later in the month). There are some obvious choices, but when the editors go off the reservation -- honoring the wholly overrated Zoe Kazan or the chemistry-impaired leads of Pygmalion, for example -- the list becomes quite suspect. How could they not include, for instance, the most astonshing Off-Broadway hit in years?

- Set your DVRs...the award-winning documentary about the world's greatest living playwright, Tony Kushner: Wrestling With Angels, premieres on PBS tomorrow night.

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Blogger Vance said...

If I actually make it out tonight through the supposed winter storms, I'll be in town with my tickets to August! (Hope you're feeling better and that we can meet up at some point!)

12/11/07, 9:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tony Kushner the greatest living playwright? Besides not being nice as a person in-person, his work is cliché and too self-absorbed. You need to get out more to develop some better opinions! Try any playwright at the Royal Court in London as being light years better than the over-rated TK.

12/11/07, 11:28 AM  
Blogger ModFab said...

Nice try, Anonymous. I'll stack Kushner's work -- play by play and note by note -- up against all the sensationalist Mark Ravenhills in the Royal Court's bag of tricks.

As for overrated (which is the laziest and most insupportable criticism to make about art, BTW), your opinion is your own. I wonder what it must feel like to have nearly every person of intellect disagree with your uninformed assessment?

12/11/07, 2:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I guess you don't know TK personally - he is without humor and all about himself in person. I will take the comment back when TK gets a Nobel prize. Additionally, the comment about his work being over-rated is no more lazy and unsupportable than your "opinion" that he is the greatest living playwright (as is your comment about the award winning documentary - name a major doc award that it has received).

12/11/07, 8:19 PM  
Blogger ModFab said...

I've met Tony Kushner half a dozen times, and he's always seemed to be giving and warm. But this isn't about him as a person, but Kushner as an artist -- who, incidentally, has Tonys, Obies, Pulitzers, Emmys and an Oscar nomination on his mantle, and that's just off the top of my head.

I get the sense that you're bitter about him for some personal reason, so I'll leave it here...if you want to name a living playwright that you think is better, more acclaimed, more widely produced globally, etc., please be my guest. And when you're ready to come out of hiding behind anonymity and having a critically-aware conversation, then we'll talk.

12/11/07, 9:06 PM  

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