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Tuesday, September 30, 2008


Stage Addiction: Just As We Were About To Slit Our Wrists...

NEW YORK - JUNE 10:  Actress Christine Ebersol...BONNY, BLITHE AND GAY: Broadway could really use some good news these days...and maybe a laugh or two. Which is why we should all be thank our lucky stars that Tony winner Christine Ebersole, our blessed lady of the grey gardens and shoulder implants, is coming back to Broadway in a revival of Noel Coward's Blithe Spirit, one of the most charming comedies of the 20th century. In a season that seems waterlogged with heavy dramas (Equus, The Seagull, All My Sons, A Man For All Seasons, Hedda Gabler, American Buffalo, Mary Stuart, reasons to be pretty, and more), Coward's wit will appear like an oasis in the dramatic desert. Don't get me wrong, I love the serious stuff...but I'd like to hit some other emotional notes too, and not just the shrill screech of A Tale of Two Cities. (Side note: my need to laugh uncontrollaby may also be quenched by this, which I'm hoping will be the greatest theatrical experience of my lifetime when I see it, multiple times, probably in costume, starting next month. I am officially hot for teacher. It's the final countdown. Hit me with your best shot.)

BRANAGH, BELIED: Last week I offered up the idea that Ivanov, the West End smash starring Kenneth Branagh, might move to Broadway next season. Now I'm not so sure -- seems the folks at Marvel are keen on the actor-director helming the film version of Thor, the comic god-slash-superhero. Here's an instant poll: who thinks this is a really bad idea? Show of hands?

GEE, OFFICER KRUPKE: I must admit there's a special thrill to scooping the New York Times by three weeks. Of course, WSS's move north to 47th Street was the worst-kept secret in town, even before Legally Blonde decided to call it quits. More exciting would be news about the cast of the Bernstein/Sondheim classic...and the rumor that Matt Cavenaugh (A Catered Affair) is the headliner. Rowr.

INTO THE WOODS, KINDA: The good people at Dreamworks would like you to know that the box office of Shrek: The Musical has now opened. Because, umm, no one's buying tickets. Seems there's already a few kid-targeted musicals already on Broadway (Billy Elliot and 13, not to mention the stalwart tourist attractions Wicked, The Lion King, Mary Poppins and The Little Mermaid), and no one's making room for the adorable ogre. Maybe things will pick up after the reviews, or when the bailout bill gets through Congress. But right now, there's no lonelier corner of the Great White Way than 53rd and Broadway.

BATTLE OF THE MUSICALS, 2009 EDITION: Want to know the big Tony Award battle...of 2010? You don't need a crystal ball to guess that it'll be between these two. Just imagine it: in one corner, there's the genius behind The Lion King and the biggest rock band in the world. In the other, there's the scrappy composer of The Wild Party with the guys behind Broadway's biggest hit of the decade, Jersey Boys. I simply can't wait.

RUMORS ON THE RIALTO: While the public is reeling from the string of closures last week, there's an equal number of behind-the-scenes battles for shows that may -- or may not -- make it to 42nd Street. Chief among them is Vanities, which sits right now out in Pasadena, waiting to see if the financing holds together for a New York transfer. (There's better news for Nerds, however...the show begins some very under-the-radar casting next month for its hoped-for Spring '09 berth, probably starring Sean Hayes. In fact, we hear it was the prospect of Nerds -- a show Hayes has nurtured since Will and Grace ended -- that led Hayes to nix transfer talk of last summer's Damn Yankees revival. And those who have heard the music says it's amazing. But we'll be the judge of that, won't we?)
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Blogger Vance said...

Oh. I thought the Matt Cavenaugh was a done deal. Rowr is right. I actually loved A Catered Affair but I do agree with a blogger somewhere that stated the show would have been much better if Matt was just to stand around shirtless for the whole show. I can't argue with that.

9/30/08, 3:10 AM  
Blogger Joseph Gomez said...

BLITHE AND GAY: lovin' it

BRANAGH, BELIED: both hands raised incredibly high

GEE, OFFICER KRUPKE: lovin it!!!!

INTO THE WOODS, KINDA: i want this show to bomb. :-/

BATTLE OF THE MUSICALS, 2009 EDITION: hopefully something good will come of this.

RUMORS ON THE RIALTO: yawn for both

9/30/08, 11:36 AM  
Blogger Esther said...

Hey ModFab,
Ok, maybe "Blithe Spirit" is charming, but I didn't care for it all that much when I saw it earlier this year in a local production. I don't know, it just wasn't as funny as I thought it would be. I found it a bit creaky, a bit too well-mannered. And a little witty banter goes a long way. But, maybe Ms. Ebersole will bring the spark that I felt was missing. Still, I have to admit, when I heard it was being revived, my initial reaction was, "Meh, seen it." Why couldn't the producers find a new play instead of another revival?!

And congrats on your scoop. Well done!

9/30/08, 11:55 AM  

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