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Tuesday, October 21, 2008


Stage Addiction: There's Only So Many Options, People...

Cheyenne Jackson Signing AutographsImage by Julia Roy via FlickrAN EXERCISE IN VANITY: Pity poor Vanities. Dithering between the Longacre and the Lyceum for weeks, the show's producers had finally settled on a third option for their Broadway home: the Cort Theatre, which is graciously moving out its current tenant, The 39 Steps (and sending it over to the Helen Hayes, the show's third Broadway address in less than a year). But a funny thing happened to Vanities on the way to the theatre...Will Ferrell, who swooped in with a limited Broadway run of his one-man show, You're Welcome America: A Final Night with George W. Bush. Ferrell will run until March 15...which technically leaves enough time for a show to open before the Tony eligibility cutoff in April. But it's cutting it very close. (And Vanities is already selling tickets...for February.) So is it back to the Longacre, the Lyceum, the Cort, or to the newly-emptied Shubert or Neil Simon (where Spamalot and Hairspray will end their runs, respectively, in January)? With Blithe Spirit probably at the Neil Simon, and Hair, Nerds and reasons to be pretty all looking for homes as well, this battle for real estate isn't even close to over.

A STAR IS REBORN: Liza's back! I don't know what's more surprising, her two-week gig at the Palace, or the fact that she's not dead yet. (But then again, gay icons never die...exhibit A, Elaine Stritch.) And on a related note: Mercedes Ruehl's back! Doesn't have the same ring as Liza, though, does it? Perhaps this will work better: Jacob Sterling's back! And since I didn't see this comedy the first time around, I'm thrilled. Sleeper hit, maybe?

BRIDGE AND TUNNEL: My spies tell me that The Toxic Avenger, currently playing its premiere out in New Jersey, will find its way very quickly to Off-Broadway, probably at New World Stages, probably early in 2009. You heard it here first (or perhaps second).

RAINING ON YOUR PARADE, UNFORTUNATELY: Yeah, the internet rumor mill is cranked up to an 11, a-twitter with the idea that Cheyenne Jackson might join Oliver Platt in the new revival of Guys and Dolls. Maybe it's true. But here at ModFab House, we're a bit skeptical. Here's our reasoning: Cheyenne just finished a year in Xanadu and might like a break; he's certainly available, so if he were cast he'd have already been announced when Platt was; and he's developing a different project, The Band Wagon, for Broadway next season. Never say never, but I'm betting against it at the moment.

WELL, DUH: The 2006 Oscar-winning film about hardscrabble romantic musicians, Once, is being turned into a stage musical. Shocked. Shocked, I tell you. Who would have ever imagined this film would make a musical? What will they think of next, Dreamgirls? On stage?

MEN SUCK (IN A GOOD WAY): Wow. It's a rare day on the internet when you get a smoking essay like this one, by Mauritius author Theresa Rebeck. And you know what? She's absolutely right. After a year when women managed a few inroads to the Broadway boys' club, the pendulum has swung back hard with a very boy-heavy season (2 Mamets, Chekhov, Labute, Beckett, and male-centric musicals Pal Joey, Billy Elliot, West Side Story, etc.) and zero, count 'em ZERO, female playwrights represented. The major women on Broadway this season? Princess Fiona, the ladies of 9 to 5, Madame Arkadina and Hedda Gabler: a fairytale, a movie about sexism, and two women nearly a century behind the times.

SPLIT PERSONALITY: April 30th: Tony Eligibility Cutoff Day. A day that will live...in infamy. Or at the very least, a day that will be very difficult for Tony nominators, who will need to be in two places at once.

BROADWAY, AT A BARGAIN: If you love new musicals -- but don't want to pay a gazillion bucks to see them all -- you might be interested in a pretty amazing sampler evening. I'll be there, so if you're coming, let me know. And with Tony winner Laura Benanti in charge (and probably tipsy), it's a guaranteed good time!
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Blogger Amy said...

Found this over the weekend re Toxic Avenger:

10/21/08, 6:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the Rebeck link. I've been feeling similarly grumbly...

10/22/08, 10:47 AM  

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