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Tuesday, October 07, 2008


Stage Addiction: When Your Theatre Just Doesn't Fit

THE HOUSING MARKET: The new musical Vanities is still struggling to solidify financing for Broadway...but that hasn't stopped it from playing musical chairs with its future location. Originally, the producers were interested snaring the medium-sized Longacre Theatre (1091 seats) when Boeing-Boeing moves out this winter. But they may now opt instead for the smaller Lyceum (922 seats), the soon-to-be-former-home of Title of Show. Why? Broadway is a confidence game, and my guess: they ain't confident.

THE AD WARS: Here's the ad for Speed-The-Plow. Is it me, or does it look, um, very...Powerpoint-ish? Early word drifting in from the first previews is that it varies from great (Esparza) to good (Moss) to otherwise (Piven).

BACK TO BRODERICK, ER, BUSINESS: And now ladies and gents, please welcome Matthew Broderick back to Broadway. Mr. Jessica Parker, who has made an indelible name for himself on the Great White Way (Torch Song Trilogy, How To Succeed..., The Producers, The Odd Couple), will star in The Philanthropist, Christopher Hampton's witty retort to Moliere's Misanthrope. The play originally ran on B'way for a whopping two months in 1971; in a season already overruns with revivals, one must ask...is there room at the Tony table for this obscurity?

SHERIE RENE SCOTT RETURNS: This is interesting, no?

UNDER THE INFLUENCE: Finally, how about some ModFabbian buzz? I've already seen A Man For All Seasons at the Roundabout and Chekhov Lizardbrain at the Ohio; neither is spectacular (although I did love Patrick Page's brief turn as a high-strung Henry VIII in Seasons), but both are solid efforts to reinterpret their respective classics. I'm told that 13 (which I'm seeing on Thursday) is a middling achievement at best, while Wig Out is the best American play since Doubt. (That seems heavy praise, but I've yet to meet a single person who doesn't think it's brilliant.) For me, the best fun in New York at the moment is Rock Of Ages, the Velveeta-cheesy fluff at New World Stages. Jam-packed with hits from the hair-band 80's, it's got three things to recommend it: a tremendously witty supporting performance by Will Swenson (Hair), a hilarious bastardization of Pat Benatar, and -- you listening, kids? -- full bar service during the musical, delivered right to your seat. I had the privilege of being served by Dustin, a sexy Brit rocker, who kept the whisky flowing throughout both acts. Cum on feel the noize, indeed.
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