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Tuesday, November 04, 2008


Stage Addiction: Questions Of Dubious Import On Election Day

Today, there are serious questions that we, the American people, must face. Questions that demand our attention. One of those questions is VERY important. The rest? Ehhh, well, not so much. But let's talk about them anyway, shall we?

RELATIVELY UNIMPORTANT QUESTION #1: What are we to make of the news that playwright David Lindsay-Abaire will now be penning the screenplay for Spider-Man 4? Let me guess. That the kooky comedy of Fuddy Meers and the domestic death-drama of Rabbit Hole are appropriate styles for an action-movie webslinger? Or that writing the animated comedy Robots is all the experience needed to lead the biggest film franchise in history to its next (and theoretically largest) installment? That while Lindsay-Abaire is signing contracts in La La Land, he's not focusing on his book for Shrek: The Musical, which by all early accounts needs his full and undivided attention? (I mean, people: have you SEEN those terrible photos?) No one doubts the man's ability as a writer...but saying your humble editor is skeptical of the choice is like saying the Titanic was skeptical about that ice cube.

RELATIVELY UNIMPORTANT QUESTION #2: With all of the great new plays available in the world, and all of the talented living playwrights who would benefit immeasurably from a Broadway premiere, why on God's green earth would anyone decide to produce moldy old crap like Look Homeward, Angel? Why? For the love of all that's holy, why?

RELATIVELY UNIMPORTANT QUESTION #3: Does the casting of Michael Cerveris in the Broadway revival of Hedda Gabler (opposite Mary-Louise Parker) mean that Road Show -- the Stephen Sondheim musical in previews at the Public, also starring Cerveris -- has no possibility of transferring uptown? This is the panicked dilemma worrying show queens...but really, they shouldn't worry. The limited run Hedda ends well before the cutoff for Tony eligibility, and even if it didn't, Cerveris could simply step out of Hedda before the run ends. Road Show would need to close at the Public and spend at least 2-3 months getting the elements of a transfer together -- booking a theatre, building a larger set, etc., etc. Long story short: in the theatre, everything is possible. Including starring in two Broadway shows in one season.

RELATIVELY UNIMPORTANT QUESTION #4: Who would've thought that Paul Scott Goodman, once the brightest of new composers on the scene, would return from semi-obscurity...and with a commercial run to boot? Rooms is the new piece, and it'll open Off-Broadway in February. I wasn't a big fan of Goodman's first big musical, Bright Lights Big City...but I'll be watching this new piece with great interest.

RELATIVELY UNIMPORTANT QUESTION #5: Is there any reason you haven't seen Black Watch yet...especially now that it's been extended?

RELATIVELY UNIMPORTANT QUESTION #6: If it's true that John Travolta is going to pass on the sequel to Hairspray, can we get Harvey Fierstein in the movie instead? The first one would have been so much better, had he been in Edna's housecoat instead of Vinnie Barbarino. He's back in the role he created on Broadway right now, and he's as delightful as ever.

RELATIVELY UNIMPORTANT QUESTIONS #7, #8, and #9: Is it a minor miracle that, after a 45-year absence, Jane Fonda is returning to Broadway next season? Or that after 50 years, Cloris Leachman may do the same? And that they may both lose the Tony to Tovah Feldshuh, who seems to be on Broadway all the damn time?

RELATIVELY UNIMPORTANT QUESTION #10: Will anyone (besides my friend Vance at Tapeworthy) be excited about the just-announced cast of the West Side Story revival? To be fair, it's packed with talent: the hunkalicious Matt Cavenaugh (A Catered Affair), Karen Olivo (In The Heights), and even that geeky boy from Step It Up And Dance. But none of them are above-the-title names, and none of them will have any affect on the box office. Maybe that's the way writer-director Arthur Laurents wants it...all the focus on the show, no big-name stars to distract audiences from his work. But personally, I had hoped for a bit more glitz to make this revival truly special.
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Blogger par3182 said...

before i bother to get excited about WSS can you remind me if tony has a shirt off scene?

11/4/08, 1:33 AM  
Blogger Esther said...

Wow, I love that Hedda Gabler poster! It's kind of eerie.

11/4/08, 4:02 PM  
Blogger Vance said...

I was about to comment on Black Watch and a big YAY for it until I choked seeing #10. Ha!

11/4/08, 6:38 PM  
OpenID flamingcurmudgeon said...

Um, ROAD SHOW has slim to no chance of transferring to Broadway. It is simply dreadful.

11/5/08, 1:58 PM  
Blogger GayListDaily.com said...

We love West Side Story, especially if it's an all top-less (all-male, of course) version with Matt Cavenaugh.

11/6/08, 9:18 AM  

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