Showtune Sunday: Melanie Griffith in "Chicago"
Each February, when a wave of Hollywood stars decide they'll take a sabbatical from the rigors of moviemaking with a limited-run in some Broadway show, theatre fans begin their annual descent into dread. Sure, A-listers ensure that tourists and casual theatregoers will pack into Times Square, eager to touch the golden fleece of celebrity. But it also means, with very few exceptions (Hugh Jackman, Nicole Kidman, Reba McEntire, etc.), their lack of stage training and live-performance experience will verge on the embarrasing.
As a visual example, please enjoy Melanie Griffith, who doddered her way through Chicago back in 2003. After the disastrous turns by Morgan Freeman, Frances McDormand and Clay Aiken last season, who will be the big turkeys of 2009? (My money's on James Gandolfini, who begins previews at the end of the month in God of Carnage.)