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Sunrise, Sunset

April 21st, 2011

Photo by Joan Marcus.

With shows opening and closing like flashy tropical blooms, Broadway seems to be a little less about Dancin’ and a little more about Darwin. Survival of the Fittest. The Circle of Life. Fasten your seatbelts, it’s going to be a bumpy night. Whatever the cliche, it’s a jungle out there. Let’s take a quick survey of the situation:

  • Yesterday, one of the last big musicals to open in time for Tony consideration entered the fray: Sister Act. Based on the blockbuster Whoopi Goldberg film about a lounge singer hiding out in a convent, the new tuner was written by multiple-award winners Alan Menkin (Little Shop of Horrors), Glenn Slater (The Little Mermaid), and Cheri and Bill Steinkellner (Cheers)–with a last minute assist on the script from Douglas Carter Beane (The Little Dog Laughed). With reviews coming in mixed to great, word is that the lead performance by Patina Miller is a winner and the motown-infused score is infectious. And nuns are funny. Especially nuns on bikes…but that’s another story.
  • Hanging tough and flexing their muscles, a number of shows stated their claims to be King of the Jungle. War Horse, the Lincoln Center smash with the jaw-dropping stagecraft and the awe-inspiring reviews, settled in for an open-ended run. Meanwhile, three smaller productions, including the voyeuristic house tour Sleep No More, announced extensions.
  • Finally, Kathleen Turner’s star turn in the new play High became the first major kill of the Spring. After 28 previews and 8 regular performances, the addiction drama will close Sunday. It would seem that Turner’s praised performance and the publicity warning of “Full Male Nudity” were not enough to goose ticket sales in this highly competitive season.
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