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Mamma Mia, That’s Some Spicy Theater News!

May 19th, 2011

There are times when the news from the stage gets so exciting, I want to jump up and sing. Like I’m built out of Legos. And performing Mamma Mia. With Czech subtitles.  If I did, it might look something like this:

I told you. Wow. (And, somehow, you still get the nuances of the story.) Well, that’s exactly how I feel about this quick news round-up:

  • The Atlantic Theater Company isn’t playing around as it celebrates it’s 25th Anniversary; it’s pulling out the big guns and loading them with super high caliber talent. (Ouch, that metaphor even hurt me.) 10×25 features a rotating set of ten-minute plays by the iconic likes of John Guare (Six Degrees of Separation), Ethan Coen (No Country For Old Men), Jez Butterworth (Jerusalem), Tina Howe (Coastal Disturbances), Craig Lucas (Reckless), David Auburn (Proof), Sam Shepard (Buried Child) and, of course, Atlantic leading light David Mamet (do I really have to?). As Mamet might say, this big f—ing deal runs through June 26.

  • Dan Butler

    You can’t keep a great dame down. Just weeks after closing his girdle-busting The Divine Sister, Tony-nominate playwright and genius gender-bender Charles Busch is headed back to the boards–or at least his words are. Primary Stages recently announced casting for the world premiere of his newest play Oliver and the Bitter Herbs. With performances starting July 26, the comedic ghost story will star Richard Masur (Democracy, One Day at a Time!), Dan Butler (Fraser), Marcia Jean Kurtz (Loman Family Picnic) and the wickedly funny Busch company player Julie Halston. I’ll be there with my best pearls on.

  • With all this big Off-Broadway news, Broadway just had to prove who’s boss. Producers revealed that, this September on the Great White Way, performances will begin for an evening of one-act plays by Ethan Coen (yep, him again), comedy legend Elaine May (Heaven Can Wait) and–wait for it–Woody Allen. Titled Relatively Speaking, the production will feature direction by actor John Turturro (Do the Right Thing). Yeah, take that, you under 500 seaters.
  • Finally, get out your red wigs and cute little dresses. No, this isn’t another Charles Busch mention. Annie is returning to Broadway in 2012 directed by Tony-winner James Lapine (Into the Woods). Why announce it now? Because they are holding open casting calls for 6-12 year olds on  June 12 in New York and right now via video audition on the internet. As my brilliantly witty friend Kay Peterson Daly so beautifully put it, “What an age of technology. If we had this when I was a kid, my spirit could’ve been crushed so much sooner!” Mamma mia, indeed.
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