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Posts Tagged ‘clifford odets’

TO SEE OR NOT TO SEE: 2012 Fall Preview, The Plays

September 12th, 2012 Comments off

Steppenwolf's "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?". Photo by Michael Brosilow.

If the fall season’s crop of musicals is a sparse and eccentrically planted lot, the roster of plays is lush with big ideas, big stars and must-see events (if a few too many “didn’t we just see that” revivals). So let’s dig into the harvest feast…

"Grace". Image via O+M Co.

An Enemy of the People (September 27): Henrik Ibsen’s sturdy study of personal pressure and politics kicks things off just in time for election season. Class acts Boyd Gaines and Richard Thomas play brothers, a mayor and a doctor, on opposite sides of an environmental disaster in the making. (Yeah, this was written when?)

Grace (October 4): As I’ve said before…Paul Rudd. I lerve him. Toss in the always magnetic Michael Shannon (Revolutionary Road) and my interest is more than peaked for this surreal comedy-drama about a couple’s plans for religious-themed motels and their less than faithful neighbor.

Running on Empty (October 9): Comedian and professional ranter Lewis Black brings his stand-up to Broadway for a week of performances.

Cyrano de Bergerac (October 11): The French war horse (no, not that one) gets trotted out for another display of witty banter, actorly showmanship and much-needed rhinoplasty. Tony-winner Douglas Hodge (La Cage aux Folles) takes on the title role in a Roundabout Theatre revival.

Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (October 13): The revelatory Steppenwolf production starring playwright (and seriously accomplished actor) Tracy Letts and the incomparable Amy Morton finally makes it to Broadway. Check my review from when I saw it at Arena Stage last year and tell me you aren’t a wee bit excited to see the Albee classic again.

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Broadway Strips Down, “Seminar” Skips Town and More Theater News

May 4th, 2012 Comments off

Sure, the Tony nominations were the big theater news this week, but there were a lot of other stories to get hot about as Broadway dropped some shows — and some clothes:

Nick Kenkel for "Broadway Bares: Happy Endings". Photo by Andrew Eccles.

  • If the weather is getting warmer than you know it’s time for Broadway to bare it all. The run up to the big burlesque night of all nights, Broadway Bares, begins this Sunday at 9pm with a curtain raiser, so to speak, of Solo Strips. This one-night-only fundraiser will feature ten of the hottest men of Broadway (including Theater Buffs Nick Kenkel and Sam Cahn) shaking their money makers to make some money for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.
  • As sure as some producers are popping champagne on Tony nomination morning, others are dropping the axe. Without Tony love to build audience awareness both Seminar and Magic/Bird posted closing notices. While Bird never found its box office magic, Seminar completes a fairly healthy run, suffering only from a drop in sales after the loss of its original marquee star, Alan Rickman.
  • That fiery gal Rebecca is actually making it to Manderlay via Broadway as the on-again, off-again musical announced an October 20 start date for previews. Unfortunately, the presumed leading lady Sierra Boggess has moved on to another Broadway production slated for the same period, Prince of Broadway.
  • Two “hotties” making theater related news this week: two-time Tony nominee (and Sutton Foster main squeeze) Bobby Cannavale will return to Broadway in a revival of Clifford Odets’s The Big Knife and indie-film pin-up Joseph Gordon-Levitt is developing a movie remake of the classic Menken & Ashman musical Little Shop of Horrors. If you’ve seen this little number from 500 Days of Summer, you know that Gordon-Levitt has some dance moves in him…so this might not be a bad thing.
  • The anniversary of an important milestone in the history of musicals passed this week, but no one seemed to notice. Well, no one but my good friend and amazing writer at large (yes, Jason, amazing as in awe-inspiring) Jason Cochran in this insightful article about the film version of Chicago and its “justified” musical numbers. I couldn’t agree more with his analysis and have to say that the box this has created is constraining the musical imagination, even on stage.  Will the film version of Les Miserables swing the pendulum back?