The mad rush to make Tony eligibility becomes a full on avalanche this week. Let’s ride the wave of openings with multiple review round-ups today and tomorrow. First up, two shows that earn gasps from the audience — when their leading men take off their shirts. (I’m not kidding.)
Caissie Levy & Richard Fleeshman in "Ghost". Photo by Sean Ebsworth Barnes.
The teary-eyed “classic” film about romance in the afterlife, sexy pottery throwing and sassy mediums, makes it to Broadway as a visually spectacular musical with songs by pop heavyweights Glen Ballard and Dave Stewart.
“…thrill-free singing theme-park ride.” New York Times
“Overall, it’s an ambitious, carefully orchestrated work that raises the bar on technological innovation.” Associated Press
“…a lumbering megatuner with little to offer beyond a limitless array of dazzling effects.” Variety
“Much of Ghost is loud and tacky enough to wake the dead, yet there are undeniable signs of vitality from the machine side of this Broadway cyborg.” New York Magazine
James Corden in "One Man, Two Guvnors". Photo by Joan Marcus.
This week’s news round-up is brought to you by the number “2″, as in hot theatrical duos taking the stage:
- Like some kamikaze European vacation (if it’s Thursday, it must be a musical), the unrelenting stream of show openings to make the Tony cutoff continued as the British farce One Man, Two Guvnors and the Pulitzer Prize-winning drama Clybourne Park both bowed to rave reviews. [I'm seeing Clybourne tonight so I'll have a report next week.]
- Another dynamic duo is taking the stage up at the Williamstown Theatre Festival this summer. Bradley Cooper (always of Alias to me) and the divine Patricia Clarkson will star in a revival of The Elephant Man. A musical version of Far From Heaven will also be in the festival — so the actress who gets to play Clarkson’s role from that film will be feeling no extra pressure, right?
Caissie Levy & Richard Fleeshman in "Ghost". Photo by Joan Marcus.
Jake Gyllenhaal is not a duo. But he certainly has a nice pair of something (eyes, yes, we’ll go with eyes) — so he can be a part of this round-up. He also belongs here because he’s making his New York stage debut in Roundabout Theatre Company’s If There Is I Haven’t Found It Yet. He and his nice eyes will open September 20.
- Molly, you in trouble, girl. At least, that’s how I felt for the talented and likable leading lady Caissie Levy last night when I caught a preview of Ghost The Musical (review thoughts will wait until it officially opens). During her big, character arch defining 11 o’clock number, the extraordinarily complicated video wall set seemed to be off its tracking and the curtain was brought down. Tech problems happen in previews and are usually no big deal; the show was up and running again in 20 minutes, right from the middle of Levy’s last verse. The tough break here is that last night was a big reviewer night. Playbill reports that many of the majors including the New York Times were there last night (they somehow do not include my name). Kudos to Levy and company for jumping back in and giving it their all but one couldn’t help but detect a note of bittersweet disappointment in Levy’s curtain call — standing ovation notwithstanding. I wanted to give her a big hug and tell her it didn’t affect my feelings about her work at all. Oh, and the name of the song she was singing — “Nothing Stops Another Day”. Indeed.
Categories: The Buzz Bradley Cooper, Caissie Levy, clybourne park, ghost the musical, Jake Gyllenhaal, Kevin Kline, meryl streep, One Man Two Guvnors, Patricia Clarkson, Pulitzer Prize, Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare in the Park, The Elephant Man, Williamstown Theatre Festival