Lauren Molina & Jason Tam. Photo by Win Lubin.
I’m back from my hiatus only to discover that the theater world continued on without me. The nerve! So let’s catch up with a few of the biggest stories in a slam bang news round-up…
- Certain theater producers better be buying everybody rounds of drinks at Bar Centrale this week, because two Broadway shows announced they have officially recouped their investments. The Tony-winning Best Musical Once and the imported farce One Man, Two Gov’nors are now playing for profit, baby. (Might I suggest that if you see a show with “three” in the title, you invest in it right now.)
Broadway Cast of "Assassins". Photo by Joan Marcus.
Speaking of number one with a bullet, my favorite under-appreciated Sondheim score, Assassins, will be heard again in New York at a one night only benefit performance for the Roundabout Musical Theatre Program. The cast of the acclaimed 2004 revival–including the snoggable Neil Patrick Harris and the divine Denis O’Hare–will reunite on December 3 for a reading of the gorgeously twisted show.
- While we’re on a Sondheim binge (“More hot pies!”), the Keen Company announced the cast for their upcoming revival of the revue Marry Me a Little. Starting Septemeber 11, the lovely Lauren Molina and the, well, lovely Jason Tam will be singing a host of Uncle Steve’s best including trunk song rarities like “Rainbows” from the much delayed film version of Into the Woods.
- I don’t know about you but I wanted to be Karen Allen (Raiders of the Lost Ark) when I grew up. I mean, seriously, she could handle her whiskey and she got to kiss Harrison Ford. She also happens to be a compelling actress with theatrical credits beyond her 80’s blockbuster film resume. All this is a long-winded way of saying that Ms. Allen will be starring in a new play, A Summer Day by Jon Fosse, starting October 10 at the Cherry Lane Theater. Don’t let anything (say, huge rolling boulders or a temple full of snakes) get in your way of seeing it.
- And while we’re thinking of Indiana Jones (go with me), the opening sequence in the second film in that series not only started with a big musical number but it took place in Shanghai…which, according to the New York Times, is now the proposed home for a multi-billion dollar entertainment complex intended to “to rival the Broadway theater district in New York and the West End in London.” (Yeah, even my head hurts trying to follow that segue.) The project, expected to be completed by 2016, is a joint initiative between Chinese partners and the folks at Dreamworks Animation SKG (Spielberg! See, it’s all connected).
Categories: The Buzz assassins, Denis O'Hare, jason tam, karen allen, keen company, lauren molina, marry me a little, Neil Patrick Harris, Once musical, One Man Two Guvnors, roundabout theatre, Stephen Sondheim
Every first Wednesday of the month, get caught up with what’s on stage with our review round-up. And that vaguely hollow, clinking sound you hear at the end of each segment? That’s me tossing in my two cents. This month, we’re falling all over ourselves–and over chairs and down stairs–for a Tony-nominated farce…
Suzie Toase, Oliver Chris, James Corden & Jemima Rooper in "One Man, Two Guvnors". Photo by Joan Marcus.
One Man, Two Guvnors
British comic hero James Corden stars in this British transfer about one very hapless man trying to juggle love, sandwiches and two demanding bosses in swinging 60’s Brighton.
“One Man is…both satanic and seraphic, dirty-minded and utterly innocent. Letting loose and neutralizing all sorts of demons, it’s ideal escapism for anxious times.” New York Times
“These guys just want one thing, and it’s to make us laugh. They succeed brilliantly.” New York Post
“On a laughs-per-minute basis, this rollicking London import gives The Book of Mormon a run for its funny.” Hollywood Reporter
“…it’s a decidedly mixed bag, a very long show (2½ hours) with one brilliant scene that doesn’t compensate for the acres of tedium that surround it.” Wall Street Journal
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