It was a week packed with big headlines in the theater world so we’re going to do the news round-up “lightning round” style. Ready, set…Go!
- The “revised” Porgy and Bess opened last night to rave reviews for Audra McDonald. Expect awards to come her way at the end of the season given that she has been Tony-nominated for an astonishing 86% of her eligible performances (at least by my highly suspect math). Take that, Meryl Streep.
- Producers announced that the new musical Leap of Faith starring Raul Esparza will make a surprise early Broadway entrance this April, well ahead of its planned Fall arrival. Methinks somebody sees an open field for the Best Musical Tony award.
- Disney is going back Into the Woods. The decades long “will they or won’t they” battle for a movie version of the Sondheim/Lapine classic is back on thanks to a press release announcing that Rob Marshall (Chicago) is attached to direct as a part of a two year deal with the studio. No offense but a brief suggestion, Rob…I know you love working with him and he’s done Sondheim before but I don’t need to hear Johnny Depp sing “No More”.
- Victoria Clark (Light in the Piazza) will replace Bernadette Peters as “Sally” in the current revival of Follies for the Los Angeles run. I love my B but that is some spot on, get on a red-eye to the west coast worthy casting.
Speaking of Follies, have you heard the delicious Elaine Paige interview her co-star Ron Raines for the American Theatre Wing’s “Downstage Center” Podcast Series? Paige is a hoot with a whiskey laugh and fearless opinions about her pay, her part and a certain King and I co-star.
- In the “sometimes decisions get made for you” column: Jeremy Jordan will indeed seize the day and star in the Broadway production of Newsies this March. There was concern that he might need to bow out thanks to his leading role in another Broadway show, Bonnie & Clyde. A higher power (ie. low ticket sales) intervened and Jordan is free to star in his second show of the season.
- And in case you were wondering how Leap of Faith managed to secure a theater in an overstuffed Broadway season, remember the old “when one door closes, God opens a window” saying? The current “revisal” of On a Clear Day (You Can See My Sex Change) announced it will be closing January 29. Mixing metaphors horribly, the patient isn’t even dead yet and Leap jumped through that window.