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New York City - Theatre

Wendy R. Williams'
Theatre Column


Greetings Theater Lovers,

So The Producers has finally closed at Broadway’s St. James Theater on April 22, 2007, after playing thirty-three preview performances and two-thousand-five- hundred-and-two regular performances to raving appreciative audiences.


Young Frankenstein

It is being replaced by another Mel Brook’s show, Young Frankenstein which is expected to open on Halloween night, 2007 – a truly brilliant choice. But The Producers, with its twelve Tony Awards (including Best Musical) will be sorely missed. Perhaps it will some day return again like the now revived Les Miserables, which closed after a sixteen year run but returned to Broadway on November 9, 2006.


Legally Blonde

Legally Blonde is opening on April 29, 2007 (check back for Katharine Heller’s review in the theater section). I loved the movie and am totally ready to be charmed by the musical. After all, The Producers started as a film, became a hit Broadway musical and then was reinvented as a film. So as long as the producers of Legally Blonde forgo that last step (redoing the film from the theatrical musical which was based on a film in the first place), why shouldn’t Legally Blonde enchant everyone, including its target audience of out-of-town Moms who bring their teen age daughters to New York to stay at the Hilton and see some theater?


Tall Grass
Photo Credit: Carol Rosegg

This month was a sparse one for theater attendance. I saw one play, Brian Harris’ Tall Grass. But that was enough because Mr. Harris is a brilliant (and dark) playwright and (as Dorothy said in Cameron Crowe's Jerry McGuire) he totally “had me at hello.”

Here is a quote from the press release: “This dark comedy is about three couples with three unusual problems. A lazy young executive obsessed with a career-obsessed woman. A middle-aged couple whose sexual fantasy lurches out of control. Octogenarians fighting for their lives. Tall Grass shows that in romance, those in love still have an ax to grind, especially when they discover what lurks beneath the surface.”

Grass was ably directed by Nick Corley and starred three actors: Mark H. Dold; Edward O'Blenis; and Marla Schaffel. The show was made up of three short plays with the all the characters being portrayed by these three actors. All of the “shorts” were dark and funny, but my especial favorite was the last segment about the octogenarians who receive a visit from a representative of the government (who is here to help them?) who has been alerted to their situation because their grass is too tall.

Unfortunately, this show closed its run at the Beckett Theatre on 410 West 42nd Street on April 15, 2007. But please remember the names of the playwright (Brian Harris), the director (Nick Corley) and the actors (Mark H. Dold, Edward O'Blenis and Marla Schaffel).

Rock on,

Wendy

 



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