January 2008 Theatre Column
January 6, 2008
Lone Star Love
is back up and running, the only (perhaps) casualty
of the strike is that Lone Star Love (which
was scheduled to open December 2, 2007) is no longer
coming to Broadway's Belasco Theater; it will continue
to play in Seattle instead. I saw Lone Star
Love when it played off-Broadway back in February
of 2005 and featured it in this column.
Love is a Texas-based musical retelling
of Shakespeare's The Merry Wives of Windsor
and it was a lot of fun.
will now open at the Belasco on February 29,
2008 (previews begin February 8, 2008). Passing
is described as: "The show takes audiences
on an international journey from L.A. to Amsterdam,
Berlin, and beyond as a young man from California
searches for his identity. It features blues, rock
and roll, gospel, and pop music written by Stew
and Rodewald, who head the band The Negro Problem."
Tickets are $26.50-$111.50
at 212-239-6200 & 800-432-7250 & telecharge.com.
For more information about Passing Strange,
log onto their website: passingstrangeonbroadway.com.
The Belasco Theatre is located at 111 West 44th
this month is Alfred Hitchcock's Olivier Award winning
comedy The 39 Steps which is described
in their press release as: "The 'unstageable'
thriller is staged, with four cast members playing
a minimum of one-hundred-and-fifty roles. The story
revolves around an innocent man who learns too much
about a dangerous spy ring and is then pursued across
Scotland, before returning to London to foil the
villain's dastardly plans. The 39 Steps
contains every single legendary scene from the award-winning
will open at the American Airlines Theatre and runs
from January 15, 2008 through August 23, 2008. Tickets
are $51.25-$96.25 at 212-719-1300 & roundabouttheatre.org.
For more information about The 39 Steps,
The American Airlines Theater
is located at 227 West 42nd Street.
Inge's Come Back, Little Sheba started
preview performance on January 3, 2008 at the Biltmore
Theatre. The show opens on January 24, 2008 for
an open run. Sheba is described in the press release
as: "S. Epatha Merkerson [of Law and Order
fame] reprises her acclaimed Los Angeles performance
as Lola in William Inge's classic drama Come
Back, Little Sheba. Michael Pressman directs.
Lola (Merkerson) is a faded beauty queen trapped
in a lonely marriage to Doc, a recovering alcoholic
on the brink of relapse. When a pretty young woman
becomes a boarder in their cluttered Midwest home,
their lives are unsettled as unspoken passions rise
to the surface. As the emptiness of their marriage
is laid bare, can they find their way back to each
other or will they be undone?"
Tickets are $46.50-$91.50. Phone
212-239-6200 & 800-432-7250 telecharge.com.
The Biltmore Theater is located at 261 West 47th
Photo Credit Scott Landis
Another notable play that opened
this fall (but escaped the notice of this column)
is Harold Pinter's The
Homecoming which opened on December
16, 2007 at the Cort Theater. The Homecoming
is described in its press release as: "Ian
McShane, Raul Esparza, and Michael McKean star in
the Broadway revival of Harold Pinter's The
Homecoming, directed by Daniel Sullivan. Considered
one of Pinter's greatest plays, The Homecoming
is undoubtedly his most sexually provocative work.
Set in North London, the play concerns the ultimate
dysfunctional family, presided over by its patriarch
Max (McShane). Living under his dilapidated roof
are his younger brother Sam (McKean), and two of
his sons: Lenny (Esparza), the town pimp, and Joey,
For tickets call 212-239-6200
& 800-432-7250 or log onto telecharge.com.
For more information on The Homecoming,
log onto: thehomecomingonbroadway.com.
The Cort Theater is located at 138 West 48th Street.
Is He Dead?
Photo Credit Joan Marcus
The "Mark Twain" play also opened on December
9, 2007 for an open run at the Lyceum Theater. Titled
Is He Dead?, the play is described in the
press release as:
" Is He Dead?,
a new comedy by master American novelist and satirist
Mark Twain, is adapted by David Ives, directed by
two-time Tony Award® winner Michael Blakemore,
and stars Tony Award winner Norbert Leo Butz. Inspired
by the posthumous bidding war that broke out between
the United States and France over Jean-Francois
Millet's painting "The Angelus," Is He
Dead? is a fast-paced comedy about a group of poor
artists who stage the death of their mentor to drive
up the price of his paintings. In order for the
scheme to succeed, the artists hatch various hilarious
plots involving cross-dressing, a full-scale fake
funeral, lovers' deceptions, and much more."
Tickets $26.50-$98.50. Call 212-239-6200 & 800-432-7250
or log onto:
For more information about Is He Dead?,
log onto: http://www.ishedead.com/
The Lyceum Theatre is located
at 149 West 45th Street.
I am appending my
previous theater columns that covered what was then
the coming Broadway season. All of these plays have
opened with the exception of Lone Star Love;
Cyrano and Cymbelline have opened
and closed (they were both originally scheduled
for short runs).
It looks like the Writers Guild will
definitely go out on strike (as we all now know,
it did). But this rumbling out of California is
only benefiting the fall theater line up. Chazz
Palminteri is opening his one man show, A Bronx
Tale, at the Walter Kerr Theater. Kevin Kline
and Golden Globe winner Jennifer Garner will star
in a new production of Cyrano de Bergerac
at the Richard Rodgers Theatre, running October
12th - December 23rd. Randy Quaid will be starring
in his first Broadway show, Lone Star Love,
which opens for preview on November 1, 2007 at the
Belasco Theater. And Claire Danes will star in Pygmalion,
which will run October 11, 2007 - December 16, 2007
at the American Airlines Theatre.
Tom Stoppard's Rock & Roll
One other notable show that will be
opening this fall is Tom Stoppard's Rock &
starring Rufus Sewell, Sinead Cox and Brian Cox
- all from the original London cast. Stoppard has
always been a brilliantly subversive playwright.
And his talents first shone on Broadway forty years
ago with his first Broadway production when he turned
Hamlet on its ear in Rosencrantz
and Guildenstern are Dead.
One play that I am sure to catch is
Tracy Lett's August:
Osage County which begins previews on October
30th and opens November 20th for an open run at
the Imperial Theatre after a sold out run at Chicago's
Steppenwolf Theater. Letts is the Pulitzer price
nominated playwright (for Man from Nebraska)
of Bug, which I reviewed when it ran three
years ago at the Barrow Street Theater. Bug
was subsequently made into a movie starring
Ashley Judd and Michael Shannon (from the Off Broadway
production). See my June
theater column for more about Bug.
Bug was wonderful so August: Osage County
is definitely makes my short list.
Disney's The Little Mermaid
Also, believe it or not, The
Little Mermaid (thelittlemermaid)
is another not-to-be-missed show hitting Broadway.
Mermaid has a book by Douglas Wright, the
playwright who won the Pulitzer Prize for I
Am My Own Wife, a play about an East German
transvestite. Just as playwright Douglas Carter
Beane (The Little Dog Laughed) was able
to turn Xanadu into a delicious campy feast,
with Wright as the playwright, Mermaid
should be truly enjoyable for the entire family
and not just a treat for Brownie-troupes-on-a-field-trip.
And from my August Theater Column:
Fall will soon be here and there
is a plethora of interesting new shows opening on
Broadway. Here are three that caught my eye:
The Farnsworth Invention
(of West Wing fame) has penned a new play,
The Farnsworth Invention, which is opening
on November 4, 2007 at the Music Box Theater. The
show tells the story of the invention of television.
Now I am a West Wing junkie (I have all
the first four Sorkin years DVD's) and I really
tried to love Studio 60, so I am psched
to see this new play. Log onto farnsworthonbroadway.com
for more information about the play. [For a mini-review
of Farnsworth, see my December
The Producers may have
closed on Broadway but another one of Mel Brook’s
campy movie classics, Young Frankenstein,
is coming to Broadway, opening on November 8, 2007
at the Hilton Theatre. Now I just know this one
is going to be fun and nothing like the other monster
fiasco, Frank Wildhorn’s Dracula.
for more information about this show.
Lone Star Love
And last, Randy Quaid is starring
in Lone Star Love, a musical retelling
of Shakespeare’s The Merry Wives of Windsor.
Lone Star is opening December 2, 2007 at
the Belasco Theater. I saw Lone Star Love
when it played off-Broadway back in February of
2005 and featured it in this column.
It was a lot of fun and has the potential to be
a hit on Broadway (you certainly can’t fault
the plot). Log onto lonestarlovethemusical.com
for more information about the show.
For information on all the Broadway
shows, log onto our Broadway
theater listing section.