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Serving the Theatre Community since 1998

Issue #50: August 15, 2000


  • Angela Lansbury has withdrawn completely from the musical The Visit, which was scheduled to open at the Broadway Theater in the spring. Lansbury’s decision comes following her husband’s heart surgery and her desire to be with him during his recuperation. Producer Barry Brown indicated replacements are currently being discussed by the show’s creators John Kander and Fred Ebb, book writer Terrence McNally, choreographer Anne Reinking and director Frank Galati.

Broadway On The Road

  • In the mid 90s there were two touring productions of Cameron Mackintosh’s Miss Saigon – now there are none. The second national tour, which had its debut in Seattle in 1995, packed up and is headed for storage following its last performance in Buffalo on August 6. But it may not be forever. The production team is currently working on a scaled down version, which is set to premiere in Manila at the end of August. This production will feature Lea Salonga, Miss Saigon’s original Kim, in an entirely new concept. If all goes well and the new concept takes off we may see Miss Saigon back on the road by the summer of 2001 doing one-week engagements.

London's West End

  • Even though his Miss Saigon closed on the road, it looks like producer Cameron Mackintosh is flying high once again. The reviews are in on his latest musical The Witches of Eastwick and for the most part they are embracing the vampish production. Talks are already underway to bring it to Broadway within the next 18 months.

Broadway Around the World

  • The high hopes the Aussie theatre community had for the new musical Pan have crashed and burned. The retelling of the tale of a boy who never grew up closed after just nine weeks at Sydney’s Capitol Theatre. The closing cancels their hopes for a long run in Australia and an international tour, which was tentatively booked until 2002.

Curtain Call

  • In 1934 John Gielgud got Alec Guinness the first big break of his career. Now, sadly, both Sir Alec Guinness, who died at 86 on Saturday, August 5, and Sir John Gielgud have left us and the world of theatre. He will be remembered worldwide for his Oscar-winning performance in the 1957 film Bridge on the River Kwai and as Obi-Wan Kenobi in the film Star Wars. But it is Sir Alec’s connection to the Stratford Festival in Ontario that is less known but fondly remembered. On July 13, 1953, the curtain rose on Guinness as Shakespeare’s Richard III, under a tent beside the Avon River — the site which has become the Stratford Festival Theatre. The opening performance was “the single most memorable experience I have ever had in the theatre,” said Toronto Star theatre critic Nathan Cohen. Along with several of his fellow knights of the English theatre, Guiness was one of the great stage actors of all time.

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