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Issue #87: May 1, 2002


  • It didn’t take the producers long to jettison the new lead in the mega-hit The Producers. Brit musical stage star Henry Goodman replaced Nathan Lane as Max Bialystock on March 19, making his stint in the musical less than a month long. The producers claimed they “want to pursue a different quality for the role.” It might have been nice for them to have considered that before they replaced Lane with Goodman. Understudy Brad Oscar will take over the lead for now—until the producers bless the production with the next Bialystock.
  • A new musical based on quirky film maker John Waters’ Hairspray opens at the Neil Simon Theater on August 15 following a tryout at Seattle’s 5th Avenue Theater in June. Starring Harvey Fierstein and directed by the Old Globe’s artistic director Jack O’Brien, the new musical promises a story that delivers “big dreams and even bigger hair!”
  • One of Broadway’s favourite actresses, Bernadette Peters, returns in 2003 as Mamma Rose in a revival of the popular musical Gypsy. The date and theatre still need to be confirmed.
  • Look for the return of Jude Law and Eddie Izzard to New York this fall and 2003. Law is currently at the Young Vic in London in Doctor Faustus which will make the leap to Broadway sometime in 2003. Izzard recently wrapped the London revival of Peter Nichol’s A Day in the Death of Joe Egg and plans are in place to open in New York this fall.
  • Who knew it’s been twenty years since the cult musical Little Shop of Horrors took Off-Broadway by storm??? Plans are in the works for the Alan Menken and the late Howard Ashman’s musical to make its Broadway debut in January.

Broadway On The Road

  • Artistic Director Joanne Woodward recently announced the Westport County Playhouse season (June 5 to September 14) in Westport, Conn. First off the mark is Thornton Wilder’s Our Town (June 5 to 22) with hubby Paul Newman in the role of the Stage Manager and directed by stage vet James Naughton. Next up is John Van Druten’s The Voice of the Turtle (June 26 to July 13), then Athol Fugard’s Master Harold… and the Boys (July 17 to August 3), followed by Sutton Vane’s Outward Bound (August 7 to 24). The final production of the season is the premiere production of the musical spoof A Saint She Ain’t by Dick Vosburg and Denis King.

London's West End

  • Not only is Madonna strutting her stuff in the upcoming production of David Williamson’s Up for Grabs but you can find Mrs. Richie’s name among the producer credits for Jesus Hopped the ‘A’ Train which began an eight-week run April 24 at the Arts Theatre.

Bits & Pieces

  • Look for more movies to be transformed into stage productions over the next few seasons. With the success of The Graduate, Thoroughly Modern Millie and Chitty, Chitty Bang, Bang producers are banking on big bucks with the already proven material. Currently in the works are productions of Enchanted April, Dead Poets Society and Where’s Poppa?

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