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Serving the Theatre Community since 1998

Issue #92: July 15, 2002 - Fourth Anniversary Issue
Summer Edition - next issue August 15


  • Tom Wopat, last seen on Broadway in Annie Get Your Gun, has taken over the role of Julian Marsh in the musical revival of 42nd Street currently at the Ford Center.
  • Another casting note has The Sopranos’ Jamie-Lynn Sigler treading the boards as Belle in Beauty and the Beast beginning October 1 at the Lunt-Fontanne Theater. Known for her role as Meadow in the Mafia television series, Sigler recently headlined in a national tour of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella.
  • On June 13, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera played its 6000th Broadway performance. This makes the musical only the fourth production to reach that milestone. Look for the masked one to become Broadway’s third-longest running show in October.

Broadway On The Road

  • I had the opportunity recently to take in the Toronto production of the Lion King. I was fortunate to be living in New York when this groundbreaking production opened on Broadway and I saw a preview at that time. I must say I was somewhat skeptical about seeing a production that has been playing for more than three years and wondered if it would still amaze – well I’m happy to say it does. The performances were fresh and the spectacle still delivers that feeling of wonderment.

London's West End

  • No downtime for Henry Goodman who was unceremoniously dropped from the cast of The Producers this past spring. You can catch him playing Buddy in a revival of Stephen Sondheim’s Follies running August 3 – 31 at London’s Royal Festival Hall.

Bits & Pieces

  • As I mentioned in the last column On The Boards (OTB) is now four years old. This is quite a landmark for an online column and I’m proud of the fact that the readership has increased steadily and that so many of you contact me with your questions or comments. As part of evolving, my tech team is developing a forum so that all of you OTB followers can talk amongst yourselves and to me. You may also post your reviews of theatre productions you’ve seen and share your views with other theatre lovers. We are in the pre-production stage of the forum and plan to have it up and available to you soon.
  • On a personal note, two members of the OTB team are tying the matrimonial knot on July 20. Bob Daniel and Lynda Chiotti are partners in the cyberspace genre and partners in life. Best wishes to them both.

Curtain Call

  • Another behind the scenes legend has passed away. Canadian Robert Whitehead, producer of such memorable productions as Member of the Wedding, Bus Stop, Separate Tables, Orpheus Descending and Master Class just to name a few, succumbed to cancer in June at the age of 86. The eloquent gentleman producer was against type with no sign of the abrasive characteristics so often associated with the role of “producer.” Just weeks before his death he was awarded a special Tony for his five-decades of excellence in theatre. With him when he died was his wife Zoe Caldwell, star of the 1996 Tony winning best play Master Class. In a time when corporations and large businesses are now wearing the “producing” hat, Whitehead’s passing once again shows that the theatre world continues to decay with the loss of true visionaries. Trust me, although he was a straight play producer, Whitehead would not have screwed up Seussical or Sweet Smell of Success. He will be missed on many levels.

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