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Serving the Theatre Community since 1998

Issue #117: October 1, 2003


  • Almost twenty years after its world premiere in 1985, the Public Theater is bringing back Larry Kramer's The Normal Heart.  This groundbreaking play ran for a year at the Public, the longest continuous run of any play in the theatre's history.  The staging of The Normal Heart  at the Public will mark the first  revival of a contemporary play in its history.  At the time of its original staging The Normal Heart was an "in your face" drama focusing on the AIDS crisis in America.  This revival begins in February in association with Worth Street Theater.
  • Lyricist-composer Richard Adler is busily writing two new tunes for the upcoming revival of his 1950s hit The Pajama Game.  The producers are looking at late spring or early summer for the opening, which will introduce veteran choreographer Kathleen Marshall as a first time Broadway director.

London's West End

  • It's all Sondheim all the time when Sweeney Todd opens on December 15 at the Royal Opera House.  Then a revival of Passion takes to the Bridewell Theatre in January.  The Donmar Theatre programming gurus  have been huge Steven Sondheim fans since the most recent production of Pacific Overtures, which opened at the end of June, was the venue's fifth production to be staged from the legendary composer's extensive catalogue of musicals.

Broadway Around the World

  • Good things happening down-under — the two top subscription theatres, Sydney Theatre Company and Melbourne Theatre Company, are enjoying record box office sales.  In July STC's staging of Proof set an all-time record.  Down the road in Melbourne the MTC is celebrating its 50th year and is forecasting its best year at the box office since 1990 with subscriptions up 9% from 2002, which was up 32% from the year before that.  This is all good news for the world of theatre in the land of OZ!

Bits & Pieces

  • I had the chance to catch the latest touring incarnation of the hit revival Chicago in Toronto recently.  It was a pleasure to see such a tight production with a talented cast, all with bodies that defy words.  One of my favourite musicals, Chicago is as timely now, maybe even more so, as when it first hit the stage back in the 70s.  It was then that this dark musical was up against A Chorus Line for all the Tonys.  Two major works in one year - there can only be one clear winner and at that time it was A Chorus Line.  Fortunately producers Fran and Barry Weissler, the king and queen of revivals, saw the wisdom of restaging this slick production when they saw a workshop version staged by the Encore Series at City Center in New York in the mid 90s - and the rest, as they say, is history.  If this production is coming to your town soon, run, don't walk, to buy a ticket.  It is one of the best examples of the genius that is Kander and Ebb.

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