Issue #129: May 1, 2004
- Doug Wright's I Am My Own Wife walked away with the Pulitzer Prize for drama in April. Currently on Broadway at the Lyceum Theater, the autobiographical drama about his investigation into the life of a German transvestite should now be in contention for a Tony.
- Kristin Chenoweth is leaving her good witch role in Wicked. However, her co-stars Idina Menzel and Joel Grey will be carrying on at least until January 2.
- You may be seeing the lovely Natalie Portman in next season's revival of The Glass Menagerie. Jessica Lange is already on board to star. Theater and opening date are yet to be confirmed.
- The May 4th opening of Frozen allows the drama to make it in time for the May 5th cut off date for the Tony nominations. Bryony Lavery's play about a serial killer of children starring Swoosie Kurtz, Laila Robins and Brian F. O'Byrne is currently in previews at Circle in the Square.
- It looks like the 80th anniversary celebration of the legendary MGM studio will include some major Broadway fare. Next spring will herald the arrival of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels and Marty. Let the festivities begin!
- Vanessa Redgrave will be heading to the Kennedy Center in Washington in May 2005 when she plays Euripides' Hecuba. The Royal Shakespeare Company production will first run in Stratford and London before it heads to North America next May.
- The role of Bert, made famous in the movie by Dick Van Dyke, has finally been cast for the London debut of Mary Poppins. Wiry performer Gavin Lee will don his dancing shoes when the production goes into rehearsal on July 19.
- The on-going challenge continues for those interested in audience development and growth. The high costs of productions tend to dictate high-ticket prices so your typical theatregoer is, well, mature. The producers of Rent got it right by offering the first two rows of seats to students for a $25.00 ticket price. That's the way to encourage young people to experience the world of live theatre. My question is why haven't other productions/producers done the same. Numerous theatres throughout North America have empty seats, thus no revenue at all. There should be some sort of across the board “new audience pricing” where it is mandatory that there be reasonably priced tickets available for students — and I don't mean the back rows of the theatre or standing room. Alas, as long as producers now have dollar signs in their eyes they care little about filling the seats years from now.