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Issue #164: January 15, 2006


  • John Patrick Shanley, author of the Pulitzer and Tony winning Broadway hit Doubt, stages his latest new play Defiance which debuts off-Broadway at the Manhattan Theater Club on February 9.  With the success of Doubt's screen reception, Shanley is currently looking at projects with Rob Reiner, Norman Jewison and Scott Rudin.
  • Eden Espinosa (Brooklyn) has joined the cast of Wicked as Elphaba currently at the Gershwin Theater.

Broadway On The Road

  • The Fabulous Fox Theater in St. Louis, with over 4,000 seats, did what no other road stop has ever done.  The first week of its Wicked engagement in December, sold out the eight-performance schedule grossing more than $2 million. That barrier has never before been reached, what with declining ticket sales in many tour markets.  Hopefully this is a sign of better days ahead for the road.

London's West End

  • Robert Altman will be testing the legit waters when he takes up directing duties at the Old Vic when Arthur Miller's Resurrection Blues opens on March 2.

Bits & Pieces

  • On a recent flying visit to New York I happened to catch up with some former colleagues who still work for producer Cameron Mackintosh.  Monday, January 9 marked The Phantom of the Opera's 7,486th performance, making it the longest running Broadway musical.  Celebrating in style, the producer hosted a Masked Ball at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel following the performance.  At a party, lasting to the wee hours, were more than 2000 guests including former Phantom Christine's, numerous cast members along with production crews and management staff all of whom have been part of this history-making production.

    Following the performance, the Majestic Theater and prior to the party, a Cat met the Phantom on stage to pass the baton.Mackintosh has the remarkable distinction of producing the top three longest running Broadway musicals, The Phantom of the Opera, Cats and Les Miserables.

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