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Stratford Superstar heading south

It was recently announced that the critically acclaimed Stratford Shakespeare Festival production of Jesus Christ Superstar will be heading the San Diego’s La Jolla Playhouse in November.  Stratford artistic director Des McAnuff has very close ties to La Jolla with  stints as its artistic director from 1983 to 1994 and again from 2000 to 2007.  Recent visits from creators Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice begs the question….can a Broadway date follow their La Jolla engagement?

R.I.P. Peter Falk

Although most will know Peter Falk as the rumpled television detective Colombo, he also had a celebrated stage career.  In the 50′s he was in the off-Broadway production of The Iceman Cometh. He also appeared on Broadway in original stage productions of works by Neil Simon, Arthur Miller and Paddy Chayefsky. Falk also worked in film with legendary directors Frank Capra, Blake Edwards, Mike Nichols and John Cassavetes. Suffering the last few years from Alzheimer’s, Peter Falk died at the age of 83 on June 23.

Hugh Jackman in Toronto…Stratford Festival Announces 2012 Season

Song and dance man…and Auzzie hunk Hugh Jackman brings his concert show to Toronto’s Princess of Wales Theatre July 5 – 17.   With an 18-piece orchestra this musical theatre veteran will surely deliver a great performance.

Stratford Festival in Canada announced its 2012 season but what was more notable was that artistic director Des McAnuff will remain with the festival until 2013, completing a six-year run.  In the musical theatre world McAnuff is known for his Tony winning productions Jersey Boys, The Who’s Tommy and Billy Crystal’s 700 Sundays to name a few.  For the 2012 season look for Christopher Plummer to return in a one-man show A Word or Two.  Also on the bill will be Henry V, Much Ado About Nothing, Cymbeline for the Shakespeare lovers.  On the musical front productions of 42nd Street, The Pirates of Penzance and You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown are also among the offerings.

Tonys…Spider Man

The Tony’s once again proved to be the gold standard for award shows. A great host, Neil Patrick Harris…and performances from all the musical contenders…doesn’t get any better than that. The big winner of the night was The Book of Mormon raking in nine statues including best musical. In the play department the magnificent War Horse won for best play…look for it to make its way to Toronto in February.

There is good news on the Spider Man: Turn Off The Dark front. The past few weeks has ticket sales north of $1 million each week…which is a good thing since the production currently has a $75 million price tag…still a long way to go to recoup but at least there is new interest in what has been a very troubled production throughout the unprecedented number of previews.