Issue #222: February 1, 2009
In January the economic downturn affected nine productions with closing notices including; Monty Python’s Spamalot, Hairspray, Young Frankenstein, Boeing-Boeing, 13 and Grease. Hopefully this state of Broadway will somehow see ticket prices come down for those shows that are lucky enough to be playing.
Eugene O'Neill whose plays include The Iceman Cometh and Long Day's Journey Into The Night is enjoying a renaissance at Chicago's Goodman Theater where Broadway veteran Brian Dennehy is starring in a revival of Desire Under the Elms.
The Toronto production of Jersey Boys has just announced an extension to March 29 at the Toronto Centre for the Arts.
James McAvoy (Golden Globe for Atonement) joins Nigel Harman (EastEnders) in Three Days of Rain by Richard Greenburgh opening at The Apollo Theatre on February 10.
Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio is set to star in the revival of A View From the Bridge which opens on February 5.
- That delicious Auzzie Hugh Jackman now appearing
on the big screen in Baz Luhrmann’s Australia has
quite a stage background. Jackman’s musical
resume consists of Beauty and the Beast and Sunset
Boulevard. He was cast by Trevor Nunn as
Curly in London’s National Theatre revival of Oklahoma! Jackman made
his Broadway debut a number of years ago playing Australian
showman Peter Allen in The Boy From Oz. And
now there is buzz that he will return to Broadway in a musical
about Harry Houdini sometime next year. I
will keep you posted on that.
- Prolific playwright and 2005 Nobel Literature Award winner Harold Pinter died in December, 2008. Pinter's plays range from The Birthday Party (1957) to Remembrance of Things Past (2000) as well more than a dozen sketches. He was 78. Born in East London, his career as playwright, actor, director and screenwriter included stage, radio, television and film. Awards for Pinter included the Laurence Olivier Award (1996), Canadian World Leader's Award (2001) and European Theatre Prize (2006) among many. A biography on this towering presence on the world's theatrical and literary scene can be found at his official web site.