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Issue #225: March 15, 2009


  • Cirque du Soleil is preparing for its entrée into theater with a Broadway style production currently called Vaudeville. With Tony winner David Shiner (Fool Moon) on board the show is scheduled to open in Chicago in November then move to New York’s Beacon Theater for an extended run.

  • Director Robert Falls opens his production of Eugene O’Neill’s Desire Under the Elms starring Broadway veteran Brian Dennehy at the St. James Theater on April 14.

  • John Goodman and David Strathairn will star in the April 30 revival of Waiting for Godot.

  • Another movie to musical is in the works. Look for a musical adaptation of Sleepless in Seattle to hit the stage in 2010.

  • There is a gritty revival of the beloved musical West Side Story currently on stage at the Palace Theater. This production portrays the gangs as the thugs they were, not the singing/dancing attractive fellows in the original production. Another creative change is that some of the dialogue is in Spanish. Box office for this newest incarnation so far is very strong.

Broadway On The Road

  • Ontario's Stratford Shakespeare Festival had such great success this past season with sold-out performances of Eugene O’Neill’s Hughie and Samuel Beckett’s Krapp that they will be taking these two gems first to Chicago then Broadway. Stage veteran Brian Dennehy (you can catch him Desire Under the Elms, see above), who starred in both productions, is on track to resurrect his performances at the Goodman Theater in Chicago in January 2010.

London's West End

  • Rack up another one for those Jersey Boys! The 2006 Tony award winning musical took the best new musical prize at London’s Laurence Olivier Awards on March 8.

  • Jerry Springer heads to London to make his West End debut playing the role of slimy lawyer Billy Flynn in Chicago beginning June 1. I don’t think the role is much of a stretch for Springer.

Curtain Call

  • Pulitzer Prize winner Horton Foote died on March 4 at the age of 92. His career began as a stage actor before he became a writer.  His three-act play Texas Town was heralded by critics, making him an up and coming playwright to take note of in 1941. The Trip to Bountiful was originally written in 1953 as a one-hour television drama starring screen legend Lillian Gish. Other stage works were Dividing the Estate (revived this season on Broadway). Out of My House, Only the Heart and Themes and Variations. He wrote for numerous television programs in the early days including The Gabby Hayes Show and Television Playhouse.  It was his Oscar winning screenplay for the 1962 classic film To Kill a Mockingbird, however, that Foote may be most remembered for.

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