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Issue #41: March 1, 2000


  • The end is near for the longest running Broadway show in history — yes Andrew Lloyd Webber’s legendary musical Cats will take its final bow on June 25 at the Winter Garden Theatre where it will have performed a record-breaking 7,397 performances. I’ll bet there will be a big party on Broadway that night!
  • An 18 week limited engagement of Arthur Miller’s new play The Ride Down Mt. Morgan begins previews on March 21 at The Ambassador Theatre. Broadway will welcome back Star Trek: The Next Generation star Patrick Stewart in the leading role. I predict this will be the toughest ticket to get since Al Pacino was at Circle In The Square a few years ago.
  • Mike Nichols hosted readings for his version of Chekhov’s The Seagull recently in his New York apartment. In the lead roles are Meryl Streep and Kevin Kline. No word yet on when the production will hit the stage

Broadway On The Road

  • The Denver Theatre Centre premiered a new play called The Laramie Project, on Saturday, February 26 and runs through to April 1. The play is about the savage beating of 21 year-old college student Matthew Shepard in October 1998. Eight actors from the New York based Tectonic Theatre Project play characters based on interviews with more than 200 people The story made headlines around the world when Shepard was found tied to a fence after two men beat him to death simply because he was gay. Future stops not yet confirmed.

London's West End

  • Artistic Director Trevor Nunn announced the next year’s program for the Royal National Theatre. New productions of Hamlet, The Cherry Orchard and My Fair Lady will be featured in the next 14 months. New plays are Joe Penhall’s (Blue/Orange), Alan Ayckbourn’s (companion pieces House and Garden) and David Edgar’s (Albert Speer). In the running for the role of Henry Higgins in My Fair Lady is Jonathan Pryce. Real-life brother and sister Corin and Vanessa Redgrave share star billing in The Cherry Orchard.

Broadway Around the World

  • The onset of the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, Australia will also highlight the country’s various performing arts organizations. A new arts report indicates that the 31 companies that receive government grants are drenched in red ink. The 300 page final report from a yearlong inquiry into the performing arts sector indicates that a $52M(A) government bailout package is needed. However, the report does suggest that a number of similar companies can merge and/or share various subscription programs. It remains to be seen what will ultimately happen following a March meeting of federal and state ministers.

Curtain Call

  • Known for his on stage wizardry, the brief career of Doug Henning was cut short on February 7 after a five-month battle with liver cancer. He was 52. He appeared on Broadway in the 70s in The Magic Show, as well as an eight-month run of Merlin and Doug Henning’s World of Magic. In 1999 Henning was ranked No. 5 in Magic Magazine’s top 10 magicians of the 20th century. A follower of the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, the Winnipeg-born native is survived by his wife Debbie.

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