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Issue #51: September 1, 2000


  • Former Charlie’s Angel Cheryl Ladd will take up duties as Annie in the Broadway production of Annie Get Your Gun on September 6. Tony award-winner Bernadette Peters will take a long deserved break from the role.
  • The curtain goes up on Broadway Television Network, September 10, 2000 at 8:30PM ET, with the airing of Broadway hit musical Smokey Joe’s Café: The songs of Leiber & Stoller. You will find the program listed in your local pay-per-view channel guide. If you are looking for more information, log on to www.broadwaytv.com to find out more about this interesting new network.

Broadway On The Road

  • The new Chicago SFX/NEDERLANDER alliance brings together the Shubert, Cadillac Palace and Oriental theaters all under one management umbrella. This alliance promises to bring an early version of The Producers, a new musical based on Mel Brooks’ hilarious movie, to the 2001 season. Other pre-Broadway fare currently on the schedule are Tallulah with Kathleen Turner, also a new musical The Rhythm Club, which opens for a month on December 9, and then in May 2001 Mamma Mia!
  • The long awaited new musical Seussical The Musical had its first performance in Boston on August 27. The show received an enthusiastic response but there appears to be some trimming to be done. The show officially opens in Boston at the Colonial Theatre on September 6 then heads to New York’s Richard Rodgers Theatre to begin previews on October 15.

London's West End

  • If negotiations go well, Tom Cruise’s main squeeze, Nicole Kidman will be returning to the London stage although no date has been confirmed. Trevor Nunn will direct a new production of Henrik Ibsen’s The Lady from the Sea at the National Theatre. Kidman made her London debut in Sam Mendes’ 1998 production of David Hare’s The Blue Room.
  • Another film actor is planning to make his London debut in the spring. Brendan Fraser (The Mummy, George of the Jungle) is preparing for the role of Brick in Tennessee Williams’ Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. Fraser was last seen on the boards in Los Angeles. He appeared with Parker Posey in John Patrick Shanley’s Four Dogs and a Bone at the Geffen Playhouse in 1995.

Broadway Around the World

  • Here’s a sign that the live theatre industry is in dire straits; the 123-year-old Her Majesty’s Theatre will close permanently within nine months. The owners of the Sydney landmark will probably sell the site for redevelopment, as the 1400 seat theatre has been relatively dark for three out of the past five years. This jewel of a theatre hosted the Australian premieres of such musicals as Sweet Charity, A Chorus Line and Hot Shoe Shuffle as well as the recent 10-month sold-out run of The Boy from Oz.

Bits & Pieces

  • The National Alliance of Musical Theatre’s annual conference and festival will take place the weekend of September 22 in New York. Among the many activities this year will be a 45-minute presentation of a new musical that I am close to: Dragonslayer, A Love Story. Based on the legend of St. George and the dragon, Toronto based creators M.A. Yeomans and Jack Lenz will showcase their new musical with talent from England, Canada and the United States. With all the revivals and theatre pieces based on movies these days let’s hope this original flies, and support from the industry allows the staging of this creative musical.

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