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Issue #52: September 15, 2000


  • A revival of The Rocky Horror Show will open on November 15 at The Circle in the Square Theatre. Producer Jordan Roth (The Donkey Show) has assembled a star studded cast including Thom Hewitt (Frank ’N’ Furter), rocker Joan Jett (Columbia) in her Broadway debut, talk show host Dick Cavett (Narrator), Rent alum Daphne Rubin-Vega (Magenta). Previews begin on Friday, October 20.
  • It looks as though Shirley MacLaine will fill the shoes left vacant by Angela Lansbury last month, to star in the new Kander & Ebb musical The Visit. Producers are still looking at a spring 2001 opening — if that doesn’t materialize they are looking at a West End version with either Dame Judith Dench or Dame Diana Rigg.
  • The Yasmina Reza (Art) play The Unexpected Man will open at the Promenade Theatre on October 10 with Alan Bates and Eileen Atkins in the leading roles.

Broadway On The Road

  • Seussical, The Musical seems to be having trouble in Beantown. It was previously reported that the show would be an audience pleaser, but definite problems have surfaced as it continues its out-of-town tryout in Boston. There is speculation that it will be hard to fix before its scheduled November 9 Broadway opening. The Seussical watch is on!

London's West End

  • This could be the West End’s busiest autumn in a long time with a dozen major openings starring many well-known actors. Among the performances to be sampled includes the debut of Daryl Hannah on October 9 at the Queen’s Theatre in George Axelrod’s play, The Seven-Year Itch. Marilyn Monroe made the movie version famous in 1955.
  • Another Hollywood star, Jessica Lange, will be in director Robin Phillips’ revival of Long Day’s Journey Into Night at the Lyric Theatre beginning November 21.
  • Playwright Patrick Marber (Closer) takes up directing duties with the remounting of Harold Pinter’s 1960 play The Caretaker. Michael Gambon (Skylight) will head the cast when it opens in November at the Comedy Theatre.
  • A December 5 opening is scheduled for The Accused written by and starring none other than Lord Jeffrey Archer. The theatre venue is yet to be determined.
  • Director-choreographer Matthew Bourne returns to the London stage with his first dance-musical piece since Swan Lake. The Car Man opened on September 13 at the Old Vic following a pre-London tour.

Broadway Around the World

  • The Olympics isn’t the only show in town downunder. Tony Award-winning producer John Frost is sticking with the revival formula that has garnered him great success with previous productions of The King and I and The Sound of Music. His latest revival, Annie, will be staged at Sydney’s Lyric Theatre. Broadway director and lyricist Martin Charnin, who directed the original 1977 production, is taking up duties for this incarnation.
  • Who would have thought of a musical based on The Thorn Birds? Author of the best-selling novel, Colleen McCullogh, is part of an international production team that will stage a workshop of the epic story in January at Berlin’s Theater of the West.
  • Mamma Mia! Watch for a production to open in Australia in 2001. With Oz having the world’s largest Abba fan club, a successful run for the musical is assured.

Bits & Pieces

  • Following the hugely successful and Tony Award-winning Encores! musical series, City Center are introducing a 2000-01 season featuring play revivals. Spawned from an idea by actor Alec Baldwin, the series, City CenterVoices, will be produced and star the most famous of the Baldwin brothers. The emphasis, as with Encores! will be on script and performers — not sets or costumes. The first series of plays will be Joseph Kesselring’s Arsenic and Old Lace, November 11; Jules Feiffer’s Little Murders, January 30 and Stephen Vincent Benet’s The Devil and Daniel Webster, March 13. If this series lives up to the standards of its counterpart then New Yorkers and theater enthusiasts are in for a real treat.

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