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Issue #54: October 15, 2000


  • The casting for the revival of Follies is just about complete. Three of the four principals are two-time Tony winner Judith Ivey, Gregory Harrison and Treat Williams. The musical will begin previews on March 6 at the Belasco Theatre for a limited 18 week run. Williams was last seen on Broadway two seasons ago at the Manhattan Theater Club in the musical Captains Courageous. Harrison, also no stranger to the stage, starred in the 1997 production of Steel Pier.
  • An updated version of Lily Tomlin’s one-woman show The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe will open at the Booth Theatre on November 16.
  • The much-anticipated return of the Neil Simon’s 1983 play Brighton Beach Memoirs has been dropped from the 2000-01 Broadway season. But don’t worry, Simon’s latest play The Dinner Party is set to open at the Music Box Theatre on October 19 for those who need their Neil Simon fix.

Broadway On The Road

  • Mel Gibson plans on taking up directing reins once again, only this time it’s to stage a run of Hamlet starring recently released Robert Downey Jr., suitably cast as the troubled prince. No theater is set but a January date in Los Angeles is currently being talked about.

London's West End

  • Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Whistle Down the Wind will probably make room for the Royal Shakespeare Company’s production of The Secret Garden sometime in February. Even though Whistle has been breaking even at the Aldwych Theatre since its opening in June 1998, Lord Lloyd Webber is fine with bowing to the wishes of the U.S. based theatre owner, James M. Nederlander.

Broadway Around the World

  • Producer Michael David has mounted a revival of 42nd Street, currently playing in Amsterdam with the hope to bring it back to Broadway. Choreographer Randy Skinner has been charged with the task of restaging the original footwork of the legendary Gower Champion.
  • Seems like there is a shortage of material for new musicals downunder. There are now two separate productions in the works based on Australian rock ’n’ roll pioneer Johnny O’Keefe. In a previous column we mentioned the staging of The Wild One to open in late December in Melbourne. Now producer John Frost is mounting Shout! based on the same rocker, with the premiere set for next year in Sydney.

Bits & Pieces

  • One of the stars of director Cameron Crowe’s latest film Almost Famous may be familiar to those who took in the Lincoln Center’s presentation of Arcadia. Billy Crudup made his Broadway debut in the Tom Stoppard piece in 1995 with his performance garnering him three awards.

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