About "OTB"
E-mail Janine

Previous issues in the
Search this site
Serving the Theatre Community since 1998

Issue #64: April 1, 2001


  • The mad dash is on by producers to save Seussical since the much-touted musical received less than favourable reviews following a delayed opening in November. Currently filling the role of the Cat in the Hat is that perennial Peter Pan star Cathy Rigby. Next up is 13 year old pop star Aaron Carter to take over the role of the Boy on April 4. Only time will tell if the revolving ‘star’ door will save the beleaguered musical.
  • It looks like Jessica Lange may reprise her critically acclaimed role from the London production of Long Day’s Journey Into Night when it opens on Broadway in February. Prior to Broadway a month long run will be staged at Chicago’s Goodman Theatre. Also on the star-studded bill are Brian Dennehy, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Billy Crudup.

Broadway On The Road

  • Hartford Stage’s artistic director Michael Wilson has included Eve Ensler’s Necessary Targets and Horton Foote’s Carpetbagger’s Children in the 2001-02 season.
  • The revamped musical Saturday Night Fever is winding up its 3 1/2-week stint in Chicago, the first of a 40-city, 18-month tour. Based on the reworked UK production, this show promises to be a bigger crowd pleaser on the road than it was on Broadway.
  • Writer, producer, director Sir Alan Ayckbourn is in Toronto filming the musical By Jeeves, which he co-wrote with Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber. The production is scheduled to be broadcast next season on PBS’ Great Performances series. Sir Alan, as he fondly know in the British theatre community, has written over 58 plays with many of them translated into 30 languages and produced around the world.

London's West End

  • Another Hollywood veteran will make his London debut — George Segal joins the hit comedy Art in April.
  • British producer Duncan C. Weldon is planning to bring Neil Simon’s The Dinner Party to the West End in August. This production is independent to the current Broadway production.

Bits & Pieces

  • I had an opportunity to see the touring production of Fame recently and feel compelled to report on the show. The music is forgettable and I hesitate to use the word choreography to describe the movement on stage. The production quality was so substandard it was embarrassing. The show is supposed to be based on the lives of students of a performing arts school in New York. There was little to correlate between the hit movie and television series, on which the creators supposedly based the musical, and what was on stage. I feel the producers of the show owe an apology to the hard working kids who dream to someday make it in show biz. This production lacked excitement, enthusiasm, commitment and the talent that is needed to make it. Given the wonderful theatre we have all come to enjoy and love, it is a shame that some producers are so motivated by greed that they would throw this third rate production together and sell it as “the musical that lives forever.” They should be ashamed! If you have seen this production I would be interested in your observations.

back to top