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Issue #66: May 1, 2001


  • Mel Brooks’ The Producers has lived up to all the pre-opening hype — it’s a hit and the word is there are no tickets to be had until well into 2002! The casting of Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick is a testament to Brooks’ genius and theatre savvy. There’s no doubt in my mind that The Producers will sweep the Tony’s this year. I wonder how long it will be before a national tour is in place?
  • Former Atlantic Records president Jerry Greenberg has signed Sir Peter Hall to direct a fall revival of the Tennessee Williams classic A Streetcar Named Desire. Greenberg is no stranger to producing; he produced the off-Broadway comedy The Bermuda Avenue Triangle, which was an audience pleaser. His production company Dream Street Theatrical Group is in negotiations to sign Sex and the City’s Kim Cattrall as Blanche DuBois and Leaving Las Vegas’ Elizabeth Shue. Look for this production to hit the boards in the fall.
  • Alan Bennett’s Olivier-nominated The Lady in the Van will make its way to Broadway in late 2002. That will also mean the return of Dame Maggie Smith, last seen on Broadway in the 1990 Tony award-winning hit Lettice and Lovage.

Broadway On The Road

  • Broadway legend Chita Rivera has been tapped to star in Kander & Ebb’s new musical The Visit scheduled to open Chicago’s Goodman Theater season. Angela Lansbury was originally signed to play the lead but had to bow out due to her husband’s health problems. Now that the producer has put the project back on track it may make it to Broadway as early as spring 2002. Rehearsals begin in Chicago in August with director Frank Galati and another legendary hoofer Ann Reinking as choreographer.

Broadway Around the World

  • Hot Australian director Baz Luhrmann is expected to make his Broadway musical debut early next year with his restaging of Puccini’s classic La Boheme. A hit in 1993 when his 1950’s rendition of the opera sold-out at the Sydney Opera House. Luhrmann hasn’t started work on the Broadway production just yet since he is readying himself for the Cannes Film Festival where his film Moulin Rouge starring another Auzzie, Nicole Kidman, opens on May 9.

Bits & Pieces

  • When the hit musical Mamma Mia! opens October 18 on Broadway there will be two Canadian stars heading up the cast. Louise Pitre opened in Toronto and continues to receive rave reviews as the road production winds it’s way to New York and David Keeley, who will join her from the current Toronto production when the curtain rises at the Winter Garden Theatre.

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