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Issue #98: November 1, 2002


  • Following his recent National Actors Theater production of The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui, Al Pacino heads into a reading this month of Salome directed by Estelle Parsons. He’ll play Herod to Marisa Tomei’s Salome. Depending on the how the reading turns out will determine the next stage of the production. I’ll keep you posted.

  • It doesn’t look like we’ll see the return of Danny DeVito to Broadway anytime soon. He has just bailed on the producers of the much anticipated revival of David Mamet’s Glengarry Glen Ross. This may delay the winter opening it was originally scheduled for.

  • Rosie O’Donnell is scouting Broadway theaters for availability in the spring when she plans to bring her production of Boy George’s Taboo stateside.

Broadway On The Road

  • The latest big Broadway smash looks like it will be heading out on the road in September 2003. Hairspray, currently knocking them dead in New York, has the producers working up a tour schedule which could see either a road company for a six week stint in Toronto or, as with Mamma Mia!, a Toronto grown production which embarks on an open-ended run. Either way, Toronto will probably be the first Canadian city to see this hit musical when it hits the road.

London's West End

  • It looks like the ladies are taking over the West End these days. In one week in October openings included Glenn Close in A Street Car Named Desire, Elaine Stritch in her knock-out Broadway show Elaine Stritch at Liberty, Brenda Blethyn in Peter Hall’s revival of Mrs. Warren’s Profession, and to top it off the Dames Maggie Smith and Judi Dench opened in David Hare’s The Breath of Life. Whew!!! A lot of hormones happening in London these days.

  • August Wilson’s King Hedley II will be opening at the Tricycle Theater on December 11. This venue has been the site of other August premieres including Joe Turner’s Come and Gone (1990), The Piano Lesson (1993) and Two Trains Running (1996).

Broadway Around the World

  • Tony award winner and stage legend Zoe Caldwell will return to her native Australia in June to star in the Melbourne Theatre Company’s production of Fredrick Durrenmatt’s The Visit. The production is part of the company’s 50th anniversary season, which saw a young Ms Caldwell appear in their first production Colombe in 1953.

Curtain Call

  • Two theatre legends have passed away just days apart. First the Irish bad-boy we all know and love as Camelot’s King Arthur, Richard Harris died in London at the age of 72 on October 25. Best remembered for that role in the film and later when he joined touring revivals of Camelot for which he took over for his drinking buddy Richard Burton. It was at that time he bought the stage rights for the musical and proceeded to turn it into a major cash cow. Harris also is remembered for many film roles, recently as Albus Dumbledore in the hugely popular Harry Potter films – the latest installment due out November 15. Other films he will be remembered for include A Man Called Horse, Major Dundee, Mutiny on the Bounty, Unforgiven, Gladiator, Hawaii and Cromwell. And let’s not forget his short-lived recording career with the late 60’s hit MacArthur Park.

  • The second loss within a week was that of Adolph Green at the age of 87. Half of one of Broadway’s most celebrated writing team, his writing partner of 64 years Betty Comden and he are credited with some of the most memorable shows. Among the many hit shows they wrote is On The Town, which spawned the hit song New York, New York, (it’s a helluva town) – made famous in the move version with Gene Kelly and Frank Sinatra. Others included the film musical Singin’ In The Rain which was later translated for the stage and their last hit was the 1991 production of Tony Award winner The Will Rogers Follies.

  • Remember to visit OTB Talk and let us know if you have a comment on any of the column items or have some interesting anecdote you’d like to share.

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