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Issue #106: March 15, 2003


  • With the success of Mamma Mia! and Movin' Out it was probably just a matter of time before someone snapped up the rights to the Beach Boys music.  Dodger Theatricals, producer of Tony-winners 42nd Street and Urinetown are looking to develop a musical from the catalogue of music.  
  • While we're on that nostalgia road you can check out Denny Doherty's musical Dream a Little Dream based on his life with the Mamas and Papas, which opens on April 14 at the Village Theater.
  • Molly Ringwald stars along with Elizabeth Ashley in Enchanted April set to open at the Ethel Barrymore Theater previewing April 8.  This new romantic comedy by Matthew Barber follows the departure of Imaginary Friends,
  • As predicted, David Hare's play The Breath of Life will wing its way from the West End to Broadway with a late-fall opening at a Shubert theatre yet to be determined.  The hit London play that starred the two Dames - Maggie Smith and Judi Dench -- will only have Smith making the journey.  This will be Dame Maggie's first Broadway appearance since her scrumptious role in the 1990 play Lettice in Lovage.
  • Look for a new musical from Mira Nair based on her comedy Monsoon Wedding to hit Broadway in 2004.

London's West End

  • Olivier Award winner Essie Davis will co-star opposite Simon Russell Beale in the National Theatre upcoming revival of Tom Stoppard's Jumpers scheduled to open at Lyttelton auditorium on July 19.
  • Kenneth Branagh will make his first appearance at the National in mid-July when he stars in the revival of David Mamet's play Edmond.
  • Natasha Richardson opens in Trevor Nunn's revival of Ibsen's Lady From the Sea at the Almeida on May 15.  Natasha's role as Ellida was played twenty five years ago by her mother, Vanessa Redgrave, where she earned some of the best reviews of her career.

Broadway Around the World

  • Although Dance of the Vampires holds the dubious record for the greatest loss so far for a Broadway musical, it looks like the producers may find another life for the tuner overseas.   Future productions will be mounted in Japan and Poland, homeland for the film's director Roman Polanski.  Prior to its Broadway staging Vampire had successful runs in Estonia and Vienna with the production  still packing them in in Germany, after more than three years.  Just goes to show that Broadway isn't the "be all and end all."

Bits & Pieces

  • It took the mayor of New York City to settle the recent musician's strike and re-ignite the lights on Broadway.  Live theatre has a history of experiencing bumpy roads even at the best of times but in the last few years there's no question the theatre industry has been dished many challenges.  This recent four-day strike has greatly affected the contribution Broadway makes to the city's economy - so Mayor Bloomberg had more at stake than beautiful live music.  The cost of this strike to local businesses is in the neighbourhood of $7 million, not to mention the box office losses of over $4.8 million.  The upside to the strike, if you call it that, was that many disappointed Broadway patrons filled the often less attended off-Broadway productions.  Let's hope the silver lining is that there is new interest and support to the struggling theatre district south of 42nd Street.

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