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Issue #119: November 1, 2003


  • Joyce Johnson of the Johnson & Johnson fortune will make her Broadway producing debut with Bobbi Boland.  Johnson is no slouch; she has secured Farrah Fawcett for the starring role, which opens at the Cort Theater on November 24. 
  • It was such fun the last time out they've decided to bring back John Leguizamo’s one-man show Sexaholic for a limited run at the Broadway Theater from November 11 to December 7.
  • And the music just keeps on coming… Yoko Ono has signed off on a new musical based on John Lennon’s songbook.  Affectionately known as The Lennon Project it will make its Broadway debut during the 2004–05 season.  The producers expect to showcase 30 of Lennon’s songs — all written after the split with Sir Paul since Sony owns the Lennon/McCartney catalogue.

London's West End

  • A revival of the 80s musical Me and My Girl, that made a star of Robert Lindsay in London, will open at the New London Theatre on April 29.  No casting has been mentioned yet, however the star will need to brush up on the Lambeth Walk, the song the musical was famous for.
  • Producers are moving forward on developing a musical stage version of The Lord of the Rings, which is scheduled to open in spring 2005.  Indian composer, A.R. Rahman, best know for scoring the Andrew Lloyd Webber produced musical Bombay Dreams, has been commissioned along with a Finnish folk troupe to bring Middle Earth to life.
  • Finally… mega-producer Cameron Mackintosh and Disney heavyweight Thomas Schumacher have firmed up plans for the stage premiere of Mary Poppins.  Rehearsals begin in July then there will be a seven or eight week out-of-town tryout before opening at the Prince Edward Theatre on December 15, 2004.

Broadway Around the World

  • Cate Blanchett returns to the stage in her native Australia when she headlines Sydney Theatre Co.’s revival of Hedda Gabler.  This will be Blanchett’s first stage role in Oz since 1997 and will be the crowning production celebrating the theatre companys 25th anniversary in 2004.  You can catch Cate in the role when it opens July 27 for the two month run.

Bits & Pieces

  • After visiting Ontario’s Stratford Festival in October this year, my mother said she was itching to return in November, as there was so much going on. That’s in addition to the dramas, comedies and musicals staged at the four theatres in this small town. Her tour had included Pericles, The King and I and Present Laughter.

    On the weekend of November 7, 8 and 9, the Stratford Culinary Festival takes place, consisting of a speaker series (Food for Thought) at Knox Church, Best Chefs under one restaurant roof, a workshop on martini making, a ploughman’s luncheon and beer tasting, and, of course, a wine tasting in an 1870 Italianate home.

    The following weekend of November 14, 15, and 16, a celebrity luncheon, house tours and a gourmet dinner are scheduled as part of Under the Covers, a fundraising for breast cancer research, with a highlight being a gala quilt auction at the Avon Theatre.

    A book festival winds up the month on November 21, 22 and 23 for those who love to rub shoulders with famous authors as well as those who would like to become one.

    Full details: http://www.4seasonsstratford.com

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