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Serving the Theatre Community since 1998

Issue #140: November 1, 2004


  • The Sopranos star Michael Imperioli is hanging out at the off-Broadway Studio Dante these days.  He co-owns the space with his wife Victoria Imperioli.  While on hiatus from the hit HBO series, Imperioli is attracting his friends to the theater with a new slate of plays including Mike Batistick's Ponies currently on stage to November 6.  In January you can catch Francine Volpe's Late Fragments followed by a spring engagement of Henry Flamethrowa by John Belluso.
  • Director Jack O'Brien (Hairspray, The Full Monty) has penciled in March 3 for the opening of his latest offer Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.  Starring John Lithgow, the musical based on the 1988 movie starring Michael Caine and Steve Martin, takes up residence at The Imperial Theater.
  • Actor Ed Harris makes his Broadway directing debut when the Roundabout Theater mounts the revival of Sam Shepard's Fool For Love at the American Airlines Theater on February 10.

Broadway On The Road

  • The world premiere of children's musical Roald Dahl's Willy Wonka opens on November 26 in Washington at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.  Based on Dahl's 1964 novel Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, the music was written by Oscar and Grammy winner Leslie Bricusse.  You may remember the 1971 film version starring Anthony Newley and Gene Wilder.  Alas, another film version is in the works-this time with Johnny Depp-due out next year.  The Kennedy Center musical runs until December 26.
  • The encore tour o Def Poetry Jam is well underway.  The touring cast of the Russell Simmons/Stan Latham show has many of the original Broadway members.  The tour has 50 cities on its roster so it may be coming to you sometime soon.

London's West End

  • The English National Opera is producing a stage show on the life of Libya's leader Moammar Gadhafi.  Apparently rapper JC001 is cast to play Gadhafi with the opera's chorus playing his entourage of glamorous female bodyguards.  The production will be completed in 2006.  What next? A musical on Saddam Hussien and the dancing weapons of mass destruction???  A play on Osama bin Laden's cave tales???
  • The producers of The Producers have made an eleventh hour switch for the November 9 opening at the Theatre Royal Drury.  They are sending Tony award winner Nathan Lane to replace Richard Dreyfuss-complications from surgery for a herniated disc was given for the last minute change.  Is that another way of saying "slow ticket sales". I wonder.

Broadway Around the World

  • You can catch Stephen Rea in full pantomime garb when he stars as Widow Twanky in Dubbeljoint Christmas production of Aladdin in his hometown of Belfast.
  • More woes for The Producers-the first production outside North America, the current Melbourne run of the Broadway musical probably won't see profit until it has run for more than a year.  Even after great reviews, good word of mouth and a strong cast the musical is only running at 70% capacity after playing 25 weeks. Producer John Frost speculated, however, that once the engagement wraps in Melbourne in December and heads to Brisbane in February, it will pick up steam and during the Sydney run at the Lyric Theater beginning in May they will finally be in the black.  Maybe it's time for the original producers of this production to evaluate their royalty package.their money comes off the top each week whether the production breaks even or not!

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