About "OTB"
E-mail Janine

Previous issues in the
Search this site
Serving the Theatre Community since 1998

Issue #141: November 15, 2004


  • It looks like Ethan Hawke has bailed on the revival of The Glass Menagerie with Jessica Lange to join David Rabe’s "newly revised" version of Hurlyburly scheduled to hit the boards in January.

Broadway On The Road

  • You know that theatre has reached a new low when you find out Val Kilmer (Batman, The Doors) is playing Moses in the musical The Ten Commandments.  It seems fitting that it is playing in Hollywood at the Kodak Theater into December.  Unlike other biblical musicals (Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Jesus Christ Superstar), this musical opened to mostly negative reviews making one wonder why the long run.   The producers have already cancelled three shows a week, which has to be a significant loss in revenue.  It’s no wonder the plan for a U.S. tour is in jeopardy… sounds like this musical will need a miracle to survive.
  • Recently while in Connecticut, Broadway legend Jerry Herman indicated that the television rights to his classic musical Mame are no longer in the hands of Barbara Streisand’s production company.  As he puts it, “it’s up for grabs” and asked who he would love to see in the leading role… Catherine Zeta-Jones.  Not a stretch since she comes from musical theatre and look at her Oscar winning performance in Chicago, the movie!

London's West End

  • Following his colourful role in Baz Luhrman’s movie musical Moulin Rouge, Ewan McGregor (Trainspotting) is taking the plunge and will make his musical theatre debut in a revival of Guys and Dolls.  In the role of Sky Masterson the 33-year-old Scottish actor hits the boards in the Frank Loesser classic next June.
  • The English National Opera has signed film director Anthony Minghella to direct their November 2005 production of Madame Butterfly.

Curtain Call

  • The booming baritone voice of Howard Keel was legendary both on stage and in the movies.  Keel, who died at age 85 on November 7 from colon cancer, was selected by Oscar Hammerstein II in 1946 for the role of Billy Bigelow in the Broadway production of Carousel. Then he went on to London to open Oklahoma! where he originated the role of Curly and remained there for 18 months. He tilted at windmills on tour in Man of La Mancha and starred in other such stage favourites as South Pacific, Annie Get Your Gun, Seven Brides For Seven Brothers and Show Boat.  Most of these stage musicals were recreated by MGM turning them into dazzling movie musicals, which Keel starred in.  He was introduced to television audiences in 1981 as Clayton Farlow on the prime time soap Dallas and had a second wave of popularity in the twilight of his career.  He stayed with the popular show until the series ended in 1991.

back to top