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Issue #143: December 15, 2004
Holiday Edition - next issue January 15


  • The first show to close in 2005 looks like Bombay Dreams with the curtain falling on New Year's DayA visually lavish production that opened eight months ago, to generally mixed and negative reviews, never found an audience in New York even though it was a big hit in London.  The producers of the Bollywood musical shelled out $14 million to mount the production only to have it play to half houses in recent weeks.  Even with this response the producers are looking at touring the musical.. I hope they do more research before sinking any more money into what looks like a losing proposition.
  • The Broadway debut of Robert Harling's popular play Steel Magnolias opens at the Lyceum Theater when previews begin on March 15.  The play proved to be a regional and off-Broadway hit in the 1980s,  then it found a much larger audince when it became a star studded movie.  Currently on board to play a couple of the feisty southern women are Delta Burke and Christine Ebersole. The role of beautician Annelle Dupuy Desoto, played by Daryl Hannah on screen, will be played by Lily Rabe (Mona Lisa Smile).  Rabe has an impeccable pedigree; her father is playwright David Rabe and her mother is actress Jill Clayburgh.  Auditions are still continuing to fill the rest of the roles.

Broadway On The Road

  • To try to boost attendance and appeal to a younger, hipper audience, the Stratford Festival in Stratford, Ontario, will be presenting William Shakespeare's As You Like It with five song settings written by the pop group Barenaked Ladies.  The production, part of the 2005 season, will be set in the 1960s, to give it the rebellious feel of that generation while complementing the additional music.  Previews begin on April 27; it will run until October 30.
  • Mirvish Productions in Toronto aren't having much luck this season with their roster of shows.  Following the early closing of The Producers and Hairspray, it was announced that the London hit musical We Will Rock You featuring music of the rock group Queen will not make the Toronto stop they had included on their 2004/2005 season.  However, they will be replacing the run with a revival of the Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice hit Evita.  I know, yet another revival, however this one will be worth catching since original director Hal Prince  mounted this 25th anniversary production which is currently on tour.  Evita opens at the Princess of Wales Theatre on April 27 and will run for just five weeks to May 29.

London's West End

  • The return visit of The Icelandic Vesturport Company's production of Romeo & Juliet, currently at the Playhouse Theatre, has the likes of Sean Connery, Jude Law, and Vanessa Redgrave chomping at the bit for a cameo appearance.  The attraction seems to be the unique staging which has the cast dangling in mid-air much of the performance.  Others on the roster to make an appearance include Joanna Lumley (Ab Fab), Jonathan Pryce and Derek Jacobi.  With all this star power vying for a spot I suspect the production is booked for a number of weeks.

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