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Serving the Theatre Community since 1998

Issue #144: January 15, 2005


  • It looks like it will be a busy spring with six musicals scheduled to open before the Tony Award cut-off date.  Among those planned to hit the boards are Little Women, Monty Python's Spamalot and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.  The spring also brings some heavy hitting star power to the stage. look for Natasha Richardson in A Streetcar Named Desire and Kathleen Turner in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?  Oscar winner Denzel Washington will play Brutus in Julius Caesar along with well-known Canadian actor Colm Feore in the role of Cassius. 

  • Just in case you were wondering whatever happened to Kathie Lee Gifford, formerly of the daytime program Live with Regis and Kathie Lee, wonder no more.  She was busily writing a new musical based on Natalie Savage Carlson's children's story The Family Under The Bridge.  Gifford's Under The Bridge opened off-Broadway on January 6 at the Zipper Theater where it will play for 12 weeks.

  • Oberon Theater Ensemble brings theatergoers another diverse season of plays with three works, which deftly blend humor and drama.  Performing in repertory January and February will be Shakespeare's Measure For Measure and Cindy Lou Johnson's The Years.  These shows will be followed by the world premiere of Mark Eisman's Feasting On Cardigans in April.  Each of these comedies raises questions regarding the bonds of family, the effects of forgiveness, and the meaning of courage and conviction. The three works will be performed at Shelter Theater 54. 

London's West End

  • David Suchet, best known as the moustache-tending Belgian detective Hercule Poirot, is currently in the touring production of Terence Rattigan's play Man and Boy  which lands at the Duchess Theatre on February 7.

Curtain Call

  • A vivid memory during my five-year stint in New York is the day I jumped on the elevator to my office and beside me was actor Jerry Orbach.  The television program Law and Order was only a few years old at the time but I was hooked on it from the beginning and seeing Mr. Orbach was a real treat.  Although most people know him from his wisecracking alter ego Lenny Briscoe, Orbach had a stellar Broadway career that spanned over 30 years.  Fittingly the lights on Broadway were dimmed following his death on Tuesday, December 28.  He was the first to sing the show-stopping tune "Try to Remember" from the off-Broadway musical The Fantasticks.  He took over the lead role of Mack the Knife in the original off-Broadway production of The Threepenny Opera in 1958.  Legendary producer David Merrick cast him as the male lead in the hit musical Carnival. Merrick cast him again in 1980 in his biggest hit 42nd Street.  In 1965 he joined a revival of Guys And Dolls as Sky Masterson.  In 1969 Orbach won a Tony-Award for his role in the Neil Simon-Burt Bacharach-Hal David hit musical Promises, Promises. In 1975 he originated the role of Billy Flynn in the original production of Chicago along side Broadway legends Gwen Verdon and Chita Rivera.  In the movies he was introduced to another generation as the voice of the dancing candlestick Lumiere in the Disney classic Beauty and the Beast.  Other movies he appeared in were Prince of the City, Dirty Dancing and Woody Allen's Crimes And Misdemeanors.   He made many appearances on a number of television programs before landing the regular role on Law and Order in 1992, which he played for 12 years.  Just prior to his being diagnosed with prostrate cancer, Orbach was shooting another spin-off of the Law and Order franchise. Law and Order: Trial By Jury.  It will be a fitting tribute to his memory when they air this new series later this year and the three episodes he appears in. however, it was his role as a song and dance man that he said he was most proud of.

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