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Serving the Theatre Community since 1998

Issue #158: October 1, 2005.


  • Well the Beatles magic wasn't enough to keep the musical Lennon going.  That might have been their mistake. not using any Beatle music.just the music John Lennon wrote post Beatles.  The show only ran for 49 performances, closing on September 24. The lousy reviews surely didn't help.
  • Canadian actress Sandra Oh, who gained prominence in last year's sleeper hit movie Sideways, has signed on to star in the Public Theater's upcoming premiere of Diana Son's play Satellites.  Previews begin on May 23, which probably follows Oh's shooting of her recurring role on the hit TV series Grey's Anatomy.
  • Rocker Robbie Robertson (The Band) is composing a new musical on Native Americans.  Also on board for the project are David Henry Hwang, who is writing the book, and David Leveaux with director duties.
  • Look for Broadway legend Chita Rivera to strut the boards in her latest musical Chita Rivera: The Dancer's Life.  The seventy plus actor opens at the Schoenfeld Theater on December 11.

London's West End

  • That little blue performance piece that started off Broadway in 1991 plans a West End production.  The Blue Man Group opens at the New London Theatre on November 10.  London is only the sixth city the show has played, however the other five cities still have productions packing them in. It's the show that opens but never closes. 

Broadway Around the World

  • It's been more than 25 years since the Bard's work has been staged in Afghanistan, but that drought ended on August 31.  Shakespeare's Love's Labour's Lost was performed to 200 cheering and laughing audience members, with the classic adapted to an Afghan setting and a narrative interwoven with Bollywood songs.  This also saw the first time ever with actors and actresses onstage together. under the Taliban and other regimes this practice was banned.
  • Cate Blanchett plans on returning to her Aussie roots when she makes her directorial debut with the Sydney Theatre Company's production of A Kind of Alaska.  Look for the curtain to rise in December 2006.

Bits & Pieces

  • I recently attended the opening night performance of the touring production of Les Miserables when it stopped in Toronto for an extended engagement.  Extended even more by two weeks since a stop in New Orleans was next on the tour.  The musical has always been a favourite of Toronto theatregoers, who had the first six weeks virtually sold out before the curtain rose on opening night. so the additional two weeks no doubt were welcomed by those trying to land a good ticket.  Les Miz is probably my favourite musical, partially because I was on the road with the tour for over a year back in the 1990s, but also because it is just a good piece of musical theatre.  With all of the less than creative musicals being staged today, from songbooks by rock groups to staging popular movies, there is very little to sing about in this millennium regarding the state of musical theatre.  It is no wonder Les Miz, soon to celebrate 20 years, has stood the test of time like a fine wine. 

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