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Issue #223: February 15, 2009


  • Two heavy hitters return to the stage when Susan Sarandon and Geoffrey Rush take top billing in the revival of Ionesco’s Exit the King, which is scheduled to open on March 26.

  • Can it be true….the “gloved one” is looking to develop a musical based on his mega-hit album/video Thriller. It has been reported that Michael Jackson will be partnering with the Nederlander Organization to bring this 1982 album to the stage.

Broadway On The Road

  • Another setback for the Canadian produced new musical Rob Roy. Following the cancellation of Chicago’s Arie Crown Theatre debut…the producers have now canceled the March 24 opening at Toronto’s Elgin Theatre. The signs of the economic times.

London's West End

  • Jersey Boys is up for five Olivier Awards including best musical, director Des McAnuff and choreographer Sergio Trujillo. All eyes will be on the awards that are handed out on March 8.

  • The Royal Albert Hall will be the place to see the most recent revival of The King and I. The limited engagement beginning June 12 will star Daniel Dae Kim.

  • The hit revival of Stephen Sondheim’s A Little Night Music with direction by Trevor Nunn is still running at the Menier Chocolate Factory ….but only until March 5.

Bits & Pieces

  • Although things are very distressing with twelve Broadway shows closing since the beginning of the New Year…not so in London. The West End is enjoying a slate of 36 shows in contrast to New York’s 20 shows. There have been a few closings in London but nothing like the recent devastating closings on Broadway. There is much speculation on why London is out performing its US cousin….one being the wages and running costs in the UK are considerably lower. Unions take note.

Curtain Call

  • Legendary playwright Robert Anderson passed away recently at the ripe old age of 91.  The Harvard educated scribe was known for such Broadway hits as Tea and Sypathy for which he also wrote the screenplay for, Silent Night, Lonely Night and I Never Sang for My Father.  These plays are often revived on Broadway but also have quite an extended life in the amateur theatre world.  Recently I attended a production of I Never Sang for My Father produced by the Owen Sound Little Theatre (Owen Sound is approximately 100 miles north of Toronto).  Tom Albrecht, a familiar face at the Stratford Festival, played the lead in this timeless play.  Although written by Anderson more than forty years ago, the universal family theme is indeed relevent today.  The playwright is now gone, nevertheless, his body of work lives on. 

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