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Issue #227: May 1, 2009


  • Another revival of Bye Bye Birdie is in the works and will open in the fall. Currently the cast includes Gina Gerson and John Stamos.

  • The Tony Awards were announced on May 5 and the frontrunner is Billy Elliot, The Musical with a staggering 15 nominations. In the race for best actors it’s a who’s who with Geoffrey Rush, Angela Lansbury, James Gandolfini and Jane Fonda. The other new musicals up for the top theater award are Shrek the Musical, Next to Normal, and Rock of Ages.

  • David Mamet will be returning to Broadway with his latest play Race and the writer will also direct the production which goes into rehearsals October 26 with the opening scheduled for Dec. 10.

  • Revivals of Neil Simon’s Brighton Beach Memoirs and Broadway Bound will head back to Broadway in the fall with Laurie Metcalf starring in both.

Broadway On The Road

  • In LA you can catch a restaging of The Fantasticks with Eric McCormack. It is a short run from May 5 to 17 at UCLA’s Freud Playhouse.

Curtain Call

  • Bea Arthur, the actress whose television roles defined a generation died on April 25th at the age of 86. Even though her television roles as Maude and Dorothy Zbornak on the Golden Girls may first come to mind, Arthur was an accomplished stage actor with a Tony Award on her mantle for her role opposite Angela Lansbury in the 1966 production of Mame. She trained for the stage with such classmates as Tony Curtis, Walter Matthau and actor/director Gene Saks. It was Saks who she married in 1950…and who directed her in her award winning performance in Mame. Arthur worked consistently either Off Broadway or summer stock in productions of The Threepenny Opera and Shoestring Revue until television producer Norman Lear offered her a guest spot on his 1970’s hit show All In The Family and the rest, as they say, is history.

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