No matter how professionally it’s produced, Thornton Wilder’s classic, OUR TOWN, typically evokes the feeling that one has just visited the high school auditorium. For better or worse, The Roundabout Theatre’s production of 110 IN THE SHADE at Studio 54 is a similar experience as it asks us to visit a moment of innocence in which story telling is laid bare.
The legendary showman Harold Prince has helmed the World Premiere of the new musical LoveMusik, giving the show a high concept Brechtian style that captures precisely the moody quality of the Kurt Weill songs featured in the evening. The esteemed director, who brought us memorable productions of Cabaret, Sweeny Todd, The Phantom of the Opera and Evita, has two multi talented Broadway stars Michael Cerveris and Donna Murphy to play Kurt Weill and Lotte Lenya in the story of their 25 year relationship. The show is daring, indeed, but considering all the talent involved ultimately disappointing and rarely moving.
A soaring yet uneven revival of Eugene O’Neill’s tragic love story, A Moon for the Misbegotten, has arrived on Broadway by way of London’s Old Vic Theatre, where the production in a limited run was a critically acclaimed hit last season. The complete company, headed by the British darling, Olivier Award winner Eve Best and two time Academy Award winner Kevin Spacey are reprising their roles under Howard Davies’ direction in the British import. Mr. Spacey, incidentally, is the artistic director of The Old Vic and a devotee of the playwright having appeared on Broadway in O”Neill’s Long Day’s Journey Into Night and The Iceman Cometh, but the evening belongs to Eve Best, who delivers a searing performance as the gangly heroine.
Christopher Plummer shines in the Broadway revival of the 1955 courtroom drama Inherit the Wind. The play by Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee is a somewhat fictionalized recounting of the 1925 Scopes “Monkey Trial” in Tennessee, where a substitute high school biology teacher was indicted and tried for teaching Darwin’s theories of evolution in his classroom.
Orfeh and Andy Karl Score As Paulette and Kyle in Legally Blonde by Ellis Nassour
“Tweenboppers” rejoice: Legally Blonde has arrived on Broadway! Shop, shop, shop to your heart’s content in the show boutique.
There’s good news onstage, too. Laura Bell Bundy, Christian Borle, Orfeh, Andy Karl and all the Legally Blonde gang will be around a while in the show that got almost across-the-boards positive reviews. It’s been exciting audiences for weeks now, and has just been Drama Desk-nominated for Outstanding Musical. One might expect a few nods come Tony Award nomination time.
Vanessa Redgrave and Joan Didion, the names conjure up vastly different images and styles, yet the two have come together for a Broadway production that is considered by many to be the theatrical event of the season. Under David Hare’s seasoned direction the great Redgrave, a Academy Award and Tony Award winning actress, returns to Broadway in a one character play The Year of Magical Thinking based on Didion’s haunting memoir of the same name.
Grace O’Malley, the heroine of “The Pirate Queen”, is a warrior, chieftain, mother and an abused wife who befriends Queen Elizabeth I, saving Ireland from British subjugation. It’s all in a day’s work for this superwoman. Yes, you guessed it, a lot of soap, a pinch of history and some rehashed tuners from Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schonberg’s “Les Miserables” and you have their latest Broadway musical.
Bay Street Theatre held their 2007 winter benefit at The Rainbow Room atop 30 Rockefeller Plaza in New York. The evening – "Crazy Rhythm: A Night in Manhattan "- was a marvelous sit down dinner with entertainment by Mary Cleere Haran under the musical direction of Murphy Davis, co-artistic director of Bay Street Theatre.
The nominations for the 52nd Annual Drama Desk Awards will be announced on Thursday April 26th at the NY Friars Club by actress Beth Level, who received a 2006 Drama Desk, and actor James Naughton, a two time Drama Desk winner. The awards will be hosted by the multi award winning Broadway musical star and Tony Award winning actress Kristin Chenoweth on Sunday May 20 at the F.H. Laguardia Concert Hall at Lincoln Center. THE RUSSIAN TEA ROOM, a world renowned cultural enclave for artistic luminaries over the past 80 years, has agreed to host the Gala VIP Reception from 5:30pm to 8:30 pm immediately prior to the Drama Desk Awards. The VIP reception has become one of the highlights of the exciting evening over the years and this year promises to be elegant as well.
Curtains, the new musical by composer John Kander and the late lyricist Fred Ebb features one of the final scores by the legendary songwriting team that gave us Cabaret, and Chicago, and if the musical with a book by Rupert Holmes has none of the edge of those classics, the backstage murder mystery is nonetheless a lighthearted homage to the golden age of musical theater. The show directed by Scott Ellis is a non stop entertainment, but the energetic performances of the talented cast give the evening an added panache that the musical lacks.