First in the series, Theatre Schmooze by Joel Markowitz
Can we schmooze about the many musicals that will grace our area stages this summer and next season?
How can Signature Theatre top Urinetown, which recently flushed out the competition at The Helen Hayes Awards?
For us Sondheimites, relief comes in the form of their eagerly awaited productions of Assassins and Into The Woods.
Because Signature Theatre announced this week that there are more delays completing their new space in Shirlington, we will have to make our treck into the woods a little later – in January 2007. Will this new production generate the excitement that Signature’s 1995 award winning production did?
I can’t wait to see if “the end justifies the beans.”
It would be great to see Megan Lawrence, who won the Helen Hayes Award in 1995, come back and recreate her Little Red Riding Hood. I saw her in April as Gladys in The Pajama Game, and I predict she will win the Tony for her role on June 11th.
With their multi-talented and Helen Hayes Award Winning troupe, which includes Will Gartshore, Erin Driscoll, Stephen Gregory Smith and Donna Migliaccio, Signature will entertain us with Assassins from May 30th through July 16th. It’s a hot ticket.
It will be a blast.
Can they recreate the excitement of their 1993 award winning production? I saw the recent revival in NYC and the cast and set design was brilliant. Can Signature top that production?
With Signature’s talented cast, their production will trigger a lot of excitement.
And they call me the wandering Jew?
Look at Eric Schaeffer-directing Mame at Kennedy Center beginning May 28th and running through July 2nd. What a cast he has assembled! Christine Baranski(a fellow Buffalonian), Harriet Harris,who was a scream in her Tony Award winning performance as Mrs. “How sad it is to be all alone in the world..” Meers, in Thoroughly Modern Millie, (run and see the very entertaining production now playing at Toby’s in Columbia,) Emily Skinner who was quite attached to Alice Ripley in Side Show, Jeff McCarthy, another Side Show veteran, who created the role of Officer Lockstock in Urinetown. (Stephen Schmidt won The Helen Hayes Award for this same role a few weeks ago. Congrats Stephen. I saw Stephen in Wonderful Life at Toby’s Dinner Theatre in Columbia 3 times, and I knew he’d win a Helen Hayes Award one day. I keep trying to say congrats, Stephen, but I missed you after Liberty Smith at Ford’s a few weeks ago. Mazel Tov! And what a coup to get Harrison Chad from Caroline, or Change to play the young Patrick. This kid has stage presence like no other Broadway kid I have ever seen. And he can sing!!
Will Mame be the smash hit we all expect it to be and transfer to Broadway?
Broadway could use a blast from the past now that Harry Connick and The Pajama Game is closing (to reopen in September with an entirely new cast)and the jaw dropping new production of Sweeney Todd is faltering at the box office, and may not be there after Tony time.
Look what happened to the revival of Assassins after it won 5 Tony Awards 2 years ago? It closed a month later. Tony, shmony. It never guarantees a healthy box office. I know, but it doesn’t hurt to ask Titanic-The Musical, which was sinking at the box office before It won 5 Tonys, including Best Musical in 1997.
Eric will be directing all the musicals next year at Signature Theatre-My Fair Lady, (Sept 26-Nov 19, 2006),Into The Woods (Jan 12-Feb 25, 2007), Saving Aimee (April 10-May 13, 2007) and The Witches of Eastwick(June 5-July 15, 2007). The Witches of Eastwick boasts a clever and tuneful score. I couldn’t afford a ticket to fly overseas to see it, so this musical lover is grateful we will finally get a chance to see this show which Eric directed in London.
I’m exhausted writing about the busy year Eric will have.
When will this man get a much needed vacation?
The one question I’d like to ask him is, “Where do you keep your 10 Helen Hayes Awards”? Hopefully, I’ll get that chance in a future podcast. Good luck Eric. I hope you get some sleep, sometime.
And for you Sweeney Todd fans, sneak in one of those cheap Little Debbie pecan pies for an intermission treat (not piccolo player-it will be too piping hot) on July 22 and 23, 2007, as Brian Stokes Mitchell and Christine Baranski recreate their Sweeney roles from the Sondheim Festival in a concert version-Sweeney Todd: The Reunion Concert, at the Kennedy Center. What a night that will be! They should have moved that production right to Broadway after its successful Kennedy Center run.
Hopefully Mame won’t make that mistake. It might open a new window for a well deserved Broadway hit for Eric Schaeffer.
Go get’em Eric!
Studio brings us a feisty maid in New Orleans with chutzpah, A singer whose voice could shatter glass, a summer of love and Lypsinka doing Joan-Not Of Van Ark-Of The Wire Hanger Kind.