Friday, June 20, 2008

Hodge Podge

It was announced today that joining Stockard Channing and Christian Hoff in the Roundabout revival of Pal Joey would be none other than that songbird of the stage Martha Plimpton. Wait. Martha Plimpton? Martha "I Hate Mouth" Plimpton from The Goonies is going to be in a musical? I'm not thinking that it won't be interesting - I just renewed my Roundabout subscription (with a free upgrade to center row A mezz seats) for the coming year, but you gotta admit, it's a tad bit surprising. However, I think Plimpton will provide an amusing interpretation of Gladys Bumps. What worries me more is that Richard Greenberg has revised the libretto, changing characters and through-lines, and reassigning songs. For instance, Plimpton's Gladys is going to be delivering "Zip," the cameo show-stopper for the wise-cracking Melba that Elaine Stritch revisited in At Liberty. However, I'm thinking the script revisal is more of an excuse for Roundabout to commission the inevitable "new" orchestration that will feature a piano, a violin and a kazoo.

Cry-Baby was the first Tony casualty. The show ends its brief run at the Marquis Theatre this Sunday, June 22 after 45 previews and 68 performances. After seeing the lifeless production number with the license plates, I'm not surprised...

Well, it seems that Delta Burke's - or rather - Faith Prince's (oops! my bad) pitch-wary performance on the Tony awards didn't help A Catered Affair's advance. The show, in spite of its addition of a Thursday matinee for the middle-aged female crowd who has reportedly taken to the piece, will end its run at the Walter Kerr on July 27 after 27 previews and 117 performances. My first thought is, "Wow, Matt Cavenaugh is going to experience some major deja vu." (As Grey Gardens closed the same weekend at the same theatre last year). That's gotta be a weird experience for an actor, you know?

There will never be a dancer who epitomized beauty, elegance and poetry in motion like Cyd Charisse. When the world lost her this week at the age of 86, another glorious legend was lost to all but our cinematic conscious. Do yourself a favor - watch The Band Wagon or It's Always Fair Weather or Silk Stockings or rewatch Singin' in the Rain for her cameo in the "Broadway Melody" sequence. She was one of a kind - and when she dances, it's ethereal. If it's got Cyd, it's got class. Charisse realized her dream of appearing on Broadway in the early 90s when she assumed the role of Elizaveta Grushinskaya, the aging ballerina in Grand Hotel. She is survived by her husband Tony Martin - yes the MGM musical star, to whom she was married for sixty years. He is currently 95 and still performing. She is also survived by her two sons and her niece Zan, who is most noted for her turn as Louise opposite Angela Lansbury in her London and Broadway productions of Gypsy.

4 comments:

SarahB said...

Is Pal Joey playing at Studio 54? If so, I'm already depressed.

Alison said...

The thing that really confuses me is Christian Hoff. He barely sings and how much of a dancer is he? Just confused...

Steve On Broadway (SOB) said...

I'm thrilled that I'll finally be able to see Stockard Channing perform on stage. I've been waiting for years....

Theatre Aficionado at Large said...

It is Studio 54, I believe. I'm beginning to think that Lincoln Center Theatre is the only place to get the really $$$ worth when it comes to production budget.

Then again, we've discussed those salaries already.

Stockard Channing should be doing a lot more theatre. I had hoped to see her in "The Lion in Winter," but twas not to be...