Main | Friday, November 09, 2007

Broadway Friday

- Let's start off-off-off Broadway with some news from my pals Steve Schalchlin and Jim Brochu:
Theater legend, Zero Mostel, comes back to roaring life in "Zero Hour," a new play written and performed by Jim Brochu of "The Big Voice: God or Merman?" at San Francisco's New Conservatory Theatre Center. In the play, which won Best Play at the Los Angeles Ovation Awards in 2006, a naïve reporter attempts to interview the famously volatile artist, prompting an explosion of memory, humor, outrage and juicy backstage lore. Mostel is remembered for his comedic genius and his definitive roles (Fiddler on the Roof, Ionesco's Rhinoceros, The Producers), but in the 1950's he was equally known for his place on McCarthy's infamous Hollywood blacklist. Brochu's striking portrayal brings all of Mostel's swagger, ferocity, intelligence and fantastic wit back to the stage in this one-man tour-de-force.
Get tickets to Zero Hour here.

- Dr. Seuss' How The Grinch Stole Christmas! - The Musical opens today at the St. James.

- Tony and Grammy winner Melba Moore will headline the Prince Music Theatre's production of the Fats Waller revue Ain't Misbehavin', December 4-31. Other cast members: Eugene Fleming, Ken Prymus, Andrea Dora, Gabrielle Hurtt, and Chanta Layton.

- The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee will close on January 20th after over 1100 performances.

- Former Broadway star Timothy M. Fauvell died of cardiac arrest Wednesday at age 52. Fauvell appeared in Grease, Joseph And The Technicolor Dreamcoat, State Fair, and 1776. Fauvell left the theatre several years ago to pursue a doctorate in theology. In 2006, he was ordained with the United Church of Christ. He leaves his life partner Rob Bowman.

- Broadway's stagehands union finally officially authorized a strike yesterday, but has not set a date for the work stoppage. Producers have declined Mayor Bloomberg's offer of arbitration. The strike would darken 27 Broadway houses, so guide your holiday plans with care.

- Reviews for Young Frankenstein have been generally unkind. From the Telegraph: "Rarely has so much energy been expended for such pitifully small comic returns." I still want to see it.

- Mohammed on Broadway? The Swedish cartoonist whose drawings of Mohammed caused riots around the work is developing his work into a musical.
Never one to leave well enough alone, Swedish artist Lars Vilks decided to keep the scandal going, and last summer, he drew a cartoon depicting the prophet's head on the body of a dog, which was published in the tiny Swedish paper Nerikes Allehanda. The caper earned him numerous death threats and a $100,000 bounty on his head, courtesy of al-Qaida -- who promised a $50,000 bonus if the murder was accomplished by slitting his throat.

Undeterred, Vilks has now come up with a dubious new idea: Why not turn the entire scandal into a musical? He has already started work on the project -- with the working title "Dogs" -- and envisions a stage production in the mold of "Jesus Christ Superstar" or "Cats."

"Muhammad is also a superstar in the modern sense of the term," Vilks told the Swedish daily Dagens Nyheter. Vilks said that other characters in the show might include the Swedish prime minister, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and al-Qaida. There will also be an elegy performed by the "choir of the offended," he told the paper.
I can totally see Harvey Fierstein as Mohammed.


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