Sunday, May 22, 2005

A round-up of some theater news

  • Shakespeare in the Park -- that free summertime tradition at the Delacorte -- will again be featuring two productions this year: As You Like It and Two Gentlemen of Verona, with the first at the beginning of the summer and the second straddling Labor Day. I'm more of a fan of the first one, but I'm willing to take another swipe at liking Two Gentlemen, which will be a "re-imagining" of the musical version.
  • The guy known for writing the compelling Tony Award-winning play I Am My Own Wife and the dark but gripping Quills (the movie featured Kate Winslet and Geoffrey Rush) is now doing the book for a musical version of The Little Mermaid. Talk about selling out to Disney!
  • Trump, one of my favorite punching bags, decided it was time to take on Broadway, so he's hiring some guys to give The Apprentice the musical treatment. Guess who'll be helping him? That's right, Mark Burnett. Here's a quote from him about the project: "This is not a spoof or a satire. It is a love story set to The Apprentice as a backdrop." Because everything Burnett does is dead serious and not at all a joke.
  • Are there any new musicals in the works that a) aren't revivals or b) aren't based on some other brand or story already out there in the mass media? Perhaps they should just get honest and go back to producing the "industrial musicals" of yesteryear (aka corporate musicals/industrial shows), but instead of reserving them for employee indoctrination, they could open the shows to the general audience! Think of the possibilities: People could pay $100 a seat to see musicals entirely devoted to singing the praises (literally) of ... Starbucks or Wal-Mart. [Wait ... scratch that latter idea. With all the unions on Broadway, a Wal-Mart musical would never get past Bentonville.]

No comments: