Talkin' BroadwayPast Columns

I Love a Parade

It's only 10 days 'till previews start (November 12), for the Lincoln Center/Livent production of PARADE, uptown at the Vivian Beaumont Theater, but the buzz on the new Hal Prince musical is already "Tony, Tony, Tony!"

First, a Tony for Best Original Score for the music and lyrics of newcomer Jason Robert Brown. (Tony-winning composers and lyricists who have attended run-throughs of the show this week are unanimously calling it the best score Broadway has heard in a decade!) Second, a Tony for Best Book of a musical to Alfred Uhry for his honest, compelling, and theatrical take on a potentially dismal and distressing story. And third, yet another Tony for Hal Prince. How many does he already have for . . . well . . . being Hal Prince and doing what he does -- showing what the Broadway Musical can be at its best. Patricia Birch's choreography is also a sure bet for a Tony nomination.

Parade is a musical based on the true story of Leo Frank, wrongfully convicted of murdering a 13-year-old girl in 1913 Atlanta. I know it doesn't ring like a Broadway musical, but the word on the street is nothing short of sensational. Get your tickets now for this limited run! Parade previews Nov. 12 and has an opening date of Dec. 17th, continuing through Feb. 28 ... unless, of course, it's extended. ;)

Tidbits: There was an article in yesterday's New York Times talking about a new Theater Row development which could add up to 10 new 99-seat theaters and one 499-seat theater to W. 42nd Street. I've been hearing rumors about this for a year. It looks like it's really going to happen.

It also looks like last summer's predictions of Footloose were right on the mark. Critics slammed it, but they are doing very good business with the kids. People I've asked about it say they expect to recoup the investment on the Broadway production, but the real profit will come from the tour. Of course they have to keep the Broadway production running until the tour starts. Here's a good one for you. The RUMOR is that there is a copy of the book with all the kids sexes reversed - so a girl can play the lead - that will be available when the rights are released for amateur productions. Those Dodgers don't miss a trick!

It's the last week to hear Mandy sing Mayn Mirl! Bakent hob ikh zikh mit mayn Mirl, ir nomen, vi gezang vi zise harfn klang ikh shever. That's Yiddish and Mr. Patinkin is packing them in nightly at the Belasco Theater. Mamaloshen (Mother Tongue) is performed entirely in this almost lost and wonderful language. Closes on the 7th. Those Yiddish words above translate to the lyrics of Stephen Sondheim's "Maria" from West Side Story, but you knew that.

This week on Talkin' Broadway will be the debut of our newest section devoted to news and reviews from Off Broadway. We welcome Wendy Guida to the family.

There is also a new installment of Broadway Bound by Michael Reynolds for those who follow the weekly serial of a Broadway musical in the making.

The Regional reports are beginning to come in from all across the land. We have theater news from Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Raleigh, Baltimore/DC, Atlanta and more!

Nancy Rosati will be bringing us a special article about the "new" Scarlet Pimpernel. And last, but certainly not least, we'll hear from across the pond from Alex Bayley in his "What's New in the West End" column. It's all happening this week, so stay tuned!

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