Talkin' Broadway V.J.

Too much Turkey!

Well, I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I had been invited to an absolute feast over at a friend's house. Great food, wonderful wines, and lively conversations too. Naturally, about Broadway.

Of course, the big news today is that the much anticipated new musical from Stephen Sondheim, Wise Guys, has been postponed indefinately. While reports from those who attended the workshop claim the score is quite good, the book is the problem. It seems that viewers couldn't care less about the Mizner brothers who are the central characters in the musical. My guess is that it will continue to be worked on and, perhaps, be workshopped again or tried on the road before hitting the Great White Way.

Jerry Herman and Ken Ludwig are very busy writing their new musical Miss Spectacular which is destined for, not Broadway, but a Mirage Hotel theatre come May 2001 out Las Vegas way. Speaking with Jerry the other day, he sounded like a kid in a candy store who is having a ball. Not happy with the current situation on Broadway, Herman decided that Las Vegas would be just the right place for his newest work. A concept album has been recorded and will be released after the New Year, right around the time "Showtune", his memoir, is released in paperback. As the title suggests, Miss Spectacular will have lots of Vegas spectacle, yet it will be a Broadway book-style Jerry Herman musical.

The Kiss Me, Katers from the original 1948 cast had a ball at the opening of the revival last week. It was thrilling for them to see their show from a new angle, as a spectator rather than a performer. 15 of the originals attended with their spouses and after the performance they had a dinner party at Sardis. Meanwhile, upstairs at the restaurant the Cole Porter Society was having another party. And the current cast were partying til dawn at Tavern on the Green. Reviews have been glowing so it looks like we have a genuine Broadway hit.

It makes you sit back and wonder...where is Broadway heading? Revivals seem to be the main staple formula for success in the last few years. After subjects such as lynching and assassinating Presidents what could possibly be next in the way of a new musical? Perhaps, what we really need is a new Jerry Herman musical, but we've lost him to Las Vegas. Maybe he knows something we don't.

See you Monday!

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