Talkin' Broadway V.J.

Should Auld Acquaintances?

The talk in New York this past week was whether shows would be presented in Broadway houses or even allowed on New Year's Eve for the Millennium. It seems like the N.Y. Police Commissioner issued a proclamation closing the theatre district but it was quickly dismissed by the Mayor's office. Giuliani stated that the #1 tourist attraction could and should stay open and he, for many years, went to the theater on New Year's Eve. It's simply a tradition for many.

Times Square is the heart of the theater district with many theaters within the adjoining blocks running East and West. On any given New Year's Eve the streets begin filling up around 6 P.M. with an expected crowd of one million revelers waiting for the ball to drop at midnight. Many theater-goers crossing Broadway or Seventh Avenue must present their tickets to gain access to the theatre district. In short, it's a zoo.

Because of the Millennium the crowd this year is expected to be two million which is an impossibility. Why? Because Times Square can't hold a million people let alone two million. So where will all these people end up? On the side streets, of course, and yes, in front of all the theater lobbies; cluttering the sidewalks with their hats, noisemakers and six-packs of Colt 45.

Les Miserables, Phantom of the Opera and Chicago have all announced that they have decided to be dark that evening and my guess is that others will follow. Alexander Cohen, infamous Broadway producer and now one-man show, says his show will go on despite the hooplah, and he even scoffs at it. Like his show is anywhere near Times Square! He should only wish.

For those of you who have always attended theater as a tradition on New Year's Eve, don't despair. Why not head Off Broadway where it will be much safer and more fun, or better yet, stay home and watch the ball drop from television? I won't go near Times Square. I've got better things to do, like root canal.

Tidbits: Undefeated softball team Ragtime was beat by a bunch of fairies last week. Final score was 11-8 with Peter Pan beating those boys from the New Amsterdam. Still, Ragtime is still number 1 in the Broadway league with the fairies at number 5.

Lovely Sherry Eaker in her "Center Stage" column in Back Stage visited Las Vegas in the July 9th issue. While I agreed with most of her assessments of Las Vegas shows, I have to disagree with her on Danny Gans at the Rio. A one-man show at $90.00 is a rip-off. Anyhow, Sherry, next time you're in town, drop me an e-mail, we can trip the light fantastic and I'll prove to you that the Luxor is not in the shape of a Sphinx but a Pyramid. Hugs Sherry!

Arthur Laurents is revising "Do I Hear A Waltz?" with music by Richard Rogers and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim. Look for it as the curtain raiser this season at the George Street Playhouse in New Brunswick, N.J.

Courtney Day is at 'Don't Tell Mama' on Tuesday, July 13th at 7 P.M.

New musical on the horizon as our ALL THAT CHAT forumners know. It's called What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?. Word from across the pond is good and it opens in the fall there with Broadway in its future. Millicent Martin is part of the project which is just fine, very fine, with me.

Leslie Gore, Rock n' Roll legend, joins Smokey Joe's Cafe on Tuesday. No, she won't be singing "It's My Party", but she'll be dancin' up a storm.

Marcia Lewis wraps it up in Las Vegas and does her final performance as Matron Mama Morton on July 25th...catches a flight on the 26th and then continues on the Shubert stage in New York on the 27th. Roz Ryan takes her place in Las Vegas. Other wonderful news is that Mamie Duncan Gibbs will play Vegas for a few weeks as Velma. Mamie is known as the life-saver of the New York company when Bebe and Ann Reinking were both out with injuries. More on that in an interview with Mamie coming at you soon.

Saturday Night Fever box office is open now. Previews begin September 28th. And just when you thought it was safe to go back to the theater after seeing Footloose. Minskoff Theatre. Ticket Master, 212-307-4100.

Now, if I drive into the city on Wednesday and buy a ticket to Peter Pan starring Cathy Rigby; park in the area, it's easily $100.00. How's this for a deal? 4 tickets to Peter Pan for $95.00 which includes Free Parking. Call Ticket Master 212-307-4100, subject to availability. Use code: 4PNYT

Last chances to see Scott Wolf in the Tony Award winning Side Man. He heads back to TV land after 8 more performances. Andrew McCarthy joins the cast on July 19th at the Golden Theatre. Telecharge 212-239-6200.

A very special thanks to all who sent cards and e-mail letters of condolences. (My Godson and favorite nephew was killed in a car crash on July 4th.) Obviously, the word spread, so know who you are.

See you next Sunday!

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