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Talkin' Broadway V.J.



Midtown International Theatre Festival

The Trilogy Theatre and OOBR ("the off-off-broadway review"), the only weekly publication devoted to the Off-Off-Broadway scene, are proud to announce the First Annual Midtown International Theatre Festival. Open to theatre companies worldwide, the Festival is scheduled to run from August 10th - September 3rd 2000.

Although this new theatrical celebration doesn't call itself a "fringe" festival, it will operate on many of the same principles and goals. Chief of which is its underlying purpose, to help foster alternative theatre and provide showcases for such avant-garde, eclectic, and classical work that might otherwise not have the chance to be seen. It also offers a metropolitan venue for the various theatre groups to present their work to New York audiences.

The Midtown International Theatre Festival will occupy both theatre spaces in the Trilogy Theatre, at 341 W. 44th St. (between 8th and 9th Avenues), with performances from noon to midnight. Other spaces will be added as needed. Each show will perform seven times during the first two weeks of the festival, with the last week consisting of evening presentations of festival hits.

The Trilogy Theatre is an Off-Off-Broadway flagship. It was founded five years ago by playwright/actor/producer Norman Siopis as a hothouse for new theatre. It has also been a venue of choice for numerous theatrical notables, including Austin Pendleton, Gary Sinise, and Ellen Greene.

OOBR has also become a fixture over the same period, often being the only place an Off-Off-Broadway production will receive a review. The publication (available both in print, and on-line at www.oobr.com) also sponsors the OOBR Awards, honoring Off-Off-Broadway, held every June.

For more information, write to:
Midtown International Theatre Festival
c/o OOBR
165 Christopher St. #5N
New York, NY 10014
or Email: Festival@oobr.com or visit the OOBR Website at www.oobr.com

Tidbits:

  • Dame Edna The Royal Tour will fold after a successful run at the Booth on July 2nd. On June 4th, the Grand Dame will receive a special Tony Award for the show. After closing, Edna hits the road. Touring plans are in the works.

    One theatre-goer, Christine Lavin, has seen the show 19 times. Why would anyone see Dame Edna 19 times? Well, only one way to find out ... let's ask Linda that very question:

    I have never seen a solo performer who works an audience as well as Barry Humphries does in the guise of Dame Edna. Since he created this character 45 years ago, he's been slowly refining and perfecting it to the point where going to his performance is like attending a master class in how to entertain an audience using nothing but your wits.

    I tell every performer I know -- no matter what style of work you do -- you MUST go watch this show. You will walk away inspired, and your own performances will improve just by observing Mr. Humphries work. He's simply brilliant, and brilliantly simple.

  • Cats ... Now and forever! Scheduled to close in June, the show just extended through September due to popular demand. If you were planning a closing party I hope you didn't print the dates on your invitations.

  • Amadeus closes today. Hope the Tony voters don't forget the fabulous performance given by David Suchet.

  • Jackie Mason's ad in the New York Times proclaims "92 Tony Award Nominations!" and in small print underneath (And we didn't get a single one.) Gotta love Mason!

  • I attended the tale of Sweeney Todd last week at Lincoln Center with Bruce Memblatt (Quotable Stephen Sondheim Website) ... what a night! George Hearn was in great voice, and Patti Lupone was abfab as Mrs. Lovett. Davis Gaines singing "Johanna" reduced me to tears. His performance as Anthony was excellent; he even added a wee bit of impishness to the role, just great. And to hear that score being performed by the 150 piece New York Philharmonic was indescribable. A CD will be issued in the fall of this "live" performance. At curtain call, the entire house cheered and stomped for 20 minutes. When Sondheim took to the stage, I thought the roof would have blown off the theatre. A totally unforgettable night in the theatre!

  • Next Sunday, David Kenney will be doing a 5 hour Broadway interactive fundraiser on WBAI radio in New York. He's just added Johnny Mathis as one of the guests. See our last Rialto column for details. You can listen to WBAI on the Web if you have Real Audio by going to www.wbai.org. The show airs Sunday, May 21 from 8 PM til 1 AM.

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