American Playwrights Are the Rage in London

American Playwrights Are the Rage in London LONDON TICKET -- November 1996

LONDON TICKET -- November 1996

OVER HERE: As Sam Mendes and choreographer Matthew Bourne attempt to bring their London Cabaret to Broadway, joining Michael Gambon's Skylight and Daniel Massey's Taking Sides among the hot tickets from this side of the pond, the traffic is, as usual, reasonably active in the other direction.

We currently have Gene Wilder in Neil Simon's Laughter on the 23rd Floor, Diana Rigg and David Suchet in Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, revivals of major Sam Shepard (Fool for Love) and David Mamet (The Woods), the Leiber/Stoller Broadway compilation Smokey Joe's Cafe, a major National Theatre revival of Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman, Richard Eyre's stupendous Guys & Dolls (the production that won him the National leadership 15 years ago) back to mark his farewell and the Kopit/Yeston Nine in its London premiere at the Warehouse.

All that from Broadway and, early in the new year, The Goodbye Girl, Beauty and the Beast and How To Succeed in Business without Really Trying, with the promise of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum by midsummer. Oh yes, and out at Stratford in February, Steven Pimlott's revival of Tennessee Williams's Camino Real, the first on a major stage in Britain since Peter Hall did it in the late 1950's.

Rumors are also still strong of The Secret Garden, Andrew Lloyd Webber's update of A Star Is Born and a West End staging of Steve Martin's hilarious Picasso at the Lapin Agile and Jon Marans's acclaimed Old Wicked Songs (currently stateside at Off-Broadway's Promenade Theatre) in from Bristol with Bob Hoskins¬čand, just in case you didn't think we were getting enough of old Tennessee, a rare resuscitation of his Out Cry from the triumphant Cheek By Jowl company.-- By Sheridan Morley