PLAYBILL.COM'S THEATRE WEEK IN REVIEW, Aug. 23-29: Odds and Ends

ICYMI   PLAYBILL.COM'S THEATRE WEEK IN REVIEW, Aug. 23-29: Odds and Ends
 
It was Labor Day week, a week when few labor. Few papers in Broadway's in-boxes and out-boxes were rustling.

But out in California, the producers of Vanities, A New Musical, which began its limited engagement at California's Pasadena Playhouse Aug. 22 (opening Aug. 29), made a decision. They announced a Broadway date for the show. Previews will begin at the proverbial "Shubert theatre to be announced" on Feb. 2, 2009, with an official opening scheduled for later that same month. Broadway producers include Junkyard Dog Productions and Bartner/Jenkins Entertainment, in association with Demos Bizar Entertainment.

With book by Jack Heifner, music and lyrics by David Kirshenbaum, direction by Judith Ivey and musical staging by Dan Knechtges, the intimate musical is based on Heifner's hit 1976 comedy that ran for 1,785 performances Off-Broadway and blossomed in regional theatres in the years to follow.

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Since earning a solid critical hit with his The Four of Us Off-Broadway, playwright Itamar Moses hasn't let the grass grow under his feet. The writer has two new plays on the boards.

Beginning Aug. 29 at Berkeley Rep is a high school newspaper drama entitled Yellowjackets,. Rep artistic director Tony Taccone directs the production, which was commissioned by Berkeley Rep. A few hours south down the California coastline, meanwhile, The Old Globe will present Moses' Back Back Back beginning Sept. 19. (Looks like a lot of trips up and down Hwy. 1 for Itamar.) Brendan Griffin, Joaquin Perez-Campbell and Nick Mills are the three ball players at the center the play about America's favorite pastime in the age of steroid use. Davis McCallum directs. The play will travel to Manhattan Theatre Club later this fall.

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Crime makes for strange bedfellows. And so it is with the fictional thieves in the upcoming revival of David Mamet's American Buffalo. Joining the previously announced John Leguizamo and Cedric the Entertainer is none other that former child star of "The Sixth Sense" Haley Joel Osment, who is now 20. Need I say it? — it will be his Broadway debut.

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Finally, a couple new door-slammers are in town. Greg Germann and Missi Pyle will join the cast of the 2008 Tony Award-winning Best Play Revival, Boeing-Boeing Sept. 9, replacing Bradley Whitford and Tony nominee Mary McCormack. Christine Baranski, 2008 Tony Award winner Mark Rylance, Gina Gershon and Kathryn Hahn remain in the cast of Marc Camoletti's '60s sex farce.

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