No doubt, the producers saw the money that could be made by a short-run, kid-friendly spectacular like How the Grinch Stole Christmas. It is also perhaps not coincidental that the pirate adventure "Pirates of the Caribbean 3" will arrive in movie theatres in May.
Director Barry — whose fight direction/fight staging credits include Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Sly Fox and Kiss Me, Kate — told Variety, "I've always wanted to do an action play. I realized it was something missing on Broadway." He's got a point, one has to admit. The show will also include traditional sea shanties—something else that can't be found on Broadway at present. No theatre has been named for the project.
Tony Award winner Krakowski, who took part in several workshops of the fantastical musical Xanadu—which is based on the camp classic film of the same name and was set to arrive on Broadway in May—has decided not to be part of the production, according to reports. The reason cited was conflicts with her filming schedule for the hit NBC comedy "30 Rock." This is certainly a blow to the show's backers, who noted how good a fit the actress and musical were during the workshops, and very likely saw the bankable Krakowski as the show's ticket to ride. Producers say the show will proceed nonetheless.
Some men were announced for the New York premiere of Terrence McNally's play Some Men, due to begin previews March 2 at Second Stage. And good men at that. In the company are such estimable players as Romain Frugé, David Greenspan, Michael McElroy and Frederick Weller. Trip Cullman directs.
Salvage, the third and final part of Tom Stoppard's Russian trilogy The Coast of Utopia, began previews Jan. 31 at Lincoln Center Theater's Vivian Beaumont Theater, one day later than originally announced because additional rehearsal time was needed. It follows Voyage and Shipwreck, the first two parts of the mammoth undertaking, which both did well with critics and audiences. (Tickets are hard to come by.)
It looks like the Public Theater's Shakespeare in the Park festival at the Delacorte Theater this summer might be all Shakespeare for one once, as opposed to half-Will and half-something-else. Romeo and Juliet was announced as the first attraction of the season, with Michael Grief directing. Casting should be interesting since the two leads have been notoriously hard to fill in recent years. (The Public has not produced it nearly two decades, and not at the Delacorte in nearly four decades.)
The second attraction, meanwhile, will star Brian Dennehy, who —Kevin Kline-like — hasn't quite decided what he wants to act in. But a feature article on the Public Theater in New York magazine in summer 2006 said that Dennehy was — Kevin Kline-like — "leaning towards playing Falstaff," which would mean Henry IV, Part I, Henry IV, Part II or Merry Wives of Windsor.
(Robert Simonson is Playbill.com's senior correspondent. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.)