PLAYBILL.COM'S THEATRE WEEK IN REVIEW, July 26-Aug. 1: From Boys to Guys

News   PLAYBILL.COM'S THEATRE WEEK IN REVIEW, July 26-Aug. 1: From Boys to Guys
 
The perennial Frank Loesser musical Guys and Dolls — the show that never ages because it takes place in a New York City that never really existed — is coming back to Broadway again.

Des McAnuff
Des McAnuff

Seems there's always a producer somewhere who's trying to bring this popular Damon Runyon-inspired property back to NYC. An Arena Stage production, which starred Maurice Hines and played the Washington, D.C., theatre in early 2000, announced a national tour in 2001 that would feature a non-traditional cast and end on Broadway a year later. There was even more talk of a Ewan McGregor-Jane Krakowski 2005 Donmar Warehouse staging in London's West End eventually getting to Manhattan.

Neither of those made it to town, but now, it appears, one will — and from a wholly unexpected source. Des McAnuff will pilot the new mounting, which is scheduled to open on Broadway in spring 2009 at a Nederlander theatre to be announced. Choreography will be by Sergio Trujillo. Casting and a design team will be announced at a later date.

McAnuff — a hot director ever since Jersey Boys struck a deep vein of gold within the ticket-buying public — has some Loesser experience: the most recent revival of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, which had a one-year-plus-change run in the mid-nineties.

The most recent Broadway revival of Guys and Dolls was the legendary one by director Jerry Zaks that featured Nathan Lane and Faith Prince. It ran nearly three years — a stay that nearly exceeded that of the 1950 original.

*** Other planned Broadway revivals were served up some bad news this week. The new Broadway-aimed production of Lerner and Loewe's Brigadoon, to be directed and choreographed by Tony Award winner Rob Ashford and scheduled to play in Boston this fall prior to a Broadway opening, has been postponed. The reason given is "the lack of an appropriate Broadway theatre in spring 2009." Producers said a revised schedule for the production will be announced at a later date.

There was also a postponement for the upcoming Broadway revival of Ntozake Shange's career-making title, For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Enuf, producers Whoopi Goldberg and DreamTeam Entertainment Group announced. This delay was the result of the recent loss of one of the production's key backers.

Previews were initially slated to begin Aug. 19 at Broadway's Circle in the Square Theatre, in preparation for an official opening Sept. 8.

Could it be the severe downturn in the economy is beginning to have its effect on Times Square?

***

Keith Carradine, who was most recently seen on Broadway as con man Lawrence Jameson in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, will return to the New York stage this fall in an Off-Broadway production of Anthony Horowitz's Mindgame. None other than controversy-prone British film director Ken Russell will helm the thriller, which is scheduled to begin previews at the SoHo Playhouse Oct. 28 with an official opening Nov. 9.

Mindgame, which was seen in 2000 in the West End, centers on a "pulp crime novelist who visits an asylum to interview an infamous serial killer." Yup, sounds like a Russell project.

***

Since any change of leadership at Local One of the Broadway Stagehands union is a matter of import to anyone who works in the New York theatre, let me duly report here that the union's international vice president Matthew D. Loeb has been elected to serve as president of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees. Loeb succeeds former I.A.T.S.E. president Thomas C. Short, who announced his resignation during the union's mid-summer general executive board meeting in San Diego July 31.

So, when you see him next, give him a hearty congrats. And, remember to call him "Mr. Loeb."

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