PLAYBILL THEATRE WEEK IN REVIEW, Jan. 12-18: Picnic, Cat On a Hot Tin Roof and Can-Can

By Robert Simonson
18 Jan 2013

A Broadway revival of the seldom-seen Cole Porter classic Can-Can will arrive on Broadway in spring 2014, it was announced. It will be presented by none other than Jonathan Burrows, nephew of the musical's original book writer, Abe Burrows. Burrows is little-remembered today, but he was a theatre giant in his day, directing and scripting Broadway hits with abandon. On Can-Can, he did both, and the show ran for two years.

Ironically, given that a Burrows is producing, the revival will feature a revised book by David Lee and Joel Fields

Lee will also direct the production, with choreography by Patti Colombo. Prior to the Broadway production, a workshop will take place in New York in October. Casting has yet to be confirmed. The original show famously made an overnight star out of Gwen Verdon, who was cast as the second lead, but won all the attention. The show was revived by Encores! a few years ago; Patti LuPone starred. 


In more Broadway news, the new musical Big Fish, which is based on the novel by Daniel Wallace and the 2003 Columbia Pictures film written by John August, has a Broadway theatre. It will open at the Neil Simon Theatre Oct. 6.

Directed and choreographed by Susan Stroman, with music and lyrics by Andrew Lippa and a book August, the production will begin previews on Sept. 5. Norbert Leo Butz, Kate Baldwin and Bobby Steggert star.



The new production of Shaw's Pygmalion at The Old Globe in San Diego has a sweet creative team.

Director Nicholas Martin has drafted Robert Sean Leonard as Prof. Henry Higgins and Charlotte Parry as Eliza. Backing them up is the Paxton Whitehead as Col. Pickering. The show opened Jan. 17. Martin was also named an associate artist of The Old Globe this week.


In London, that unlikely hitmaker, playwright Alan Bennett, has another success on his hands.

Bennett's Untold Stories is currently running at the National Theatre with Alex Jennings playing the author. It will transfer to the West End's Duchess Theatre, beginning performances March 22 for a 12-week run through June 15.

This double bill of Bennett's autobiographical recollections comprises Hymn and Cocktail Sticks

This isn't the first time Bennett has put himself in one of his own plays. He was a character (actually, two characters, an ego and an alter ego) in The Lady in the Van.

Apparently, Bennett finds himself as fascinating as audiences seem to.