PLAYBILL.COM'S THEATRE WEEK IN REVIEW, Aug. 31-Sept. 6: Annie Announces Closing and Mike Daisey Begins Exploring All the Faces of the Moon

By Robert Simonson
September 6, 2013

The Broadway revival of Annie, which began performances last November, will end its Broadway run Jan. 5, 2014, producers announced Sept. 5.



Directed by James Lapine and choreographed by Andy Blankenbuehler, the revival opened on Broadway Nov. 8, 2012, at the Palace Theatre. The critical reception was underwhelming — reviewers were dissatisfied with the directorial approach, and disappointed in some of the performances, particularly the Miss Hannigan of critics-favorite Katie Finneran — and the show never seemed to catch on with audiences. When Tony time came around, it received only one Tony Award nomination, for Best Revival of a Musical.

When it closes, Annie will have played 487 performances and 38 previews. A national tour will launch during the 2014-15 season.

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Ethan Hawke will get to betray and murder a fine collection of actors when he plays Macbeth this fall at the Vivian Beaumont Theater.

Richard Easton, Bianca Amato, Malcolm Gets, John Glover, Byron Jennings, Brian d'Arcy James, Jonny Orsini and Daniel Sunjata will join Hawke and Anne-Marie Duff in the Lincoln Center Theater revival of the Shakespeare tragedy. Easton will play Duncan, Amato is Lady Macduff, James plays the unlucky Banquo, Orsini portrays Malcolm and Sunjata is the valiant Macduff.

But here's the interesting part: the three Witches will be played by Gets, Glover and Jennings. Director Jack O'Brien knows he's not directing a Mark Rylance production, doesn't he? He doesn't have to cast men in the female roles.

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Mike Daisey
photo by Sabrina Fonseca

Monologist Mike Daisey launched his insane suicide mission this week, performing the first installment of the immersive theatrical event he has called All the Faces of the Moon Sept. 5 at Joe's Pub All the Faces of the Moon is being offered for 29 consecutive performances through Oct. 3. Each evening delivers a unique monologue that will feature one of 29 oil paintings commissioned and created for this show by the Russian artist Larissa Tokmakova, illustrating and illuminating the story Daisey is telling.

According to press materials, "Each evening stands alone as a single episode, but together they create a living theatrical novel set against the secret history of New York City."

If you're curious about the Daisey shows but don't feel like living at Joe's Pub for the lion's share of September, audiences can experience these performances live, and also follow online, by listening to the free podcast as the story unfolds.

Here are the titles of each of the evenings:

Sept. 5 - Playing the Hand You're Dealt
Sept. 6 - The Fool Who Walks Through Walls
Sept. 7 - The Magician and the Fish
Sept. 8 - She's the High Priestess to You, Jack
Sept. 9 - Mercury Is a Messenger Who Will Not Wait
Sept. 10 - The Empress Holds Her Cards Close
Sept. 11 - The Naked Emperor Is Still Laughing
Sept. 12 - Venus Is a Star Who Gets What She Wants
Sept. 13 - The Hierophant Plays It Loose
Sept. 14 - The Lovers Struggle To Take What They Want
Sept. 15 - Your Chariot Awaits, My Sweet
Sept. 16 - Mars Is a Soldier Whose Hands Are Red
Sept. 17 - That Hideous Strength
Sept. 18 - The Hermit Stands at the Turn of the River
Sept. 19 - This Is How We Make Our Fortune
Sept. 20 - Our Justice Runs on a Tilted Table
Sept. 21 - Jupiter Is a King Who Never Came Back
Sept. 22 - A Hanged Man Knows How To Bluff
Sept. 23 - The Untitled
Sept. 24 - Temperance Under the Gun
Sept. 25 - The Devil Always Plays to a Draw
Sept. 26 - Paying the Rent in the Tower of Song
Sept. 27 - Saturn Is a Father Devouring His Children
Sept. 28 - If You Wish Upon a Star You Will Regret It
Sept. 29 - The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress
Sept. 30 - The Sun Is a Blind and Burning Thing
Oct. 1 - A Flaw in Your Judgment
Oct. 2 - The World Is More Than We Will Ever Know
Oct. 3 - Last Call

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The short-lived Broadway musical Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown — which received a 2011 Tony Award nomination for David Yazbek's score, but didn't get much else from the New York theatre community in terms of love or respect — will be staged in a new revised version at the Theatre at the Center in that hotbed of theatrical activity: Munster, Indiana.

The theatre company will be the first professional organization in the U.S. to stage Women on the Verge since its 2010 Broadway premiere. The production will reflect a revised version of the musical. Creators Jeffrey Lane (book) and Yazbek have revised the script and re-ordered several songs in the new version.

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Tony winner Heather Headley is finally returning to Broadway after 13 years! But not exactly in the manner you'd expect.

Il Divo, the improbable, awkwardly-named, operatic vocal group created by the ever-t-shirted "American Idol" creator Simon Cowell, will play a limited Broadway concert engagement this fall at the Marquis Theatre. It will be titled, modestly, Il Divo — A Musical Affair: The Greatest Songs of Broadway, and will begin performances Nov. 7. The singing swains' special guest? Heather Headley.