PLAYBILL THEATRE WEEK IN REVIEW, July 7-13: Bernard Gersten Steps Down, Bob Boyett Steps Up, Sweet Bird Gets a Movie Star

By Robert Simonson
13 Jul 2012

Diane Lane
photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN

The new Stephen King-John Mellencamp musical Ghost Brothers of Darkland County may not have faded into the mist since its Atlanta premiere last spring.

The Gothic Southern musical about a decades-old tragedy that haunts the population of a small town received mixed-to-cool critical notices in Atlanta, but the creators are still hopeful for a future life. A ten-day New York City presentation is reported for this September.

The Atlanta cast featured Shuler Hensley, Emily Skinner and Justin Guarini.



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Screen star Diane Lane has been cast as Princess Kosmonopolis in Goodman Theatre's fall production of Tennessee Williams' seldom-produced semi-classic Sweet Bird of Youth, the Chicago Tribune reported.

Finn Wittrock, who played "Happy" in the recent Tony Award-winning revival of Death of a Salesman, and who has as unlikely a name as does "Chance Wayne," will essay that part in the play.

Director David Cromer will stage the drama about a broken movie star on the arm of a gigolo returning to his Mississippi hometown. Performances are scheduled for Sept. 15-Oct. 21 in the Goodman's Albert Theatre.

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Producers of Silence! The Musical, the most successful show to come of the New York Fringe since [title of show], announced July 11 that the long-running production will transfer to the Elektra Theatre with performances beginning July 18. This news prompted the theatre community to exclaim, "There's an Elektra Theatre!!!???"

Yes, there is. It's just off Times Square, at 42nd and Eighth Avenue, and was specially constructed to be the new home of Silence!

The cast currently features David Garrison (Hannibal Lecter), Jenn Harris (Clarice Starling) and Stephen Bienskie (Buffalo Bill) .

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Well, there'll be no living Broadway producer Robert Boyett now.

The accomplished showman, who has a sweet tooth for British product, having produced on Broadway the works of Alan Bennett, Tom Stoppard, Martin McDonagh and others, has pulled down an honor that few of his Yankee colleagues can boast of. In recognition of "his invaluable service to British drama as both a philanthropist and a producer," he was on July 13 made an Honorary Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE) by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

To which a Western reporter can only say: Most excellent, Bob.