PLAYBILL THEATRE WEEK IN REVIEW, Aug. 4-10: Marvin Hamlisch, Elf, Richard Greenberg and Into the Woods

By Robert Simonson
10 Aug 2012

Judith Light
Photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN

Playwright Richard Greenberg — who followed a couple of Broadway seasons in the mid-2000s, when it seemed he was everywhere, spending the last three seasons polishing an equally impressive disappearing act — will return to the Broadway stage in spring 2013 with The Assembled Parties, opening at Manhattan Theatre Club's Samuel J. Friedman Theatre.

The play, to be directed by Lynne Meadow, is about the Bascovs, an Upper West Side Jewish family, 1980-2000. Julie Bascov is a movie star. She and her sister-in-law Faye bring their families together for their traditional holiday dinner. However, an unexpected house guest arrives. Consternation follows.

The show will star new Tony winner Judith Light, who's becoming quite the stage A-lister, and Jessica Hecht. It will begin previews March 19, 2013.


This holiday season will feature dueling Christmas shows.

A Christmas Story, based on the popular yuletide film, is already set to arrive at the Lunt-Fontanne on Nov. 19. Now, we hear that Elf The Musical, founded on another holiday flick, will return for a limited run at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre beginning Nov. 9. Elf graced the Great White Way in 2010.

God bless them both, every one.


Marvin Hamlisch

Finally, composer Marvin Hamlisch died this week at the age of 68.

Hamlisch worked until the end. His latest show, The Nutty Professor, recently opened in Tennessee. Should it come to Broadway, it will follow such Hamlisch efforts over the past three decades as Smile, The Goodbye Girl and Sweet Smell of Success. None of them, however, outshone the songwriter's Broadway debut, A Chorus Line, the groundbreaking show that secured forever Hamlisch's place in the musical theatre pantheon. He outlived the show's other four creators by decades, and was one of only two who saw the original close on Broadway in 1990 after 15 years. The musical's reputation has not dimmed since that day. As the show's most famous tune said, it was, and is, a singular sensation.