PLAYBILL.COM'S THEATRE WEEK IN REVIEW, June 21-27: Lindsay Lohan Takes on David Mamet and Newsies Will Carry the Banner on Tour

By Robert Simonson
27 Jun 2014

Lindsay Lohan
Lindsay Lohan

Something about David Mamet's 1988 play Speed-the-Plow brings out eyebrow-raising casting decisions in producers.

When the Hollywood-insider comedy debuted on Broadway in 1988, stage vets Ron Silver and Joe Mantegna were paired with theatre newbie Madonna, then at the height of her pop diva fame. The Material Girl played an ambitious secretary known only as Karen. Critics found her, uh, serviceable.

That same role will be played in a new London staging by the tabloid fodder and sometime actress Lindsay Lohan. And, like Madonna, she'll be making her professional stage debut. The production will play London's Playhouse Theatre. Performances will begin Sept. 24 and continue through Nov. 29. Opening night is scheduled for Oct. 2. Lindsay Posner will direct. Who will have the privilege of sharing the stage with Lohan is yet to be learned; additional casting will be announced at a later time.

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The Tony Award-winning Broadway production of Newsies will close after over 1,000 performances Aug. 24 at the Nederlander Theatre prior to the launch of the national tour this October, Disney Theatrical Productions announced June 22.

It's a short run by Disney standards — The Lion King, Beauty and the Beast and Mary Poppins all ran longer — but not an unsuccessful one. Newsies gave Disney Theatrical its first batch of solid reviews in a decade when it opened March 29, 2012, after originating at the Paper Mill Playhouse in New Jersey. When it closes, it will have played 1,005 performances at the Nederlander Theatre.

The North American tour launches in October and will play in 25 cities over 43 weeks during the 2014-15 season.

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The British mega-musicals of the 1980s never really close. They just take breathers every now and then.

Andrew Lloyd Webber's Cats, which ran for a then record-breaking 21 years during its original run at the New London Theatre, is to return to the West End for the first time since it closed there May 11, 2002. It is scheduled to play a 12-week season only, beginning performances in December at the London Palladium.

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