- Last Updated: 1:02 AM, February 25, 2012
- Posted: 10:44 PM, February 23, 2012
It’s February, but it feels like spring — and spring in theater land means activity.
Some shows are in rehearsals, some in previews. Deals are being signed and the Tony Awards are starting to be gamed.
Here’s a quick roundup of what Broadway insiders are buzzing about:
* “Nice Work If You Can Get It”: I had some fun last fall at the expense of producer Scott Landis, who couldn’t land a theater for this Gershwin musical starring Matthew Broderick.
But Landis snagged a top house — the Imperial — and I’m hearing that the show’s quite funny. Broderick’s having a good time as a playboy beset by bootleggers and, in rehearsals, people are laughing merrily at some delightful comic turns by Judy Kaye (“Mamma Mia!”) and Michael McGrath (“Born Yesterday”).
Look for Kelli O’Hara to sing “Someone To Watch Over Me” holding a machine gun.
O’Hara may be the hardest working leading lady in show business. She’s got a couple of weeks off from the show this summer, which she’ll use to do another musical, “Far From Heaven,” up at the Williamstown Theater Festival.
* Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber are headed to town next month to sit in on rehearsals for “Evita.” This London import, directed by Tony winner Michael Grandage, marks the first time this musical has been seen on Broadway since it closed in 1983, after 1,567 performances.
Ricky Martin’s playing Che, but the buzz right now is Elena Roger, Elena Roger, Elena Roger.
She was born in Buenos Aires and, according to people who saw her in London, will send shivers down your spine with “Don’t Cry for Me Argentina.”
Don’t cry for her at the Tonys.
* To Bleed or Not To Bleed: “Carrie” flopped on Broadway, but a revised version down at the Lucille Lortel seems to be entertaining preview audiences. Marin Mazzie, who’s playing Carrie’s mother, has been out sick for several days but is expected back this weekend, just in time for the critics. Onstage, she sings the hell out of the show’s best song, “When There’s No One.”
The debate backstage, however, is about blood. The campy original was, quite literally, bathed in blood, which apparently wreaked havoc with the sound system (though that was the least of the show’s problems). Right now, the blood is indicated by lighting effects, but sources say audiences are expecting buckets.
“There is a large contingent of the audience — those who saw the original — who want to see Carrie drenched in a bucket of blood,” a source says. “They won’t be satisfied until it’s a real bloodbath.”
* “Bullets Over Broadway”: It’s been gestating for years, but the stage version of Woody Allen’s popular movie about the theater is finally coming together.
The producers announced yesterday that the show will open on Broadway next year. Allen’s at work on the book along with Douglas McGrath, who co-wrote the movie. The show, which is set in the ’20s, will use songs from that era.
Allen is a master at using popular songs from years past in his movies. Who can forget those two greats — Maureen O’Sullivan and Lloyd Nolan — playing the piano and singing the gentlest rendition of “Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered”?
May I suggest a couple of songs from the ’20s for “Bullets,” Mr. Allen?
“Walk Right In” (the Cannon Jug Stompers), “Among My Souvenirs” (Paul Whiteman) and — a special favorite of mine — “I’ll See You in My Dreams” (Isham Jones and the Ray Miller Orchestra).