Theater

Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812 is dinner theater. Every ticket includes a Russian meal in addition to the performance (tickets run $125, $175 and $237.50). But to think of composer/librettist Dave Malloy’s sophisticated electro pop opera in suburban terms is to do it a serious injustice.

Ah, Carnegie Hall. There are few concert venues like it. Since 1891, the institution has attracted the highest of high culture acts to New York City. Sitting in the opulent Main Hall, one can palpably sense the historic majesty of the space: It's hard not to imagine oneself a monocle-touting trade mogul or an aristocratic missus decked out in her jewel-adorned ball gown, Galilean binoculars in hand.

The 2013 Tony Award nominations have been announced, and the gongs will be handed out June 9. What is there to jeer or cheer about between now and then? The following is purely subjective.

I recently interviewed Constantine Maroulis for an item in the May issue of IN New York magazine. Maroulis, who returns to Broadway in Jekyll & Hyde—he starts previews tonight (Apr. 5) for an Apr. 18 opening—is a genuinely nice guy. Pretty humble and grounded, considering his success, which he has worked very hard to achieve.

Not surprisingly Nora Ephron’s Broadway valentine to tabloid journalism, Lucky Guy, starring Tom Hanks, is attracting the fourth estate. Seen taking a busman’s holiday at Wednesday’s preview performance were Sue Simmons, former news anchor at WNBC in NYC (we miss you, Sue!); Ellis Henican, Newsday columnist, radio host and political analyst on Fox News; and Hal Rubenstein, fashion director of InStyle, attending with his husband, David Nickle, fittingly on the first day the Supreme Court heard arguments on the constitutionality of the federal Defense of Marriage Act of 1996.

I come not to bury Hands on a Hardbody but to praise it. Hands down, it’s the best new musical on Broadway since Once.

Thanks to Sex and the City, being a fashion-focused writer in New York City carries some clichés. "You are like the real Carrie Bradshaw," girls would say, and then huddle in their groups of four outside of Union Square movie theaters, waiting for The Movie. "You're such a Charlotte," I like to tease my friend who wants to get married one day.

Theater buffs, check out these three damsels making history on and off Broadway in March. The late Ann Richards, former governor of the great state of Texas, was larger-than-life. No, that’s an understatement. She was life.

A brief word about brevity on Broadway. There is more action, suspense, drama in 70-minute, intermissionless The Other Place at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre than there is in the new production of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof that opened last night at the Richard Rodgers—all three acts, two intermissions and just under three hours of it.

Talk about plot twists: As announced on Sept. 30, the curtain has come down before it ever went up on Rebecca, the on-again, off-again new Broadway musical (from Europe!) based on the Daphne du Maurier novel and Oscar-winning Alfred Hitchcock classic. So, if you were dreaming of going to Manderlay (much less returning to said English country house), fuhgedaboudit.

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