Broadway

The American Repertory Theater’s 40th anniversary production of Roger O. Hirson and Stephen Schwartz’s Pippin returns to Broadway this spring. The original award-winning production was directed by legendary song and dance man Bob Fosse and features several notable show tunes, including “Corner of the Sky” and “I Guess I’ll Miss The Man.”

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.

To me, the mark of a good musical is one that transports its audience to the time and place of the characters. I have seen a few musicals that have accomplished this task, with The Lion Kingtopping the list. I first saw this long-running show as a traveling production in Cleveland and a few years later on the Great White Way.

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.

Last night, I saw the hilarious new musical Hands on a Hardbody, which follows 10 contestants competing to keep their hands on a truck from their local Nissan dealership. Set in Texas, the truck takes center stage literally, but also in each of the characters’ minds as the American Dream.

The other night, I saw Broadway’s new comedy ANN, the story of former Texas governor Ann Richards. Starring veteran actor of stage and screen Holland Taylor, who also wrote the play, the one-woman show was set up as if Richards were delivering a speech at a college commencement ceremony.

Last night, I had the opportunity to see Rodgers + Hammerstein's CINDERELLA, a new Broadway musical, which is currently in previews at the Broadway Theatre and will officially open on March 3rd. This is the first time this classic story has had a home on the Great White Way—the new version, with a few modern twists for good measure—is based on a 1957 TV movie starring Julie Andrews in the title role.

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.

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