Yesterday in his New York Post column, Michael Riedel reported that TV detective Lt. Columbo may be bowing on Broadway in a new mystery soon. William Link, co-creator of the iconic character, has written a play called Columbo Takes the Rap, which was well received at the International Mystery Writers festival recently and is now expect to come to Broadway. Actor Norm Boucher has taken on the role of Columbo, which was played on TV so memorably by Peter Falk.
Xanadu, the first show of the 2007-2008 Broadway season, opened to mostly positive reviews on July 10. A musical that both celebrates and lampoons the camp film classic starring Olivia Newton-John, Xanadu had some setbacks during previews. The show’s buzz was mixed, and its leading man, James Carpinello, was injured after only a few performances. But with a largely enthusiastic reaction from the Broadway critics, Xanadu may have a bright future on the Great White Way.
Roundabout’s upcoming Broadway revival of the George Bernard Shaw classic Pygmalion (which inspired the beloved musical My Fair Lady) will star Claire Danes as Cockney flower girl Eliza Doolittle. The production will begin performances on Broadway at the American Airlines Theatre on September 14 2007
The London production of The Drowsy Chaperone will close on August 4, after only a few months of performances. After it closes, star and co-creator Bob Martin will head to Toronto to kick of the North American tour, which will hopefully have better luck. Drowsy continues to delight audiences on Broadway, where it has been playing since May 2006.
Lance Bass, member of the now-defunct boy band ‘N Sync, will be joining the Broadway cast of Hairspray on August 14. He will play the role of Corny Collins, the host of the TV dance show that is all the rage with Baltimore teens. Bass is just the latest in a long line of young music stars who have been making their Broadway debuts in Hairspray. Others include Tevin Campbell, Ashley Parker Angel, and Haylie Duff.
The annual cat and dog adopt-a-thon known as Broadway Barks! will take place on Saturday, July 14, and packs of Broadway stars are scheduled to appear at the event.
Among the animal lovers on hand will be Bernadette Peters, Mary Tyler Moore, Angela Lansbury, Audra McDonald, Harry Hamlin and Lisa Rinna, David Hyde Pierce, Edward Hibbert, Debra Monk, Karen Ziemba, Jerry Mathers, Priscilla Lopez, Christine Ebersole, Maureen Moore, Cheyenne Jackson, Kerry Butler, Michael Cerveris, John Glover, Ashley Brown, Daniel Jenkins, Gavin Lee, Marin Mazzie, Charlotte D’Amboise and Michael Berresse, Christian Hoff, John Lloyd Young, Laura Belle Bundy, Orfeh, Andy Karl, and many many more. The adorable dogs Rufus and Bruiser from Legally Blonde will also appear.
Broadway Barks! will take place in midtown’s Shubert Alley (between 44th and 45 Streets, between Broadway and Eighth Avenue) starting at 3:30PM on July 14. Pets from New York City animal shelters will be presented by celebrities from 5:30 to 6:30. The event, which is sponsored by the ASPCA and produced by Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, will benefit NYC animal shelters and adoption agencies. (In case of rain, Broadway Barks! will be rescheduled on July 28.)
Rumors have been flying all weekend, but it was finally confirmed today that Grey Gardens will end its Broadway run on July 29. The announcement comes on the heels of a press release stating that the 29th would be Tony winner Mary Louise Wilson’s final performance in the musical, but now it appears that the show itself will have its final performance that day. The summer has been tough for Broadway, as it often is, but hopefully this will be the last unplanned closing for awhile.
The Broadway revival of the Stephen Sondheim/George Furth musical Company closed today, but the production will live on. On June 30, both performances of the show were filmed so that the musical can be aired as a part of the “Great Performances” series on PBS. The air date has not yet been announced.