The Atlanta Ballet announced that it is moving forward with plans to create a full-length dance
work based on Margaret Mitchell's Gone With the Wind. The dance company secured the
exclusive rights from the Mitchell estate last year.
The ballet expects to raise approximately $1.2 million to put Tara on its toes in a world-premiere
production, possibly in time for the 2002-03 season. John McFall is "talking to people all over
the world" about the challenge of distilling the 1,037-page novel, selecting certain themes and
threads and translating them to the ballet stage. How does the ballet avoid competing with --
or being compared to -- the immensely successful book and the 1939 movie starring Clark Gable
and Vivien Leigh? How do you sell skeptics who automatically wonder about seeing Rhett
Butler in tights or Mammy en pointe?
"We tell the story in a different way," McFall has told the press. "What intrigued me is that in
ballet we usually don't talk. I think that's why Gone With the Wind can be successful. In
our culture you have the movie's images burned into the psyche forever. But because you don't
have to speak, we're not competing with the movie." The ballet will avoid any intentional
reminders of the movie. For example, it won't use any of the famous music from Max Steiner's
soundtrack. Mary Rose Taylor, executive director of the Margaret Mitchell House & Museum,
endorses the adaptation, which she discussed with McFall months ago. "Gone With the Wind"
could be a touring blockbuster for the company. Its premiere in Atlanta is expected to draw
POLITICS, TEACHING AND
on CNN analyzing the presidential debates proved she's more than a vamp and a manipulator.
Fairchild, who played a senator's wife in the off-Broadway political comedy High
Infidelity, is a Democrat who is noted for mouthing off about liberal causes. But her roots are
Republican. "I was raised around ideas about what the country and Constitution stood for. I
started getting active when the right wing tried to censor everything; that's not what it's supposed
to be about," said Fairchild, who has never been shy about exercising her right of free speech,
addressing such issues as global warming, AIDS and campaign financing, sometimes before U.S.
Senate subcommittees. "I've testified about things before many people knew what they were about
-- or wanted to get out there and talk about. I think senators expect heart strings stuff from
someone like me. I like to hit 'em with science; it gets their attention."
BOB BARKER is going
to Harvard Law School as guest lecturer Oct. 23 before an estimated 600 students at the annual
Harvard Law Forum in Cambridge, Mass.
has returned to California after teaching a term at his old alma mater - The University of Montana
at Missoula, which he where he met his wife and best friend, Nancy. He was all bent out of shape
because he hadn't been cast in the lead of the school play Life With Father. Instead he had
been given the role of the Episcopal minister. Nancy was in charge of costumes. "He was all
disgruntled. He wanted to be Father. I was working on costumes and he wouldn't come in for a
fitting. I stopped him in a blizzard under a pine tree, and I said, - I've got to get your inseam and
your chest measurement."
He showed up, walked her home and they've been together ever since.
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THE 11th ANNUAL LAURI STRAUSS LEUKEMIA
FOUNDATION GALA AND RECEPTION, A CELEBRATION OF LIFE will feature Skitch Henderson, Judy Collins, Marvin Hamlisch, and Regis
Philbin. Skitch Henderson will conduct the world-renowned New York Pops. Guest Artists
include Ann Reinking, Maureen McGovern, Tony Award winner Brian Stokes Mitchell, Lillias
White, Aprile Millo, Joy Behar, Bucky Pizzarelli, Peter Appleyard, Margaret Whiting and Lee
Roy Reams. Jose Carreras will visit via videotape.
The Gala Concert and Reception will be held at New York City's famed Carnegie Hall on
Monday, October 23rd followed by a reception, also at Carnegie Hall.
Concert Special-Chairs are Katherine and Harry Pearce (Vice Chairman of General Motors and
Leukemia survivor). The Honorary -Chairs include Judy Collins and Louis Nelson, Eugenie and
Walter Kissnger, Dr. Harold Varmus, Jean and Ralph Baruch, and Margaret Whiting and Jack
Wrangler. Concert Chairs include Frank J. Biondi Jr., Ron Bernard, Lloyd J. Braun, Tom
Freston, Barbara and Martin Sass, and Kathy and Alan D. Schwartz.
MUSICAL THEATRE WORKS LIVE IN
CONCERT dinner-dance at the Club Exit on West 56th
Street. This gala event, on Oct.16, will highlight MTW's new resident writer program. Broadway
stars Betty Buckley, Peter Gallagher, Neil Patrick Harris, Andrea McArdle and Sherie Rene
Scott, will join Audra Mc Donald in performing the songs of new composers. The concert is
directed by Hal Prince's talented daughter, Daisy. Musical direction by Grant Gershon.
ON THE MEND AND IN ASYLUM
CHRIS LeDOUX rodeo cowboy
turned singer received a liver transplant at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha.
LeDoux, 51, was suffering from primary sclerosing cholangitis, a disease that led to the death of
football great Walter Payton. LeDoux had his surgery at the same hospital that also performed
a liver transplant a few years ago on Robert Redford's son
SYL CHENEY-COKER author of
The Last Harmattan of Alusine Dunbar and recipient of the African Best Book award in
the Commonwealth Writers Prize in 1991 and the Commonwealth Short Story Prize in 1992, has
moved to Las Vegas as the first writer to take refuge in the nation's first City of Asylum. The
program was created by the International Parliament of Writers. Cheney-Coker had been at
Cambridge University and then received a two-year Writer-in Residence appointment at City
University of New York's Medgar Evars College. In Las Vegas he's being wined and dined by
local bigshots and trying to adjust to the "phastasmagoric" casinos.
JUJAMCYN THEATERS LOSES ARBITRATION An arbiter has ruled that Broadway's third-largest theater owner, will have
to shell out hundreds of thousands of dollars in back royalty payments to many of the
theater world's leading directors and choreographers.
Since 1997 Jujamcyn has added a $1
surcharge to theater tickets for shows in its five theaters, calling it a "restoration fee" to be used
to refurbish the theaters.
However, the company failed to factor the extra bucks into weekly
gross receipts from which directors and choreographers draw their royalties.
Stage Directors & Choreographers termed it a sneaky way of increasing box-office grosses
without having to pay higher royalties, and filed arbitration proceeding against Jujamcyn
Last Tuesday, in a retroactive decision which cannot be appealed, arbiter Maurice
ruled for the SSD&C. What that means is that for the purposes of calculating royalties,
theater restoration charge will now be included in the gross box-office receipts, which means
Jujamcyn will have to pay back royalties stemming from the $1 surcharge on shows that have
played in its theaters for the past three years.
Theater sources said that could amount to
hundred thousand dollars. Among the artists who will be receiving the windfall are Michael
Blakemore, director of Kiss Me, Kate; Jerry Zaks, director of The Civil War, and
Robert Falls, director of Death of a Salesman.
A dollar may seem like a joke to some but on a theater that seats 1,000, Jujamcyn can pick up an
extra $8,000 a week if the show is selling out. That's more than $400,000 a year - not a penny of
which, up until now, went to the artists who created the show.
charity bash at Mandalay Bay Resorts, Las Vegas raised a lot of money for charity, but the hottest
gossip was that Charles Barkley lost about $500,000 at the roulette table at while attending the
CATCH YOUR OWN BRASS RING
If you've always wanted to catch the brass ring on the merry-go-round -
you can own your own. The MGM Mirage is trying to sell the amusement park rides at the MGM
Grand Adventures theme park in Las Vegas.
The place was closed down in September because
company executives feel the 19 acres can be put to a more profitable use - think retail shops or a
Up for sale; a carousel, bumper cars, a roller coaster and a log ride.
will take the glass slipper on the road in a new production that will star Deborah Gibson as
Cinderalla. Eartha Kitt stars as the Fairy Godmother in the new NETworks national tour of
Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella, beginning Nov. 28 at the Tampa Bay Performing
Arts Center in Tampa, FL.
Adapted for the stage by Tom Briggs, the director is Gabriel Barre. The former teen pop princess
is expected to star as the fairy tale one for the first three months of the national tour, which will
play at least through summer 2001.
Other cities on the Gibson tour include; 12/5/00-12/10/00 - Miami, FL - Jackie Gleason Theater,
12/12/00-12/17/00 - Wallingford, CT - (open Wed.) Oakdale Theater, 12/19/00-12/24/00 -
Baltimore, MD - Morris Mechanic Theater, 12/26/00-12/31/00 - Grand Rapids, MI - Devos Hall,
1/9/01-1/14/01 - Indianapolis, IN - Clowes Hall, 1/16/01-1/21/01 - Chicago, IL - Oriental
Theater, 1/23/01-1/28/01 - Chicago, IL - Oriental Theater, 1/30/01-2/4/01 - Toronto, ONT -
Pantages Theatre, 2/6/01-2/11/01 - Toronto, ONT - Pantages Theatre, 2/13/01-2/18/01
-Minneapolis, MN - Orpheum or State, and 2/20/01-2/25/01 - Cincinnati, OH - Aronoff
Ken Roberson will choreograph.Designers are James Youmans (set), Pamela Scofield (costumes)
and Tim Hunter (lighting), Duncan Edwards (sound), Bernie Ardia (hair) and Greg Meeh (special
EFX). Musical arrangements and supervision are by Barre collaborator Andrew Lippa. The cast
includes Leslie Becker, Joanne Borts, Victor Trent Cook, Natalie Cortez, Kip Driver, Kevin
Duda, Alexandra Kolb, Jason Ma, Monica Patton, Lyn Philistine, Ken Prymus, Everett Quinton,
Christeena Riggs, Jason Robinson, Jessica Rush, Todd Underwood, Andre Ward, Patrick Wetzel
and Natasha Williams.
SFX was originally producing with NETworks Presentations, LLC. The latter now has sole
SEUSSICAL, THE MUSICAL
has delayed its New York opening Originally scheduled to bow November 9 at the Richard Rodgers
Theatre, the $10 million musical will now open Nov. 30. The postponement gives new director
Rob Marshall more time to work miracles, especially in act two.The production has been
plagued by problems since the beginning. There were canceled performances in Boston, now
delays in New York, new costumes, a new costume designer and a new director, resulting in
the Seussical budget jumping from $8.5 million to $10 million.
THOROUGHLY MODERN MILLIE which has been thoroughly redone opens Oct 22 at La Jola Playhouse, CA.
The production now stars Sutton Foster in the title role after Erin Duffy dropped out. Michael
Mayer directs.Academy Award winner Ralph Burns handled orchestrations which are performed
by 10 musicians. Performances through November 19.
THE FULL MONTY Based on
the popular British movie about a group of unemployed steelworkers who turn to stripping to
make ends meet, The Full Monty has a book by Terrence McNally and a score by
Broadway newcomer Andrew Yazbick.The show opens October 26 at the Eugene O'Neill
MY OWN BROTHER, VINCENT
VINCENT VAN GOGH
a one-man show written and performed by Brian Niece under the auspices
of his new company, People's Branch Theatre, opened at the Zeitgeist Gallery in Hillsboro
Directed by NSF artistic director Denice Hicks, My Own Brother, Vincent
Gogh's complicated relationship with his art-dealer brother, Theo, in the final decade
of their lives.
In the production, the Zeitgeist Gallery doubles as Theo's gallery,
where he has
invited a group of friends a week after his brother's death. As the evening progresses,
many of the major events of Dutch painter's late career - who sold only one painting in his
lifetime - his historic artistic discoveries, his commercial failures, his mysterious
stormy relationship with the painter Paul Gauguin, the ear-cutting incident
and finally his suicide
-- often through excerpts from Vincent's letters.
Another one-man show called Vincent by actor Leonard Nimoy which Niece performed in
Niece bought the rights to use Nimoy's concept for My Own Brother, Vincent, a
professional production by People's Branch Theatre using an Actors' Equity cast, at the Zeitgeist
Gallery, through October 21.
THE BALLAD OF LITTLE JO
has opened Steppenwolf's 25th anniversary season in a production directed by ensemble member
Tina Landau.composer Mike Reid and his collaborator, lyricist and book writer Sarah
Schlesinger, have written a musical that has Steppenwolf singing a new tune.
In the 25
years of its existence, Steppenwolf Theatre Company has never done a musical.
Chicago company, with its star-studded ensemble of actors is noted for visceral, physically
confined high-powered acting. This departure from company tradition, especially in the
prestigious lead-off slot, has garnered national attention.
Landau, a New York-based director
who will be directing a Broadway revival of Bells Are Ringing this fall, joined the
Steppenwolf ensemble four years ago and was the show's principal advocate inside the company,
concedes that The Ballad of Little Jo, which stars Judy Kuhn, is loosely based on a
the same title.
It's about a young Boston woman who, after having an illegitimate child
in 1867, is banished to the violent, Gold Rush-era American West, where she protects herself by
dressing as a man. She keeps up the disguise for several years, until a sequence of events --
including her involvement with a young Asian man - forces her to reveal her true
identity - may be a turning point in Steppenwolf's evolution. Continues through November 5 at
Steppenwolf Theatre Company
DEATH OF SALESMAN
attention must be served to this stellar production which boasts the Tony Award winning cast,
including Brian Dennehy, Elizabeth Franz, and Ron Eldard. Ahmanson Theatre, Los Angeles. Go
HEART AND SOUL The Songs
of Frank Loesser with Christine Andreas, David Garrison, Shuler Hensley, Liz Larsen, Christiane
Noll, Ken Page, Billy Stritch, Jim Walton, Lilias White, Margaret Whiting and Tom Wopat.
Music Direction by Eric Stern featuring songs from the Broadway musicals Guys and dolls,
Where's Charley?, The Most Happy Fella and more. October 20-21 as part of Lincoln Center's
American Songbook, Alice Tully Hall, NYC
OLD GLOBE THEATRE
is really three theaters in one. The Old Globe produces a minimum of 12 plays a year and
is never dark. The complex's centerpiece, the 581-seat Old Globe Theatre, was designed in the
spirit of Shakespeare's original playhouse and operates for winter and summer seasons, as does
the intimate 225-seat Cassius Carter Centre Stage next door.
The outdoor, 612-seat Lowell
Davies Festival Theater is used in the summer, mainly for Shakespeare productions. The Globe
has had a long and sometimes tragic history in Balboa Park: Both the original Old Globe (built in
1935) and the festival theater were destroyed by arson fires.
Rebuilding only made the company
stronger: It received a Tony award in 1984 for excellence in regional theater.
It's program for 2001 includes: Lynn Nottage's Crumbs From the Table of Joy (Feb.
10-March 10, Gregory Murphy's The Countess (March 31-May 6), Donald Margulies'
Dinner With Friends(April 5-May 6), Eileen Atkins' Vita and Virginia (May
26-July 1) and Yasmina Reza's Art (May 31-July 1).
Next summer a new Stuart Forever Plaid Ross musical, The Boswell Sisters (July
7-Aug 11), Hugh Leonard's Da (July 21-Aug 25), a Robin Phillips-staged Twelfth
Night (July 28-Sept 1), Regina Taylor's jazz musical A Night in Tunisia (Sept 8-Oct
13), Douglas Carter Bean's The Country Club(Sept 15-Oct. 20) and a Daniel
Sullivan-directed A Midsummer Night's Dream (Sept 22-Oct. 27).
SARAH BRIGHTMAN October 15 in
Cleveland, OH at the CSU Convocation Centre, October 17 in St. Paul, MN at the Minn. Wild
October 20 in Las Vegas, NV at the MGM Grand, October 21 in Santa Barbara, CA at the Santa
Barbara Bowl, and October 22 in San Diego, CA at the SDSU Open Air Theatre
KAREN MASON October 17 Appearance
at ASCAP evening at the Cabaret Convention at Town Hall, NYC
DARYL HANNAH who has legs that
are 44 inches long, shows off every inch of them while making her stage debut in London,
she opened at the Queens Theatre last Monday in The Seven Year Itch. The hypnotist
Daryl hired to help her get over stage fright must have cast the right spell because Daryl
missed a cue.
POLLY BERGAN making her first
New York nightclub appearance in 35 years, stars at Feinstein's in the Regency, NYC through
October 21. Better than ever Polly has given notice that people should once again pay
VALERIE HARPER starring as Pearl
S. Buck in All Under Heaven at The Ivar Theatre, Hollywood.
LARRY GATLIN at the Mohegan
Sun Casino in Uncasville, CT Friday and Saturday
DEE DEE BRIDGEWATER in
Clearwater, FL at Coachman Park on Thursday
returns to Don't
Tell Mama, NYC on Thursday in his new cabaret show Changing Stories about the
passage of time and the changes that take pace in one's life. The show by the MAC and Bistro
Award-winning vocalist, will include work by songwriters Stephen Schwartz, Don Henley,
Stephen Sondheim, George Gershwin, Johnny Mercer, Craig Carnelia, Barry Manilow, Brian
Lasser, Marey Heisler & Zina Goldrich and Irving Berlin. The musical director for the
engagement will be Bobby Peaco.
AUDRA MC DONALD 10/21/00
Los Angeles, CA Royce Hall Sunday, October 22 in Escondido, CA at the Escondido Concert Hall
THIS AND THAT
HAL HOLBROOK as Mark
starring in one-man show Mark Twain Tonight! at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center,
was taking a stroll when he apparently got lost.
Looking for directions he unknowingly
meandered right into the room where officials in the Bridgestone/Firestone court
case were being
All the lawyers and staff involved were on a break - as one wag said; probably getting
new tires - so no harm was done.
When Hal left, the folks in the deposition room all looked at
one another and asked: Was that Hal Holbrook? They sent one of the legal eagles to chase
down the actor and demand proper identification. When convinced that it was indeed the guy who
is married to Dixie Carter, they got his autograph.
GETTING SNOCKERED WITH THE PRESS Tomorrow the ATPAM (The Association of Theatrical Press Agents and
Managers) will hold their annual "Season Opener Cocktail Party" in the Penthouse Lounge
of the American Airlines Theatre, NYC. It's the third season the this group has held the event.
What makes this one different is that they've actually -gasp! - invited members of the press to join
them. Press agents and the press have an interesting love/hate relationship. Getting pixilated
together could prove entertaining.
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Next Column: October 22, 2000
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