Nancy Nelson’s Evenings with Cary Grant, which uses the icon’s own words—and is enhanced with material from Grant's personal papers—draws from the remembrances of Katharine Hepburn, Gregory Peck, James Stewart, Audrey Hepburn, Elizabeth Taylor, Burt Reynolds, Sophia Loren, Quincy Jones, Deborah Kerr, and George Burns (over one hundred and fifty voices in all). Together these friends, colleagues, and loved ones provide a sublime, truthful, and candid portrait—as close to a memoir as Grant ever got. Mint copies of this classic work were offered to Stage Voices readers in the fall—and we ended up agenting the new edition to Group Publisher John Cerullo at Applause Books. Happy Birthday, Cary—a little over a month late. Foreword by Barbara and Jennifer Grant. Due out in the fall. "Forget the other Grant books, this is it. Superb."–Kirkus Reviews. "It's a lovely, funny book about Cary."–Katharine Hepburn.
(David Ng’s article appeared in the L.A. Times, 2/24.)
In his long career, Woody Allen has adapted some of his plays for the screen, including "Play it Again, Sam" and "Don't Drink the Water." But until now, he has never turned one of his movies into a stage play or musical.
Producers announced this week that Allen is in the process of adapting his 1994 movie "Bullets over Broadway" for the musical stage, aiming for a New York opening in 2013.
(Chris Jones’s article appeared in the Chicago Tribune, 2/19.)
We think we know what happened on the sticky-hot night of June 27, 1969, at a Greenwich Village bar known as the Stonewall Inn. A weary drag queen finally kicked a nasty cop, the story usually goes, leading to riots in the streets, a line in the sand and the beginning of the gay rights movement. So how would a young, small, low-budget, Chicago theater company credibly stage a play about a riot in the streets of lower Manhattan, a sacred riot to many, on the ground floor of the Steppenwolf Garage Theatre? And how might such a crew — not even around in 1969 — contextualize this familiar event anew?
(Charles Spencer’s article appeared in the Telegraph, 2/21.)
AFTER 28 years as artistic director of the Tricycle Theatre, Nicolas Kent is going out with a bang. His two-part production about the nuclear bomb is characteristically ambitious, featuring 10 plays by nine writers.
The pieces’ settings range from 1940, when two Jewish exiles from Germany arrived in Whitehall to outline their discoveries about the possibility of an atom bomb, to London after the next election, when the new Prime Minister discovers that one of her first duties is to write sealed letters to the captains of our Trident submarines telling them what to do in the event of a devastating nuclear attack on the UK.
(Paul Vitello’s article appeared in the The New York Times, 2/22.)
Dick Anthony Williams, a prolific actor who created enduring roles in blaxploitation films during the 1970s while simultaneously securing his reputation on the New York stage with Tony-nominated performances and a Drama Desk Award, died on Thursday in Los Angeles. He was 77.
His death was confirmed by a family friend, Samantha Wheeler. No cause was given.
(Michael Billington’s article appeared in the Guardian, 2/21.)
Does anyone still read Jan Kott? For those unfamiliar with the name, Kott (1914–2001) was a Polish professor whose book Shakespeare Our Contemporary, published in English in 1964, had a profound impact on theatre. Reading it again today, I am stunned by how much of it has been absorbed into our theatrical culture. Although we live in an age of great Shakespearean scholarship, represented by figures such as James Shapiro, Jonathan Bate and Stephen Greenblatt, I can't think of anyone today who influences production in quite the same way as Kott.
Playwrights Horizons presents a new play by Leslye Headland (“Bachelorette”), a satire in which two young assistants to a tycoon wonder if their jobs are worth the humiliation they endure. Trip Cullman directs. In previews. Opens Feb. 28. (416 W. 42nd St. 212-279-4200.)
BEYOND THE HORIZON
The Irish Rep’s production of Eugene O’Neill’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play from 1920, about two brothers who are in love with the same woman, is directed by Ciarán O’Reilly. In previews. Opens Feb. 26. (132 W. 22nd St. 212-727-2737.)
MCC Theatre presents a reworking of the 1988 musical, with a book by Lawrence D. Cohen (who adapted Stephen King’s novel for the 1976 De Palma film), music by Michael Gore, and lyrics by Dean Pitchford (“Fame”). Starring Marin Mazzie and Molly Ranson; Stafford Arima directs. In previews. (Lucille Lortel, 121 Christopher St. 212-352-3101.)
DEATH OF A SALESMAN
Philip Seymour Hoffman, Linda Emond, and Andrew Garfield star in the Arthur Miller drama from 1949, directed by Mike Nichols. In previews. (Ethel Barrymore, 243 W. 47th St. 212-239-6200.)
(Catherine Hickley’s article appeared on Bloomberg Businessweek, 2/19.)
“Caesar Must Die,” a documentary about inmates in an Italian prison staging Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar,” last night won the Golden Bear award for the best movie at the Berlin Film Festival.
Directed by Paolo and Vittorio Taviani, the film features prisoners from the Roman maximum security prison Rebibbia, many of them serving time for Mafia-related crimes. In accepting the prize, Vittorio Taviani named the prisoners who featured in the film and greeted them “in the solitude of their cells.”
“Among the inmates were a lot who had got life sentences, serious criminals,” Taviani said. “This play was a kind of liberation for them.”
Terry Teachout’s article appeared in the Wall Street Journal, 2/17.)
Audiences in New York haven't been able to see much of the work of Athol Fugard, South Africa's greatest playwright, in recent years, but his stock is now taking a sharp leap upward. In addition to the Roundabout Theatre Company's current Broadway revival of "The Road to Mecca," Signature Theatre is mounting three Fugard productions this season, the first of which, "Blood Knot," has been directed by the author himself. That alone is reason to go, since "Blood Knot," the 1961 two-man play that introduced Mr. Fugard to the world's stages, is a modern classic, a play that moves with stealthy sureness from a quiet, almost nonchalant start to an overwhelming conclusion. To see what Mr. Fugard has done with it would be a must even if his staging were less effective—and he has done exactly right by "Blood Knot." If you don't find this revival enthralling, you're not thrillable.