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THEATRE - November 1999

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  • LAY CANCELED: Parents at a school in Massachusetts succeed in canceling a planned production of "West Side Story," claiming the play promotes racial stereotypes. BBC 11/30/99
  • BACK FROM THE BRINK: La Jolla Playhouse - only a few years ago in debt for $10 million - announces $36 million campaign for a new home. "A miraculous turnaround." Playbill 11/30/99
  • ON OLD (OFF) BROADWAY: While straight plays may be endangered species on the Great White Way, Off Broadway has no shortage of stars. New York Times 11/25/99 (one time registration required) 
  • ROARRRR!: "Lion King" cleans up at London's Evening Standard Theatre awards. BBC 11/23/99
  • THE "LONGEST RUNNING FARCE IN THE WEST END" After a string of pratfalls, insolvency, scandals, four directors, London's Covent Garden reopens next week after a 214 million makeover. London Telegraph 11/23/99
  • ACTING TIRED: David Mamet recently took aim on the art of acting calling for a return to the heroic values of an earlier age. Maybe it's time, says one critic, to move away from the uniformity of realism and less-is-more and study Chekhov's nephew. London Telegraph 11/23/99 
  • ROUNDABOUT SUCCESS: New York's Roundabout Theater has been a study in hard-luck stories. But now it's embarking on a swank $21 million redo of a forlorn old movie house and looking for benefactors to get the job done. New York Times 11/23/99 (removed to paid archive)
  • CO-PRODUCTION LIFELINE: More and more regional theaters are turning to co-productions. It's a bit of a dance, with each theater trying to be collegial as it works with a partner to create something artistic without stepping on each other's toes. Hartford Courant 11/22/99  
  • THEATERSPORTS: "Just when you think the American musical has nowhere to go, it leaps up and rushes in a new direction." Cleveland Plain Dealer 11/21/99
  • WHAT'S SO FUNNY? Apres le Comedy Industrial Revolution - Have movies and marketing turned audiences into complacent consumers of mediocre comedy? Comedian Rick Maranis looks back at the slippery slope. National Post (Canada) 11/20/99

  • THEATER FOR 20-YEAR-OLDS: A combination of high-impact dancing and frank monologues is bringing in the young people to this London Theater. Heaps of them. Pink hair, nose-studs, the lot. Financial Times 11/19/99

  • PETER MARKS to leave theater beat at the New York Times Playbill 11/18/99

  • STAND UP!: Last month a Texas county withdrew funding from the Texas Shakespeare Festival because of a production of "Angels in America" to which local officials objected. Here's a version of playwright Tony Kushner's letter defending the play against "art bullies." The Nation 11/29/99

  • THE END OF THE BLOCKBUSTER: Or is it "The Blockbuster Lives?" Recent events on Broadway give conflicting clues to the future of the American musical. Hartford Courant 11/15/99

  • MOVE OVER PAUL HOGAN: Dame Edna and the Umbilicals expand the American experience of Australia. Sydney Morning Herald 11/16/99

  • "SPRING STORM": A never-produced Tennessee Williams play comes to light. 
    San Francisco Chronicle 11/14/99

  • CULTURAL CONFLICT: Current crop of London theater takes up the clash of cultures - between generations, between classes, between races. The New Republic 11/10/99

  • THREAT TO FREEDOM: Philadelphia theater, America's oldest African-American theater company in financial bind - "on the brink of tragedy." Philadelphia Daily News 11/4/99

  • FATWA FOR MCNALLY: British Islamic group Shari'ah Court of the UK sentences playwright Terrence McNally to death as his play "Corpus Christi" depicting a gay Jesus Christ, opened in London on Thursday night. BBC 11/1/99
         AND: CBC account 11/1/99

  • BEST PLAYS/PLAYWRIGHTS OF THE CENTURY. The votes are in from the Alliance of Resident Theatres/New York. Backstage 11/1/99