Monday, August 24, 2009

Mondays are Dark

Got some goodies for you this week!

Tonight, tonight, I won't go on tonight!
It used to be rare for an actor to miss a performance; only exceptional illness or injury would force a performer to pass up a chance to stand in the spotlight and garner applause. Years ago, Groucho Marx was too ill to perform Animal Crackers, so his brother Gummo went on in his place. Gummo got so many raves that Groucho decided that he could perform with walking pneumonia after all. Carol Channing broke her arm while touring with Legends, and performed anyway.

Compare that to the cast of West Side Story, who apparently feel that playing the role of a lifetime is no bigger deal than slinging burgers at a diner. Michael Riedel at the New York Post reports that at some performances as many as five actors called in sick.

And the director isn't happy about it:
...the situation is so acute that last week Arthur Laurents, who wrote the show and directed this revival, read his cast the riot act.

His tone, I'm told, was chilling. The 91-year-old told them that
professionals don't miss performances, and that they'd better get their
acts together or find another line of work.
Riedel points out that the cast should already know to be on their best behavior
I think the blizzard of cast inserts should start to clear.

But if it doesn't, the kids should remember their former colleague, Cody Green, who played Riff.

He missed a lot of shows due to injury. His understudy, John Arthur Greene, took over.

The producers thought the understudy was damn good.

And so now "the role usually played by Cody Green" is being played by John Arthur Greene -- permanently.
And that's why we don't miss shows unless we're dying. Here endeth the lesson.

How Do People Choose?
Regular Theatre Scene readers know that 'how people select shows' is an important issue for The Scene. The Producer's Perspective receives a letter from a patron who was surprised how people waiting in line with her at the New York TKTS booth chose their plays.

Clive in the Driver's Seat
Mary Damiano interviews Caldwell Theatre Company's new artistic director for Clive Cholerton discusses the Caldwell's mission, using local actors versus bring them in from out of state, and the future of theatre in South Florida. Kevin D. Thompson of the Palm Beach Post also has an interview with Cholerton.

The Reggae Musical
The Miami Examiner reports that a reggae musical featuring a Jamaican cast is coming to the Arsht Center. The Harder They Come was written by the late Perry Henzell, who also wrote, produced and directed the 1970 film by the same name. The Miami Herald goes into more detail in its story, and includes some footage of the show.
Miami-based Jamaican Consul General Sandra Grant Griffiths, who has seen "widespread interest'' in the show among Jamaicans at home and in Miami, speaks eloquently of a movie she calls a cult classic.

"The Harder They Come is part of Jamaica's cultural development. It's a very human story, a capsule of the 1970s. Jimmy was outstanding. He went from strength to strength. It's a benchmark performance,''
Laramie II (Again)
Florida Stage's participation in The Laramie Project: 10 Years Later was first reported by The Drama Queen, and was linked in last week's column. Now the Palm Beach Daily News has gotten around to covering the story in their own backyard. I'd tweak them more on being scooped by a Miami paper, but the Palm Beach Post missed it entirely. At least the Daily News is only lagging a week behind.

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