Can’t make it to London — and not many of us can — there’s the National Theatre Live which broadcasts “live” well-film productions
aired in locations around the world. It might be better than a front row seat at the Cottesloe Theatre as cameras film from all angles on stage with close-ups. You could see the sweat on Benedict Cumberbatch’s brow and the pores on Johnny Lee Miller’s face during “Frankenstein.” Performances also include interviews and backstage tours of the costume or make-up rooms. Coming up: “Medea,” starting Sept. 4, “A Streetcar Named Desire” starting Sept. 16, David Hare’s “Skylight” in October. Find a theater near you, I hope. Visit the National’s website.
‘The Audience’ coming to Broadway
Speaking of the National Theatre Live, I caught its broadcast of Helen Mirren as Queen Elizabeth in the title role of “The Audience”
at the Monmouth University venue in West Long Branch, NJ. Surprised to see it coming to Broadway as it’s about the various prime ministers Queen Elizabeth has dealt with during her more than 60+ year reign. I’d think most American audiences would be hard pressed to name half of the 12 PMs with whom she has audiences during the play. And some knowledge of 20th century British history would be helpful. But, heck, Mirren on stage in America is always a good thing. It’s not my money producing it. Scheduled from Feb. 17 through June 28.
“It’s Only a Play,” written by Terrence McNally, directed by Jack O’Brien, is another limited run — performances Sept. 4 through Jan. 4.
According to the play’s website:
“It’s opening night of Peter Austin’s (Matthew Broderick) new play as he anxiously awaits to see if his show is a hit. With his career on the line, he shares his big First Night with his best friend, a television star (Nathan Lane),his fledgling producer (Megan Mullally), his erratic leading lady (Stockard Channing), his wunderkind director (Rupert Grint), an infamous drama critic (F. Murray Abraham), and a fresh-off-the-bus coat check attendant (Micah Stock) on his first night in Manhattan.”
Sounds hysterical. Actually, it sounds a little bit like the Marx Brothers’ movie “Room Service.”
According to Variety, “Hedwig and the Angry Inch” headliner Neil Patrick Harris penned a letter to Ryan Murphy, the brains behind “American Horror Story: Freak Show,” saying he wanted to appear on the TV series.
Murphy then tweeted the Tony winner: “of course you can be on Freak Show! I have a role I think you’d love.”
Catch Harris in “Hedwig” on Broadway through Aug. 17.
What a cast! Glenn Close. John Lithgow. Lindsay Duncan. Bab Balaban. Clare Higgins. Martha Plimpton.
All are on board for Edward Albee’s “A Delicate Balance.” Albee won a Pulitzer Prize for the dark comedy. It’s a limited run — Oct. 22 through Feb. 22 — at the Golden Theatre, and is directed by Pam MacKinnon who earned a Tony at the helm of “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” It’s Scott Rudin’s second show this season. His “A Raisin in the Sun” starring Denzel Washington sold out.
Now this looks like a really cool idea. And it brings Michael Keaton back to the big screen. Instead of a Broadway play going to Hollywood, “A washed-up actor who once played an iconic superhero must overcome his ego and family trouble as he mounts a Broadway play in a bid to reclaim his past glory.