Category Archives: London

The fight over ‘American Psycho’ just insane

I guess it’s the price of doing business when a musical that has the makings of a Broadway hit gets snatched away from an off-Broadway house.

As Patrick Healy reports in the NYTimes today, two veteran Broadway producers’ sharp elbows caused the new-to-NYC producers of  “American Psycho” to bypass Second Stage and go straight to the Great White Way. The California-based company Act 4 Entertainment produces movies and is new to theater.

That leaves Second Stage scrambling for a show to fill its February spot in that company’s season and delays the NYC debut of “AP” until a year from now. The show had its world premiere last winter in London to mixed-to-favorable reviews, Healy reports.

My 21-year-old son is very disappointed. He is a big fan of Duncan Sheik (“Spring Awakenings”) who wrote the score for this show based on Brett Easton’s 1991 best-selling book.

Read the full story here.

Clooney joins ‘Downton Abbey’ cast, briefly

I know. George Clooney has nothing to do with Broadway, NJ regionals, or London stages — except maybe as an audience member — but he is a class act and is supporting “Downton Abbey,” which is filled with veteran stage actors.

He filmed a scene for the popular TV series, which airs in the U.S. later than in England as part of Masterpiece Theatre. The scene will used for charity efforts during Christmas.

Here’s the skinny on Clooney.

London’s ‘Skylight’ with Nighy, Mulligan is Broadway bound

The London production of "Skylight," starring  Bill Nighy and Cary Mulligan, will be broadcast by the National Theatre Live during October around the country and open on Broadway in the Spring with its original London cast.
The London production of “Skylight,” starring Bill Nighy and Carey Mulligan, will be broadcast by the National Theatre Live during October around the country and open on Broadway in the Spring with its original London cast.

Playbill.com reports Carey Mulligan and Bill Nighy will return to Broadway in David Hare’s “Skylight” beginning March 16 for a 13-week limited engagement through June 14.

If you can’t wait, you can always catch the National Theatre Live broadcast of the London production in October at venues around the USA. “Experience the best of British theatre at a cinema near you” is the slogan on its homepage.

Different venues may offer the viewing on different days. I’ve taken my kids (in their early 20s) to NTL events about six times at the Pollack Theatre at Monmouth University in West Long Branch, NJ, and we enjoyed ourselves . We’ve seen both “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time” and “The Audience,” both of which are scheduled for Broadway this season, beginning Sept. 9 and Feb. 17, respectively. “Skylight” will be shown at Monmouth U Oct. 30.

“Skylights” original cast  of Carey Mulligan, Bill Nighy and Matthew Beard will transfer across the pond in the show directed by the brilliant Stephen Daldry. He took English dramatist J. B. Priestley’s classic 1946 warhorse of a show, “An Inspector Calls,” and turned it into an astonishingly modern piece on theater. It won the Tony Award for the 1994 Best Revival of a Play and Daldry went home with the Best Direction of a Play award. The set designer and lighting designer also won Tonys.

— For more info on “Skylight” and a video of the production, click here.

— For a list of NTL shows, venues in the NY metropolitan area, videos and more, click here. 

— For the Playbill.com report, click here.

‘Sherlock’ season 4 ‘devastating,’ says Moffat

Benedick Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman won Emmy Awards last night for their performances on “Sherlock.” Neither were on hand to collect the coveted statuettes. Martin is performing the title role in “Richard III” at London’s Trafalgar Studios and unable to attend.

No idea where Cumberbatch, 38, who won for Actor In A Miniseries or Movie, was. Martin, 42, won for Supporting Actor In A Miniseries or Movie for “Sherlock: His Last Vow.”

Co-creator and writer Steven Moffat also won for Outstanding Writing For A Miniseries, Movie Or A dramatic Special for “Sherlock: His Last Vow,” winning over Larry Kramer’s script for HBO’s “The Normal Heart,” “Treme,” “Luther,” “Fargo” and “American Horror Story: Coven” He had some stiff competition.

Mark Gatiss has written for and acted in the TV series "Doctor Who" and "Sherlock," the latter of which he also co-created.
Mark Gatiss has written for and acted in the TV series “Doctor Who” and “Sherlock,” the latter of which he also co-created.

But the really good news, depending on how you look at it, were the leaks Moffat and “Sherlock” writer-producer and actor Mark Gatiss (who plays Mycroft on the series) hinted at for season 4:

“We have a plan to top it,” Moffat said. “And I do think our plan is devastating. We’ve practically reduced our cast to tears telling them the plan … we’re probably more excited that we’ve ever been about ‘Sherlock’.”

For more details, including why Moffat never looks at Tumblr, click here.

 

 

Quick video fix for ‘Sherlock’ TV fans

"Sherlock" startting Benedict Cumberbatch (left) and Martin Freeman returns to Masterpiece on Jan. 19.
“Sherlock” starring Benedict Cumberbatch (left) and Martin Freeman returns to Masterpiece on Jan. 19.

Jan. 19 seems a long way off. That’s when “Sherlock” returns to American TV as part of the Masterpiece franchise. And before you know it, it will be gone again after three episodes (if past history is future) with another interminable wait for more episodes featuring Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman.

Meanwhile, satisfy your Sherlockian self with this Season Three repeat of a Behind the Scenes peak from PBS.

(So why is his TV show in a theater blog. Because Cumberbatch is a regular on the English stage and is scheduled to play Shakespeare’s Hamlet at London’s Barbican Theatre. The production will be directed by Lyndsey Turner and will be produced by Sonia Friedman. It will start its 12-week run in August 2015. Freeman has also tread the boards as well, as seen here.)

Dr. Watson a better fit than Richard III

He is perhaps best known for portraying Tim Canterbury in “The Office,” Dr. John Watson in “Sherlock,” and Bilbo Baggins in Peter Jackson’s “The Hobbit.” .

Now Martin Freeman earlier this week was twice nominated for Emmy awards.

Martin Freeman/Wikipedia
Martin Freeman/Wikipedia

None of this, though, helped with the NY Times review of Freeman in the title role of “Richard III” in London directed by Jamie Lloyd.

Mr. Freeman, who just received Emmy nominations for his performances in“Fargo” and “Sherlock: His Last Vow,” is giving us a Richard who almost disappears before your eyes, even when he’s making orgasmic noises while strangling a victim with a telephone cord. That this is a man to be deeply and truly feared is suggested by all the evidence, except Mr. Freeman’s performance.

Here’s the rest of the review.