I love musicals. I love “Downton Abbey.” But a musical of this hit British TV series about a snooty English Earl and his family … It seems, though, we’re not talking traditional stage musical and the show’s creator Julian Fellowes is involved so maybe this isn’t a train wreck waiting to happen.
That’s what various news outlets are reporting. Playbill.com, referring to an article in The Independent of London, says the show that focuses on the Crawley before, during and following World War I is being adapted as a stage musical that would go on a global theatrical tour.
So happy I saw National Theatre Live’s screening of “A View From the Bridge” at a local theater in the U.S. since the production won an Olivier Award for Best Revival, Best Director and Best Actor. And to think, I only had to drive 9 miles earlier this month to see it at Monmouth University in West Long Branch, NJ. I LOVE the NTL!
For “Downton Abbey” fans, Penelope Wilton (who plays Isobel Crawley) won Best Actress for “Taken at Midnight,” a new play by Mark Hayhurst about the life of Hans Litten, his cross-examination of Adolf Hitler in court in 1931 and his mother’s attempts to secure his release after his arrest by the Nazis in 1933.
For the other winners, including Angela Lansbury taking home the Best Supporting Actress as Madame Arcati in “Blithe Spirit,” click here.
Maggie Smith, 80, began as a stage actress so I feel perfectly justified in sharing here she is done playing the Dowager Countess after the next season of “Downton Abbey,” whether it’s the final season or not.
Sure going to miss those barbed swipes she delivers, oh, so well. Of course, if she continues making movies, such as the “Marigold Hotel” series, we’ll still hear plenty of her quips. And there’s always the “Harry Potter” moves to watch again (except for maybe the last two).
In an interview with The (London) Sunday Times, “They say this is the last one, and I can’t see how it could go on,” Smith, 80, said referring to the upcoming season six. (She thinks the Countess “must be 110 by now,” she told the Times.)
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.