(*homocinematically inclined)

Saturday, August 25, 2007

From Under the Sea

Three major openings this week - but only one on the Great White Way:

- Disney's The Little Mermaid and Mel Brooks' Young Frankenstein officially opened on the same day in different cities (Denver and Seattle). The local critics have spoken, all citing that both shows need work before they reach Broadway. Uh, isn't that what they're there for?

- After televised auditions, a rehearsal period and previews, the much-publicized revival of Grease has finally opened on Broadway ... and the reviews were pretty much what we expected. However, considering the advance sales due to the TV show, the producers should be crying all the way to the bank. has opening night photos and video, while Broadway World introduces you to the Thunderbirds.

- Good news for Billy Elliot fans (the movie is one of my all-time favorites): signs (literally) are pointing to a Broadway bow next year.

- Could Hairspray movie star Nikki Blonsky be eyeing the Broadway version for her next Tracy Turnblad tour de force? Meanwhile, Lance Bass is Corny -- Collins, that is; and meet the latest Edna, MADtv's Paul Vogt, who dishes on the real reason why the Las Vegas production of Hairspray closed.

- More casting buzz for Rob Marshall's Nine movie, including Oscar winners Sophia Loren and Catherine Zeta-Jones, Oscar nominees Javier Bardem and Penelope Cruz and future Oscar nominee Marion Cotillard (La Vie en Rose).

- As Kevin Kline, Jennifer Garner and Daniel Sunjata prepare for a Cyrano de Bergerac revival, George Hamilton returns to Chicago. And could Patrick Wilson, Anne Hathaway, John C. Reilly and Debra Messing be the latest Guys and Dolls?

- See who will take on the iconic movie roles played by Madonna and Hayley Mills in the West End Desperately Seeking Susan and the US tour Whistle Down the Wind.

- Feel the rhythm of South Africa with Disney's The Lion King.

- Enter the Broadway World time machine for a look back at the Xanadu movie. Elsewhere, has a lively chat with that scene-stealing evil muse, Jackie Hoffman.

- Alfred Hitchcock's The 39 Steps and Jane Austen's Emma hit regional stages.

- Frost/Nixon closes on Broadway. What's next for Tony winner Frank Langella and Tony nominee Michael Sheen? Filming the movie version with director Ron Howard.

- The West End musical epic stage version of The Lord of the Rings extends through the end of September.

- The Ritz star Seth Rudetsky discusses briefs, towels and robes.

- Holy stage faves, Batman! Take a look at the Batman musical that never was.

- And finally: Avenue Q star Rod (just Rod, like Cher) sits down for a "Cue & A" with

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