Shows Open, Shows Close, Shows Open

Monday, April 12, 2010

Tallulah Bankhead's Star, in front of the Alabama Theatre, Birmingham AL
(this is Tallulah Bankhead's star in downtown B'ham)

Broadway sure seems to have a lot of Southern-themed shows going on lately.


First, the not-so-great news: Abigail Breslin starred as Helen Keller in the revival of 'The Miracle Worker' and it closed early this month after only 21 preview and 38 regular performances, at a total financial loss. Valerie Harper played Tallulah Bankhead in 'Looped', and it closed Sunday, after only about six weeks of performances.

The Scottsboro Boys Musical (musical! I know.) opened in March and the songwriting team is the same as from 'Chicago' so just maybe...

What may also do well is 'Million Dollar Quartet' - a show inspired by the day in 1956 that Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins met at Sun Studios in Memphis and recorded together. It opened on Broadway this past weekend. And 'Memphis' - another musical - was suggested to be the 'Michael Bolton of musicals' by the NYT reviewer, but the readers/viewers are giving it 4/5.

Far, far from Broadway is a staged reading of "All Over Alabama, The Lamps Are Out" (an adaptation of "Let Us Now Praise Famous Men") in Winston-Salem.

...and this Autumn, a play called 'The Nacirema Society' is opening at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival as part of their Southern Writers' Project. The ASF describes it this way:

Every year since Emancipation, the Nacirema Society of Montgomery, Alabama introduces six elegant African-American debutants to a world of wealth, privilege and social responsibility. This year, at its 100th anniversary, with young love brewing, old flames simmering and national media attention on hand. . . what would dare to go awry?

Pearl Cleage, award winning playwright of Blues for an Alabama Sky and Flyin’ West, and New York Times best-selling author of Oprah book club selection What Looks Like Crazy on an Ordinary Day, invites you into this glamorous world where folks still dress for dinner...

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