PRISONERS OF HYPE I think it's dandy that Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick are coming back to The Producers.This was not an unexpected development word was that the lads would come back to the Broadway show at some point in advance of a planned staging in London.But does anyone here agree with me that the way this is being done is really unfair to the actors currently playing the roles?Lewis J. Stadlen (the first Bialystock who did NOT remind me of Nathan Lane) and Don Stephenson are doing a fine job.But now that the word is out that Nathan and Matthew are on the way back, who's gonna really want to plunk down that kind of money to see the show with "replacements" when you can wait and hope to get tickets to see the "originals"?
LOVELY SPAM, WONDERFUL SPAM! Eric Idle of Monty Python fame is hard at work on a musical version of "Monty Python and the Holy Grail."Ya gotta love the title "Spamalot."Coming to Broadway in 2004.Now I have reason to live.
BALANCING THE KARMA Some bad news to counter the good news above.A well-placed source tells me that William Shatner will NOT be the new Caldwell B. Cladwell, replacing John Cullum when le leaves Urinetown later this month.Pity.Say what you want about the legendary James Tiberius Kirk, he would have made a howlingly funny head of UGC!Look for a name to be announced soon to replace Mr. Cullum.And stay tuned for word regarding the new Bobby Strong LutherCreek as a guest on my live, nationwide radio show on XM Satellite Radio.
OVER THE RAINBOW Theatermania's Michael Portantiere writes a glowing review of Mary Birdsong's"Judy Speaks" performance.I haven't seen the show yet.But Miss Birdsong was a guest on my show recently.She sang a little lullaby as Judy Garland.I closed my eyes and listened as she sang.It was like having Judy in the room.And maybe she was!
WHAT THE CALLERS ARE ASKING FOR I just finished playing "Always Gabrielle" from "Coco."Katherine Hepburn was a remarkable actress and a legendary personality.She couldn't sing.Not even a little bit.I followed that with "Getta Loada Toad" from "A Year With Frog and Toad," a cute little show that should have done better on Broadway than it did.I'd be glad to play a song for YOU, as well, if you call my live request show, Demand Performance, heard weekdays from 10a-2p (Eastern) on XM Satellite Radio's "On Broadway" channel.