The Broadway strike is over: Bring on the divas!


Oh, Happy Day! Or Oh, Happy
Night as I’m writing this. I just watched Charlotte St. Martin,
the spokesperson for the League of American
Theatres and Producers
announce that a tentative deal has been reached to end the Broadway stagehands’
union strike
. Shows
are reopening immediately, and happiness reigns in my home and in midtown
Manhattan. (You can read a good timeline of the strike here.)

And the end of the strike is
not the only good Broadway news these days. I just read that Patti LuPone
will be reprising her role as Mama Rose in Gypsy next March.

This summer, the Encores! Summer
Stars production of Gypsy at New York City Center was the hot ticket. (I certainly
couldn’t get my hands on one.) Everyone I know who saw it loved it,
despite the tepid New York Times review.

I was underwhelmed by

Bernadette Peters’ turn as Rose in the 2003 revival.

But I’m still excited about
this production. Patti LuPone is one of the great divas I’ve never seen
on Broadway. Commercials for her Tony Award–winning performance in
were a staple of my childhood television watching, but I’ve
somehow managed to miss her every time she’s done another show.

So I’m grabbing a ticket to
this one.

In other Broadway news, the Manhattan Theatre
has announced
the initial casting for its Broadway debut of Caryl Churchill‘s Top Girls next May.

The all-female cast of the
odd, but interesting, feminist drama will include Mary Catherine Garrison,
Elizabeth Marvel
, Martha Plimpton and Marisa Tomei. In the likely event that you’re not
familiar with the play, here’s the Manhattan Theatre Club’s description:

“Set at the Top Girls Employment
Agency in London in the early 1980s, this groundbreaking, theatrical
play tells the story of Marlene, an ambitious career woman who has just
been appointed head of the firm. But as she celebrates her achievements,
can we applaud her values? This bold and ingenious work from the singularly
talented author of Far Away and Cloud Nine offers one
of the theatre’s most honest portraits of what it means to be a woman
in the modern world.”

I saw a reading of the first
act at the Brooklyn
a few years
ago; this is the act in which the central character, Marlene, holds
a dinner party for historical figures including Pope Joan, the alleged 9th-century
female pope.

In sum, I’m pretty happy. Broadway
theater is back and I’m already making my plans for the spring.

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