Broadway is 'Park' place; other revivals wait in wings

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NEW YORK -- This week's big Broadway opener, or actually reopener, takes place Thursday at Studio 54: the Meinier Chocolate Factory's production of "Sunday in the Park With George," staged as it was amid much buzz and excitement in 2005-06 in London. It's being directed here -- as it was there -- by Sam Buntrock, and it's the first Broadway staging of the Stephen Sondheim-James Lapine musical since its original 1984-85 run at the Booth, where it was directed by Lapine and starred Mandy Patinkin and Bernadette Peters and ran for 604 performances, picking up a Pulitzer Prize in the process. There was a one-night-only 10th anniversary performance of "Sunday" in 1994 at the St. James Theatre, also with Patinkin and Peters. In the upcoming staging, the roles they originated are being acted/sung by Daniel Evans and Jenna Russell. ... 'Tis another theater season heavy with revivals: "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" begins March 6 at the Broadhurst, "Gypsy" on March 27 at the St. James, "South Pacific" on April 3 at the Vivian Beaumont and "Les Liaisons Dangereuses" on May 1 at the American Airlines Theatre. Plus, of course, there are those other revivals already on the boards: "A Chorus Line" at the Schoenfeld, "Chicago" at the Ambassador, "Grease" at the Brooks Atkinson and "The Homecoming" at the Cort. ... Also happening in the next seven days: Chazz Palminteri's one-man show "A Bronx Tale" finishes Sunday at the Walter Kerr; the same day, "The Color Purple" wraps its run at the Broadway after 27 months. ... Lorenzo Lamas, further pursuing his additional career as a cabaret singer, opens tonight for a two-stanza run at the Colony Club in West Palm Beach, Fla. I caught Lamas during his cabaret debut at Feinstein's at the Regency a couple of years ago, and he's an excellent singer. Next on Lamas' agenda is another singing gig, this time in a regional production of "The Fantasticks." ... Speaking of Feinstein's, someone else who isn't best known as a cabaret entertainer is about to take over that room for a two-week stint. Tovah Feldshuh will be delivering what's promised to be a "zany musical evening" there March 4-15 in a show titled "Tovah in a Nutshell." She will be joined by Mathew Eisenstein on piano. It was in 2004 that Feldshuh's "Golda's Balcony" became the longest-running one-woman show in Broadway history; in June, she will debut that production at London's Shaw Theatre. Lately, Feldshuh has been touring as Katharine Hepburn in another one-woman show, Matthew Lombardo's "Tea at Five," directed by John Tillinger. ... In Arlington, Va., there will be a long festival celebrating the work of Broadway's great John Kander and the late Fred Ebb, running at the Signature Theatre's new two-theater complex (the Max and the Ark) from March 11-June 22 and featuring three Kander & Ebb musicals: "Kiss of the Spider Woman" (March 11-April 20) with Hunter Foster, Will Chase and Natascia Diaz; "The Happy Time" (April 1-June 1) with George Dvorsky and David Margulies; and the big gun, the East Coast premiere of "The Visit" (May 13-June 22) with Chita Rivera, George Hearn and Mark Jacoby, before a planned Broadway "Visit." At this K&E celebration, there also will be a cabaret series that opens March 11-16 with Karen Akers, plus dance performances and special exhibitions; an onstage conversation with Kander and the Signature's artistic director Eric Schaeffer on May 12; and a screening of films with music by Kander & Ebb: "Cabaret," "Funny Lady," "New York, New York" and "Chicago."
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