rambling reporter

Something wicked this way comes to Broadway

This week's Broadway scene: Tonight's the opening at the Lyceum of Patrick Stewart's take on that Shakespearean tragedy that to some is "the play with the title no actor dares call by its name for fear of triggering a string of bad luck." This time, Kate Fleetwood plays the title character's wife, Lady Macbeth. (Hey, no one says her name shouldn't be uttered.) The most recent Main Stem production of this play was a version with Kelsey Grammer and Diane Venora in 2000 that only survived for 13 performances. (Obviously somebody in that company did blab the "M" word.) Others in the past who have tempted the fates with Broadway revivals of the play include Maurice Evans and Judith Anderson (1941), Michael Redgrave and Flora Robson (1948), Philip Anglim and Maureen Anderman (1981) and Christopher Plummer and Glenda Jackson (1988). … Two shows begin prevuing Saturday. "Thurgood," the one-man show about former Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall at the Booth, stars Laurence Fishburne and is written by George Stevens Jr. It premiered in May at the Westport Country Playhouse in Connecticut with James Earl Jones in the title role. Also starting the prevue process Saturday will be Laura Linney in the Roundabout's revival of Christopher Hampton's "Les Liaisons Dangereuses" at the American Airlines Theatre. It is directed by Rufus Norris and also stars Ben Daniels, Sian Phillips and Mamie Gummer. It most recently appeared on Broadway in 1987 in a stunning production that starred Alan Rickman and Lindsay Duncan. … Bidding adieu this week: Harold Pinter's "The Homecoming" — with Ian McShane, Eve Best, Michael McKean and Raul Esparza and directed by Daniel Sullivan — which folds Sunday after 137 performances and 15 prevues at the Cort. … I'm not keen about using this column to call attention to things I'm doing, but for those who have inquired, my own Robert Osborne's Classic Film Festival kicks off for the fourth year Thursday in the king-size Classic Theatre in Athens, Ga., home of the University of Georgia and the Peabody Awards. The purpose of the festival is to give people a chance to gander at classic films on a giant screen, something that invariably gives a movie entirely new and different values than when it's seen in smaller proportions. People who live in bigger places — be it New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, et al. — occasionally can see a "Casablanca" or a "The Third Man" on a large screen, but that's a rarity in most other cities and towns these days. This particular fest offers eight films in four days, including mint prints of Alfred Hitchcock's "Notorious" from the 1940s, "The African Queen" and "Journey to the Center of the Earth" from the '50s, "Lawrence of Arabia" from the '60s, "The Way We Were" from the '70s and "What's Eating Gilbert Grape" from the '90s. The opener Thursday will be "Young Frankenstein"; the closer Sunday is "The King and I." There will be shorts, newsreels, cartoons, guests and panels. If you're anywhere near Athens, which is an easy car ride from Atlanta, do come join us.
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