Weill-Lenya romance leads '07 Broadway bows


NEW YORK -- New year, new expectations. The Broadway shows I'm most looking forward to seeing in 2007? That list starts with "LoveMusik," Harold Prince's new musical about the complicated lives and marriage of Kurt Weill and Lotte Lenya, with the added enticement that it's Weill's music, a book by Alfred Uhry ("Driving Miss Daisy") and a cast headed by Michael Cerveris ("Sweeney Todd") and the multi-Tonyed Donna Murphy. It's being promised for a May 3 opening at the Biltmore. ... Then, three days later, there's the world premiere of Terrence McNally's "Deuce" at the Music Box, bringing Angela Lansbury back to the Broadway stage for the first time in umpteen years, teamed with another of the theater's first ladies, Marian Seldes, all under the direction of Michael Blakemore. ... Also enticing: the new production of "Inherit the Wind," aiming for March at the Lyceum, with Christopher Plummer and Brian Dennehy in the meaty roles occupied in the past by such towering talents as Paul Muni/Ed Begley and George C. Scott/Charles Durning onstage and on film by Spencer Tracy/Fredric March; Liev Schreiber in what will be the first Broadway staging of Eric Bogosian's 1987 off-Broadway hit "Talk Radio," this new version directed by Robert Falls and opening Feb. 25 at the Longacre; the Fred Ebb-John Kander-Rupert Holmes-Peter Stone musical comedy "Curtains," weaving its way to the Al Hirschfeld on March 22 after its premiere run at L.A.'s Ahmanson Theatre, directed by Scott Ellis and toplining David Hyde Pierce, Debra Monk, Karen Ziemba; then, a week later, the return of Vanessa Redgrave to the Broadway stage at the Booth. The local theater scene always has an added spark and glow when any of the Redgraves are a part of it. ... Something I'm looking forward to on my own platter for 2007: the third annual so-called Robert Osborne's Classic Film Festival running March 22-25 in Athens, Ga., a four-day, eight-film celebration of classic movies at that city's Classic Center Theatre. Created in 2005 by Nate Kohn, organizer of the long-running Roger Ebert's Overlooked Film Festival in Illinois, the event is designed to give those who appreciate films made before "Crash" and "Babel" a chance to see some outstanding past-tense films on a giant screen, something we who live in bigger bergs such as Manhattan, L.A., Chicago, San Francisco, et al., often take for granted but an experience that isn't often (or never) available these days to those who don't. This year, the ROCFF will be screening one movie per genre and decade, ranging from Otto Preminger's great film noirish "Laura" from the 1940s all the way to 2005's too-little-seen documentary "Mad Hot Ballroom." And since I was the one doing the choosing -- and following the theory that any film expo can only be improved by having a Christopher Guest film included -- "Waiting for Guffman" also is on the agenda, representing the '90s and the genre of movie mockumentries. Special guests will be joining the doings in Athens, which also happens to be the home of the University of Georgia and, quite apart from the UoG's football team and the area's enthusiasm for sports, a place where a vibrant music scene also exists.
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