Thursday, December 30, 2021

Reconstructing the Carol Burnett Show: Part 19: More Movie Spoofs

As 2021 comes to an end and I am recovering from being in an auto accident (I was struck by a car while crossing a street while I had the light), here is a new installment in our series on the Carol Burnett Show. This time we focus on the series' brilliant movie parodies.

Season Seven
Dec. 15, 1973: Ruth Buzzi, Richard Crenna

Harvey and Carol in 
Raised to be Rotten
(Full episode found on YouTube) The high point of this segment is a salute to Bad Girls of the Movies. Ruth plays Mrs. Robinson from The Graduate and then Richard comes in as Benjamin, the much younger object of her seduction--dressed in a boy scout outfit. Then Carol does her over-the-top Bette Davis impersonation while Vicki plays Anne Baxter as Eve Harrington from All About Eve. After Vicki smears Carol with make-up and smacks her with a powder puff to make her look bad, Vicki then takes Carol-Bette's dress and imagines replacing the great star. Carol throws Vicki out of the dressing room. Then Harvey as Gary Merrill comes to comfort Carol, but tries on the dress himself. (More condescending gay/trans/cross-dressing humor).

Monday, December 20, 2021

B'way Update: Strange Loops Into the Lyceum; Pill Swallowed by COVID

The cast of A Strange Loop
at Woolly Mammoth Theater.
Credit: Marc A. Franklin
Yesterday I posted about the Lyceum becoming available because MacBeth was moving to the Longacre. I speculated about A Strange Loop or Kimberly Akimbo snapping it up. Well, today Strange Loop made the move. The Woolly Mammoth Theater's production of Michael R. Jackson's Pulitzer Prize-winning musical will begin performances at the Lyceum in the spring of 2022. Specific dates and casting are to be announced. The show had a limited Off-Broadway engagement in 2019 at Playwrights Horizons and went on to cop not only the Pulitzer but also the New York Drama Critics Circle and the Drama Desk awards for Best Musical. The autobiographical piece follows a gay, African-American musical theater writer putting together a show about a gay, African-American musical theater writer (hence the loop).

While new shows are being announced, there have been more COVID-related cancellations and one total closing. Jagged Little Pill which reopened at the Broadhurst will not be returning after a series of performances were cancelled. The musical based on Alanis Morrisette's Grammy-winning album played its final performance on Dec. 17. 

Sunday, December 19, 2021

B'way Update: Little Prince, COVID Cancellations, MacBeth Moves

Lionel Zalachis and Charlotte Kah in
The Little Prince at the Sydney Opera House.
Credit: Prudence Upton
While Broadway is in turmoil over multiple performance cancellations and uncertainty due to the rapid spread of the omicron variant of the COVID-19 virus, a new production has been announced for the spring--The Little Prince, a stage version of the classic 1943 novella by Antoine de Saint-Exupery about the titular boy royal who seeks companionship on a journey to many different planets. Described as a theatrical experience with musical elements, the show combines elements of acrobatics, circus arts, dance, and video. It is the creation of director-choreographer Annie Tournie and has had runs in Paris, Sydney and Dubai. Previews begin March 4 at the Broadway Theater with an opening set for March 17 for a run through Aug. 14. The show features a libretto by co-director Chris Mourin who also plays the narrator, and music by Terry Truck. It's not clear if this presentation is a traditionally musical, a play with music, and a sort of Cirque du Soleil show. A spokesperson stated it would be up to the Tony Eligibility Committee to determine its status for awards consideration. For our purposes, I have listed it as a new musical under the list of productions for the 2021-22 Broadway season. After seeing it, I might shift it to Special Presentations.

Director Tournié said, "We are thrilled for our company to continue The Little Prince’s world journey to the bright lights of Broadway and New York. On his journey, the Little Prince shares a message of humanity with the many different people and cultures he encounters. We are humbled to bring his story of friendship, loneliness, love, and caring for others and our planet back to the melting pot where Antoine de Saint-Exupéry first created this beloved tale.”