Welcome to The Varley Factor, BroadwayWorld.com's newest ongoing blog series from Creative Director, Eddie Varley. Look for 'The Factor' to bring you Varley's unique brand of commentary on all things theatrical... Get ready Broadway!
It has been brought to my attention via a series of emails that my last few blogs, ok, all of my past blogs were considered too cynical for many of our more "sensitive BWW readers."
They accused me of being an impossible to please, snarky and pessimistic "hater." It was truly not my intention to offend! And especially not YOU "Phyllis Rogers Stone" of all anonymous internet people. So, I decided to create a list of ten things that make me so very happy to be a part of this world we call 'show.' Sadly, at this present time I could only think of five things. But...please take these five gentle statements of love as a theatrical apology of sorts, a grand testament to my positive intentions with this blog. Please embrace this list of ten, sorry, five things as my goodwill manifesto to all those theatrical fans who post under secret alias on Broadway message boards, let it be heard by all good people, especially you my cherished reader!
1) THE ADDAMS FAMILY - I'm personally more excited about this than anything in the Broadway pipeline, like waiting for Christmas morning level excited. The sublime casting of Tony winners Nathan Lane and Bebe Neuwirth makes me very happy. Together, they make a perfect pair as macabre romantics Gomez and Morticia Addams. Mr. Lane, that iconic stage animal, has had a very busy and successful last number of years in straight plays with The Odd Couple, Butley, November, and Waiting for Godot, so it is even more of a treat that he'll be working his comedic alchemy on a new musical role. With a book by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice (librettists of the 2006 Tony Award-winning Best Musical, Jersey Boys), music and lyrics by Drama Desk Award-winning composer/lyricist Andrew Lippa, direction and design by Phelim McDermott and Julian Crouch, and choreography by Sergio Trujillo all servicing the legendary characters of the beloved Charles Addams, its a creative stew I'll want many heaping helpings of dear hearts! THE ADDAMS FAMILY will open Thursday, April 8, 2010 at Broadway's Lunt-Fontanne Theatre. Previews begin Thursday, March 4, 2010 following a pre-Broadway engagement at the Ford Center for the Performing Arts, Oriental Theatre in Chicago that begins Friday, November 13, 2009.
2) "The Coney Island Waltz" from Andrew Lloyd Webber's upcoming LOVE NEVER DIES - Dark, sweeping, soaring with a slight "broKen Down big top" energy that richly lends itself to Lord Lloyd Webber's Phantom sequel. The other song revealed at the October 8th press launch on the other hand ain't making me happy. "'Till I Hear You Sing" sounds like a Disney Princess power ballad, its a tune I could never imagine the Phantom would sing. Ever.
3) Angus McIndoe - I always feel happier walking into (or by) McIndoe's West 44th St. watering hole. This popular theatre district restaurant collects the best of the industry seven days a week, whether that be Broadway's talented artists or passionate fans. Plus the lovely and talented Rick Wesley behind the bar has perfected the extra dirty martini and that helps me be happy about everything after one. Or two. Ok, three, then its a parade.
4) The cast of the upcoming National Tour of IN THE HEIGHTS - Kyle Beltran, Rogelio Douglas Jr., Natalie Toro, Arielle Jacobs, Shaun Taylor-Corbett and the entire company all rule. Inspired and real casting choices, can't wait to catch them on a tour stop soon. The IN THE HEIGHTS Tour launches October 27th at Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center.
5) Lisa Brescia in ORDINARY DAYS - Brescia is a wonder, her singing, her acting, her pretty much everything makes me a happy audience member. I'm REALLY looking forward to this production. ORDINARY DAYS opens on Sunday, October 25th at Roundabout's Black Box Theatre, at the Harold and Miriam Steinberg Center for Theatre.