PLAYBILL THEATRE WEEK IN REVIEW, Oct. 20-26: Pump Boys Back on Broadway, Nathan Lane as The Nance, TKTS

By Robert Simonson
26 Oct 2012

Jeremy Shamos

The parties are almost assembled.

Jeremy Shamos, Mark Blum and Sam Robards will join the previously announced Jessica Hecht and Judith Light in the world-premiere production of The Assembled Parties, Richard Greenberg's new play about a New York City family.

Manhattan Theatre Club artistic director Lynne Meadow directs the production, which will begin previews March 19, 2013, at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre.



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First a book, then a movie, now a play.

Misery, a new stage version of the Stephen King story about a novelist who, following a car accident, is rescued — and then held captive and hobbled (literally) — by his nutty greatest fan, will get its world-premiere staging at Bucks County Playhouse. The script is by famed screenwriter William Goldman, who hasn't ventured near the stage since he famously skewered the Broadway universe in his classic book "The Season" more than 40 years ago. Cast in the leading roles are two stage stalwarts that New York does not use nearly enough: Johanna Day and Daniel Gerroll. Will Frears directs. Warner Bros. Theatre Ventures, Castle Rock Entertainment and Playhouse Productions are behind the Pennsylvania developmental engagement.

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Garth Drabinsky
photo by Michael Cooper

The recent shenanigans surrounding the phantom financing of the Broadway musical Rebecca had a lot of people thinking about another producer-rascal of Times Square's past: Garth Drabinksy. The flamboyant Canadian showman infamously sunk he producing empire, Livent, when it was discovered that two sets of books were being kept. He's been spending the past year in prison. The producer was convicted of fraud and forgery in 2009. Due to his earlier appeal request, Drabinsky's incarceration didn't begin in September 2011.

This week, however, Drabinksy was granted "day parole" and will serve the rest of his five-year fraud conviction sentence in a more open halfway house in Toronto. According to published reports, the 62-year-old producer testified via videolink before a panel, weeping about his experience. True to past behavior, he did not, however, admit criminality. He did say that he felt he pushed his employees (!) into wrongdoing, but was not aware of crime.

"I drove people tremendously hard in the company," he said in the hearing, according to a report in the Globe and Mail. "I drove them to succeed through my flawed ambition and creative hunger, which was not grounded in greed. I pushed the envelope too far." He said that he "walked away from the details" of the accounting, and admitted, "I should never have been CEO of the company. That was a mistake."

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Patrons of the Theatre Development Fund's main TKTS discount booth in Times Square will soon have to figure out what to do with all their new free time.

The booth began testing a new service on Oct. 22, by which matinee and evening tickets can be sold simultaneously. For decades now, on two-performance days, there have been two lines at TKTS: one that forms in the morning for matinees tickets and one that forms in the afternoon for evening shows. If you were in town and wanted to see two shows on Wednesday or Saturday, you have to cool your heels in windswept Times Square twice.

Amazing how great obvious innovations can be.