This Week on Stage: Cirque du Soleil takes on Michael Jackson, plus new fall shows
Summer has officially taken hold, but all eyes seem to be on fall and spring, with nearly all of the 40 Broadway houses having scooped up shows to call their own if they don’t already have a tenant. This fall, we will see the arrival of a new Janis Joplin musical, A Night With Janis Joplin, which has been making the rounds nationally and finally setting up camp for a long run. Ethan Hawke is returning to Lincoln Center for his take on Macbeth, John Grisham gets his first Broadway salute with a Main Stem mounting of his legal thriller A Time to Kill, and look for the starry likes of Daniel Craig, Rachel Weisz, Mark Rylance, Orlando Bloom, Mary-Louise Parker, Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, Cherry Jones and Zachary Quinto in already-announced shows, which will make for a busy season. And this spring will feature the musical debuts of both Woody Allen’s Bullets Over Broadway (which is to star Zach Braff) and The Bridges of Madison County (reuniting Kelli O’Hara and Steven Pasquale after their recent coupling in the musical adaptation of Far From Heaven).
This week, though, EW has an exclusive look at the new Cirque du Soleil show in Las Vegas, Michael Jackson: One (opening tonight at Manderlay Bay Resort & Casino), and it looks pretty darned cool and likely to be the next long-running smash for the acrobatic giants.
And there are also a few notable new openings this week Off-Broadway (click on the links below to read the full reviews):
A Kid Like Jake: Sin City‘s Carla Gugino resharpens her stage chops in a new family drama by upstart playwright Daniel Pearle, about a couple dealing with a pre-K boy into “girl stuff”. Melissa Rose Bernardo says Gugino gives “a wrenching, beautifully shaded performance”, adding that “the plot suffers a few casualties along the way” but is an “inventive new drama”. EW grade: B+
The Unavoidable Disappearance of Tom Durnin: Certainly the longest title currently on the boards, this new drama about a recovering ex-con marks the stage return of David Morse (The Seafarer). Did I think it was worth the wait? I wrote: “Levenson’s wheel-spinner of a family drama about a Bernie Madoff-like investor/scam artist starts promisingly”, but “by the end of the play, it’s clear that Tom Durnin is no Willy Loman. Attention only sort of needs to be paid.” EW grade: B-