Without Wendy

Wendy Wasserstein, an uncommon woman among others, left us much too early. She was only 55. As one of our best-loved, best-liked and best-known women playwrights, her unique voice will be missed; and onstage, too. She was literally at the top of her game from the time she left the Yale School for Drama and began her New York career in 1977 with Glenn Close, Jill Eikenberry and Swoosie Kurtz starring in her play about the aspirations of college women, <I>Uncommon Women Among Others</I>. <P>The dialogue was of the moment -- sharp, bitchy, smart and witty.

Behind the Scenes at Voysey Inheritance

The Atlantic Theater Company, which recently moved their earlier mainstage production (and their first musical), Spring Awakening, to Broadway, has been thrilled with the success of Harley Barker-Granville's The Voysey Inheritance. Artistic director Neil Pepe noted that the demand for tickets prompted, for the first time in Atlantic's history, a third extension.

Texas Trilogy Goes Contemporary

It is almost impossible to think of Lu Ann Hampton Laverty Oberlander without recalling the world premiere of The Texas Trilogyby the late Preston Jones on November 19, 1974, directed by the legendary Paul Baker, founding artistic director of Dallas Theater Center.

The Texas Trilogy began with its first play, The Last Meeting of the Knights of the White Magnolia, performed at DTCs Down Center Stage on December 4, 1973. Lu Ann followed two months later.

It's All Onstage in Stoppard's Utopia

Approaching Salvage, part three of Lincoln Center Theater's production of Tom Stoppard's The Coast of Utopia trilogy, which begins previews on Tuesday and officially opens February 18, it might be wise to keep in mind some comments the author made at the recent SRO Drama Desk panel, A Conversation with Tom Stoppard. He was very amused by the list of background books The New York Times published not long ago in their Arts and Leisure Section as recommended reading to get a full grasp of the events and time depicted in Utopia.

Orfeh and Andy Karl

In Legally Blonde, Orfeh, who's stunningly, legally blonde, and the tall, handsome Andy Karl play the irresistible "trailer trash," hopelessly-in-love manicurist, Paulette Bonafonte and the object of her manicured, pedicured lust, Kyle, the UPS guy. Their onstage chemistry is as strong as their offstage chemistry.

The Return of Brian Murray

The ever-dependable Brian Murray, one of the hardest and always-working actor/directors in the business, is back onstage after a two-year absence. He's playing Scotland Yard Inspector Rough in the Irish Repertory Theater's revival of Angel Street, now known as "Gaslight.

The play is a dark drama about a husband with a mysterious past, who, believing his new wife is being unfaithful, submits her to psychological abuse and manipulative dominance that brings her to the brink of a nervous breakdown.

Donna Murphy: Singing in a Different Key

Donna Murphy, the award-winning actress who is one of theater's brightest talents, lights up the stage in the <I>LoveMusik</I> as Lotte Lenya in the semi-biographical musical about the rocky and open marriage of Lenya to composer wunderkind Kurt Weill, played by Tony winner and multiple Tony and Drama Desk nominee, Michael Cerveris. <P>The show is nominated for twelve 2007 Drama Desk nominations, including Outstanding Musical, Director, Book, Actress, Actor, Featured Actor and Choreography. Will there be more to come?

Couples Who Met in the Theater

We're forever hearing about the many loves and marriages
among Hollywood stars, but Dallas
has its share of stage romances, and three of them have played out over the
years on the stages of Theater Three.

How Everything Came Up Rosie

Rosetta LeNoire, "Rosie" to everyone who loved her (and that list was a very, very long one), at 5' 2" was tiny in statue but was quite the dynamo. After years of acting in starring roles and seguing into major and memorable character portrayals, she had a dream to form a theater company that wasn't black or white but a company for everyone.

Ms. LeNoire's family emigrated from the Caribbean island of Dominica. She suffered from rickets and wore leg braces for 13 years.

Actors' Equity's Little-Known Stand

 Actors' Equity was one of the first unions to stand up against "Jm Crow."

In 1944, the union created a committee to assist minority actors turned away on the road from segregated hotels. Jose Ferrer, who co-starred with Paul Robeson in Othello on Broadway, was outraged by segregation and announced he'd never perform in front of a segregated audience.

Bert Williams

Camille Forbes introduces us to a long-ago world of intense racism in America, but a world where the color barrier was broken on Broadway and a medicine-show performer became a star in "Introducing Bert Williams" [Basic/Civitas Books, 404 pages; Photos, index, extensive bibliography; SRP $27.50].

Puffy Reaches for The Sun

ABC is promoting the heck out of next Monday's much-anticipated telecast of Kenny Leon's production of the three-hour presentation of the new movie adaptation of Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin in the Sun. It stars Sean Combs and the leads of the Tony and Drama Desk-nominated 2004 Broadway revival that not only brought in a new breed of theatergoers, as Oprah's The Color Purple has these last two seasons, but also broke box office records.

Where Are Those People Who Did Hair?

The 40th Anniversary of Hair: The American Tribal Love-Rock Musicalwill be celebrated with concert performances at Joe's Pub in the Park, at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park Saturday, Sunday and Monday. Performances are free and begin at 7 P.M.

The year is 1967, and the Vietnam War is at its height. In New York, a hippie tribe rails against the establishment, intolerance and brutality. When one of their own gets drafted, he must make a decision about what values are worth fighting for.

Crossing Over to the West Side

The Leonard Bernstein/Stephen Sondheim/Jerome Robbins landmark production of West Side Story opened on Broadway in September 1957. The stars were Larry Kert, Carol Lawrence, Chita Rivera and Mickey Calin. Among the supporting cast were Martin Charnin, Marilyn Cooper, Grover Dale and Tony Mordente.

To celebrate the Tony-winning musical's 50th Anniversary, Decca Broadway assembled a roster of classical crossover artists for West Side Story, a new, state-of-the-art recording of the score.

Humana Festival Plays Get Booked

What happens to Humana Festival plays after they're made stageworthy and spotlighted in the annual celebration of new works at Actors Theater of Louisville? They don't just fade away. "On any given day, somewhere in the world," as ATL notes, "a play is performed or read that had its origin at the Humana Festival."
That's quite an achievement for an event that has kept Louisville on the international theatrical map for 32 years.