The Week in Theater: Claire Huxtable the Drug Addict

Here's what happened in theatre this week. It was sort of a depressing seven days. Fitting for the times, I suppose.

  • The new Guys & Dolls revival, starring the unlikely duo of Oliver Platt and Lauren Graham, is maybe not so good. Go see the new sorta-for-kids version of Henry V instead.
  • Oh my god, you have to see this. Replacing Estelle Parsons, who's going on tour, in the New York production of Tracy Letts' thundering play August: Osage County will be... Phylicia Rashad. Those Cosby folks are busy! But seriously, Claire Huxtable as the racist, pill-popping, decidedly-white matriarch of a crumbling Oklahoma plains family? One ticket, please.
  • Cynthia Nixon's new Off-Broadway play Distracted sounds like a pleasant... diversion. While The Savannah Disputation sounds less so.
  • Robin Williams' Broadway return has been delayed by his heart condition.
  • There will be a Ghost musical in the West End in 2010. Sigh. Though, the clay scene should be interesting on stage.
  • Yikes. Mary Zimmerman's modern times La Sonambula envisioning got heartily booed at the Met.
  • In regional news, the Lyric Opera of Chicago's new production of Mozart's comic opera The Abduction from the Seraglio is apparently quite good. Kirk Douglas will be performing as Kirk Douglas at the Kirk Douglas Theater in Culver City, CA. Wonder how he got that job. The Trinity Rep's (in Providence) production of David Hare's dusty old 1988 play The Secret Rapture is probably not worth the trip.
  • Last and certainly not least, Texas tale-spinner Horton Foote died at age 92 in Connecticut on Wednesday. The winner of two Academy Awards for screenplays and a Pulitzer prize in drama for The Young Man from Atlanta, Foote was seen by some as a Southern Chekhov. A comparison I kinda like. Read Ben Brantley's obit here.

OK, that's it. Go see something you never thought you would. Or take a walk and enjoy the nice weather. Just don't stay inside all weekend. (I'm talking to myself here.)