Daniel Craig and Hugh Jackman are getting ready to end their run in the Broadway play “A Steady Rain.” But fear not — the Gerald Schoenfeld Theater will not be vacant for long.

In fact, John Crowley, their director, is staying put. He will next direct Martin McDonagh’s “Behanding in Spokane,” right there, set to open March 4.

I can tell you that Crowley has lined up quite a cast for this black comedy: the always surprising Christopher Walken, the great and underrated Sam Rockwell, “Hurt Locker” star Anthony Mackie and Zoe Kazan.

McDonagh already has four Tony nominations for best play — for “The Beauty Queen of Leenane,” “The Lonesome West,” “The Pillowman” (also directed by Crowley) and “The Lieutenant of Inishmore.” I’m told the play is so good that Mackie turned down the much-anticipated revival of August Wilson’s “Fences” with Denzel Washington to be in it.

Mackie may have a little trouble with that March 4 opening night, though, if he gets his expected Oscar nomination for best supporting actor in “The Hurt Locker.” The Oscars are March 7. Maybe they can put off “Spokane” for a week when that happens!

THEATER NOTES

Congratulations to “A Steady Rain” our pal, co-producer Fred Zollo. The Craig/Jackman police drama has been totally sold out at every show, earning a 100% sell through–or more–since it opened. It’s nose-and-nose with “Jersey Boys”…

Sad news: Max Eisen, one of the last great Broadway press agents, has died at age 90. He represented thousands of shows including The Matchmaker, Li’l Abner, The Subject Was Roses, Raisin, The Effect of Gamma Rays…, Butterflies Are Free, Fifth of July, The Wiz and others (according to Playbill.com). In later years he also worked repping Sardi’s.

Max–like my late friends Mike Hall and John Springer–came from the era of Leonard Lyons, Walter Winchell, Dorothy Kilgallen, Jack O’Brian, and Earl Wilson. These press agents worked with those columnists creating excitement and buzz in the pages of the newspapers, on radio, and TV. They knew from real scandals, too, not minute trivia. Their adventures are chronicled, fictitiously, in the movie masterpiece, “The Sweet Smell of Success.” All of them would be appalled by the proliferation of the’ lower tier blogs that repurpose (often incorrectly) material, and celebrities that now clog the press and diminish it.

Rest easy, Max.

PS Max published a guide to Jewish funerals back in 2003. Here was the story from the Daily News: http://www.atpam.com/Spotlight/MEisen.htm

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