Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Two Spider Man(s) on Broadway; Shat Happens; Aretha’s Party

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There are now two Spider Men on Broadway. Or are they two Spider Man(s)? Hmmm….Well, while Reeve Carney and his gang are swinging around at the Foxwoods Theater in “Spider Man: Turn off the Dark,” there’s a new webslinger up the street. At the Barrymore, Andrew Garfield has just started in previews for “Death of a Salesman” directed by Mike Nichols. Garfield is the new movie Spider Man. His girlfriend in real life and from the movie and from “The Help,” Emma Stone, was front and center on Saturday night for a sold out preview. So was the great character actress Caroline Aaron, who just closed in Woody Allen’s play and has been in lots of his films. Philip Seymour Hoffman is playing fifteen years older as Willie Loman in this new “Salesman.” Garfield is his ne’er do well son, Biff. Finn Witrock is the other son, Happy, and Linda Emonds is Willie’s long suffering loyal wife, Linda. Producer Scott Rudin was in attendance, as was Nichols. The doesn’t open until March 15th, but I can tell you this: expect a sonic boom that night and the next day. Late playwright Arthur Miller must be very happy up in heaven, signing Playbills and passing out cigars…

…Shat Happens: that’s the T shirt you can buy when you go to see William Shatner’s one man play on Broadway. It’s a short run, so get over to the Music Box ASAP. It’s well worth the price. Shatner is a real showbiz survivor. His show is really witty and fun. He’s very self deprecating. There’s a lot about “Star Trek” but not too much. You learn a lot about his life growing up in Montreal, how he got started, about one of his wives dying in his pool, and that George Takei doesn’t like him. Sadly, there’s nothing about his famous “Twilight Zone” episodes from 1960 and 1963. I guess they couldn’t get the rights to the clips. But there’s a lot about “Boston Public” and enough to stay fairly well amused for one hour, forty minutes. Not nearly as kitschy as I thought it would be. But very entertaining…

…Aretha Franklin rested all day Saturday, and put on one hell of a show at Radio City that night. She was sorry to miss Whitney Houston’s funeral, but it was a physical impossibility. She stayed a very short time at a reception in the lobby of her hotel–it had been planned for weeks. I ran into such luminaries as Vy Higginsen and George Faison, however. And Aretha reminisced about the days when Cissy Houston and the Sweet Inspirations alternated singing on her records and Elvis Presley’s before she called it a night.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedmanhttps://www.showbiz411.com
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.
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