There’s all kinds of drama in the theater world recently—from the world ending in End of Days to death threats at Undisputed Truths, almost-nudity from a Smash star and a fond farewell to a departed musical theater legend.
It’s just about time for New York’s Fringe Festival, the annual series that presents independent new works by rising talents. (Broadway’s Urinetown got its start at Fringe.) There’s always plenty of queer-themed plays in the festival, but we wanted to tell you about a drama involving (gasp) a straight couple: End of Days, a new work from out playwright—and Queerty/GayCities editor—Jeffery James Keyes.
Days follows a couple—Adam David Thompson (Martha Marcy May Marlene) and Libby Winters (American Idiot)—who reunited on the day the world is scheduled to end. (Thanks, Mayan calendar!) End of Days runs August 15-25 at the Soho Playhouse. [Official Site]
EVERYONE’S A CRITIC
Police have ramped up security at Mike Tyson‘s one-man Broadway vanity project, Undisputed Truth, after a crazed Twitter user launched a series of death threats. Referring to the Longacre Theatre, where the critically panned show is playing through Sunday, the user tweeted “I just might shoot up this theater in New York,” “I know they leave their exit doors unlocked,” and “I got 600 people on my hit list and that’s gonna be a mass murder for real.” Usually the bombs happen onstage.
Just in case you thought this social-media Sweeney Todd was joking, he later tweeted, “I’m serious, people are gonna die like Aurora,” referring to last month’s Dark Knight massacre in Colorado. After a subpoena, Twitter provided the NYPD with the cuckoo’s account information. The investigation is ongoing, but we think they should just let Iron Mike chomp on his ear. [THR]
Wesley Taylor, who plays a cutie-pie gay chorus twink on NBC’s Smash, stripped down to his undies for a cabaret show at Joe’s Pub on Sunday. He was joined by Audra McDonald’s hunky hubbie Will Swenson, and you bet they had the crowd a-swooning. The show, hosted by a pop-rock duo called The Skivvies, also included leggy lingerie-clad leading ladies Ashley Brown (Mary Poppins) and Susan Blackwell (Title of Show). Hopefully, this will become a monthly gig. Calling Cheyenne Jackson! [Buzzfeed]
THEY’LL KEEP PLAYING HIS SONGS
The lights of Broadway were dimmed Wednesday night in honor of the passing of composer Marvin Hamlisch. His Broadway scores —whether hits like A Chorus Line and They’re Playing Our Song, or flops like Smile and The Goodbye Girl—were always packed with supremely catchy tunes that wrapped their charms around an audience’s heart. Hamlisch’s last musical, The Nutty Professor, is currently playing a pre-Broadway tryout in Nashville. It’s based on the classic film comedy of the same name starring Jerry Lewis, who is actually directing the adaptation. Broadway audiences deserve to hear Hamlisch’s singularly sensational music as often as possible, so fingers crossed its producers won’t kiss the show goodbye. [LA Times]
For all you Smash fanbois, NBC announced sultry Daniel Sunjata will play Debra Messing‘s new love interest in the upcoming second season. Almost a decade ago, the insanely handsome Sunjata charmed audiences as a gay baseball player in the Tony Award-winning play Take Me Out (especially during a jaw-dropping nude shower scene).
He seems an unlikely match for Messing’s ice-queen character, Julia, but maybe they’re going for an opposites-attract thing. (Actors Brian d’Arcy James, who plays Julia’s husband, and Will Chase, her man-on-the-side, have both been written off.)
Frankly, Julia needs to spend more time rewriting her mess of a Marilyn Monroe musical instead of sleeping her way through Broadway’s leading men. [EW]
First she blew the roof off Fire Island, and now Los Angeles’s theater queens will get the treat of a lifetime when Liza Minnelli performs at the Hollywood Bowl on Saturday. Liza with a Z is still bringing audiences to their feet with classic songs and tracks off her most recent album, Confessions. We urge all you Angelinos to peel yourselves off your deck chair and spend a knockout evening with a living legend. [LA Times]