Sondheim Tells Meryl: “Don’t F*** It Up”, James Franco’s Broadway Debut & More!

Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart Bring Their Bromance to Broadway

Out icon Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart are currently headlining repertory productions of Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot and Harold Pinter’s No Man’s Land on Broadway. Both plays received excellent reviews when they opened on Sunday.

In praising the productions, New York Magazine argued that McKellen’s being gay brings to the surface certain homoerotic undertones in each play. Critic Jesse Green said, “In No Man’s Land, as in Pinter’s Betrayal and The Homecoming, the hint of gayness is a coded threat, suggesting evil and otherness; this only makes sense in a world of rigid homophobia… In Godot, on the other hand, the companionship between two men, with its many marital allusions, is taken for granted… And that feels modern.”

Sirs McKellen and Stewart have been making the press rounds since the productions came to New York, proving their reputed bromance is more than just good P.R. Stewart talked to The New York Times about getting naked in front of his costar while sharing a dressing room at the Berkeley Rep last summer. And when a PBS interviewer asked the duo to describe their relationship, McKellen responded, “Well, we’re the same really, aren’t we?”

McKellen—a 1981 Tony winner for Amadeus –has indicated that he will likely retire from the American stage following his current run. “I think New York audiences are some of the brightest in the world, and certainly the most enthusiastic,” he told Entertainment Weekly. “So if they decide to come see it, then you really have a good time. I think this will be my last outing to Broadway, probably, so I might as well go out with a bang doing two plays in wonderful company!”

Both productions close on March 2. To purchase tickets, click here. Also note that $37 rush tickets are available the day of every performance at the box office.


Stephen Sondheim, James Lapine and Frank Rich Discuss HBO Documentary Six By Sondheim


Next month, HBO will air a documentary about out composer Stephen Sondheim. Directed by frequent Sondheim collaborator James Lapine (not gay) and produced by Frank Rich (also not gay), Six By Sondheim uses six of the composer’s songs to underscore the story of his life and career.

Sondheim, Lapine and Rich recently spoke to Playbill about the project, which features a mix of existing and original material. Three of the songs have been turned into short films, directed by Lapine (“Opening Doors” from Merrily We Roll Along), out filmmaker Todd Haynes (“I’m Still Here” from Follies), and Autumn De Wilde (“Send in the Clowns” from A Little Night Music).

Along with other featured actors including Jeremy Jordan, Darren Criss, Audra McDonald, Jackie Hoffman and America Ferrera., Sondheim himself takes a turn before the camera in Lapine’s Merrily segment.

Six by Sondheim premieres on Monday, December 9, at 9 p.m. No word on whether or not the film confirms longstanding rumors that Sondheim has a sex dungeon in his Manhattan townhouse.


Stage Notes


  • Gay baiter James Franco will make his Broadway debut in a revival of Of Mice and Men. Previews begin on March 19, 2014.
  • NBC’s The Sound of Music Live! (an unmitigated disaster, I’m calling it) has announced its complete cast. Lots of theater names to make us musical queens feel good—that is, until Carrie Underwood starts to sing. NBC also will air a making-of special about the broadcast on Wednesday, November 27, at 8/7c.
  • The Almighty Meryl Streep revealed to Extra that Stephen Sondheim wrote a song for her to sing in the upcoming Into the Woods movie. He handed her the sheet music with a note that said, “Don’t fuck it up.” Who knew Sondheim was a Drag Race fan?
  • The Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade airs on Thursday, November 28, at 9 a.m. Theater-related acts scheduled to appear include Megan Hilty, Tony-winner Kristin Chenoweth, the cast of Matilda, the cast of Motown: The Musical, and Carrie Underwood.

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