THEATER: An Amy Winehouse Musical, Neil Patrick Harris Makes Magic, And More

Hurricane Sandy shut down Broadway for much of the week, with most shows raising their curtains again on Wednesday and offering discount tickets to those who could make it. With a prayer that the Great White Way wasn’t too crippled—both physically and financially—we cast our eye toward theater news from other parts of the world.


OH. MY. GOD. Lorna Luft is starring in Follies! The Fabulous Palm Springs Follies, that is. Lorna joins the long-running, big-budget revue’s new show, “Dance to the Music!,” which opens today. Palm Springs is a gay-resort mecca, so you know the audience will be full of queens giddy Judy Garland‘s other daughter (Love you, Liza!)

The Palm Springs Follies features a cast that ranges from age 54 to 83–sort of a real life version of Stephen Sondheim’s showgirl-themed masterwork, sans the middle-aged angst, no?



Europe’s mania for musicals about dead pop stars (Thriller Live, We Will Rock You, The Bodyguard) continues with a new show about Amy Winehouse, who died last July after a long battle with drugs and alcohol.

Well, at least the producers waited a year.

Premiering January 2013 at the Danish Royal Theatre in Copenhagen, the still-unnamed play will feature Winehouse’s pop hits mixed with interviews, concert footage, awards speeches  and the late singer’s letters. Johanne Louise Schmidt will play Winehouse in a story billed as showing “the enormous pressure a sensationalist public put on a young superstar.” [Blackbook]



We certainly believe in today’s ultimate gay Renaissance man: the tireless Neil Patrick Harris. The star of Broadway, television and film—who is also a former Tonys host, family man, and memoirist—can now add “director” to his ever-expanding resume. The How I Met Your Mother star will direct the magic show Nothing to Hide, created by and starring magicians Derek DelGaudio and Helder Guimaraes.

With Harris involved, you can bet this isn’t going to be Siegfried and Roy’s Vegas act.

Premiering at Los Angeles’ Geffen Playhouse on November 27, Nothing to Hide is described as taking “the audience on an imaginary journey through a series of diverse and engaging vignettes, brought to life solely from the words and hands of the two masterful magicians.”

Harris, who has had a lifelong passion for magic, caught DelGaudio and Guimaraes’ act at Hollywood’s famed Magic Castle and knew he had to get involved. His first trick? Making the audiences appear. [New York Times]

Photos: Greg Hernandez, CBS