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Adagio Teas
   Features  >  LATEST NEW YORK NEWS


By David Lefkowitz

Although Mark Twain has enjoyed numerous incarnations on Broadway stages - from musical adaptations of Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer to Hal Holbrook's Mark Twain Tonight! to Bock and Harnick's adaptation of a Twain story for the first scene in The Apple Tree - an actual Twain play has never made the Great White Way. But that could change in just a few months. reports that producers Bob Boyett and Bill Haber are hoping to mount the recently re-discovered Twain comedy, Is He Dead?, on Broadway in the early fall. Penned in 1898, the farcical work tells of a group of French artists who fake the death of their friend to drive up the price of his paintings.

Though not his only play, Is He Dead? is apparently considered Samuel Clemens' best, though it took researcher Shelley Fisher Fishkin unearthing it from the author's papers at U.C. Berkeley to bring it to world attention in 2003.

Even so, the producers aren't taking chances with the admittedly messy piece and have enlisted David Ives (All in the Timing) to clean it up - and whittle down the 17 characters. Directing will be Michael Blakemore, who has some experience with zany comedy, having staged the original Noises Off and the 1999 revival of Kiss Me, Kate. reports that Haber and Boyett, currently on the boards with Journey's End, are also planning a big-budget Betty Boop musical, to be staged and choreographed by Casey Nicholas.


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Yes, Prime Minister contracts its run, while A Chorus Line expands its own.
POWERHOUSE OF THEATRE - After 11 years as the Almeida Theatre's artistic director, Michael Attenborough is stepping down to focus on directing. 

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