Andrew Lloyd Webber is revamping his musical Cinderella after the production was ravaged by new “Butcher of Broadway,” New York Post theater critic Johnny Oleksinski.
Reviews here have given Cinderella primarily 4 to 5 star reviews; although not all of them were raves. But Lloyd Webber was so exasperated by what happened in the Post – Oleksinski called him “joyless” and said 30 minutes had to be cut for him to have a chance to transfer to New York – that ‘he took it on the cast, berating them over the phone from his vacation home in Mallorca.
The call was played over loudspeakers as the cast sat on stage, preparing to perform at the Gillian Lynne Theater last Friday night.
Andrew Lloyd Webber revamps his musical Cinderella after production ravaged by new ‘Butcher of Broadway’ New York Post theater critic Johnny Oleksinski
The “new” version will be unveiled on November 22 at a charity gala to raise funds for the Malala Fund, the charity named in honor of Malala Yousafzai, which works for the empowerment of women and girls.
A few were said to have been in tears and some were so outraged that there was a vote after Friday night’s broadcast for strike action. However, it would have been done in the heat of the moment, and while there was no longer any talk of a strike, the cast considered asking for an apology.
Oleksinski may have found a lot to fault the series – but not the acting. He praised the cast and the “thrilling ballads”. But he did give director Laurence Connor a beating (his production of Joseph is fun, though). And he called Gabriela Tylesova’s sets “dull and forgettable”.
He wasn’t crazy about Oscar-winning Emerald Fennell’s book, either.
Although not many people are prepared to put their heads above the parapet in a “tough situation,” an agent with a client on the show said: “Andrew was clearly upset with the NY Post but he wouldn’t have must have laughed at artists like that when it was the production that had been criticized.
He wasn’t crazy about Oscar winner Emerald Fennell’s book (pictured) either, either
But another praised the composer for stepping up and “giving people work” during troubled times.
Rehearsals involving the entire creative and cast team, to incorporate “tweaks”, will begin on Monday. The “new” version will be unveiled on November 22 at a charity gala to raise funds for the Malala Fund, the charity named in honor of Malala Yousafzai, which works for the empowerment of women and girls.
A source close to Lord and Lady Lloyd-Webber told me last night that the story was “all nonsense”. A statement from the production said, “Andrew is really proud of Cinderella and all of her cast and crew. He’s absolutely passionate about every performance. And the audience response continues to be tremendous.
Haunted by Ann’s role as a suffering mother
Ann Dowd arrives just in time for tea and we “reluctantly” agree to share a bottle of Laurent-Perrier, although I admit I have been a boring and nice boy lately; rarely touching a drop of alcohol.
‘Have you got?’ she said in dismay, adding, “I didn’t. Full disclosure! ‘ His natural warmth reminds me of his performance in a movie called Mass, which haunts me, I saw him for the third time at the London Film Festival recently.
The screenplay, by Fran Kranz (who also directs) is beautifully written. Dowd describes it as “this story of four people going through the unimaginable.” A teenager has died in a high school shooting. Dowd plays the shooter’s mother, Linda; her face a mask of grief and loss.
Dowd (right), who won awards for his Aunt Lydia, who wields the cattle sting in The Handmaid’s Tale, has been acting since switching careers – she was studying to be a doctor – at the age of 18 year.
Other castmates – Reed Birney as her husband Richard; Martha Plimpton and Jason Isaacs as parents of the dead boy – met to read the script, then dispersed for a few weeks before regrouping to spend three weeks filming at a church in Idaho. Dowd, 65, has three children. Raising them has not always been easy; but, as she points out, “the great gift for the actors is that at the end of the day, you don’t come home with the consequences”. She adds softly: “My children are alive, thank God.
Dowd, who won awards for his aunt Lydia, who wields the sting of cattle in The Handmaid’s Tale, has been acting since she changed careers – she was studying to be a doctor – when she was 18. I’ve watched her on stage and screen for years, but Linda is her best part.
- The image will be shown in cinemas and on Sky Cinema in early 2022.
Kristen as Bond villain?
Kristen Stewart, this season’s awards nominee for her portrayal of Princess Diana in Spencer, which hits theaters today, told me she’d like to be shaken and moved as a Bond Girl. By the way, Stewart herself used the word “girl”, gender font. “I would make a Bond movie, oh yeah! ” She cried. In fact, she wouldn’t say no to being asked to play “the Bond girl who’s the bad girl … who’s the bad one!” I could play both roles, ”she said, warming to her theme. “I haven’t done a bad guy yet. I like to play nice. . . but maybe i need to cross to the other side.
Stewart told me that she read each of the 163 minutes of No Time To Die, especially because the movie stars her friend Lea Seydoux as 007’s love interest, Madeleine Swann.
Kristen Stewart, this season’s awards nominee for her portrayal of Princess Diana in Spencer, which hits theaters today, told me she’d like to be shaken and moved as a Bond Girl.
Three years ago, they were co-jurors of the main jury of the Cannes Film Festival. And they worked together on David Cronenberg’s latest film, Future Crimes, with Viggo Mortensen, Cronenberg’s main man. “Lea is one of the coolest people I’ve met,” said Stewart.
I hope the producers of 007, Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson, and their casting director, Debbie McWilliams, read this. Although I suspect they’re on some secret business to find the next Bond.
I wonder if he will even come from these shores?