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Behind the Curtain: Spike Lee in talks to direct 'Porgy and Bess' film, more

Spike Lee

Spike Lee Credit: Spike Lee (Getty Images)

Spike Lee
A new film version of the Gershwin folk opera “Porgy and Bess,” which played Broadway last season in a trimmed-down adaptation, is in the works, as first reported by Variety. Spike Lee later told that he is in talks to direct it. A film version was made in 1959 directed by Otto Preminger and starring Sidney Poitier and Sammy Davis, Jr.

Parker to return to Broadway in gun drama
Mary-Louise Parker, who last appeared on Broadway in a dreadful revival of “Hedda Gabler,” will return next season in “The Snow Geese,” a new play by Sharr White (“The Other Place”) that will be produced by Manhattan Theatre Club. She will play a widowed woman celebrating the start of hunting season at a party in upstate New York during World War I.

'Hardbody' to close this weekend
The new musical “Hands on a Hardbody,” which received respectful but somewhat unenthusiastic reviews three weeks ago and has been doing poor business at the box office since previews, will play its final performance on Saturday. Inspired by the documentary film of the same name, the country-rock musical observes a contest in Texas where everyday folk compete to win a brand-new truck.

Thatcher number not taken out of ‘Billy Elliot’
The musical “Billy Elliot,” which closed on Broadway last season after a successful three-year run, has a song in it called “Merry Christmas Maggie Thatcher” in which union workers on strike wished the British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher a merry Christmas merely because “it’s one day closer to your death.” Since the show is still running in London, on Monday night, the audience was asked to vote whether the song should be taken out in light of the former prime minister’s passing that very morning. They voted overwhelmingly to keep it in.

Melissa Errico out of ‘Passion’ on vocal rest
Not unlike how Steve Kazee was absent for the last few weeks of his run in the musical “Once” due to vocal problems, it’s been confirmed that Melissa Errico, who has been out of the Off-Broadway revival of Sondheim’s “Passion” at Classic Stage since March 21 due to similar vocal issues, will not return before the production finishes its extended run on April 19.

Webber wants to do a ‘School of Rock’ musical
Andrew Lloyd Webber, who is finishing work on a musical about the Profumo Affair of the 1960s, told the Los Angeles Times that he next intends to musicalize the Jack Black film “School of Rock.” He said that it would likely combine songs from the film with a few of his own.

Spotted ...
Stevie Wonder at “Motown” ... Sally Field at “Lucky Guy” ... Hank Azaria at “The Big Knife” ... Carol Burnett at “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike” ... Glenn Close, Christine Baranski, Liza Minnelli and Zachary Quinto at opening night of “Kinky Boots.”

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