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The week on Broadway: 'Donny & Marie' plagued by flash photos

Donny & Marie

Donny & Marie Credit: Handout

Donny & Marie plagued by flash photos
In my review of “Donny & Marie – a Broadway Christmas” earlier this week, I noticed how hundreds of audience members were taking flash photos of the duo throughout the show. It turns out that the producers are still trying to figure out how to deal with this situation. “I sit by the soundboard and all I can see is a sea of cell phone screens,” said production manager Steven Ehrenberg.

Ghost spotted by ‘Women on the Verge’ cast?
For years, rumors have circulated of ghosts sightings at the Belasco Theatre. And here’s new some “evidence” for those who believe that sort of thing. The press agent for “Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown,” confirmed to us that two of the show’s chorus members claimed they saw a mysterious blue light in the balcony during Patti LuPone’s second act solo. Also, the light in the phone booth on the stage allegedly went on and off by itself at the top of the show.

Phillip Spaeth, one of the two chorus members from "Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown" that saw the "ghost," just called me. He gave me these quotes about the two incidents:

"I was standing onstage while Patti LuPone was singing and there was this cloud of bright blue light coming out of the staircase that goes up to the balcony. The light never got to the top of the stairs. I couldn't stop looking at it."

"We have these telephone booths that are independently operated with lights independently. We were all standing in a circle talking one day and it turned on randomly. And it had never done that before. I thought it was pretty creepy."

Spotted …
Adam Lambert backstage at “Spider-Man” on Friday night … Reeve Carney (i.e. Spider-Man himself) on line at Shake Shack on Sunday … David Bowie and Iman at “Brief Encounter” on Wednesday…Oscar Nunez cheering on fellow “The Office” cast member Kate Flannery at “Love, Loss and What I Wore” on Sunday … Sutton Foster and Bill Irwin at “Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson” on Monday … The Miami Dolphins checking out “Lombardi” last weekend before playing the Jets.

‘Scottsboro’ eyes New York return
The Freedom Party, whose members protested loudly outside “The Scottsboro Boys” during final performances last weekend, has been taking credit for the show’s closing. But its supposed victory might be short lived. Plans are already underway for a national tour that might include another Broadway engagement right before this year’s Tony Awards.

Tharp badmouths Broadway, praises Vegas
Twyla Tharp is still angry at Broadway for the quick demise of her Sinatra dance recital “Come Fly Away.” In an interview with, she said that audiences in Las Vegas, where the show is now playing under the new title “Sinatra Dance with Me,” are more “open-minded” and willing to approach theater with a gambling spirit. “They’re not waiting to be told what they’ve got,” she said. “This is not true of an audience accustomed to drama and a book.”

Bryan eyes ‘Toxic Avenger’ for Broadway
Bon Jovi keyboardist David Bryan, who is also the composer of “Memphis,” is working to get his other musical “The Toxic Avenger” on Broadway. “The Toxic Avenger,” a campy, intimate show about a mutant superhero, played Off-Broadway two years ago. But not every Off-Broadway hit can go on to achieve the success of “Avenue Q” and “Rent,” as shown by the recent fates of “The Scottsboro Boys” and “Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson.”

Tony and Maria in the Garden State?
In Act 2 of “West Side Story,” Tony and Maria dream of finding “a place for us … somewhere.” Comedy Central host Stephen Colbert, who welcomed Stephen Sondheim as his guest on Tuesday, asked the songwriter whether the two teenage lovers do in fact have a place together. Sondheim answered in the affirmative: “New Jersey.”

Sherman to leave American Theatre Wing
Howard Sherman, Executive Director of the American Theatre Wing, will leave the company when his contract ends next year. However, he’s gone to great lengths to make it clear that this is an amicable split. “No secrets or intrigue, just time to explore new avenues,” he told his followers on Twitter. Sherman and his colleagues received much criticism last year when the Wing decided to eliminate the press as Tony voters.

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