Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Never Say Never The Twain Shall Meet

Never Say Never The Twain Shall Meet

According to Playbill, Mark Twain will live on the Great White Way once more when his long lost Is He Dead? opens this fall, thanks to an adaptation by David Ives. The play is scheduled to begin previews on November 9 at the Lyceum Theatre, with an opening set for November 29.

Perfectly timed to give audiences an American treasure to be thankful for, the Michael Blakemore-helmed show will surely capture additional buzz thanks to its lead. Norbert Leo Butz -- one of my personal favorite stage actors -- will return to Broadway for his first time since his Tony-winning turn in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.

While Twain wrote Is He Dead? at the close of the 19th Century, the work was unpublished until Shelley Fisher -- a noted Samuel Clemens expert -- rediscovered it. The comedy's plot surrounds a staged death of an artist designed to drive up the bidding on his oeuvre.

While I wouldn't hesitate to see Butz perform again, one wonders whether he's being typecast in con men roles. Let's just hope this is the role of a lifetime.

This is Steve On Broadway (SOB).

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