Another week has come and gone on the Great White Way, and as always, we've scoured the recent crop of headlines to deliver the most important lessons we learned. Before scouring the Black Friday sales circulars, feast your eyes on these valuable tidbits!
A Monsoon Is the Best Thing to Ever Happen to Hugh Jackman
Don't try to tell Hugh Jackman that the X-Men aren't real. Waiting For Godot and No Man's Land star Shuler Hensley told us that he accompanied Jackman to his first audition for Wolverine in the X-Men film franchise. "He didn’t get the role! The guy who was originally supposed to do Wolverine was doing Mission Impossible II in Australia and they had a monsoon or something that delayed filming," said Hensley. Clearly, Storm caused that monsoon to happen so Jackman could fulfill his destiny, and then was swiftly punished by being portrayed by Halle "Statue with a Heartbeat " Berry.
Sutton Foster and Amy Sherman-Palladino Are BFF
This week, the heavens opened and decreed that Sutton Foster shall return to her rightful place on Earth: Broadway! Yes, the two-time Tony winner is headed back to the Main Stem in Roundabout's spring revival of Jeanine Tesori and Brian Crawley's Violet. Also, Foster's Bunheads creator Amy Sherman-Palladino will be producing the musical because they are obviously best friends forever and Sherman-Palladino knows a good investment when she sees one. Is it too soon to order Chinese food, Mallomars and Red Vines and start talking about a Gilmore Girls musical?
Jarrod Spector Gets Broadway Fans All Hot and Bothered
So, you want to get out of this place, going walking in the rain with Jarrod Spector, make sure he's the boy you love and feel the earth move under your feet? Take a number. In Broadway.com’s latest Weekend Poll, the former Jersey Boys star was voated Broadway’s Sexiest Man Alive for 2013 by a decisive margin. Spector's rock-solid fan base of 14-year-olds and 60-year-olds really turned out to vote for the stage fave, who is currently starring as songwriter Barry Mann in the new musical Beautiful. It's good to know they haven't lost that loving feeling for Spector.
Mary Testa and Jennifer Simard Are the New Laurel and Hardy
As a team, Laurel and Hardy savored each moment, milked it and wrought every possible gag out of every situation. The comedians had an extraordinary influence on later generationss of entertainers, including Jennifer Simard and Mary Testa in the off-Broadway musical Disaster!. Simard wrote that she and Testa are having a ball with their slapstick and songs in the hilarious 1970s-inspired tuner. How about a Broadway mounting of Tom McGrath's Laurel and Hardy starring the delicious duo? This dance alone would be worth the price of admission.
Billy Crudup Is Eating His Veggies to Keep Up with Ian & Patrick
Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen, who will co-star in the 2014 summer blockbuster X-Men: Days of Future Past, are earning raves for Waiting For Godot and No Man's Land, in repertory at the Cort Theatre. And the septuagenarians have been traipsing all over NYC snapping photos like a couple of teenagers! So, how are the shows' young'uns keeping pace with the spry sirs? "I'm eating my vegetables and doing my exercises," Billy Crudup said. "[I] better damn well have the energy for it." Wait, Capt. Jean-Luc Picard and Gandalf are literally the cutest parents ever.
Lesli Margherita Has to Bootlick and Brownnose to Keep Working
One of the hardest lessons we learn in life is that all good things must come to an end...unless your name is Lesli Margherita. If you've been watching the Matilda star's brilliant and gut-busting video blog Looks Not Books, then you know that this week's episode is supposed to be the finale. Cue tears. (Aside: If you haven't been keeping up with Lesli's vlog, then you can just GTFO. We have no time for you.) However, Broadway's loudest star begged Broadway.com's EIC Paul Wontorek to let he keep vlogging. Actors are just sooo needy. #justkiddinglesli #donteverleaveus
James Franco Will Check Broadway Off His Bucket List
When he takes the stage in a revival of John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men, James Franco will add "Broadway star" to an ever-swelling resume that includes actor, poet, director and professor. The official greenlight on the show came months after Franco casually announced his plans to make his mark on The Rialto. While on The Colbert Report, Franco announced, "We’re going to do Of Mice and Men on Broadway. I’m going to play George." We're sure Franco doesn't think the play is about a couple of guys who get stoned and think they've turned into mice...right? Oh dear.
Times Square Could Make You Want to Kill Somebody
Roundabout's revival of Sophie Treadwell's torn-from-the-headlines play Machinal is shaping up to be one of the must-see shows of the season. The production marks the Broadway debut of Rebecca Hall, and it's inspired by the true story of an ordinary housewife who killed her husband and was electrocuted for the crime. Cast member Michael Cumpsty compared the pressure the young woman must have felt to the anxiety people feel while trying to make their way through Times Square. Hey, if someone wants to take out that giant dingy Elmo, we won't be mad about it.
Sondheim Picks Favorites and His Is Meryl Streep
Asking us to be more excited for the big screen adaptation of the musical Into the Woods is like asking us to name our favorite Golden Girl—impossible. Yet, Meryl Streep's revelation that Stephen Sondheim wrote her a new song for the film, in which she plays the Witch, made us giddy. "When he gave me the manuscript, he wrote on it, 'Don’t f**k it up,'" Streep said. Reasons why all of this is amazing: 1. We made a Golden Girls reference (yay us!); 2. A new Sondheim song (yay everybody's ears!); 3. Somebody thinks Meryl could actually f**k something up (yay hilarity!).
Bette Midler Wants You to Ask for Her F*cking Autograph
The divine Bette Midler has made stage and screen stardom look so damn easy for more than 40 years. Inside, it was a different story. Midler stopped by The Tonight Show to talk about her solo show I'll Eat You Last, which will have a three-week run at L.A.'s Geffen Playhouse, and confessed an early tendency to freak out when fans asked her for an autograph. "I used to be so monstrous," she said. "I used to just shriek at them, but I've been nice for years." Bette, we totes believe you. Nooo, we're not shaking with fear. We're cool, right? Ohgodpleasedon'thitme.