The Off-Broadway musical “The Fantasticks” has threatened to close about as often as Barbra Streisand has announced her retirement. Two years ago, the show decided at the last moment to keep going in light of pledges from two benefactors. But this week, “The Fantasticks” announced that it will finally close on June 4 following 57 nonconsecutive years of running in New York. In an email, Cathy Russell, the show’s producer, said that one of the two benefactors “never actually wrote a check after many, many, many promises to do so. We kept it going for two years anyway and this current decision to close was sad but thoughtfully made.”
‘Speech & Debate’ film set for NYC premiere and streaming
The film version of Stephen Karam’s high school comedic drama “Speech & Debate” will open in New York City on April 7 at AMC’s Empire 25. A quarter of the proceeds from the New York showings will benefit Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. The film will simultaneously be released on iTunes and VOD. The film cast includes Sarah Steele, Skylar Austin and Janeane Garofalo, with special appearances by Lin-Manuel Miranda, Kristin Chenoweth and Darren Criss.
Older actors will bring back ‘Age of Aquarius’
It’s never too late to let the sunshine in. A 50th-anniversary production of “Hair” with all cast members over the age of 55 will receive a short run at the Connelly Theater in the East Village from March 29 to April 1. The production is the MFA thesis project of Ari Rodriguez, a graduate student at Columbia. Tickets will cost just $5 for seniors and are free for anyone with a valid student ID.
‘Oklahoma!’ will get same-sex revival
The Oregon Shakespeare Festival will take Rodgers & Hammerstein’s classic musical “Oklahoma!” into uncharted territory by incorporating same-sex couples (presumably to play Curly and Laurie plus Ado Annie and Will Parker) while keeping it set in the early twentieth century. The production will be directed by Bill Rauch (“All the Way”).
Menken wants Harvey Fierstein to play Ursula
Composer Alan Menken told the Gay Times that he “would kill” for Harvey Fierstein to play the sea witch Ursula in Disney’s upcoming live-action film remake of “The Little Mermaid.” In response, Fierstein wrote on Facebook “Oh, Alan, no need to kill anyone. Your wish is my command. As for the rest of you ... Oh you poor unfortunate souls!!!!” Fierstein has previously performed in drag in “Torch Song Trilogy,” “Hairspray” and “La Cage aux Folles.”
Ian McKellen at “Gently Down the Stream” ... Anna Wintour at “Joan of Arc: Into the Fire” ... Martha Stewart at “Sunset Boulevard” ... Mario Lopez and Damon Wayans at “Groundhog Day” ... Jessica Lange at “Sweeney Todd.”