Bada Bing! Is Cinderella a Slipper?
Is Meadow Soprano about to bolt from Cinderella?
The reason I ask: An urgent call has just gone out from Radio City Enterprises for an "immediate replacement" for the role of Cinderella in the national touring company of the musical. Since March 4 the role has been played by Jamie-Lynn Sigler, better known to HBO fans as Meadow, the college-age, sexually active daughter of mobster Tony Soprano and long-suffering wife Carmela.
Sigler, who's from Jericho, Long Island, replaced another Long Island girl — one-time teen pop star Deborah Gibson — who had been with Cinderella for some time. Legendary Eartha Kitt plays the fairy godmother in this version of the Rodgers & Hammerstein show.
The casting call is for three weeks only, which means it's possible Sigler will miss the New York schedule of Cinderella set for Madison Square Garden from May 3-13. The next stop on the Cinderella tour is Pittsburgh, which would also miss the mobster's daughter in a role which is certainly 180 degrees away from Sigler's TV persona. We'll have to wait and see and hope we don't get whacked for this item...
It seemed like old times Saturday night when Mick Jagger dined at Le Cirque, New York's most famous restaurant.
In his party: Atlantic Records co-founder and record industry legend Ahmet Ertegun, as well as Jagger's son by Jerri Hall, James, who's 16.
There were some in attendance at Sirio Maccione's four-star establishment who swore to me that Hall was on hand as well. But a host at Le Cirque was vague when I checked in, swearing finally that it wasn't Hall at all.
Jagger and Hall, of course, may or may not be divorced, depending on whom you believe. One thing's for sure: they seem to have spent more time together since their separation than they did before it.
Jagger has been in New York a lot lately, giving rise to rumors that he and Keith Richards are finally figuring out the future of the Rolling Stones and may be making plans for a tour and album in 2002. But if Jagger is here, one can only assume that he's spending a lot of time monitoring the behavior of daughter Elizabeth, 17. As this column was the first to report several weeks ago, Elizabeth has been living it up at her dad's West Side townhouse, including inviting her boyfriend, a male model, to bunk in as well.
Thursday night was the one-week anniversary of the opening of The Producers on Broadway. In that week, the musical by Mel Brooks and Thomas Meehan, with superior direction and choreography by Susan Stroman, has become the hottest ticket in history.
A tape recording at the publicist's office simply states, "There are no house seats for this show." Those are the tickets saved for press and celebrities. Consequently, there were no celebrities of any kind in house on Thursday night, when this reporter was lucky enough to get back in for a second viewing. (Don't shoot me — it was a fluke!)
There is literally pandemonium outside the St. James Theatre before the show starts. There are two long lines, one for folks hoping for cancellations at the last minute. The other is for advance sales. Both of these lines are long. There are also plenty of people looking for scalpers, but as far as I could tell there were only buyers and no sellers.
Inside, The Producers continues to amaze even though the novelty should have worn off by now. The producers of the Tony Awards might as well just give up and concede now. The Producers is going to win just about every award. The only problem will be what to about Best Actor in a Musical? How can they give it to Nathan Lane and not Matthew Broderick, or vice versa? Certainly there should be an emergency summit convened immediately.
Broderick and Lane are still good, if not better now that the pressure of opening night is over. They seemed more relaxed, and maybe a tad funnier on Thursday than they had been in front of all those reviewers, stars, and investors. Lane's second act tour de force — in which he recaps the entire show up to that moment — seemed even more astounding. Broderick remains the backbone of the show, though, and it's his transformation from sniveling weasel to empowered weasel — and husband of the delicious Ulla — that keeps everything moving.
There are so many excellent performances among the supporting cast — Cady Huffman as Ulla; Brad Oscar as Franz Liebkin, the "hotsie totsie Nazi" and author of "Springtime for Hitler"; Roger Bart as Carmen Ghia, the impossibly gay assistant of the world's worst director, Roger DeBris, played by Gary Beach for some of the show in drag — but oh what drag. (I'd like to ask Mel Brooks if DeBris means debris, as in junk, or "the bris," the Jewish ceremony for circumcision.)
Oscar, I will tell you now, maybe has the line of all lines in this show of non-stop laughs. "War?" he cries in his German accent regarding the (never-mentioned) Holocaust. "We didn’t know! I was in the back!"
The Producers is going to play Broadway for a long, long time. All we can hope is that the original cast members will stay and stay and stay until everyone who wants to can see it. Twice.