Could ‘Twilight Zone’ become the hottest ticket on Broadway?

Could ‘Twilight Zone’ become the hottest ticket on Broadway?

It’s a mix of trustworthy adaptation and fanciful splicing. It’s the center floor between artistry and commercialism, between affordable costs and premiums, and it lies in London proper now however goals for the summit of Broadway. It’s a play we name . . . “The Twilight Zone.”

The Almeida Theatre in London has successful on its palms: a stage model of Rod Serling’s enduring ’60s sci-fi tv collection. It’s one among the hardest tickets on the town, proving that England loves “The Twilight Zone” as a lot as “Dr. Who.”

It runs till Jan. 27 earlier than shifting to the West Finish in March, and New York producers and theater homeowners are headed to London to test it out. As one says, “ ‘The Twilight Zone’ on Broadway may clear up.”

American playwright Anne Washburn (“Mr. Burns, a Publish-Electrical Play”) watched all 156 “Twilight Zone” episodes earlier than settling on eight to adapt for the Almeida. She picked a few classics, together with “The Shelter” (episode 68, as die-hards know), a few group of mates who flip on each other whereas holed up in a bomb shelter throughout a possible nuclear assault.

“Will the Actual Martian Please Stand Up?” (episode 64) can be in the combine. It’s set in a diner after a UFO touchdown, and the prospects, more and more paranoid, strive to determine who amongst them is a Martian. There’s a 3rd arm — and a 3rd eye. That’s all I’m saying.

Mummies, lacking youngsters and ventriloquists flit via the play. Washburn mashes up the episodes, and a few critics complain that the play is complicated at occasions. But when you realize the tales, you received’t be in the darkish too lengthy.

The themes resonate at the moment: paranoia, racial rigidity, earnings equality. And, sure, the present opens with Marius Fixed’s well-known theme track.

John Marquez performs the narrator — Serling — with appropriately bushy eyebrows. (For New York, I nominate David Pittu, who was simply in “The Lady From the North Nation” at the Public. He has bushy eyebrows, too.)

The director is Richard Jones, who staged the Tony Award-winning “Titanic” on Broadway in 1997 in addition to the Met’s “Hansel and Gretel.” His “Into the Woods” at the Delacorte in Central Park disenchanted, however he did direct one among the most sensible productions I’ve ever seen: “Too Intelligent by Half,” at the Previous Vic in London in 1988. It starred a younger Alex Jennings, now often called the nasty Duke of Windsor in “The Crown.”

Jones has framed “The Twilight Zone” in a large tv set. Psychedelic results abound. The type is camp, however with the occasional critical second thrown in to good impact.

All in all, it’s a recipe for enjoyable. I’ll let you realize if — and when — Broadway enters “The Twilight Zone.”

A number of Carol Channing tales to mark the loss of life of a legend:

Passing via San Francisco on an umpteenth tour of “Hey, Dolly!,” Channing realized {that a} native cabaret was holding a Carol Channing imitator contest. She entered with out telling the membership proprietor who she was. She got here in third.

Whereas spending the weekend with “Hey, Dolly!” creator Jerry Herman on Hearth Island, Channing danced at the Pavilion disco, which was frequented by drag queens. “If she have been an inch taller,” somebody informed Herman, “everybody would suppose she was the actual factor.” Herman replied, “Effectively, this one has had numerous follow.”

In Indianapolis, a tour of “Dolly” shared an exhibition corridor with one other occasion. The marquee learn: “Carol Channing in ‘Hey, Dolly!’/Vintage Present, February 21-24.”

You possibly can hear Michael Riedel weekdays on “Len Berman and Michael Riedel in the Morning” on WOR radio 710.

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