This Week on Stage: Keys is out, Danza is in, and Sondheim goes backwards

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Image Credit: Joan Marcus

Unless you consider the high number of theater stars on NBC’s Smash (Christian Borle, Brian d’Arcy James, and more) to be a win for Broadway, it’s been a quiet week on stage. The Main Stem’s sole opening was actually a reopening—of Venus in Fur, which moved from the Samuel J. Friedman Theater to the Lyceum. Just one production announced an extension: Porgy & Bess will now run through September. And only two shows, thankfully, divulged that they were closing: Broadway’s Alicia Keys-produced Stick Fly and off-Broadway’s long-running Love, Loss, and What I Wore. Oh, and we learned that Tony Danza will return to Broadway to co-star in his first Main Stem musical, an adaptation of Honeymoon in Vegas, next year.

EW reviewed one show, the B-grade Encores! production of Stephen Sondheim’s Merrily We Roll Along – a musical that unfolds in reverse. Writer Melissa Rose Bernardo acknowledged that Merrily was one of Sondheim’s rarely seen “problem” musicals (it takes way to long to get to know the principals, she claimed), but she appreciated the production, which used projections to elucidate the “backwards” passage of time. And she adored the presentation of the score, saying, “for musical theater (and Sondheim) aficionados, this is a don’t miss: Who knows when you’ll have another chance to hear this score, with Jonathan Tunick’s beautifully brassy orchestrations, played by 23 musicans? Seriously, 23 musicians!”

For more theater news and reviews, visit EW’s Stage hub.

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