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'Rebecca,' 'Spider-Man,' and 'Mormon' Oh My! Plus Which Star Got Fired?

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'Rebecca,' 'Spider-Man,' and 'Mormon' Oh My! Plus Which Star Got Fired?
Photo Source: Joan Marcus

Last week we talked about movies. This week, in the continuing epic of the Theater Season That Isn’t, we (naturally) lead with "Rebecca."

You know, the show whose spectacular, slow-motion collapse has fueled a zillion boozy gab sessions around the city for months -- nay, years. We were honestly sad to see it go. There’s not a show this season that promised nearly as much bombast or potential for pure, so-bad-it’s-good craptacularity.

At least the production itself had the good sense to burn to the ground in completely spectacular fashion -- phantom investors, third world diseases, a fraudster from Long Island, oh my! -- just like the famous, flaming staircase they’d planned to incorporate into the set. Honestly, what else would we be talking about now, if not for "Rebecca"? The exact number of orphans featured in the cast of Annie? No.

Our current fave strange details in this whole saga is as follows: There’s an anonymous someone out there posing as a reporter with a scoop on the story. He's attempting to bait other theater writers with a handful of ridiculous stories posted to CNN’s iReport. Whoever this guy is - he's calling himself Clark Bent, LOL - we’re guessing he really likes Tricia Walsh-Smith, ex-wife of Shubert head Philip Smith. The iReport stories mention her an awful lot.

Most amusing headline in the bunch? “BREAKING NEWS FROM BROADWAY NEWS! Shubert honcho’s insisting future backers be fingerprinted! Plus, tourist hit by punch bag thrown from Shubert Executive offices!”

There may be some kernel of truth in there, but there’s also an absolute truckload of crazy. (Which is our favorite kind of truckload, if we’re honest.)

Headscratcher of the week: How could anyone not love Theatermania’s new Bros on Broadway series, wherein regular dudes attend and review Broadway shows? Judging from some of the responses we’ve seen to the column -- from social media backlash to Jeremy M. Barker’s takedown on CultureBot -- we can only discern two possible reasons.

A) You’re a pearl-clutching ninny

B) You're assuming that we're laughing at, and not with, the dudes in question, which just isn’t what’s happening.

We asked Theatermania’s Creative Director Kimberly Kaye to weigh in on the controversy.

“Look, we love our Bros. Literally,” she wrote in an email. “They're our friends, family. We're not on Craigslist looking at all those ‘Total Dude Seeks Free Tickets to Broadway Revivals’ postings. Josh, the CyraBro, is my roommate. His plainspeak reviews of indie movies were some of the most hilarious I've ever heard, but also insightful. I knew I'd laugh if I heard him review a Broadway show, and figured at least one other person would.”

Personally, we think there’s nothing fresher than a total outsider’s point-of-view on theater. Plus, who doesn’t want to see more handsome men at the theater?  Bring it, bros.

While slinking around the theater district this week, we spied Reeve Carney, star of "Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark," at the theater. But not the theater you're thinking. Reeve and his musician brother Zane were spotted a stone’s throw from the Foxwoods – home to Spider-Man -- taking in a Jonny Lang concert at B.B. King's Blues Club. Both bros used to play in the youthful guitar prodigy's backup band a few years ago, and were there to cheer him on. We chatted with Reeve at Broadway on Broadway a few weeks back and asked him if he had any plans to return to rockstardom after his Spider-Man gig ends, or do more theater. Specifically, we asked about a recent reading of Duncan Sheik's musical "American Psycho," in which he performed. He said he's always looking for more mainstream success with his music, but if the opportunity to play Paul Allen -- one of homicidal Patrick Bateman's first victims -- came along, he might do it.

Our spies in Los Angeles noticed something interesting in the Playbills at the Pantages Theatre, where "The Book of Mormon" national tour is currently sitting down for a sold out run. There are ads for... wait for it... the Mormon church. That's the real Mormon church, and not the fake-y one onstage. (The difference? The one onstage doesn't need to advertise.) One has a cheerful looking woman proclaiming, “The Book is always better.” Another one shows a chap suggesting, “You've seen the play... now read the Book.” Almost as clever as the show, no? Yeah... no. But for sheer audacity, you can't help but admire the Latter Day Saints' solid recruitment attempt.

Blind item: Obviously the creative team behind this long-running musical is more of a “Do as I say, not as your character does” kind of group. We’ve heard tell that a famous bodacious blonde was set to make her Broadway debut. That is, until she celebrated a little too hard with the producers in Vegas, and it cost her the job before she'd even set foot inside a rehearsal studio. Ouch.

Laura Motta and Aileen McKenna blog as Lucky and The Mick on their Broadway-themed blog of insanity, The Craptacular.

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