shopping 05.4.07

Hey Viv

Hey Viv is a Staten Island-based business that specializes in Poodle Skirts, crinolines, cateye glasses, and just about anything else you need to round out the 50s section of your clothes closet.

It was started originally as a bricks-and-mortar store in 1986 by Vivian Vassar. Now it's web only, but still retains Viv's fun, quirky mix of retro clothing and vintage items.

Sizes go from child to plus-size and there are lots of accessories available. Hey Viv sells vintage items, too — dresses, jewelry, hats, and purses. We think the prices are very reasonable.

Souvenir Buildings
Shigeru Ban
Sooke Harbour House

By George Spelvin

Award season madness continues apace. Wanna be among the first to hear the list of Tony nominations on Tuesday morning, May 15th? Click here. Meanwhile, here are some nominees you may not have heard about elsewhere:

BEST SETS? Look to this summers new Kathleen Marshall revival of Grease. Heck, they BETTER be the best sets for what they are costing producer David Ian. The original budget for Derek McLane's designs priced out at a hefty $1 million, but I hear Marshall has been pushing for some "magic changes" and the real number will end up being closer to $2 million.

BEST SCORE: Cameron Mackintosh has scored a real estate victory over Andrew Lloyd Webber. Both are London theater owners and they have been competing for the UK premiere of the red-hot Jersey Boys, but I hear that Mackintosh will have the bragging rights when the Boys move into his Prince Edward Theatre in spring '08. Of course, this will undoubtedly add more strain to Mackintosh's troubled relationship with the folks at Disney, his producing partners on Mary Poppins — the current resident of the Prince Edward. Will the London Poppins be able to make the move to another (presumably smaller) theater or will it be forced to close?

BEST BOOK… about theater producing is NOT the recently-published Let's Put On A Show by Stewart Lane. Sure, this self-proclaimed "Mr. Broadway" has won 3 Tonys, but his involvement in those shows was more as an investor, not producer. As a writer, he has already inflicted upon the world his plays If It Was Easy… — which the Times called "a sloppy, witless comedy" — and the painful-to-sit-through In The Wings. You'd be better off reading these new books:
Producing and The Theatre Business: Working in the Theatre
The Commercial Theater Institute Guide to Producing Plays and Musicals

BEST DIRECTION… of a Broadway ad campaign? Mel Brooks and the other producers of his Young Frankenstein have decided NOT to include any photos of the show's cast in its advertising campaign. Brooks' previous musical, The Producers, suffered by putting so much emphasis on its stars Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick in its ads. And so Brooks has decided, with Frankenstein, the show will be the star. If and when we do see pictures of its actors in the ads, we'll know they've begun to panic over disappointing ticket sales.

BEST REVIVAL OF A PLAY… could be at the Roundabout Theatre Company next year. I hear they're bringing back Terrence McNally's The Ritz, directed by Joe Mantello, starring Rosie Perez and Kevin Chamberlain. (This should help erase any bad memories of McNally's Deuce and Some Men.) Roundabout is also considering a new production of Christopher Durang's The Marriage of Bette and Boo, which had a recent, well-received reading starring Sigourney Weaver, James Naughton, and Tyne Daly.

BEST REVIVAL OF A MUSICAL: is an Internet treasure trove of video clips of performers from many of Broadway's best musicals from the last 80 years — from 1927's A Connecticut Yankee to currently-running shows like Jersey Boys and …Spelling Bee. You'll also find some clips from lesser-known productions that even some seen-'em-all show queens may not have seen before.

BEST PLAY: Black Watch was the standout of last summer's Edinburgh Festival, but instead of making the expected transfer to London, I hear it will come first to Brooklyn's St. Ann's Warehouse starting in October for a limited 8-week run. New Yorkers take note: don't miss this show. You won't soon forget Gregory Burke's play about Scotland's famed army regiment called the Black Watch after they return home from a tour of duty in Iraq.

BEST MUSICAL: The Dori Berinstein documentary Show Business (watch the trailer here) follows the hotly-contested race for the 2004 Best Musical Tony Award, focusing on Avenue Q, Caroline or Change, Taboo, and Wicked. Theater insiders first saw it at the 2005 Tribeca Film Festival, but the rest of the world can see it starting May 11th at the Landmark Sunshine Cinema on the Lower East Side.

JUST ASKING: Between now and June 1st, who ISN'T going to be a special guest star at the late night improv show Don't Quit Your Night Job? Producer Jed Bernstein, former head of the League of American Theatres & Producers, has been calling in lots of favors from theater folk like Hank Azaria, Kristin Chenoweth, Brian d'Arcy James, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Hunter Foster, Sutton Foster, Jane Krakowski, Marc Kudisch, Andrea McArdle, Bebe Neuwirth, Kelli O'Hara, Anthony Rapp, Christopher Sieber, Mary Testa, Patrick Wilson, and B.D. Wong. A portion of the sales goes to support TDF's wonderful Open Doors program (which introduces school kids to theatergoing) and you can even save ten bucks on normal box office prices if you use the following codes when ordering: "DQBW45" for $45 preferred seating or "DQBW25" for $25 regular seating.


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