Broadway buzz

There are a couple of things happening on the Great White Way, including closings, cast changes, TV appearances, etc.

First, a couple of shows are gearing up to close. Tony Award winner, “Avenue Q” will close Sept. 13. When it closes, it will be the 20th longest-running musical. Can you believe it’s been six years? The show of bawdy puppets will be in Salt Lake City Feb. 2-7, 2010.

Also closing, “The Little Mermaid,” on Aug. 30. The musical will have played more than 685 performances. Producers didn’t want to risk staging such a large musical during the traditionally slow fall months. A national tour will set sail fall 2010.

In other news:
Congratulations to one of my faves. Kelli O’Hara, who gave birth to a baby boy, Owen James, on June 27. The young man clocked in at 7 pounds, 3 ounces. O’Hara is set to return to “South Pacific” in October.

Rock of Ages: A couple of things happening at the Brooks Atkinson Theater. Star Amy Spanger has left the show for “personal reasons.” Spanger had been put on doctor-ordered vocal rest after the Tonys, but she was supposed to return June 29. No replacement has been announced.

BUT … ROA, the musical paying homage to the glory days of ’80s hairbands, is now a record-breaker. On July 1, the cast, crew and audience “shattered the Guinness World Record” for largest air guitar ensemble! The previous record, held by 440 rockers at a music festival, couldn’t hold a lighter to the 810 rockers at the matinee performance. ROA musicians had to play for at least 90 uninterrupted seconds. The rockers ended up ‘playing’ for over two minutes to the famous guitar solo from Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’.”

Lastly … Rumor has it that Justin Timberlake may don the fedora in the updated remake of the movie musical, “Guys and Dolls,” directed by Guy Ritchie. Interesting gamble …

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