Wednesday, May 01, 2002

B.N. on Andy Sullivan's acting debut:

"The opera world, shaken from last February's news that Welsh bass-baritone Bryn Terfel was cancelling all his future non-European engagements to spend more time with his family, breathed a collective sigh of relief as it was announced today that Christopher Hitchens has graciously agreed to fill all Terfel's cancelled engagements, notably his first-ever Hans Sachs with Australian Opera in 2003...Still no word from the Met as to whether Camille Paglia will or will not replace Renée Fleming in its new production of Bellini's Il Pirata next fall...All Broadway is agog with the prospect of next season's long-awaited revival of Funny Girl, starring Beltway bombshell Ann Coulter taking on the mantle of Barbra Streisand as Fanny Brice. Speculation is rife as to whether Christopher Hitchens's busy opera and concert schedule will allow him to play Nicky Arnstein as originally announced. Names being floated as replacements include Bill O'Reilly, John Podhoretz, John Derbyshire and Gary Aldrich ...Word is also that the major revival of Hamlet with Andrew Sullivan in the title role, fresh from his recent triumphs as Benedick in Much Ado, is definitely on. Further casting for this all-star revival includes Peggy Noonan, Lynne Cheney, and Rush Limbaugh as the First Gravedigger... But the
latest scoop is that the producers of the new musical Sweet Smell of Success are looking to revive their box-office fortunes by replacing John Lithgow with-- Matt Drudge ...Rumor from Hollywood is that for Lethal Weapon V Mel Gibson is looking to replace Danny Glover by Stanley Crouch or Thomas Sowell; Clarence Thomas's salary demands proved too excessive even for Hollywood ...Meanwhile, in a move that shocked the classical-music recording industry, Peter Gelb of Sony Records announced that William F. Buckley, Jr. had been signed to a multimillion-dollar contract to record the complete works of Johann Sebastian Bach. The initial release in this series, scheduled for Christmas of this year, is the complete solo cantatas for bass featuring Attorney General John Ashcroft as soloist..."