The 2011 revival of Terrence McNally's 1995 hit Master Class
was a sensation on Broadway and will transfer to the Vaudeville Theatre in early 2012. Opera star Callas' dramatic life and personal tragedy often overshadowed her immense talent in the press. She was a larger than life character who newspapers eschewed for allegedly having a temperamental personality, as well as for her love affair with Aristotle Onassis, and rivalries with those in her field. Her achievements were so great that Leonard Bernstein labelled her The Bible Of Opera, and in 2006 Opera News stated "Nearly thirty years after her death, she's still the definition of the diva as artist—and still one of classical music's best-selling vocalists."
American star Tyne Daly will portray Callas. Daly has a catalogue of stage and screen credits to her name including six Emmy Awards, four of which for her fondly remembered role as hard-working mother and cop Mary Beth Lacey alongside Sharon Gless in 1980s legendary police drama Cagney And Lacey. She won a Tony Award for Best Actress In A Musical for the lead role in Gypsy in 1990. Other stage credits include Madame Arkadina in the Broadway revival of The Seagull in 1992, and Cynthia Nixon's mother in the 2006 Broadway play Rabbit Hole. Her TV work includes six seasons as Maxine Gray in US drama series Judging Amy which earned her six Emmy nominations, as well as numerous TV movies including the 1995 adaptation of musical Bye Bye Birdie.
Master Class is inspired by Callas' legendary master classes of the early 1970s and is likely to find comparisons to Tracey Bennett's phenomenally well received take on Judy Garland in End Of The Rainbow, which saw its run extended at the Trafalgar Studios earlier this year. This show however will have a limited season, so better book now!
[posted by James, 07/114/2011]