MTC’s Meadow nets Mr. Abbott career prize

30th anni, Biltmore relaunch highlight a.d.'s year

Lynne Meadow will receive the 2003 Mr. Abbott Award, the lifetime achievement award given by the Stage Directors & Choreographers Foundation, in an Oct. 27 ceremony at Chelsea Pier’s Lighthouse.

The award coincides with two milestones for Meadow this year: her 30th anniversary as MTC artistic director and the reopening of the historic Biltmore Theater as a Broadway home for the company.

In addition to her work as MTC artistic director, Meadow has helmed several plays, including the world premieres of Charles Busch’s “The Tale of the Allergist’s Wife” and Marsha Norman’s “Last Dance,” which opens June 3 at MTC.

The Mr. Abbott Award is the only lifetime honor bestowed on directors and choreographers by their peers. Recent recipients include Susan Stroman and Jack O’Brien.

Search for Liza

Liza Minnelli may be no Scarlett O’Hara, but it took nearly as long to cast her.

After auditioning many actresses, the producers of “The Boy From Oz” have gone with a relative unknown, Stephanie J. Block, to play Minnelli. The biotuner stars Hugh Jackman as Peter Allen, who was briefly married to the Oscar-winning thesp. Rounding out the family portrait, Isabel Keating plays Judy Garland. “Oz” opens Oct. 16 in New York.

Block is now in San Francisco understudying Idina Menzel in “Wicked,” another Broadway-bound tuner. Her previous legit credits include several regional productions.

Mystery and surprise

They’ve gone from mystery guests to “surprise” mystery guests at “The Play What I Wrote.”

Roger Moore of 007 fame has essayed the mystery-guest role several times since the show starring Brit comics Sean Foley and Hamish McColl opened March 30 on Broadway.

During Wednesday’s matinee, however, Moore collapsed onstage. After a brief pause, he finished the perf, but then was rushed to St. Luke’s & Roosevelt Hospital, where he spent the night.

Alan Alda, who had previously played the show’s mystery guest, stepped in for the Wednesday evening performance. On Thursday afternoon, Eric McCormack of “Will & Grace” was put through a crash rehearsal for last night’s perf.

Moore now is doing fine. As a rep for the show put it, “He looks forward to playing the mystery guest again in the very near future.”

Madame Peters

So far this week, Bernadette Peters has missed five out of five perfs in “Gypsy.” The problem: a reported respiratory infection. A rep said the actress was expected to return to the show tonight.

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