By Romeo San Vicente
Eddie struts upon the stage
He took off the Manolo Blahniks long enough to star on Broadway in last season’s “A Day in the Death of Joe Egg,” and now cross-dressing comedian Eddie Izzard has even bigger pumps to fill: Macbeth’s. A 2006 Broadway production of the Shakespearean tragedy “Macbeth” is set to star the British cult favorite. And no, he won’t be playing Lady Macbeth; that duty may fall to Izzard’s “Joe Egg” co-star, Victoria Hamilton, whose hand in stage-marriage Izzard has already requested. Meanwhile, since the project is still in its infancy, no producers or director have been named yet. Izzard himself is inexperienced at Shakespeare; the closest thing he’s done was a production of Marlowe’s “Edward II” in London a few years ago. Romeo just hopes it turns out better than Mel Gibson’s “Hamlet.” But then, how could it not?
Because heterosexuals are, apparently, helpless to do anything for themselves these days, the Bravo network (who needs a gay cable channel when these folks are around?) is readying another faggy-fix-up show called “Straight Dates by Gay Mates.” That’s right, two gay men will help a hetero woman find her dream man by choosing the guys and preparing the gal in the forthcoming reality show, itself based on a British series. Producers Vin Di Bona and Peter Schankowitz bought the rights from British creator Richard Hastings, a pilot has been ordered, and casting for the right pair of warm, yet quippy homos is in full swing. If it’s a success, it won’t be long before the “Get Me a Gay Nanny!” show pops up and instills stylish accessorizing skills in America’s toddlers.
Romeo, like his lesbian pals nationwide, is on Willow Watch. He waits anxiously to find what his favorite erstwhile Sapphist, “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”‘s Allison Hannigan, will do next. A while back she was shopping for a sitcom, and it appears she’s found one. “Home and Hardware,” an NBC pilot starring Hannigan, penned by Bill Wrubel (who’s written for “Will & Grace”) and Matt Tarses, and directed by “Friends” alum David Schwimmer, is underway. Mind you, that’s no guarantee it will ever be seen by audiences. Pilots are mysterious that way. One minute they’re the next “Mary Tyler Moore Show,” and the next they’re banished into sitcom witness protection. So keep your fingers crossed.
The stuff called Puf
TV Land, the channel Generation X turns to for comfort, will soon be hauling out the mind-bending “H.R. Pufnstuf” for a four-hour trip. The special programming event, called “Pufnstuf ‘n’ Stuff” and including episodes and extras for fans, is a bit of corporate synergy designed to celebrate the 35th anniversary of the psychedelic 1969 children’s series about an island where trees and flutes talk and a marijuana-monikered dragon is mayor. Meanwhile, bet on commercials for the soon-to-be-released three-DVD boxed set of all the episodes to pepper the broadcast. What’s in it for gay viewers? Judy Frog, of course, the Judy-Garland-as-frog character who sings, dances, and never takes off the “Get Happy” outfit Garland wore in the movie “Summer Stock.” Tune in, turn on, and forget your troubles.