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Wednesday, 07 September 2011 00:15

Broadway Feature: Act I of the 2011-12 Season, the Fall Preview

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The fall 2011 Broadway season is shaping up to be a star-studded one.  Such luminaries gracing the boards this fall include West End theatre royalty Elaine Paige, soon-to-be Broadway royalty Nina Arianda, and Broadway new-comers Samuel L. Jackson, Angela Bassett, Rachel Griffiths and Kim Cattrall.   We also have performances from some of Broadway's favorites, including Bernadette Peters, Frank Langella, Harry Connick Jr., Cynthia Nixon, Judith Light and Patti LuPone.  Also included in the 15 shows opening this fall are Jan Maxwell, Danny Burstein, Ron Raines, Stockard Channing, Stacy Keach, Thomas Sadoski, Alan Rickman, Lily Rabe, Mandy Patinkin and the long absent Marlo Thomas.

Read on for more details about each of the shows in the upcoming fall season.  Check back regularly as this article will be updated as new details are released.

FolliesFollies

Previews Begin: August 7, 2011
Opening Night: September 12, 2011 OPENED
Limited Run
Playwright: James Goldman
Music: Stephen Sondheim
Director: Warren Carlyle
Starring: Bernadette Peters, Jan Maxwell, Danny Burstein, Ron Raines and Elaine Paige
Theatre: Marquiss Theatre
Get Follies Tickets

When former members of the "Weismann Follies" reunite on the eve of their theater's demolition, two couples remember their past and face the harsher realities of the present. Reminiscing of their younger selves and the years gone by, the crumbling theater brings back memories for both couples of good times and bad. FOLLIES echoes the songs, exuberance and romance of the vaudeville days between the two World Wars. The score features some of Stephen Sondheim's best-known songs, including "Broadway Baby," "I'm Still Here," "Too Many Mornings," "Could I Leave You?" and "Losing My Mind."


Man and BoyMan and Boy
Previews Begin: September 9, 2011
Opening Night: October 9, 2011 OPENED
Playwright: Terence Rattigan
Director: Maria Aitken
Starring: Frank Langella
Theatre: American Airlines Theatre
Get Man and Boy Tickets


Roundabout Theatre Company (Todd Haimes, Artistic Director) presents three-time Tony Award® winner Frank Langella as "Gregor Antonescu" in Terence Rattigan's drama Man and Boy, directed by Maria Aitken. At the height of the Great Depression, ruthless financier Gregor Antonescu's (Langella) business is dangerously close to crumbling.  In order to escape the wolves at his door, Gregor tracks down his estranged son Basil in the hopes of using his Greenwich Village apartment as a base to make a company-saving deal.  Can this reunion help them reconcile?  Or will this corrupt father use his only son as a pawn in one last power play?   Man and Boy is a gripping story about family, success and what we're willing to sacrifice for both. Additional cast members and the creative team will be announced shortly.

The MountaintopThe Mountaintop
Previews Begin: September 22, 2011
Openning Night: October 13, 2011 OPENED
Playwright: Katori Hall
Director: Kenny Leon
Starring: Samuel L. Jackson, Angela Bassett
Theatre: Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre
Get The Mountaintop Tickets

Taking place on April 3, 1968,   The Mountaintop is a gripping reimagining of events the night before the assassination of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., as he retires to Room 306 in the now famous Lorraine Motel in Memphis, after delivering his legendary 'I've Been to the Mountaintop' speech to a massive church congregation. When room-service is delivered by a young woman, whose identity we puzzle over, King is forced to confront his past, as well as his legacy to his people.

The Mountaintop received its world premiere to critical acclaim in a three-week run at Theatre 503 in June 2009, and subsequently transferred to the West End's Trafalgar Studio 1.   The production featured powerful performances by David Harewood as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and Lorraine Burroughs as the mysterious Camae, under the direction of James Dacre.  The Mountaintop also received two Evening Standard Awards Nominations, including Most Promising Playwright, and was awarded the coveted 2010 Olivier Award for Best Play. This year, Ms. Hall also received the Susan Smith Blackburn prize.


Relatively SpeakingRelatively Speaking
Previews Begin: September 20, 2011
Opening Night: October 20, 2011 OPENED
Playwright(s): Ethan Coen, Elaine May and Woody Allen
Directed by: John Turturro
Starring: Caroline Aaron, Bill Army, Lisa Emery, Ari Graynor, Steve Guttenberg, Danny Hoch, Julie Kavner, Fred Melamed, Grand Shaud, Marlo Thomas
Theatre: Brooks Atkinson Theatre
Get Relatively Speaking Tickets

Three one-act comedies by Ethan Coen, Elaine May and Woody Allen.  Directed by John Turturro.  Relatively Speaking is comprised of three one-act comedies springing from a different branch of the family tree.  In Talk Therapy, Ethan Coen uncovers the sort of insanity than can only come from family. In George is Dead, Elaine May explores the hilarity of death.  And in Honeymoon Motel, Woody Allen invites you to the sort of wedding day you won't forget.

 

ChinglishChinglish
Previews Begin: October 11, 2011
Opening Night: October 27, 2011 OPENED
Playwright: David Henry Hwang
Directed by: Leigh Silverman
Starring: Gary Wilmes, Jennifer Lim, Angela Lin, Christine Lin, Stephen Pucci, Johnny Wu and Larry Lei Zhang
Theatre: Longacre Theatre
Get Chinglish Tickets

Chinglish is the new comedy about the challenges of doing business in a culture whose language—and ways of communicating—are worlds apart from our own.  An American businessman arrives in a bustling Chinese province looking to score a lucrative contact for his family's sign-making firm. He soon finds that the complexities of such a venture far outstrip the expected differences in language, customs and manners – and calls into questions even the most basic assumptions of human conduct.


Venus in FurVenus in Fur
Previews Begin: September 30, 2011
Opening Night: November 8, 2011 OPENED
Playwright: David Ives
Directed by: Walter Bobby
Starring: Nina Arianda and Hugh Dancey
Theatre: Samuel J. Friedman
Get Venus in Fur Tickets

Tony Award nominee Nina Arianda in her phenomenal breakout performance as 'Vanda,' is a preternaturally talented young actress determined to land the lead in a new play based on the classic erotic novel, Venus in Fur. Her emotionally charged audition for Thomas, the play's adapter/director, becomes an electrifying game of cat and mouse blurring the lines between fantasy and reality, seduction and power, love and sex. This dazzling new play is written by theatrical mastermind David Ives, and directed by Tony Award winner Walter Bobbie. Casting for the role of Thomas will be announced in the coming weeks.

Other Desert CitiesOther Desert Cities

Previews Begin: October 12, 2011
Opening Night: November 3, 2011 OPENED
Directed by: Joe Montello
Starring: Stockard Channing, Rachel Griffiths (Broadway debut), Stacy Keach, Judith Light and Thomas Sadoski
Theatre: Booth Theatre
Get Other Desert Cities Tickets

In Other Desert Cities, Brooke Wyeth (to be played by Rachel Griffiths who is making her Broadway debut), a once promising novelist, returns home after a six year absence to celebrate Christmas in Palm Springs with her parents, former members of the Reagan inner-circle (Stockard Channing and Stacy Keach), her brother (Thomas Sadoski) and her aunt (to be played by Judith Light).  When Brooke announces that she is about to publish a memoir focusing on an explosive chapter in the family's history, the holiday reunion is thrown into turmoil and the Wyeths are both bound together and torn apart as they struggle to come to terms with their past.   LCT gratefully acknowledges that Ms. Griffiths will appear in Other Desert Cities with the permission of Actors Equity Association.

GodspellGodspell
Previews: October 13, 2011
Opening Night: November 7, 2011 OPENED
Directed By: Daniel Goldstein
Choreographed By: Christopher Gattelli
Starring: Telly Leung, Uzo Aduba, Nick Blaemire, Morgan James, Hunter Parrish
Theatre: Circle in the Square
Get Godspell Tickets

This beloved classic from Stephen Schwartz, the Grammy® and Academy Award®-winning composer of Wicked and Pippin. Enjoy all the good gifts of one of the most enduring shows of all time as it comes to Broadway in a brand new, intimately staged, one-of-a-kind production. Raise your spirit with the Tony-nominated score filled with the popular hits "Day By Day", "Learn Your Lessons Well" and "Turn Back, O Man".

 

Private LivesNoël Coward's Private Lives
Previews Begin: November 6, 2011
Opening Night: November 17, 2011 OPENED
Limited Run - Closing Date: February 5, 2012
Directed by: Richard Eyre
Starring: Kim Cattrall and Paul Gross
Theatre: Music Box Theatre
Get Private Lives Tickets

Noël Coward's Private Lives premiered in London in 1930 and has been produced around the world ever since; it premiered on Broadway in 1931.  Glamorous, rich and reckless, Amanda (Cattrall) and Elyot (Gross) have been divorced from each other for five years. Now both are honeymooning with their new spouses in the South of France. When, by chance, they meet again across adjoining hotel balconies, their insatiable feelings for each other are immediately rekindled. They hurl themselves headlong into love and lust without a care for scandal, new partners or memories of what drove them apart in the first place…for a little while, anyway.

SeminarSeminar
Begins Previews: October 27, 2011
Opening Night: November 20, 2011 OPENED
Directed by: Sam Gold
Starring: Alan Rickman, Lily Rabe, Hamish Linklater
Theatre: John Golden Theatre
Get Seminar Tickets

In Seminar, four aspiring young novelists sign up for private writing classes with Leonard (Mr. Rickman), an international literary figure.  Under his recklessly brilliant and unorthodox instruction, some thrive and others flounder, alliances are made and broken, sex is used as a weapon and hearts are unmoored.  The wordplay is not the only thing that turns vicious as innocence collides with experience in this biting new comedy.


An Evening with Patti LuPone and Mandy PatinkinAn Evening with Patti LuPone and Mandy Patinkin
Previews Begin: November 16, 2011
Opening Night: November 21, 2011 OPENED
Limited Run - 63 Performances Only
Directed by: Mandy Patinkin
Starring: Patti LuPone and Mandy Patinkin
Musical Staging Consultant: Ann Reinking
Theatre: Ethel Barrymore Theatre
Get An Evening with Patti LuPone and Mandy Patinkin Tickets

Patti LuPone and Mandy Patinkin reunite on Broadway for AN EVENING WITH PATTI LUPONE AND MANDY PATINKIN. Two Broadway legends who first appeared together giving Tony Award winning performances in Evita, will bring their critically acclaimed theatre concert to the Barrymore Theatre.  Patinkin directs and Ann Reinking is consulting on movement.  Much more than a concert, AN EVENING WITH PATTI LUPONE AND MANDY PATINKIN is a funny, passionate, intimate and unique musical love story told entirely through a masterful selection of some of the greatest songs ever written for the stage.

 

Bonnie & ClydeBonnie & Clyde, the Musical
Previews begin: November 4, 2011
Opening Night: December 1, 2011 OPENED
Music by: Frank Wildhorn
Lyrics by: Don Black
Book by: Ivan Menchell
Directed by: Jeff Calhoun
Starring: Laura Osnes and Jeremy Jordan
Get Bonnie and Clyde Tickets

Two small-town kids from the middle of nowhere became the biggest folk heroes in all America. They craved adventure—and each other. Their names were Bonnie and Clyde.

Laura Osnes (Grease, Anything Goes) and Jeremy Jordan (West Side Story) star as the 20th century's most infamous duo, as the daring story of love and crime that captured the imagination of a country takes aim at a whole new generation.

Bonnie & Clyde feature music by Tony® nominee Frank Wildhorn (Jekyll & Hyde), lyrics by Tony® and Oscar® winner Don Black (Sunset Boulevard) and a book by Emmy® Award nominee Ivan Menchell.


Stick FlyStick Fly
Previews begin: November 18, 2011
Opening Night: December 8, 2011 OPENED
Playwright(s): Lydia R. Diamond
Directed by: Kenny Leon
Starring: Rosie Benton, Mekhi Phifer, Dulé Hill, Mekhi Phifer, Tracie Thoms, Ruben Santiago-Hudson and Condola Rashad
Theatre: Lyceum Theatre
Get Stick Fly Tickets

Produced by Alicia Keys, Stick Fly follows the LeVays, an affluent African American family who come together to spend a summer weekend at their Martha's Vineyard home. The adult sons, aspiring novelist Kent and golden boy plastic surgeon Flip, have each brought their respective ladies (one Black and one White) to meet the parents. Food, drink and Trivial Pursuit tangle with class, race and identity politics in this contemporary comedy of manners.

On a Clear Day You Can See ForeverOn a Clear Day You Can See Forever
Previews begin: November 12, 2011
Opening on Broadway: December 11, 2011 OPENED
Directed by: Michael Mayer
Starring: Harry Connick Jr., David Turner, Jessie Mueller
Theatre: St. James Theatre
Get On a Clear Day You Can See Forever Tickets

Love blooms in unexpected places in the delightful, newly imagined world of ON A CLEAR DAY YOU CAN SEE FOREVER.  Still in love with his deceased wife, Dr. Mark Bruckner (Harry Connick, Jr.), a dashing psychiatrist and professor, unknowingly takes on the case of his life with David Gamble, a quirky young florists' assistant.  While putting David under hypnosis to help him quit smoking so he can move in with his perfect boyfriend Warren, Dr. Bruckner stumbles upon what he believes to be David's former self – a dazzling and self-possessed 1940's jazz singer Melinda Wells.  Instantly intrigued by Melinda, Dr. Bruckner finds himself swept up in the pursuit of an irresistible (and impossible) love affair with this woman from another time and place, who may or may not have ever existed.  Michael Mayer and Peter Parnell's enchanting new version celebrates much of the beloved score from the 1965 musical including the classic hits "Come Back To Me," "What Did I Have That I Don't Have Now?," "She Isn't You," and the titular "On a Clear Day You Can See Forever," while adding songs from the film score such as "Love With All The Trimmings," and "Go To Sleep."  Songs from the Lerner and Lane score for the film Royal Wedding such as "Ev'ry Night At Seven," "You're All The World To Me," "Open Your Eyes" and "Too Late Now" complete the landscape for this romantic musical comedy.  This production of ON A CLEAR DAY makes the case for living life with your eyes, and heart, wide open.


Lysistrata JonesLysistrata Jones
Previews Begin: November 12, 2011
Opening Night: December 14, 2011
Directed By: Dan Knechtges
Starring: Patti Murin, Josh Segarra, Jason Tam, Lindsay Nicole Chambers
Theatre: Walter Kerr Theatre
Get Lysistrata Jones Tickets

The Athens University basketball team hasn't won a game in 30 years.  But when spunky transfer student Lysistrata Jones dares the squad's fed-up girlfriends to stop 'giving it up' to their boyfriends until they win a game, their legendary losing streak could be coming to an end.  In this boisterous new musical comedy, Lyssie J. and her girl-power posse give Aristophanes' classic comedy a sexy, modern twist and take student activism to a whole new level.

The Gershwin's Porgy and Bess
Previews: December 17, 2011
Opening Night: January 12, 2012
Closing Night: June 24, 2012
Directed by: Diane Paulus
Starring: Audra McDonald, Norm Lewis and David Alan Grier
Theatre: Richard Rodgers Theatre

The Gershwin's Porgy and Bess is the classic American tale is set in the 1930s in Catfish Row, a neighborhood in Charleston, South Carolina. Bess, beautiful and troubled, turns to Porgy, the crippled beggar, in search of safety after her possessive lover Crown commits murder. As Porgy and Bess's love grows, their future is threatened by Crown and the conniving Sporting Life. This heartbreaking love story boasts some of the most famous and beloved works from the Great American Songbook, including: "Summertime," "Bess, You Is My Woman," "It Ain't Necessarily So" and "I Loves You, Porgy."

Wit
Previews:  January 5, 2012
Opening Night: January 26, 2012
Playwright: Margaret Edson
Directed by: Lynne Meadow
Starring: Cynthia Nixon
Theatre: Samuel J. Friedman
Get Wit Tickets

Wit follows a brilliant and exacting poetry professor (Cynthia Nixon) as she undergoes experimental treatment for cancer. A scholar who devoted her life to academia, she must now face the irony and injustice of becoming the subject of research.

Last modified on Sunday, 11 December 2011 09:53