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Monday, 02 January 2012 17:32

Broadway Feature: Act II of the 2011-12 Season, the Spring Preview

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Broadway is starting to buzz again after the 2011 holiday recess.  The 2012 Broadway spring season (or act II as I call it) has the usual share of celebrities coming back to the boards.  They include Rosemary Harris, Jim Dale, Angela Lansbury (at a spry 86-years old), Cynthia Nixon, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Candice Bergen, John Larroquette, Michael McKean, Eric McCormack, Ricky Martin, Michael Cerveris, Matthew Broderick, Kelli O'Hara, John Lithgow, Jim Parsons, Jessica Hecht and Charles Kimbrough.

The Gershwins Porgy and BessThe Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess
Previews Begin: December 17, 2011
Opening Night: January 12, 2012
Closing Date: June 24, 2012
Music by: George Gerswhin
Lyrics by: DuBose Heyward and Ira Gershwin
Book by: DuBose Heyward, based on the play Porgy by DuBose Heyward and Dorothy Heyward
Adapted by: Suzan-Lori Parks and Diedre L. Murray
Directed by: Diane Paulus
Starring: Audra McDonald and Norm Lewis
Theatre: Richard Rodgers Theatre
Get The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess Tickets

The Gershwins' 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.”


The Road to MeccaThe Road to Mecca
Previews Begin: December 16, 2011
Opening Night: January 17, 2012
Closing Date: March 4, 2012
Playwright: Athol Fugard
Directed by: Gordon Edelstein
Starring: Rosemary Harris, Carla Gugino and Jim Dale
Theatre: American Airlines Theatre
Get The Road to Mecca Tickets

Set in the region of South Africa known as the Karoo, The Road to Mecca tells the story of an elderly woman who has spent the years since her husband’s death transforming her home into an intricate and dazzling work of art.  The reclusive Miss Helen (Rosemary Harris) has become depressed and appears increasingly unable to care for herself.  Pastor Marius Byleveld, who embodies the village’s conservative values, is determined to get Miss Helen into an old-age home.  Her friend Elsa (Carla Gugino), a young teacher from Cape Town who is deeply suspicious of the patriarchal traditions Byleveld represents, is just as determined that Miss Helen remain free.

WitWit
Previews Begin: January 2, 2012
Opening Night: January 26, 2012
Playwright: Margaret Edson
Directed by: Lynne Meadow
Starring: Cynthia Nixon
Theatre: Samuel J. Friedman Theatre
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.   

 


Shatner's World: We Just Live In ItShatner's World: We Just Live in It
Previews Begin: February 14, 2012
Opening Night: February 16, 2012
Closing: March 4, 2012
Starring: William Shatner
Theatre: 
Music Box Theatre
Get Shatner's World: We Just Live in It Tickets

The two-hour show will take audiences on a voyage through Shatner’s life and career, from Shakespearean stage actor to internationally known icon and raconteur, known as much for his unique persona as for his expansive body of work on television and film.

Returning to Broadway for the first time since 1962, William Shatner says, “I've been pretty busy since I last played the Music Box.  I've been refurbished; I hope the theatre has been too. My plan has always been to return to Broadway every 50 years.  I can’t ask my fans to wait for me longer than Halley’s Comet, so I’m coming back. "

Death of a SalesmanDeath of a Salesman

Previews Begin: February 13, 2012
Opening Night: March 15, 2012
Playwright: Arthur Miller
Directed by: Mike Nichols
Starring: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Linda Emond, and Andrew Garfield
Theatre: Ethel Barrymore Theatre
Get Death of a Salesman Tickets

One man and his family are caught up in the pressures and delusions of living the American Dream. Miller's play is the story of a traveling salesman whose illusions of picture-perfect business and family life cave in on him.

 


OnceOnce

Previews Begin: February 28, 2012
Opening Night: March 18, 2012
Music and Lyrics by: Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová
Book by: Enda Walsh
Directed by: John Tiffany
Starring: Steve Kazee and Cristin Milioti
Theatre: Bernard B. Jacobs
Get Once Tickets

On the streets of Dublin, an Irish musician (Guy) and a Czech immigrant (Girl) are drawn together by their shared love of music. Over the course of one fateful week, an unexpected friendship and collaboration quickly evolves into a powerful but complicated love story, underscored by the emotionally charged music that has made ONCE an international sensation.
 


Magic/BirdMagic/Bird

Previews Begin: TBA
Opening Night: March 21, 2012
Playwright: Eric Simonson
Directed by: Thomas Kail
Starring: Kevin Daniels
Theatre: TBA

At the heart of one of the fiercest rivalries in sports history, two of the greatest basketball players of all-time battled for three championships, bragging rights, and the future of their sport in the 1980’s. Johnson and Bird electrified the nation on the court, reinvigorated the NBA, and turned their rivalry into one of the greatest and most famous friendships in professional sports. The play, with a six actor cast, will premiere at a Broadway Theater TBA in Spring 2012.


Jesus Christ SuperstarJesus Christ Superstar
Previews Begin: March 1, 2012
Opening Night: March 22, 2012
Music by: Andrew Lloyd Webber
Lyrics by: Tim Rice
Directed by: Des McAnuff
Starring: Paul Nolan, Josh Young, Chilina Kennedy, Tom Hewitt, Bruce Dow, Marcus Nance and Aaron Walpole
Theatre: Neil Simon Theatre
Get Jesus Christ Superstar Tickets

This ground-breaking rock opera, which reinvented musical theatre for the modern age, tells the story of the last week of Christ’s life.  The score includes such chart-topping songs as “I Don’t Know How To Love Him,” “Everything’s Alright” and “Superstar.”
NewsiesNewsies
Previews Begin: March 15, 2012
Opening Night: March 29, 2012
Closing: June 10, 2012
Music by: Alan Menken and Jack Feldman
Book by: Harvey Fierstein
Directed by: Jeff Calhoun
Starring: TBA

Set in New York City at the turn of the century, Newsies is the rousing tale of Jack Kelly, a charismatic newsboy and leader of a ragged band of teenaged ‘newsies,’ who dreams only of a better life far from the hardship of the streets. But when publishing titans Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst raise distribution prices at the newsboys’ expense, Jack finds a cause to fight for and rallies newsies from across the city to strike for what’s right.

Newsies is inspired by the real-life ‘Newsboy Strike of 1899,’ when newsboy Kid Blink led a band of orphan and runaway newsies on a two-week-long action against Pulitzer, Hearst and other powerful newspaper publishers.


Gore Vidal's The Best ManGore Vidal’s The Best Man
Previews Begin: March 6, 2012

Opening Night: April 1, 2012
Playwright: Gore Vidal
Directed by: Michael Wilson
Starring: Candice Bergen, Angela Lansbury, John Larroquette, Michael McKean, Eric McCormack, Kerry Butler
Theatre: A Shubert Theatre TBA
Get The Best Man Tickets

There are two front-runners at this political convention, and the one who gets the nomination will almost certainly be President. Each candidate has some serious mud to sling. How dirty will it get?



End of the RainbowEnd of the Rainbow
Previews Begin: March 19, 2012
Opening Night: April 2, 2012
Playwright: Peter Quilter
Directed by: Terry Johnson
Starring: Tracie Bennett, Michael Cumpsty, Tom Pelphrey and Jay Russell
Theatre: Belasco Theatre
Get End of the Rainbow Tickets

Starring Olivier® Award-winner Tracie Bennett in a bravura performance as Judy Garland, End of the Rainbow received rave reviews and four Olivier® Award nominations in London. The setting is December 1968, and Judy Garland is about to make her comeback… again. In a London hotel room preparing for a series of concerts, with both her new young fiancé and her adoring accompanist, Garland struggles to get “beyond the rainbow” with her signature cocktail of talent, tenacity, and razor-sharp wit. This savagely funny drama offers unique insight into the inner conflict that inspired and consumed one of the most beloved figures in American popular culture. End of the Rainbow features some of Garland’s most memorable songs, performed with the show-stopping gusto for which she will always be remembered.
EvitaEvita
Previews Begin: March 12, 2012
Opening Night: April 5, 2012
Music By: Andrew Lloyd Webber
Lyrics By: Tim Rice
Directed by: Michael Grandage
Choreographed by: Rob Ashford
Starring: Ricky Martin, Michael Cerveris and Elena Roger
Theatre: Marquis Theatre
Get Evita Tickets

Eva Perón used her beauty and charisma to rise meteorically from the slums of Argentina to the presidential mansion as First Lady. She won international acclaim and adoration from her own people as a champion of the poor, while glamour, power and greed made her the world’s first major political celebrity.

Evita tells Eva’s passionate and tragic story through Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s most dazzling and beloved score, which includes “Don’t Cry for Me Argentina,” “Another Suitcase in Another Hall” and “High Flying Adored,” together with “You Must Love Me,” the Oscar-winning hit from the film EVITA.
Peter and the StarcatcherPeter and the Starcatcher
Previews Begin: March 28, 2012
Opening Night: April 15, 2012
Playwright: Rick Ellis
Directed by: Roger Rees and Alex Timbers
Theatre: Brooks Atkinson Theatre

In this innovative and imaginative new play, a company of twelve actors plays some 50 characters, all on a journey to answer the century-old question: How did Peter Pan become The Boy Who Refused To Grow Up?  This epic origin story of one of popular culture’s most enduring and beloved characters proves that an audience’s imagination can be the most captivating place in the world.

 


One Man, Two GuvnorsOne Man, Two Guvnors
Previews Begin: TBA
Opening Night: April 18, 2012
Playwright: Richard Bean, based on Carlo Goldoni’s The Servant of Two MastersDirected by: Nicholas Hytner
Starring: Grant Olding and James Corden
Theatre: The Music Box
Get One Man, Two Guvnors Tickets

In ONE MAN, TWO GUVNORS, Corden stars as “Francis Henshall” (“ONE MAN”).  Always-famished and easily-confused, Henshall agrees to work for a local gangster as well as a criminal in hiding (“TWO GUVNORS”), both of whom are linked in a tangled web of schemes and romantic associations... none of which Francis can keep straight. So he has to do everything in his power to keep his two guvnors from meeting while trying to eat anything in sight along the way. Simple.

Falling trousers, flying fish heads, star-crossed lovers, cross-dressing mobsters and a fabulous on-stage band are just some of what awaits at the most “deliriously funny” (The Daily Telegraph) new play to cross the pond in decades.


Clybourne ParkClybourne Park
Previews Begin: March 26, 2012
Opening Night: April 19, 2012
Playwright: Bruce Norris
Directed by: Pam MacKinnon
Starring: Crystal A. Dickinson, Brendan Griffin, Damon Gupton, Christina Kirk, Annie Parisse, Jeremy Shamos and Frank Wood
Theatre: Walter Kerr Theatre
Get Clybourne Park Tickets

The winner of the 2011 Pulitzer Prize and London’s Olivier Award for Best Play, Clybourne Park is a split-level comedy built upon a foundation of changing times and racial mistrust that explodes in two outrageous acts set 50 years apart. Hailed by the critics and honored from London to Los Angeles, this wickedly funny, brutally honest play about race and real estate is now set to become Broadway’s hottest property.

 


A Streetcar Named DesireA Streetcar Named Desire

 Previews Begin: April 3, 2012 
Opening Night: April 22, 2012
Closing: July 12, 2012
Playwright: Tennessee Williams
Directed by: Emily Mann
Starring: Blair Underwood, Nicole Ari Parker, Daphne Rubin-Vega, and Wood Harris
Theatre: Broadhurst
Get A Streetcar Named Desire Tickets

A talented multi-racial cast tackles Tennessee Williams' Pulitzer Prize-winning play about the clash between an aging and delusional Southern belle and her brutish brother-in-law.


GhostGhost
Previews Begin: March 15, 2012
Opening Night: April 23, 2012
Music by: Dave Stewart and Glen Ballard
Book by: Bruce Joel Rubin
Directed by: Matthew Warchus
Starring: Siobhan Dillon, Mark Evans and Sharon D. Clarke
Theatre: Lunt-Fontanne Theatre
Get Ghost the Musical Tickets

Set in modern day New York City, Ghost The Musical is a timeless fantasy about the power of love. Walking back to their apartment one night, Sam and Molly are mugged, leaving Sam murdered on a dark street. Sam is trapped as a ghost between this world and the next and unable to leave Molly, who he learns is in grave danger. With the help of a phony storefront psychic, Oda Mae Brown, Sam tries to communicate with Molly in the hope of saving and protecting her.

 


 

The Lyons
Previews Begin: April 5, 2012
Opening Night: April 23, 2012
Playwright: Nicky Silver
Directed by: Mark Brokaw
Starring: Linda Lavin, Dick Latessa, Michael Esper, Kate Jennings Grant, Brenda Pressley and Gregory Wooddell
Theatre: Cort Theatre
Get The Lyons Tickets

The Lyons is a funny and edgy work starring Linda Lavin as Rita Lyons, the indomitable matriarch of a family at a major crossroads:  her husband is dying, her son's in a dubious relationship, her daughter's struggling to stay sober and on top of it all, she can't settle on a new design for the living room.

The Lyons -- the first play by Mr. Silver (PTERODACTYLS, RAISED IN CAPTIVITY, THE FOOD CHAIN, THE EROS TRILOGY, THE MAIDEN'S PRAYER, etc.) to come to Broadway -- was a major success during its sold-out, twice-extended run at The Vineyard last year.


Nice Work if You Can Get ItNice Work if You Can Get It
Music and Lyrics by: George and Ira Gershwin
Opening Night: April 24, 2012
Directed by: Kathleen Marshall
Starring: Matthew Broderick and Kelli O’Hara
Get Nice Work if You Can Get It Tickets

This new musical features a veritable hit parade of iconic George Gershwin and Ira Gershwin songs as well as some unknown gems in their catalog, and a book by Joe DiPietro. NICE WORK IF YOU CAN GET IT follows Billie Bendix (Kelli O'Hara), a tough-as-nails bootlegger who meets wealthy playboy Jimmy Winter (Matthew Broderick) on the weekend of his nuptials. Mayhem ensues.



The ColumnistThe Columnist

Previews Begin: April 3, 2012
Opening Night: April 25, 2012
Playwright: David Auburn
Directed by: Daniel Sullivan
Starring: John Lithgow
Get The Columnist Tickets

Columnists are kings in midcentury America and Joseph Alsop (Lithgow) wears the crown. Joe is beloved, feared and courted in equal measure by the Washington political world at whose center he sits. But as the ’60s dawn and America undergoes dizzying change, the intense political drama Joe is embroiled in becomes deeply personal as well.


Don't Dress for DinnerDon’t Dress for Dinner
Previews Begin: March 30, 2012
Opening Night: April 26, 2012
Closing: June 17, 2012
Playwright: Marc Camoletti
Directed by: John Tillinger
Theatre: American Airlines Theatre

Marc Camoletti's Don’t Dress for Dinner is the wildly funny sequel to the Broadway hit Boeing-Boeing. Bernard’s plans for a romantic rendezvous with his mistress are complete with a gourmet caterer and an alibi courtesy of his friend, Robert. But when Bernard’s wife learns that Robert will be visiting for the weekend, she decides to stay in town for a surprise tryst of her own… setting the stage for a collision course of hidden identities and outrageous infidelities. The cook is Suzette, the lover is Suzanne, the friend is bewildered, the wife is suspicious, the husband is losing his mind and everyone is guaranteed a good time at this hilarious romp through the French countryside.

Don’t Dress For Dinner opened in Paris in 1987, under the original title Pajamas Pour Six, and ran for over two years. Robin Hawdon’s adaptation of the original French play premiered in London at the Apollo Theatre in 1991 and ran for six years.
Harvey 
Previews Begin: May 18, 2012
Opening Night: June 14, 2012 (technically this is a part of the 2012-13 season for Tony Award Consideration)
Playwright: Mary Chase
Directed by: Scott Ellis
Starring: Jim Parsons, Jessica Hecht and Charles Kimbrough
Theatre: Studio 54
Get Harvey Tickets

Harvey was first brought to the Broadway stage in 1944 and was directed by Antoinette Perry.  The play won the Pulitzer Prize for drama in 1944, and its initial run lasted for four years—1,775 performances.  James Stewart assumed the role of “Elwood” from Frank Fay in the 1944 production and originated the role in the 1970 production as well as the film adaptation in 1950.  Helen Hayes played “Veta” opposite Mr. Stewart in the 1970 production.

Parsons stars as one of modern theatre’s most lovable characters, Elwood P. Dowd. Charming and kind, Elwood has only one character flaw:  an unwavering friendship with a 6-foot-tall, invisible white rabbit named Harvey.  In order to save the family’s social reputation, Elwood’s sister Veta (Jessica Hecht) takes Elwood to the local sanatorium. But when the doctors mistakenly commit his anxiety-ridden sister, Elwood — and Harvey—slip out of the hospital unbothered, setting off a hilarious whirlwind of confusion and chaos as everyone in town tries to catch a man and his invisible rabbit.
Last modified on Monday, 26 March 2012 06:54