Thursday, July 3, 2014

B'way Update: 'King and I,' 'Illusionists'

Oscar nominees Ken Wantanabe and Sally Hawkins in
Godzilla or We Need a Paycheck
As summer progresses, more Broadway shows are announced for the fall and winter. One of the most anticipated will be Lincoln Center Theater's revival of The King and I starring Kelli O'Hara and Ron Wantanabe, directed by O'Hara's South Pacific and Light in the Piazza stager Barlett Sher. We just saw Wantanabe in Godzilla on a double bill with Edge of Tomorrow at the Coxsackie drive-in last weekend. I'm still itching from the mosquito bites. I thought Edge of Tomorrow would be as bad as last year's Oblivion because both involved Tom Cruise going through some kind of time-loop or multiple-identity crisis. But it was actually pretty entertaining. 
Godzilla, despite the presence of Wantanabe and Tony-Emmy winner Bryan Cranston was a bit of a disappointment. Wantanabe's role as a Japanese scientist of some kind consisted of him standing around with Sally Hawkins as his associate and David Strathairn as an admiral looking worried in tiny rooms with maps on the wall. Oscar winner Juliette Binoche disappeared after about five seconds of screen time as Cranston's wife who perishes in a nuclear accident caused either by Godzilla or a pair of mothra things (Don't ask). SPOILER ALERT FOR THOSE WHO CARE Those monsters later destroy San Francisco to lay some of their radioactive eggs and Godzilla saves the city. Binoche must have needed money worse than John Hurt in Hercules.

Anyway, Oscar nominee Wantanabe will have a greater opportunity to flex his acting muscles as the King of Siam which begins previews at the Vivian Beaumont on March 12, 2015 before an April 16 opening, just in time for next year's Tonys. Also recently announced is The Illusionists: Witness the Impossible, a magic show at the Marquis featuring seven masters of legerdemain. Meanwhile Holler If Ya Hear Me opened at the Palace two weeks ago and is already in serious trouble due to low box office. (Here's a link to my review on
Meanhile, here's an updated rundown of the 2014-15 New York Theater season:

July 30--Sex with Strangers (Second Stage)
Sept. 11--This Is Our Youth (Cort)
Sept. 28--You Can't Take It With You (Longacre) 
Sept. 30--India Ink (Roundabout/Laura Pels)
Sept.--The Fortress of Solitude (Public Theatre); The Money Shot (MCC/Lortel)
Oct. 5--The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (Barrymore)
Oct. 2—The Country House (MTC/Samuel J. Friedman) 
Oct. 9---It's Only a Play (Schoenfeld) 
Oct.16--On the Town (Lyric) 
Oct. 23--Disgraced (Lyceum) 
Oct. 26--The Last Ship (Neil Simon) 
Oct. 30--The Real Thing (American Airlines/Roundabout)
Oct.--Allegro (CSC); Father Comes Home from the Wars (Public); Grand Concourse (PH); Lips Together, Teeth Apart (Second Stage)
Nov. 11--Lost Lake (City Center/MTC)
Nov. 13—The Elephant Man (Booth Theatre) 
Nov. 16--The River (Circle in the Square) 
Nov. 20--A Delicate Balance (Golden)
November--Straight White Males (Public); Pocatello (PH); A Particle of Dread, Our Lady of Kibeho (Signature); Punk Rock (MCC/Lortel)
Dec. 4--The Illusionists: Witness the Impossible (Marquis)
2014 (Sometime)—Dames at Sea, Liberace Musical, The Color Purple 
Jan. 13--Constellations (MTC/Samuel J. Friedman)
Jan. 15--Honeymoon in Vegas (Brooks Atkinson)
Jan. 15--Into the Woods (Roundabout/Laura Pels)
2015--Winter--On Your Feet
Jan. 2015--Hamlet (CSC); Hamilton (Public)
Feb. 24--The World of Extreme Happiness (City Center/MTC)
February 2015--Placebo (PH); Big Love, The Liquid Plan (Signature); The Nether (MCC/Lortel)
March 12--On the 20th Century (American Airlines/Roundabout)
March--The Total Bent (Public); Iowa (PH)
April 15--The King and I (LCT/Vivian Beaumont)
Spring 2015--An American in Paris
May 2015--Dr. Faustus (CSC); What I Did Last Summer (Signature); Permission (MCC/Lortel)
Fall 2015--Fiddler on the Roof
2015-16--Houdini, Night Mother, Noises Off (Roundabout)
Future--Disney's Frozen, Soul Train, Pretty Woman. The First Wives Club

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