Sunday, October 5, 2014

B'way Update: Spring is Gettin' Springier

A scene from the Royal Shakespeare Company's
production of Wolf Hall
Credit: Keith Pattison
That title comes from the Blossom Dearie song "A Fine Spring Morning." As more productions confirm their openings, the warmer months of 2015 are filling up in a race to beat the Tony deadline. So far March has three definite shows while April has seven, eight if you can the separate evenings of Wolf Hall as two. Overall, 2014-15 has 30 definite productions, far short of last season's 42. There are still a few which might be coming in such as Amazing Grace. Let's take a look at some of the recently announced candidates for Tony glory. The aforementioned Wolf Hall, a two-part historical drama about Henry VIII and his devious counselor Thomas Cromwell, is based on a best-selling series of novels and was a smash hit in London--two factors which spell automatic snob hit. Finding Neverland has been in a holding pattern for months, but the musical about the genesis of Peter Pan has been cleared for a landing at the Lunt-Fontanne once Motown vacates. The knives are out for this show since producer Harvey Weinstein forced his way onto last season's Tony Awards with an excerpt featuring Jennifer Holliday in a sparkly gown singing to a bunch of little boys in Victorian pajamas. Weinstein garnered some publicity recently by subjecting New York Post theater columnist Michael Riedel to the ice bucket challenge. Doctor Zhivago is another musical which has been on the "Upcoming" list for years. The material sounds perfect for a Broadway musical--sweeping romance, epic revolutionary battles, a familiar title. Plus there has been a run on Russian shows lately with Christopher Durang's Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike and the gorgeous Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812. But great Slavic source material is no guarantee of success. Let's not forget the flop 1992 musical Anna Karenina which closed after only 46 performances. Fun Home was a hit Off-Broadway and may be the show to beat when it transfers to the Circle in the Square. It's subject matter of a lesbian coming to terms with her closeted gay father may be a bit much for family audiences, and Tony voters may want to go for the safer comedy of Honeymoon in Vegas or the nostalgia of An American in Paris.   

Here's an updated rundown of the Broadway and Off-Broadway calendar:
Oct. 5--The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (Barrymore)
Oct. 9---It's Only a Play (Schoenfeld) 
Oct. 14--Found (Atlantic)
Oct.16--On the Town (Lyric) 
Oct. 19--The Belle of Amherst (Westside)
Oct. 20--Billy and Ray (Vineyard)
Oct. 23--Disgraced (Lyceum) 
Oct. 26--The Last Ship (Neil Simon) 
Oct. 29--Lips Together, Teeth Apart (Second Stage)
Oct. 30--The Real Thing (American Airlines/Roundabout)
Oct.--Allegro (CSC); Father Comes Home from the Wars (Public); Grand Concourse (PH); The Fortress of Solitude (Public Theatre)
Nov. 3--The Oldest Boy (LCT/Mitzi Newhouse)
Nov. 6--Sticks and Bones (New Group at Signature Center)
Nov. 11--Lost Lake (City Center/MTC)
Nov. 13—The Elephant Man (Booth Theatre) 
Nov. 16--The River (Circle in the Square) 
Nov. 16--Our Lady of Kibeho (Signature)
Nov. 17--Side Show (St. James)
Nov. 18--By the Water (MTC/City Center Stage II)
Nov. 20--A Delicate Balance (Golden)
Nov. 23--A Particle of Dread (Signature) 
November--Straight White Males (Public); Pocatello (PH);Punk Rock (MCC/Lortel)
Dec. 4--The Illusionists: Witness the Impossible (Marquis)
2014 (Sometime)—Dames at Sea, Liberace Musical, The Color Purple 
2015 (Sometime)--The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas
Jan. 13--Constellations (MTC/Samuel J. Friedman)
Jan. 15--Honeymoon in Vegas (Nederlander)
Jan. 15--Into the Woods (Roundabout/Laura Pels)
Jan. 2015--Hamlet (CSC); Hamilton (Public)
Feb. 23--Big Love (Signature)
Feb. 24--The World of Extreme Happiness (City Center/MTC)
February 2015--Placebo (PH); The Liquid Plan (Signature); The Nether (MCC/Lortel)
March 3--John and Jen (Keene Company)
March 5--Fish in the Dark (Cort)
March 12--On the 20th Century (American Airlines/Roundabout)
March 28--The Audience (Schoenfeld)
March--The Heidi Chronicles (theater TBA); The Total Bent (Public); Iowa (PH)
April 2--Skylight (Golden)
April 8--Finding Neverland (Lunt-Fontanne)
April 9--Wolf Hall, Parts I and II (Winter Garden)
April 12--An American in Paris (Palace)
April 15--The King and I (LCT/Vivian Beaumont)
April 21--Doctor Zhivago (Broadway)
April 22--Fun Home (Circle in the Square)
April 23--Airline Highway (MTC/Samuel J. Friedman)
Spring 2015--Amazing Grace
May 2015--Dr. Faustus (CSC); What I Did Last Summer (Signature); Permission (MCC/Lortel)
Oct. 5--On Your Feet (Marquis)
Fall 2015--Fiddler on the Roof, American Psycho
2015-16--Children of a Lesser God, Houdini, Gigi, Night Mother, Noises Off (Roundabout)
Future--Bandstand, Disney's Frozen, Soul Train, Pretty Woman. The First Wives Club, Magic Mike, Freaky Friday, King Kong, Miss Saigon 

Broadway Breakdown by category

New Plays
Airline Highway
The Audience
The Country House
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
Disgraced (transfer from off-Broadway)
Fish in the Dark
The River
Wolf Hall, Parts I and II

New Musicals
An American in Paris
Doctor Zhivago
Finding Neverland
Fun Home (transfer from off-Broadway)
Holler If Ya Hear Me
Honeymoon in Vegas
The Last Ship

Play Revivals
A Delicate Balance
The Elephant Man
The Heidi Chronicles
It's Only a Play
Love Letters
The Real Thing
This Is Our Youth
You Can’t Take It With You

Musical Revivals
The King and I
On the Town
On the Twentieth Century
Side Show

The Illusionists: Witness the Impossible

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