Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Broadway Update: 2015 Beckons

Airline Highway at Chicago's Steppenwolf Theatre
(Credit: Michael Brosilaw)
As 2014 winds down, it's time to look forward to 2015. As usual, the spring is crowded with openings in order to qualify for the Tonys. It's a little early, but the frontrunner for Best Play is still The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. Dog's biggest threats are also from Britain--The epic Wolf Hall and Helen Mirren in The Audience, both featuring royalty (Henry VIII in Wolf and the current monarch in Audience.) Both have snob hit written all over them. Mirren will probably take Best Actress so she can have a Tony for playing a queen to go with her Oscar and Emmy. Wolf is a two-evening spectacle and could give Dog a run for its money as Best play--both are based on novels which never stopped The Grapes of Wrath.The design categories still belong to Dog, though Wolf will probably win for Costumes.My choice for Best Play so far is from off-Broadway: Samuel D. Hunter's Pocatello. Lisa D'Amour's Airline Highway looks fascinating and has received excellent reviews in Chicago plus Joe Mantello, of Wicked, Take Me Out, and Assassins fame, is at the helm. D'Amour's Detroit is one of my favorite plays and this one about displaced New Orleans residents celebrating the life of their dying den mother in a rundown motel could be a big winner. It's the last show of the season and will be fresh in voters' minds. But it's American and the Tony people love their British theater.