Saturday, August 8, 2015

'Crucible' and 'Father' Join Broadway Spring Roster

Frank Langella will star in a play called
 The Father for the second time
Of course as soon as I post a Broadway/Off-Broadway calendar, two new shows announce openings in the spring--The Father with Frank Langella and the sixth Broadway production of The Crucible. The Father is not to be confused with the play of the same name by August Strindberg which also starred Langella in 1996. This one is a new play by French playwright Florian Zeller about a man suffering from dementia. It will be part of Manhattan Theater Club's season at the Friedman previewing March 22 and opening April 12. Arthur Miller's The Crucible previews Feb. 29 and opens on April 12 at a theater to be announced. Ben Whislaw plays John Proctor, Tony winner Sophie Okonedo will be his wife Elizabeth, and Ciarin Hinds is Deputy Governor Danforth. (I played Reverend Parris in college.) Ivo van Hove is directing so it will probably be set inside a wind tunnel or something with everyone dressed as mummies. Van Hove is one weird-ass director. I still remember his Streetcar Named Desire at New York Theatre Workshop where Elizabeth Marvel as Blanche DuBois dove into a bathtub fully clothed and emerged dripping wet and covered with suds, then went right back into the scene without a pause. It was like a Carol Burnett Show parody of an avant-garde production. (His Scenes from a Marriage was brilliant I will admit.) But van Hove's A View from the Bridge is also opening on Broadway this season and received raves during its London run. With the two Miller plays, Long Day's Journey, Fiddler on the Roof, and Color Purple, the season is like a retread of old times--which is also being done, the Harold Pinter play I mean. Broadway is becoming like a college course in Dramatic Literature with very little new work on display. Here's the updated calendar:

Saturday, August 1, 2015

2015-16 Broadway/Off-Broadway Calendar

Holland Taylor is among the stars appearing
Off-Broadway during 2015-16.
Summer doldrums have set in the theater scene with a tepid reception for Amazing Grace (here's a link to my review), and Hamilton providing the only excitement. The Off-Broadway transfer opens officially on Thurs. and it has become the show to see. I hear house seats are impossible to get and even Tony voters are getting limited selections on a few weeknights. So this is the perfect time to look ahead at the fall season and beyond. I've compiled my usual list of Broadway and Off-Broadway openings. The Main Stem is once again dominated by British imports and revivals with very few new American plays, the only three so far are Our Mother's Brief Affair from MTC, David Mamet's China Doll, and a stage version of Steven King's Misery.