NEWS FROM THE RIALTO BROADWAY BOOMING ,
A LOOK AHEAD
By Jeannie Lieberman,
Broadway booms as tourists eat up both the old and the
new productions, while incoming shows from the regionals hover, tightening
their transcripts, honing their skills for entry.
This weeks grosses indicate the reigning supremacy of Wicked, Lion King and the apparently
bullet proof Spider Man (good for you
Julie Taymor, competing against herself with Lion King). Of the new shows How to Succeed (Bless you, Daniel
Radcliff, who fills those seats no matter
how mediocre his performance), War
Horse and Book of Mormon are the
hot tickets while the unsophisticated out-of-towners are still catching up with
Boys, the perennial Phantom of
the Opera, the merry Mary Poppins
and, quelle surprise, Rock of Ages. Surprisingly
Sister Act and Anything Goes showed a slight dip but nothing serious while Catch Me if You Can and Master Class seem falling from favor.
Nevertheless with no less than twenty-five shows hanging
in there on Broadway we are still the theater world’s Mecca.
INCOMING: Eight regional productions are already lined up to transfer from theaters
across the country. More will doubtless make their way here. These shows have
the added advantage of trying out on the proverbial road thus avoiding the New York critics’ vulture attack on the fetal
Man working out the glitches in
full view and creating a feeding frenzy.
Lincoln Center’s Other
Desert Cities with Stockard Channing, Rachel
Stacy Keach, Judith Light, Thomas
Sadoski will take the Jon Robin Baitz play, as directed by Joe Mantello, to the
Booth Opening November 3
Follies despite mixed reviews at DC’s Kennedy Center will bring in Bernadette Peters,
Jan Maxwell, Danny Burstein, and Ron Raines in Stephen Sondheim and James
Goldman’s beloved musical to the Marquis Theatre for a limited engagement this
fall, demonstrating that Sondheim will always have a home here Opens September 12.
Playwright David Henry Hwang’s (M.
Butterfly, Yellowface) long awaited next production, a humorous
take on language barriers and cultural differences, is in Mandarin Chinese with
projected super titles. It is currently looking for actors fluent in Mandarin Opens
The city of Detroit
will join cities like Memphis and Chicago on Broadway in Lisa D’Amour’s play Detroit touted as a “scary-funny comedy about the travails of middle Americans swamped in economic woes, and this backyard
barbecue drama will surely resonate with everyone from the Windy City
to the Big Apple”. Opens Fall 2011.
Bonnie and Clyde, the much-anticipated new musical will finally get here after two regional
tryout will finally take its Broadway bow this winter after not one, but two regional
tryouts in California and Florida for two years. Now starring Laura Osnes and Jeremy Jordan as the trigger-happy
sweethearts (with book by Ivan Menchell, music by Frank Wildhorn, and lyrics by
Don Black) it will open with a bang or two Opens December 1.
Two significant Broadway debuts: Grammy Award-winning
artist Alicia Keys will add Broadway producer and writer Lydia R. Diamond
herald the production’s booking at the Lyceum Theatre this winter. The
play chronicles the gathering of an African-American family at their luxurious Martha’s Vineyard vacation home. With no casting
announced yet, we’re nevertheless expecting some of Alicia’s famous friends to
join in. Opens December 8.
Porgy and Bess
Wow! Porgy & Bess with Audra MacDonald and Norm Lewis
is a pre-opening sell out! It hasn’t even begun previews at American Repertory
Theater but it’s scheduled to open on Broadway in January. Pulitzer
Prize-winning playwright Suzan-Lori Parks (Topdog/Underdog, In
the Blood) is updating Porgy
and Bess as a musical for contemporary audiences (Norm
Lewis???). Begins December 17.
L. Jackson, Angela Bassett in On The Mountaintop By Katori Hall Directed By Kenny Leon Taking Place On April 3, 1968, A Gripping Reimagining Of
Events The Night Before The Assassination Of Civil Rights Leader Dr. Martin
Luther King, Jr. At The Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre Performances Begins September 22, 2011
Opening Night Set For October 13, 2011
Harry Connick, Jr. In the newly
imagined production of On A Clear Day You
Can See Forever Opening Night Is Sunday, December
Previews Begin Saturday, November 12, 2011
Cynthia Nixon will star in the
Broadway premiere of Wit, Margaret Edison’s
1998 drama about a brilliant and exacting poetry professor who undergoes
experimental treatment for cancer. Performances
begin in January
More to come