Thursday, August 30, 2012

Fantastic Fall? Or Faulty Fall?

I am currently flat broke. I love New York and I love to go see as many shows in the city as I can, but I’ve been so broke lately that I don’t see myself making it back for a couple of months at least. Maybe longer. Usually I feel like I’m missing so many things that I want to see. Currently, there are only two shows that I’m super excited and wish I could see. Newsies and Peter and the Starcatcher. Both are high on my “to see” list, and I’m truly sad I won’t get to see Jeremy Jordan before he leaves to film Smash full time.

I’ve been looking at the shows opening in the next few months, all the way through the end of the year. There are a quite a few. Sadly, I’m not truly excited about any of them.

Here’s a rundown of everything opening thru December…


Currently in previews; Opening September 10th

"From the slums of London to the heights of Hollywood, is the showbiz Broadway musical about the silent film legend the world couldn’t stop talking about - Charlie Chaplin. The brand new 22-person musical reveals the man behind the legend, the undeniable genius that forever changed the way America went to the movies."*

Okay, this show makes me slightly curious, just because I've always been fascinated with old movies and silent films. But I've heard nothing about it, so I'm just not sure. Nothing good, nothing bad...just nothing. So I don't know if I should be excited about it. Personally, that doesn't seem like a good thing when it comes to PR. But what do I know?

An Enemy of the People

Previews: September 4th. Opening September 27th.

"When Dr. Thomas Stockmann (Boyd Gaines) discovers toxic contamination in the water used at the local baths, he expects to be hailed as a hero. But since the baths are the town's main source of revenue, the community fights to silence him…and Dr. Stockmann learns that there are forces more powerful than truth. An incisive tale about the high price of free expression, An Enemy of the People makes a timely return to the New York stage in this bold new version by one of Britain's most exciting young writers, Rebecca Lenkiewicz."*


Previews: September 13th. Opening October 4th.

"Grace asks, 'Are we in control of our lives or is there something else at work?' With a grippingly innovative dramatic structure, Grace follows a wide-eyed young couple (Rudd & Arrington) as they start a new life in sunny, promise-filled Florida, with big plans to open a chain of Gospel motels. An agitated neighbor (Shannon) and a caustic exterminator (Asner) complete the eclectic foursome as destinies collide in this intensely entertaining and suspenseful journey to the edge of your seat."*

So, the fact that Paul Rudd and Ed Asner are in this show might actually make me want to see it. But the religious aspect of it makes me wonder if I would actually like the show. I suppose that with a name like Paul Rudd on the bill, they have a decent chance of filling seats. Still, not overly enthusiastic.

Cyrano de Bergerac

Previews: September 14th. Opening October 11th.

Roundabout bills the 1897 verse classic this way: "A enduring masterwork with some of the wittiest lines ever written for the stage, Cyrano de Bergerac is a clever and touching story about the power of love, the art of wordplay and the joy of finding what you've always wanted right under your nose. Cyrano's a nobleman with a head for poetry and a nose for miles. All of Paris adores him except for his true love Roxanne, who can't see past his all-too-prominent facial feature. Instead, she falls for a handsome young cadet named Christian. But when Christian admits he's tongue-tied with Roxanne, Cyrano gives him the romantic words guaranteed to win her heart. With Christian's looks and Cyrano's language, it's a foolproof plan! Or is it?"*

Wow. Just reading this synopsis kind of makes my head hurt. Perhaps because it's a "1897 classic"? If I lived in New York, I might see this. Roundabout has the great HipTix program, so I wouldn't have to pay much. Outside of that...probably wouldn't make a trip for it.

Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

Preview: September 27th, Opening October 13th.

The acclaimed new production about the clash between a husband and wife, and their late-night cocktail guests, seen in 2010-11 at Steppenwolf Theatre in Chicago and Arena Stage in Washington, DC, comes to Broadway 50 years after its debut there.*

Sigh. Another revival. Where's the originality people? Where??


Previews: October 3rd, Opening November 8th.

The new production of the Tony Award-winning musical — about an optimistic Depression-era orphan and her billionaire adoptive daddy — is inspired by the Harold Gray comic strip "Little Orphan Annie." *

Um...the ONLY show I'm super excited about that's opening in the fall. Honestly, you can see a production of Annie on any given weekend in about a million community/regional/children's theatres across the nation. But this production has one thing that the others don't: Katie Finneran. I saw her in Promises, Promises and fell head over heels in love. I'd see almost anything that she was in. So, while Annie itself doesn't make me jump, Katie Finneran is enough reason to go see this show.

The Heiress

Previews: October 7th, Opening November 1st.

The durable 1947 play about plain Catherine Sloper and a family home with a good view of Washington Square is based on the Henry James novel "Washington Square." The play tells of Catherine being pulled between her cold father and a warm and handsome suitor who may be motivated by greed.*

1947? Another revival. Honestly, I like all kinds of shows, but I'd like to see something written in the last 20 years. Or even 30 years. Please?

Scandalous: The Life and Trials of Aimee Semple McPherson

Previews: October 13th, Opening November 15th.

Kathie Lee Gifford penned the show's book and lyrics, collaborating with composers David Friedman and David Pomeranz. The story of the 20th-century evangelical superstar Aimee Semple McPherson — the American religious leader who staged provocative illustrated sermons, fed the hungry and famously vanished.*

This is interesting. I know very little about it, but the synopsis catches my attention, and I'm intrigued by the Kathie Lee Gifford thing. It could be a hit...or a complete flop. I'm curious to see what people have to say about this one.

Glengarry Glen Ross

Previews: October 16th, Opening November 11th.

Al Pacino will play Shelly Levene in a new Broadway production of David Mamet's acidic comic-drama about desperate real-estate men. The show follows the cutthroat world of real estate where salesmen (in a Chicago office) are vying for the best leads to make the biggest sales.*

David Mamet and Al Pacino. Those names will probably get people in the seats. It might even get me in a seat. If I was already in New York.

The Mystery of Edwin Drood

Previews: October 19th, Opening November 13th.

Tony Award winner Chita Rivera will step into the world of the British Music Hall this fall for the first Broadway revival of the Tony Award-winning Rupert Holmes musical.*

With a cast that has Chita Rivera, Jessie Mueller, Will Chase & Stephanie J. Block, this show might actually do okay. While a tourist may not know all the names, anyone who follows theatre would. Again, a show that I'm not overly excited about, but the casting might make me buy a ticket.


Previews: October 30th, Opening November 18th

The musical, based on the classic Daphne du Maurier novel, "is the story of Maxim de Winter, his new wife [simply, 'I,' as in the first-person] and Mrs. Danvers, the controlling and manipulative housekeeper of Maxim's West Country estate of Manderley — where the memory of his first wife, the glamorous and mysterious Rebecca, still casts a shadow." Having premiered in Vienna in 2006, Rebecca features original book and lyrics by Michael Kunze, music by Sylvester Levay, English book adaptation by two-time Tony Award winner Christopher Hampton (Sunset Boulevard) and English lyrics by Hampton and Kunze.*

Okay, I know there are people excited about this one. Really. But I don't get it. Perhaps because I haven't read the novel? Or maybe that the story just sounds kind of boring? I'm not sure.

The Performers

Previews: October 23rd, Opening November 14th

The Performers, according to press notes, "is a romantic comedy about two high school friends — and the women in their lives — who reconnect at the Adult Film Awards in Las Vegas. When the night takes an unexpected turn and relationships are threatened, Chuck Wood (Henry Winkler), the hardest-working man in the business, steps in to lend a hand. Sex, love and Barry Manilow intersect in this comedy about the ups and downs and ins and outs of love."*

Yup, I think I might like this one. It sounds interesting. And Cheyenne Jackson is in it.

Dead Accounts

Previews: November 3rd; Opening: November 29th

Here's how the new dark comedy is billed: "Jack's unexpected return throws his family into a frenzy, and his sister Lorna needs answers. Is he coming home or running away? Where is his wife everyone hates? And how did he get all that money? Theresa Rebeck’s new comedy tackles the timely issues of corporate greed, small town values, and whether or not your family will always welcome you back… with no questions asked."*

Ms. Katie Holmes is returning to the stage after splitting with her husband. The fact that she's America's darling right now is going to sell tickets. Also in the show: Norbert Leo Butz. And it's written by Theresa Rebeck. This will make the theatre junkies happy. Personally, I'd see it just to see Katie Holmes. I lived thru Dawson's Creek the first time. I can't help myself.

A Christmas Story: The Musical

Previews: November 5th; Opening: November 19th

"This classic holiday tale centers on a mischievous, bespectacled boy, Ralphie, who dreams of getting a BB-gun for Christmas," according to press notes. "In the weeks before the big holiday, Ralphie, his friends and his family get into all kinds of situations— including run-ins with a bully with 'yellow eyes,' a tongue stuck to a flag pole, a bar of soap in the mouth, a garish leg lamp, a major award and a Chinese Christmas dinner."*

Hmmm… this show has been playing in Nashville every Christmas for the past few years. I’ve not seen it, but…. I’m afraid it’ll ruin one of my favorite Christmas movies. Just by the "brand name" alone, this show shouldn't have any trouble selling to the holiday tourists.

Golden Boy

Previews: November 8th; Opening: December 6th

Lincoln Center Theater presents this revival of Clifford Odets' play. According to LCT, "Golden Boy is the story of Joe Bonaparte (to be played by Seth Numrich), a young, gifted violinist who is torn between pursuing a career in music and earning big money as a prize fighter."*

Tony Shalhoub, Danny Burstein. These are the names I recognize. The storyline sounds interesting to me. Slightly Billy Elliott-esque perhaps?

Elf: The Musical

Previews: November 9th. I couldn't find an opening date.

Based on the film of the same title, the musical returns for a holiday engagement.*

Ug. The first time wasn't bad enough? I didn't see it. I didn't want to see it. I still don't.

The Anarchist

Previews: November 13th; Opening December 2th.

Set in a female penitentiary, the two-woman drama by David Mamet casts LuPone as Cathy, a longtime inmate with ties to a violent political organization, who pleads for parole from the warden, Ann, to be played by Winger.*

Debra Winger, Patti Lupone will sell these tickets. I'd see it.

My overall opinion for the fall on Broadway is that it's just kind of boring. There are very few original shows. And it seems to me that they are either selling a brand (A Christmas Story, Elf: The Musical, Annie), or they selling a person attached to said show (Pat Lupone, Paul Rudd, Katie Holmes). I still say I want something that excites me. Something that makes me say, "I HAVE to get to New York so I can see this show before it closes!" Perhaps the Spring will bring me something. Maybe.

Until then, I think I'll save my money until after the New Year and try to make a longer trip to New York. Unless the city itself calls my name too loudly and I can't stand to be away any longer.

*All the summaries were taken from on THIS page.

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