A dismal Fall/winter season is ending characterized by its race to the bottom with only a few survivors– featuring instead of record hits record flops : 1 month flops Dead Accounts, 1 week flops, Anarchist (disproving theory that big names like Patty Lupone and Debra Winger can sell anything on Broadway), 1 weekend flops The Performers.
However this Spring season seems to be so jam packed with potential blockbusters it hardly seems possible their opening nights will avoid bumping into each other (in respect to the tabloids no two shows ever open on the same night)
Ladies rule in the season openers and closers:
Cinderella (opening Mar 3), is leading the pack with a new book written by Douglas Carter Beane more loyal to the Charles Perrault fairy tale and much darker and far from Julie Andrews l957 original TV production “I want to see her get her man and get her kingdom together. Directed by Mark Brokaw, it will star Laura Osnos, with Victoria Clark With a new book, but the same glorious Rodgers & Hammerstein music it is difficult to categorize as a new musical or a revival.
Broadway Theater, 1681 Broadway
Ann (opening Mar 7) former Democratic Governor of Texas, Ann Richards, who died in 2006, is lovingly written and resurrected by Emmy Award winning actress Holland Taylor . She’s memorable for the 1988 Democratic convention quote describing George H. W. Bush as being “born with a silver foot in his mouth.” This tough and memorable woman is d irected by Benjamin Endsley Klein.
Vivian Beaumont Theater, 150 West 65 Street
Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike (opens March 14) Christopher Durang 's frothy Chekhov-inspired comedy, which played an extended Off-Broadway run at the Mitzi Newhouse at Lincoln Center Theater earlier this season will travel to Broadway with its original cast led by Sigourney Weaver with David Hyde Pierce, Kristine Nielsen , with Shalita Grant, Billy Magnussen and Genevieve Angelson.. As reviewed by Theaterscene’s own Victor Gluck: In his most focused and satisfying play in years (Durang) takes ideas and themes from the late 19th century plays of Anton Chekhov, and has hilariously mixed them up into a new 21st century comedy which updates the angst and ennui of his predecessor.
Golden Theater 252 West 45 Street
Breakfast at Tiffany’s (opens March 20). Don’t look for Hollywood’s whitewashed Audrey Hepburn Holly GoLightly in this Broadway version. She is darker in Richard Greenberg’s version, much closer to the original in Truman Capote’s 1958 novella. Emilia Clarke (HBO’s Game of Thrones) will be directed by Sean Mathias as the glam, charmingly pretentious country girl turned big city “party girl”.
Cort Theater 138 West 48 Street
Matilda the Musical (opens April 11) Britain’s hugely successful schoolgirl will no doubt give our Annie a run for the money! They both lead a revolution against their tyrannical schoolmistresses but Matilda has the advantage of the gift of telekinesis and an aptitude for language. She will be played in rotation by four young actresses: Sophia Gennusa, Oona Laurence, Bailey Ryon and Milly Shapiro. Matthew Warchus will direct Dennis Kelly’s script adapted from Roald Dahl’s 1988 children’s book. Our little heroine is determined to take control of her life as she sings “Nobody but me is going to change my story.” Better line up now!
Shubert Theater 255 West 44 Street
The Testament of Mary (opens April 22). Seems every season must have at least one Christian theme, and in this solo piece Fiona Shaw delivers an intense monologue on a mother’s view of the Crucifixion of Jesus and its aftermath in a world ruled by men. “I tell the truth not because it will turn night into day,” Mary says in Colm Toibin’s novel. “I speak simply because I can.” Ms. Shaw is reunited with her frequent collaborator Deborah Warner.
Walter Kerr Theater 219 West 48 Street
The Trip To Bountiful (Opening April 23) The Academy Award-nominated actress Cicely Tyson, 78, another mega star returning to Broadway after 30 years, leads in a revival of Horton Foote’s 1953 drama as Carrie Watts, an elderly Texan who, despite the objections of her family, wants to visit her hometown one last time. Lillian Gish starred in the original and Geraldine Page won an Academy Award in the 1985 film version. Joining the all black cast is Oscar winner Cuba Gooding Jr, as Carrie’s son, who thinks she is too frail to travel, Tony nominee Vanessa Williams, his bossy wife, who thinks the trip is too expensive and another Tony nominee Condola Rashad, who befriends Carrie on the bus. Many think this role in Ms. Tyson’s capable hands will be a Tony contender. Mr. Foote, a winner of the Pulitzer Prize and two Academy Awards, dies in 2009.
Stephen Sondheim Theater 124West 43 Street
I’ll Eat You Last: A Chat With Sue Mengers (opens April 24) it’s a natural fit for the high-powered gutsy Hollywood agent, who died in 2011, and for whom the word “chutzpah” would seem to be invented, to be played by Broadway’s “queen of chutzpah” Bette Midler in her return to Broadway after 30 years. Mangers’ clients included Barbra Streisand, Steve McQueen, Faye Dunaway and Michael Caine. Author John Logan has been working on this since he met her in 2007 and the very capable Joe Mantello will be directing this solo piece.
Booth Theater 222 west 45 Street
Also coming up:
Hands on a Hardbody (opens Match 21)
Kinky Boots (opens April 4th)
Motown, the Musical
Lucky Guy with Tom Hanks (April 1),
Orphans with Alec Baldwin (opens April 7)
…and many, many more. Clear the calendar!!!