Wednesday, June 25, 2008

What Will Be This Season's Breakout Hit?

With the 2007-2008 Broadway season now behind us it is time to take a look at the season ahead. So far twelve different productions are scheduled to open before the end of the year. Let's take a look.

Cirque Dreams Jungle Fantasy(Broadway Theatre)-is an exotic encounter inspired by nature’s unpredictable creations that are brought to life by an international cast of 25 soaring aerialists, spine-bending contortionists, acrobats, jugglers and musicians.Opens June 26. Closes August 24.

[title of show](Lyceum)This charming and funny show first got it's start in 2004 at the New York Musical Theatre Festival in 2004 before moving to a very successful run in 2006 at the Vinyard Theater. Now this original American musical about the making of an original musical is moving uptown for an open-ended run next month.
First Preview-July 5. Opening Night-July 17. Open Run.

for colored girls who have considered suicide when the rainbow is enuf(Circle In The Square))The Broadway revival of the poetry-kissed for colored girls who have considered suicide when the rainbow is enuf, starring Grammy Award winner India.Arie, will begin previews at the Circle in the Square Theatre beginning Aug. 19.The 1974 Obie-winning and Tony Award-nommed for colored girls who have considered suicide when the rainbow is enuf played The Public Theater and jumped to Broadway 1976-78, with playwright Shange featured as one of seven women who "reveal themselves, their lives, loves, hardships, and ultimately their discovery of strength and love."
First Preview August 19. Opening Night-September 8. Open Run.

A Tale of Two Cities(Al Hirschfeld)Jill Santoriello's musical adaptation of A Tale of Two Cities is set against the epic backdrop of the French Revolution. Based on the classic Dickens novel, the musical is about injustice, vengeance and the redemptive power of love. It features a book, music, and lyrics by Santoriello, and is directed and choreographed by Warren Carlyle.
First Preview-August 19. Opening Night-September 18. Open Run.

Equus(Broadhurst Theatre)Yes it's true folks. Daniel Radcliffe, AKA Harry Potter, is making his Broadway debut this September in the eagerly awaited revival of Peter Shaffer's Equus. Following a sold out run in London, Equus will begin previews on September 25,2008 and runs through February 8, 2009. Also repeating his critically acclaimed performance is Richard Griffiths who won a Tony Award two years ago for The History Boys.The show as well as the stars drew positive reviews plus quite a bit of attention due to the nude scene in which Mr. Radcliffe bared all to the delight of hundreds of young female Harry Potter fans. Expect to see many a camera confiscated at a Shubert Theatre near you.
First Preview-September 5. Opening Night-September 28. Closing Night-February 8.

To Be Or Not To Be(Biltmore Theatre)Tony nominee Casey Nicholaw directs the world premiere of To Be Or Not to Be, written by Nick Whitby, based on the film of the same name. The black comedy is set in 1939 Warsaw, as Joseph and Maria Tura are about to open yet another smash with their theatrical troupe. As the German invasion gets underway, the theatre is closed by the censors, forcing the troupe to face desperate times. But when a handsome young bomber pilot enlists their help to catch a spy, what is a group of actors to do? We will soon find out.
First Preview-September 11. Opening Night-October 2. Open Run.

A Man For All Seasons(American Airlines Theatre)Three-time Tony Award winner Frank Langella stars in a revival of Robert Bolt's A Man for All Seasons, directed by Doug Hughes. This classic drama is a timeless exploration of politics, religion and power, based on the fascinating true story of English Chancellor Sir Thomas More and his moral objection to King Henry VIII's plan to leave the Catholic Church. Expect this to be a tough ticket.
First Preview-September 12. Opening Night-October 7. Open Run.

All My Sons(Gerald Schoenfeld)As previously announced, the new Broadway revival of Arthur Miller's All My Sons which boast's a cast that includes Tony Award winner John Lithgow, Academy Award winner Dianne Wiest, musical theatre star Patrick Wilson and film actress Katie Holmes will open this fall. Ever since Mrs. Tom Cruise has been announced the phone has been ringing off the hook. This star-studded revival of All My Sons will play Broadway's Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre.The limited engagement will run through Jan. 11, 2009 so get your tickets before it is too late.
First Preview-September 18. Opening Night-October 16. Closes January 11.

Billy Elliot:The Musical(Imperial Theatre)Following a low key and uneventful run in the West End, Billy Elliot arrives on Broadway this fall without much fanfare. With music by newcomer Elton John and direction by Stephen Daldry, Billy Elliot begins previews at the intimate Imperial Theatre on October 1. Can this "little show that could" make it on the Great White Way? Or will it fail like so many other British imports before it such as Phantom of the Opera or Cats. My guess is no. But hey that's just one man's opinion.
First Preview-October 1. Opening Night-November 13. Open Run.

Dividing The Estate(Booth Theatre)Lincoln Center Theatre presents the Broadway production of Horton Foote's Dividing the Estate, to be presented at a Shubert theater to be announced. Michael Wilson directs. The play is a comedy about a family that must confront its past as it prepares for its future. It was presented earlier this season by Primary Stages at 59E59 Theaters. The last Horton Foote show that played on Broadway one the Pulitzer Prize for drama. Will lighting strike twice?
First Preview-October 23. Opening Night-November 20. Open Run

Pal Joey(Studio 54)Stockard Channing, Christian Hoff, and Martha Plimpton will star in the Roundabout Theatre Company's Broadway revival of Pal Joey, featuring music by Richard Rodgers, lyrics by Lorenz Hart, and a new book by Richard Greenberg, based on the original book by John O'Hara, and with direction by Tony Award winner Joe Mantello. Set in Chicago in the late 1930s, Pal Joey is the story of Joey Evans, a brash, scheming song and dance man with dreams of owning his own nightclub. Joey abandons his wholesome girlfriend to charm a rich, married older woman in the hope that she'll set him up in business.The score includes such classic songs as "Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered," "I Could Write a Book," "You Mustn't Kick It Around," and "Zip," among others. The new production also features "I'm Talking to My Pal," a song that had been dropped from the score during its out-of-town tryout, and will be heard on Broadway for the first time.
First Preview-November 21. Opening Night-December 11. Open Run.

Shrek The Musical(Broadway Theatre) based on the story and characters from William Steig's book Shrek!, as well as the DreamWorks Animation film Shrek, the first chapter of the popular movie series. It features book and lyrics by Pulitzer Prize-winner David Lindsay-Abaire, and music by Jeanine Tesori. Jason Moore directs, with choreography by Josh Prince. The cast includes Tony Award winner Sutton Foster as Princess Fiona, Christopher Sieber as Lord Farquaad, and Kecia Lewis-Evans as The Dragon.
First Preview-November 8. Opening Night-December 14. Open Run.

Well that's the season so far. Which will fail and which will succeed? I myself can't wait to find out.

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