Sunday, July 19, 2009

What Will Be This Season's Breakout Hit-Part Two

Last week I highlighted the first eight shows to open on Broadway during the upcomimg 2009-2010 Broadway Season. Here now are the next nine.

Memphis:A New Musical(Shubert Theatre)Yes! A new musical. According to press notes Memphis," Takes place in the rockin' dance halls of Memphis, Tennessee comes this hot and bothered new Broadway musical with heart, soul and energy to burn. Set in the turbulent south in the 1950s, it is the story of Huey Calhoun, a white radio DJ whose love of good music transcends race lines and airwaves. The show which opened to very good reviews at the La Jolla Playhouse last year is the first new musical of the season. I am very excited about this show and I hope it is given a chance to succeed.
First Preview:October 19
Open Run

After Miss Julie(American Airlines Theatre)This new adaptation of August Strinberg's 1888 play takes place in 1945 and stars Sienna Miller, Johnny Lee Miller and a personal favorite of mine Tony nominee Marin Ireland who starred in last seasons reasons to be pretty. Buzz has been strong due to Sienna Miller and tickets are already starting to sell very well. As is always the case with Roundabout Theatre shows subscribers have most of the prime seats before the show already opens so don't wait until the last minute to get your tickets for what is sure to be a critical and audience favorite.
First Preview:September 18
Closes:December 6

Brighton Beach Memoirs-Nederlander Theatre
Neil Simon returns to Broadway with one of his most successful and popular plays. This new revival will also run in repertory with Broadway Bound. Both show's center around Eugene Morris of Brooklyn and his eccentric but loving family. Neil Simon is one of my favorite playwrights and I can't wait to see it.
First Preview-October 2
Open Run

Finian's Rainbow(St.James Theatre)-This revival of one of Broadway's most loved and controversial musicals returns to Broadway for the first time in over forty years fresh off a very successful run last Spring at The New York City Center Encores! That production received good reviews from critics and audiences alike. Can a show that played a limited run of five performances fill one of Broadway's largest theatres eight times a week? We will soon find out.
First Preview:October 8
Open Run

In The Next Room, or The Vibrator Play(TBA)Critically acclaimed American playwright will make her Broadway debut in this new play produced by Lincoln Center.Other than that there is no other info. Lincoln Center has an outstanding track record so I expect this show to at least be interesting. How can it not with a title like that?
First Preview:October 22
Open Run

Fela!(Eugene O'Neill Theatre)This new musical based on performer and activist Fela Anikulapo Kuti, is directed and choreographed by Tony Award-winner Bill T. Jones, with a book by Jim Lewis and Jones. Mr. Jones choreographed one of my favorite shows Spring Awakening, and I am very excited to see his new work. The show which had a very successful run Off-Broadway has been rumored to be moving to Broadway for the last year and a half. I'm glad to see it's finally going to happen. By the way the last show to play 39 Arts and transfer to Broadway was a little show called In The Heights. Perhaps you've heard of it? It won the Tony Award for Best Musical in 2008. Will lighting strike twice again? I think so.
First Preview:October 19
Open Run

Ragtime(Neil Simon Theatre)Has it really only been 10 years since the last production closed? The show which first premiered in the brand new Ford Center for the Performing Arts(Now the Hilton) Why the changed the name I'll never know. Oh that's right. Because the big bad hotel chain bought them out. Well I guess it's better than the Holiday Inn or the Super 8 Theatre. Anyway back to Ragtime. Before the show first opened in late 1997 it had a very well received run in Toronto and was expected to be a massive hit when it moved to Broadway. The show got very good reviews and was nominated and expected to win the Tony for Best Musical. Only problem was that was the same year as Lion King and well we all know what happened there don't we? Lion King won the Tony and Ragtime closed within two years losing millions of dollars in the process. Now most people believe the major downfall of Ragtime was not the show but it's producer and his overspending. By the way that producer was convicted last month for embezzlement. Karma is a bitch. This new production which opened to rave reviews in Washington D.C is said to be a lot smaller and better than the original. We will soon find out won't we?
First Preview:October 23
Open Run

Race(Ethel Barrymore Theatre)David Mamet returns to Broadway for the second year in a row with his first new play on Broadway since last years November. The show which Mamet is also directing stars James Spader and Richard Thomas. Spader who is one my favorite actor's will make his Broadway debut with this new show. Little is known about the piece but expect lots of controversy and of course profanity.
First Preview:November 16
Open Run

Broadway Bound(Nederlander Theatre)See Brighton Beach Memoirs
First Preview:November 18
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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