2006 Spring Broadway Preview

New York: Tony season is just around the corner and producers are bringing out the big guns for Broadway’s spring season. Hollywood stars galore will be taking to the stages of the Great White Way. The season has just begun and three hits have already emerged. Lets take a look at what is opening over the next few months.

January

Bridge & Tunnel

Sarah Jones’ acclaimed Off-Broadway production of Bridge & Tunnel makes the jump to Broadway. In the production fourteen characters come to life through her including, Mohammed, a charismatic Pakistani accountant; Mrs. Ling, the Chinese mother adjusting to her daughter’s alternative lifestyle and Nereida, a young Latina with a quick wit and an even faster tongue. These characters tell the story of American change in the ever-changing America, exploring the issues of assimilation and New York’s melting pot.

The run was set to end on March 12th, but since opening on January 26th the solo show has been extended through July 9th.

Opened: January 26th for a run through July 9th
Theater: Helen Hayes

February

Rabbit Hole

Rabbit Hole marks playwright David Lindsay Abaire’s first foray into drama and his Broadway debut. Starring in the play is Cynthia Nixon, John Slattery, Tyne Daly, John Gallagher, Jr., and Mary Catherine Garrison.

In Rabbit Hole, Becca and Howie Corbett have everything a family could want, until a life-shattering accident turns their world upside down, and leaves the couple drifting perilously apart. The drama charts their bittersweet search for comfort in the darkest of places, and for a path that will lead them back into the light of day.

Opened: February 2nd for a run through April 9th
Theater: MTC’s Biltmore

 

Barefoot in the Park

A second Neil Simon play, Barefoot in the Park, opens in the 2005-2006 season. It will make its first return to Broadway since its Tony-winning run in 1963. Starring in the revival production is Patrick Wilson as Paul Bratter, Amanda Peet as Corie Bratter, Jill Clayburgh as Corie’s mother, Ethel Banks, and Tony Roberts as neighbor Victor Velasco. 

Costume designer Isaac Mizrahi will provide the retro sixties look. Directing will be Scott Elliott.

Barefoot in the Park is the classic romantic comedy about conservative young lawyer Paul Bratter and his free-spirited newlywed bride Corie. The comedy follows the young couple as they move from the giddy joy of a honeymoon at The Plaza into the crazy reality of starting married life in a fifth-floor walkup in New York City.

Opened: February 16th
Theater: Cort

 

The Pajama Game

Harry Connick Jr. and Kelli O’Hara lead the Roundabout’s production of The Pajama Game. Starring alongside them is Megan Lawrence, Michael McKean, Peter Benson, Joyce Chittick, Michael McCormick, Richard Poe, and Roz Ryan.

Kathleen Marshall directs and choreographs The Pajama Game, which is inspired by Richard Bissell’s novel 7 1/2 Cents. The musical features music and lyrics by Richard Alder and Jerry Ross and a book by George Abbott and Bissell. In the musical, a battle erupts when workers at the Sleep-Tite Pajama Factory demand a 7 1/2 cent pay increase. Matters are made worse when the head of the Union Grievance Committee falls in love with one of the company’s leaders, Sid Sorokin.

Opened: February 23rd
Theater: Roundabout’s American Airlines

March

Ring of Fire: The Johnny Cash Musical Show

The Man in Black is making his way to Broadway this fall in Ring of Fire. Don’t expect to see an actor playing Johnny Cash though, the production will feature a cast of performers and musicians who will take us on a rousing adventure of love and faith, struggle and success — all with the strength, humor and downright honesty that made Johnny Cash one of the greatest songwriters and most revered storytellers in American music.

That cast of performers include Jeb Brown, Jason Edwards, Jarrod Emick, Beth Malone, Cass Morgan, Lari White, David M. Lutken, Randy Redd, Eric Anthony, Laurie Canaan, Dan Immel, Ron Krasinski, Jeff Lisenby, Brent Moyer, and Miles Aubrey.

The show will feature 38 of Cash’s songs including “Country Boy,” “A Thing Called Love,” “Five Feet High and Rising,” “Daddy Sang Bass,” “Ring of Fire,” “I Walk the Line,” “I’ve Been Everywhere,” “The Man in Black,” and “Hurt.”

Opens: March 12th
Theater: Barrymore

 

The Lord of the Rings

Though technically not on Broadway, the stage production of The Lord of the Rings is so massive in size that it might as well be a Broadway production. Tolkien’s epic novels most recently made the jump to film with Peter Jackson’s critically acclaimed and immensely popular works, now the tales will grace the stage at Toronto’s Princess of Wales Theater.

The creators of the work are quick to say that this incarnation is not a musical, more like a theatrical event or play with music, so don’t expect Gollum to sing a love song about his precious. With more than $8 million in advanced sales, the show has big shoes to fill.

The Lord of the Rings features direction by Matthew Warchus, book and lyrics by Shaun McKenna and Matthew Warchus, and music by A.R Rahman and Varttina with Christopher Nightingdale.

Starring in the epic is Brent Carver as Gandalf, James Loye as Frodo, Evan Buliung as Aragorn, Richard McMillan as Saruman, Peter Howe as Sam, Dylan Roberts as Merry, Owen Sharpe as Pippin, Gabriel Burrafato as Legolas, Dion Johnstone as Boromoir, Carly Street as Arwen, Victor A. Young as Elrond, Kerry Dorey as Theoden, Kristin Galer as Rosie, Rebecca Jackson Mendoza as Galadriel, and Cliff Saunders as Bilbo.

Opens: March 23rd
Theater: Princess of Wales, Toronto

 

Well

Lisa Kron’s Well comes to Broadway after running in 2004 at the Public Theater. Leigh Silverman will continue as director.

Joining Kron in the production will be Jayne Houdyshell, Daniel Breaker, Saidah Arrika Ekulona, John Hoffman, and Christina Kirk.

Well opens with Lisa Kron’s mother sitting on a La-Z-Boy recliner in the middle of the stage.  As the play goes on to deal with Kron’s personal experiences of healing, a comedic coup d’état breaks out.  The actors critique the script, her memories conflict with her flashbacks, her mother interrupts with her own opinions, and Kron finds herself in danger of losing control.  The result is a hilarious and brazen piece that questions our thoughts on the conventions of both theatre and wellness.

Opens March 30th
Theater: Longacre

Elsewhere on the Web