Arts Features

2004-2005 Broadway Season Preview

By Luna Lovegood Sep 16, 2004, 8:02 GMT

The new Broadway season is upon us. With last years season only providing two hits, Wicked and Avenue Q, this season needs to produce some big hits. Broadway is losing money from lack of tourism and political conventions. From the look of things, this year has the potential to be huge with some old standards, family favorites, big stars, and screwball comedies.

MUSICALS

Musicals are the bread and butter of Broadway and this year looks to be busy with seven new musicals.

10/21/04 Brooklyn

Brooklyn opens the musical season playing at the Plymouth Theatre, starting previews September 23rd and opening October 21st. A group of soulful street singers tell a fairy tale about a young girl from Paris searching for the father she never knew in America and in the place that bears her name, Brooklyn. Leading the cast is Kevin Anderson and Eden Espinosa. Anderson has starred in Death of a Salesman, but is probably best known to American audiences as Julia Roberts’ boyfriend in Sleeping With the Enemy. Espinosa had been understudying for Idina Menzel in Wicked.

Get Tickets Here

12/2/04 Pacific Overtures

Stephen Sondheim and John Weidman stay on Broadway with Pacific Overtures. Performances will begin at Studio 54 on November 12th and open on December 2nd. The original production, directed by Harold Prince, opened in 1976. The original cast recording can be found here. “Pacific Overtures” is the euphemism used by Commodore Matthew Perry in 1853 when Japan was persuaded to open up trade relations with the US. The musical covers 120 years and explores the westernization of Japan over that time from the Japanese perspective. This production will be staged by renowned Japanese director Amon Miyamoto and star Tony Winner B.D Wong. He won his Tony for M. Butterfly, but is most famous for his role on television’s Law and Order: Special Victims Unit.

Get Tickets Here

12/9/04 La Cage aux Folles

If you are like me and you were laughing your head off at the film The Birdcage then La Cage aux Folles is for you. They both are based on Jean Poiret’s play about a gay couple who must pretend to be straight, with one of them in drag, for one night to convince a senator that they are a normal all American family. The original Broadway production opened on August 21, 1983 and ran for 1,761 performances. It was somewhat of a groundbreaker in the fact that it gave Broadway its first homosexual musical. With a book by Harvey Fierstein (Hairspray), direction by Jerry Zaks, and a cast lead by Gary Beach, this show is sure to be a revival hit.

Get Tickets on September 25th

12/4/04 Good Vibrations

Good Vibrations brings us this years helping of pop songs turned into a musical. Opening at the Eugene O’Neil Theatre January 13th and beginning previews December 4th Good Vibrations is based on the songs of The Beach Boys but is not a history of the group. A group of small town kids take a life changing odyssey to the beaches of Southern California. The production will be directed by John Carrafa (Urinetown).

Tickets TBA

1/23/04 Little Women

Little Women is this season’s feel good holiday classic. It will begin previews December 2nd and open January 23rd at the Virginia Theatre. It is based on the classic Louisa May Alcott novel about the March sisters and their mother Marmee during the civil war. Leading the cast is Tony Winner Sutton Foster and Maureen McGovern. The producers wanted Sutton Foster so badly that the show was delayed so she could finish her contract on Thoroughly Modern Mille. Susan H. Schulman will direct with lyrics by Mindi Dickstein, music by Jason Howland, and book by Allan Knee.

Get Tickets Here

3/3/04 Dirty Rotten Scoundrels

The Steve Martin film has been turned into a musical and is coming to Broadway. Dirty Rotten Scoundrels will play at the Imperial Theatre beginning January 31st and opening March 3rd. Dirty Rotten Scoundrels centers on two con men. The first, a small-time crook named Freddy Benson, played by Norbert Leo Butz (Wicked), swindles women by waking their compassion with fabricated stories about his grandmother's failing health. The other is suave, sophisticated con artist Lawrence Jameson, played by John Lithgow, who also makes his living by talking rich ladies out of their money, but on a much grander scale. After meeting on a train, they unsuccessfully attempt to work together only to find that this small French town isn't big enough for the two of them. They agree on a settlement: the first one to extract $50,000 from a young female target wins, and the other must leave town. The cast also includes Sheri Rene Scott (Aida) and Joanna Gleason (Into the Woods). Jack O’Brien directs with music and lyrics by Davis Yazbek (The Full Monty) and book by Jeffrey Lane.

Tickets TBA

3/10/04 Monty Python’s Spamalot

If you were a fan of Monty Python then Spamalot is for you. Led by a stellar cast including Hank Azaria, Tim Curry, David Hyde Pierce, and Michael McGrath, Spamalot tells the legendary tale of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table and the quest for the Holy Grail, in song. It boasts a chorus line of legless knights, men in tights (with legs), killer rabbits and sexy dancing divas. Spamalot will begin previews at the Shubert Theatre on February 7th and open on March 10th. Direction is by Mike Nichols.

Tickets TBA

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PLAYS

Strangely all the plays this season are dramas, not a total comedy in the bunch.

10/14/04 Reckless

The Manhattan Theatre Club is staging a new production of Craig Lucas' Reckless starring Mary Louise Parker (Proof, Angels In America) and Rosie Perez (Frankie and Johnny at the Clair de Lune). Parker starred in a 1995 film version of the play with Mia Farrow. In Reckless, Rachel, a runaway wife, needs to dodge a murderous husband, numerous psychiatrists and an assortment of shady characters in a bizarre, hilarious and sometimes nightmarish journey. The production begins previews September 23rd at the Biltmore Theatre and opens October 14th. Directing is Mark Brokaw.

Get Tickets Here

10/28/04 12 Angry Men

The Roundabout Theatre’s courtroom drama begins its first ever Broadway run.  It will open on October 28th and begin previews on October 1st at the American Airlines Theatre. A jury is deliberating what seems to be an open and shut murder case. As prejudices are tested and evidence weighed, the entire jury is forced to look past the show of the court to unearth the shocking truth. The drama stars Tom Aldridge (20th Century) and is directed by Scott Ellis.

Get Tickets Here

11/11/04 Gem of the Ocean

Phylicia Rashad
Phylicia Rashad comes back to Broadway in this ninth play of August Wilson’s ten plays chronicling the African American experience through each decade of the 1900s. Starring opposite Rashad will be Delroy Lindo. When Citizen Barlow, in spiritual turmoil, arrives at Aunt Ester’s house claiming sanctuary from Caesar, the local constable, he sets into motion a series of events, including a journey to the City of Bones, which leads to startling discoveries and sets him on a course where duty leads to redemption. Gem of the Ocean was performed July of this year in Los Angeles and also starred Rashad. She won a Tony this year for A Raisin in the Sun. Gem of the Ocean will begin previews at the Walter Kerr Theatre on October 22nd and open November 11th. Marion McClinton directs.

Get Tickets Here

11/14/04 night, Mother

The revival production of night, Mother opens at the Royal Theatre on November 14th with previews beginning October 22nd. It stars Edie Falco, of Sopranos fame, and Brenda Blethyn, and is directed by Michael Mayer. The Pulitzer Prize winning play by Marsha Norman tells the story of a hopeless woman determined to end her own life, and the mother who tries to talk her out of it. The play was staged in 1983 starring Anne Pitoniak and Kathy Bates and was made into a film in 1986 starring Anne Bancroft and Sissy Spacek.

Get Tickets Here

11/18/04 Democracy

The Royal National Theatre brings its production of Michael Frayn’s Democracy to Broadway charting the fall of West German Chancellor Willy Brandt, whose personal assistant is unmasked as an East German spy. The production which stars James Naughton (director of Our Town) and Richard Thomas (Love Letters), and is directed by Michael Blakemore opens at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre on November 18th and begins previews November 2nd.

Tickets TBA

2/3/04 Brooklyn Boy

Adam Arkin will star in Manhattan Theatre Club’s premiere production of Donald Margulies’ Brooklyn Boy. It is about a writer who has finally hit the big time after years of hard work with a best selling novel, “Brooklyn Boy,” primed for a Hollywood adaptation. But has success changed him? And does where we’re from affect who we become? Daniel Sullivan (Proof) directs. The play begins previews at the Biltmore Theatre on January 13th and opens February 3rd.

Get Tickets Here

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SOLO SHOWS

The big trend this season is solo shows. There are five new solo shows opening up this season.

10/17/04 Laugh Whore

Actor and comedian Mario Cantone teams up once again with director Joe Mantello (Assassins) to bring his self-penned, one-man variety show to the Cort Theatre. Previews begin October 5th and he officially opens October 17th. Mario Cantone was last seen in the Tony winning revival of Assassins.

Get Tickets Here

 

11/15/04 The Good Body

The creator of the Vagina Monologues moves to the rest of her body in The Good Body opening at the Booth Theatre. Performances begin November 15th with an official opening for January 16th. Whether undergoing Botox or living under burkhas, women of all cultures and backgrounds feel compelled to change the way they look in order to fit in with their particular culture, in order to be accepted, in order to be good. Their experiences will be featured with monologues representing women from Bombay to Beverly Hills. The narratives, collected in locker rooms, cell blocks, boardrooms, and bedrooms, are mixed with Ensler’s travails with her own belly. The show is directed by Peter Askin.

Get Tickets Here

 

11/17/04 Whoopi

Whoopi Goldberg brings her famous one-woman show from 1984 back to Broadway. All her most famous characters will return. Performances at the Lyceum Theatre begin November 6th with an official opening of November 17th.

Tickets TBA

 

 

11/21/04 Dame Edna: Back With A Vengeance

That crazy Aussie is back! Dame Edna, aka Barry Humphries will be playing the Music Box Theatre beginning November 5th and opening November 21st.

Get Tickets on October 16th 

 

 

12/5/04 700 Sundays

Billy Crystal’s dad died when the comedian was just 15. He worked three jobs throughout his life, leaving only 700 Sundays for father and son to spend together. Crystal takes an autobiographical look at his life and the people and events that made him who he is. The show, directed by Des McAnuff will play the Broadhurst Theatre beginning November 12th with an official opening on December 5th.

Tickets TBA

 

Now Go See Some Theater!



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