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Wednesday, September 5, 2012
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A New Broadway Season, A New Set of Tony Hopefuls

By Sam Negin
Theater Editor & Columnist


*This post will be updated occasionally to reflect updated information.

A new Broadway season is about to begin and, with it, new life has been brought to my posts. After over 900 posts, 50 comments, over 325 Tony nominees and over 75 winners in the two-and-a-half years I blogged independently about the Tony Awards, I am proud to be joining the team at ScottFeinberg.com.

Without any further ado, I would like to begin with a look ahead at the Broadway shows that will be coming up this year. I have made this list as comprehensive as I could given what information is available but, as is often the case, there is much more data available right now about the fall season (September through the winter holidays) than the spring season (Christmas through the Tony Awards in June) on Broadway. I will update this post with more details as information becomes available.

The list of shows we expect to see this year, and whose producers hope will rack up the highest possible number of Tony nominations, includes:

Harvey – 6/14/12 – Studio 54
Harvey stars two-time Emmy Award Winner Jim Parsons (television’s The Big Bang Theory), 2011 Tony nominee Jessica Hecht, and Oscar nominee Carol Kane (notable for being the only actress to receive an Oscar nomination for a performance in Yiddish). Though the play had the potential to bring Parsons his first Tony nomination, considering the great match between the actor and the character, this production comes too early in the season for me to take the idea seriously at the moment. He will be largely forgotten next June, for better or for worse.

Fela! – 7/12/12 – Al Hirschfeld Theatre
This is a return engagement of the Tony-winning musical from three seasons ago and is ineligible for any Tony Awards this year.

Bring it On – 8/1/12 – St. James Theatre
This show started out in Atlanta and is technically a touring production making a stop on Broadway to give it some added cachet, but it might pick up a few Tony nominations in the process. Although we have to wait and see what the competition looks like, this show has a good shot at a nomination for at least Best Choreography.

Chaplin – 9/10/12 – Ethel Barrymore Theatre
A biography of one of Hollywood’s most celebrated directors, this show comes to Broadway from the La Jolla playhouse in California.

An Enemy of the People – 9/27/12 – Biltmore Theatre
This production of the Henrik Ibsen classic is being directed by Tony winner Doug Hughes with a design team that includes Tony-winning costume designer Catherine Zuber and Tony-winning set designer John Lee Beatty. The cast includes Emmy winner Richard Thomas (The Waltons) and four-time Tony winner Boyd Gaines.

Grace – 10/4/12 – Cort Theatre
This 21st century play explores at the age-old debate between science and religion with a cast that includes seven-time Emmy winner Ed Asner, Oscar nominee Michael Shannon and Paul Rudd.

Running on Empty – 10/9/12 – Richard Rodgers Theatre
This is a limited engagement of Lewis Black‘s new comedy tour.

Cyrano de Bergerac – 10/11/12 – American Airlines Theatre
This revival of the classic Edmond Rostand play in a translation by Ranjit Bolt. The production will be directed by Broadway first-timer Jamie Lloyd and will star Tony winner Douglas Hodge in the title role, along with Tony nominee Daniel Sunjata and Broadway veteran Patrick Page.

Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf – 10/13/12 – Booth Theatre
This transfer from Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theater marks the 50th anniversary production of the electric Edward Albee classic and is, in fact, opening 50 years to the day from when the original production opened on Broadway. This production will be directed by Tony nominee Pam McKinnon and will star Tony nominee Amy Morton as Martha and Tony and Pulitzer Prize winner Tracy Letts as George.

The Heiress – 11/1/12 – Walter Kerr Theatre
This is the fourth revival of Ruth and Augustus Getz‘s classic 1947 play and brings with it some high-profile credentials. The production is being directed by Tony nominee Moises Kaufman and will star Tony winner Judith Ivey, Oscar nominee David Strathairn and, in the leading role of Catherine Sloper, Oscar nominee Jessica Chastain in her Broadway debut. The role of Catherine is a prime role for any actress and is a critical darling. Cherry Jones won a Tony for playing her in the 1995 Broadway revival of the play, and Olivia de Havilland won the Oscar for playing Catherine in the 1949 film adaptation. I can only assume that Jessica Chastain will follow in those footsteps come next spring.

Annie – 11/8/12 – Palace Theatre
This production represents the 35th anniversary of the eternally popular musical based on a depression-era comic strip. The show will feature two-time Tony winner Katie Finneran in the leading role of Miss Hannigan.

Elf – 11/9/12 – Al Hirschfeld Theatre
This is a return engagement of the popular Christmas musical that has graced Broadway for the past few seasons.

Glengarry Glen Ross – 11/11/12 – Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre
This production is the second Broadway revival of the David Mamet play and will star Al Pacino in the role of Shelly Levine. Pacino starred in the 1992 film adaptation of the play and was nominated for a Supporting Actor Oscar in the role of Ricky Roma.

The Mystery of Edwin Drood – 11/13/12 – Studio 54
This is the first-ever Broadway revival of 1986’s Tony-winning Best Musical. The show will star two-time Tony winner Chita Rivera, Tony nominee Jessie Mueller, and Broadway veterans Stephanie J. Block, Will Chase (of TV’s SMASH) and Gregg Edelman.

The Performers – 11/14/12 – Longacre Theatre
This is a new play about performers in the adult film industry and will star Cheyenne Jackson and Henry Winkler.

Scandalous – 11/15/12 – Neil Simon Theatre
This new musical about the life of 20th-century evangelical superstar Aimee Semple McPherson will feature a book by Kathy Lee Gifford and will star Tony nominee Carolee Carmello.

Rebecca – 11/18/12 – Broadhurst Theatre
This is the long-anticipated production of the musical adapted from both Daphne DuMaurier’s novel and Alfred Hitchcock’s only Oscar-winning film of the same title.

A Christmas Story – 11/19/12 – Lunt-Fontanne Theatre
This is a new musical being adapted from the classic Christmas movie of the same title.

Dead Accounts – 11/28/12 – Music Box Theatre
This new play comes to Broadway from Theresa Rebeck, veteran playwright and creator of TV’s SMASH. The show will be directed by Tony winner Jack O’Brien and will star Tony winner Norbert Leo Butz as well as Katie Holmes.

The Anarchist – 12/2/12 – John Golden Theatre
This new play, written and directed by David Mamet, will star two-time Tony winner Patti LuPone & three-time Oscar nominee Debra Winger.

Golden Boy – 12/16/12 – Belasco Theatre
This revival of the Clifford Odets classic comes to Broadway courtesy of Lincoln Center Theatre. It will be directed by Bartlett Sher, a Tony winner for LCT’s production of South Pacific a few seasons back, and will star Danny Burstein and Tony Shalhoub.

The Other Place – 1/10/13 – Music Box Theatre
This new play comes to us from Manhattan Theatre Club, which is set to be directed by Joe Mantello and to star three-time Emmy winner Laurie Metcalf. MTC describes the show this way: “Metcalf gives a “dazzling, must-be-seen performance” (Variety) as Juliana Smithton, a successful neurologist whose life seems to be coming unhinged. Her husband has filed for divorce, her daughter has eloped with a much older man and her own health is in jeopardy. But in this brilliantly crafted work, nothing is as it seems. Piece by piece, a mystery unfolds as fact blurs with fiction, past collides with present and the elusive truth about Juliana boils to the surface.”

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof – 1/17/13 – Richard Rodgers Theatre
This new play comes to us from Manhattan Theatre Club, which is set to be directed by Joe Mantello and to star three-time Emmy winner Laurie Metcalf. MTC describes the show this way: “Metcalf gives a “dazzling, must-be-seen performance” (V

Cinderella – 2/21/13 – Broadway Theatre
This is a stage adaptation of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s perennial TV classic (filmed for TV in 1957 with Julie Andrews, in 1965 with Lesley Ann Warren and in 1997 with Brandy in the leading role). This production will star Tony nominee Laura Osnes as well as Santino Fontana.

Kinky Boots – 3/5/2013 – Al Hirschfeld Theatre
Adapted from the popular film of the same name, the show will feature a score by pop icon and Grammy winner Cyndi Lauper; a book by four-time Tony winner Harvey Fierstein; performances by Annaleigh Ashford, Stark Sands and Billy Porter; and both direction and choreography by Tony winner Jerry Mitchell.

Ann – 3/7/13 – Vivian Beaumont Theatre
A one woman play by Holland TaylorAnn is biographical play about the late Texas Governor Ann Richards.

Diner – 4/10/2013 – Theater TBA
Another film-to-stage adaptation, this time from the film by Barry Levinson, this production will feature a score by Grammy winner Sheryl Crow and will be directed by Tony winner Kathleen Marshall.

Matilda – 4/11/2013 – Shubert Theatre
Adapted from the novel by Roald Dahl and (presumably) the film of the same title, this kid-friendly musical comes to Broadway after a successful production in London. There, it won both the Evening Standard Award and the Lawrence Olivier Award (London’s equivalent of the Tony) for best musical, among others. The production will be directed again by Tony winner Matthew Warchus.

Motown – 4/14/2013 – Lunt-Fontanne Theatre
This musical will be based on life of Barry Gordy, the famous record producer, who was notoriously tough on his acts.

The Assembled Parties – 4/17/13 – Biltmore Theatre
The final entry in Manhattan Theatre Club’s 2012-2013 Broadway season, this is a world premiere production of a play by Richard Greenberg. The show will be directed by Lynne Meadow and will star Tony winner Judith Light and Tony nominee Jessica Hecht. MTC describes the play thus: “THE ASSEMBLED PARTIES welcomes us to the world of the Bascovs, an Upper West Side Jewish family in 1980. In a sprawling Central Park West apartment, former movie star Julie Bascov and her sister-in-law Faye bring their families together for their traditional holiday dinner. But tonight, things are not usual. A houseguest has joined the festivities for the first time and he unwittingly – or perhaps by design – insinuates himself into the family drama. Twenty years later, as 2001 approaches, the Bascovs‘ seemingly picture-perfect life may be about to crumble. A stunning new play infused with humor, THE ASSEMBLED PARTIES is an incisive portrait of a family grasping for stability at the dawn of a new millennium.”

There are a number of shows that are coming to Broadway but have yet to set an official opening night as well:

The Big Knife – April 2013 – American Airlines Theatre
This is another revival of a Clifford Odets classic. The production will star Emmy winner and Tony nominee Bobby Cannavale, who will play a tortured but popular Hollywood actor who is reexamining his life.

Big Fish – Spring 2013 – Theater TBA (Susan Stroman & Andrew Lippa)
Adapted from Tim Burton’s hit 2003 film, this show will feature a score by Andrew Lippa and will be directed and choreographed by Susan Stroman.

This first-ever Broadway production of the popular Lyle Kessler play, about two orphaned brothers living in a Philadelphia row house, brings Alec Baldwin back to Broadway in a production directed by Daniel Sullivan.

Hands on a Hard Body
Directed by Neil Pepe, this new musical brings to the stage the real life story of an annual contest in which the person who can keep a hand on a hard body truck for the longest period wins that truck as a prize.

A Few Good Men 
The Aaron Sorkin play about political and military intrigue in Guantanamo Bay (originally written long before any scandal occurred there during the recent/current wars in the Middle East) is returning to Broadway after about 20 years. The production will be directed by David Esbjornson and will be produced by friend-to-this-writer Ken Davenport.

Directed by David Cromer, this musical is gay military love story set in World War 2.

William Inge’s classic play, for which he won the 1953 Pulitzer Prize, is coming back to Broadway next spring. This production will be directed by Sam Gold and, last I heard, was set to star Oscar winner and Emmy nominee Melissa Leo. The original production marked the Broadway debut of Paul Newman.

Prince of Broadway
This production tells the story Broadway legend Hal Prince‘s rise and legacy. It will be directed by Harold Prince and Susan Stroman and will star Tony winners Linda Lavin, Shuler Hensley andLaChanze; Tony nominees Daniel Breaker, David Pittu and Emily Skinner; and Sierra Boggess.

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