Wednesday, January 02, 2008
The calendar year may have just begun, but Broadway theatregoers -- as well as those throughout the United States -- know that there's close to another five months left for the 2007-08 Theatrical Season.
While I'll wait until the season's close to list my "Best of" lists for the entire year in theatre, here's a preview of the top five shows I'm most looking forward to seeing in 2008:
Superior Donuts (Steppenwolf, Chicago, IL) - While you can expect Tracy Letts' wildly successful August: Osage County to make a strong run toward all the top theatrical awards come May and June, the latest work by the Steppenwolf ensemble member will enjoy its world premiere in Chicago just four days after this year's Tony Awards.
With Amy Morton directing, expect ticket sales for this play about a decrepit donut shop in Chicago's Uptown neighborhood to fly. Yasen Peyankov, who received an "Honorable Mention" among my Singular Sensations of 2007, and Jon Hill star.
Sunday In The Park With George (Studio 54, New York, NY) - The Olivier Award-winning West End hit finally transfers to Broadway and arguably becomes the year's most eagerly anticipated musical, old or new.
This first Great White Way revival for the Stephen Sondheim/James Lapine classic is directed by Sam Buntrock and stars Daniel Evans and Jenna Russell, who reprise their Olivier Award-winning turns.
The Country Girl (Broadway theatre to be announced, New York, NY) - After long absences from the Great White Way, Academy Award-winning actors
Morgan Freeman and Frances McDormand headline Clifford Odets' classic 1950 play about a washed-up alcoholic actor seeking a return to the spotlight.
With Mike Nichols at the helm and a cast that includes Peter Gallagher, expect this to be one tough ticket once it begins in April.
Cry-Baby (Broadway theatre to be announced, New York, NY) - Can lightning strike twice on Broadway for a John Waters-inspired musical? If the reception on the Left Coast is any indication, this could very well be the tuner to beat come Tony time.
With book by Mark O'Donnell and Thomas Meehan, direction from Mark Brokaw, choreography by Rob Ashford and a cast led by Harriet Harris, Cry-Baby has winner written all over it.
The show is set to also star James Snyder and Elizabeth Stanley, along with Hairspray alums Carly Jibson and Chester Gregory II.
The Visit (Signature Theatre, Arlington, VA) - Chita Rivera returns to her hometown in May to star in this "new" John Kander/Fred Ebb tuner. Frank Galati directs, while Ann Reinking provides the choreography.
Personally, I would go just about anywhere to see the incomparable Miss Rivera -- one of the stage's true living legends. So a return visit to Washington DC is officially in my travel plans.
What shows are you most looking forward to seeing this year? I invite you to provide your top picks wherever they may be.
This is Steve On Broadway (SOB).