Monday, June 28, 2010

Broadway's Coming Attractions For 2010-11

Broadway's Coming Attractions For 2010-11

(Dear Readers: To view the most current and up-to-the-minute list, please click here.)

When the final curtain came down on the 2010 Tony Awards, so did the curtain on Broadway's 2009-10 Theatrical Season.

Sure, there's still a whole host of shows you can -- and should -- still see from last season (and before), but it's finally time to think toward the future.

What shows are opening on Broadway during the upcoming year? By my count, there are already 21 plays, musicals and special theatrical events ready to hit the Great White Way. There's an unusually high preponderance of openings scheduled for this fall, leaving me to wonder how long Tony's memory will be next June.

While it's entirely possible that more than one of the following plays or musicals that have already been confirmed for the 2010-11 Theatrical Season may ultimately never materialize, here's the early list of what is currently scheduled to open:

July 2010

Harry Connick, Jr. in Concert on Broadway (Neil Simon Theatre)

Harry Connick, Jr. returns to Broadway for his first time since appearing in The Pajama Game four years ago. This time, it's all Harry, all the time. In concert. On Broadway.

Performances begin July 15 and are only scheduled through July 29, 2010. But this gig has already been extended.

September 2010

Mrs. Warren's Profession (American Airlines Theatre)

Cherry Jones finally returns to Broadway in Doug Hughes' revival of the enduring George Bernard Shaw work. The play centers on the lengths one mother goes toward keep her daughter comfortable.

Previews begin September 3, although an opening night has yet to be scheduled. The limited run is slated to conclude on December 5, 2010.

Brief Encounter (Studio 54)

The single best show I saw all last season is now coming to Broadway. Kneehigh Theatre's production of Noël Coward's Brief Encounter defies any neat description as it seamlessly incorporates both music and a stunning projection design. After seeing this show, I'll defy you to tell me a Tony Award for projection design isn't finally in order.

Previews begin September 10 and it opens September 28. The limited run is currently scheduled through December 5, 2010.

The Pitmen Painters (Samuel J. Friedman Theatre)

Manhattan Theatre Club transfers Lee Hall's lauded play and its London cast. Helmed by Max Roberts, The Pitmen Painters focuses on poor coal miners who become celebrated for their paintings.

Previews begin September 14, with an opening night slated for September 30. The limited run is scheduled through December 12, 2010.

A Life in the Theatre (Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre)

Patrick Stewart and T. R. Knight star as two stage actors in a power struggle in Neil Pepe's revival of the David Mamet play. This marks the work's first time on Broadway.

Previews begin September 21, with opening night set for October 12, 2010. This is slated to be an open-ended run.

La Bête (Music Box Theatre)

David Hyde Pierce, Mark Rylance and Joanna Lumley lead the cast in Matthew Warchus' revival of David Hirson's contemporary satire about a theatre troupe and the compromises made in the name of art.

Transferring directly from London, previews for this open-ended play begin September 23 and opening is set for October 14, 2010.

Lombardi (Circle in the Square Theatre)

Eric Simonson's new play about iconic Green Bay Packers coach Vince Lombardi is directed by Thomas Kail (In The Heights). Dan Lauria stars as the football great with Judith Light portraying his wife.

Previews for this open-ended run begin September 23, with opening night slated for October 21, 2010.

October 2010

Women On The Verge Of A Nervous Breakdown (Belasco Theatre)

Lincoln Center Theatre presents David Yazbek and Jeffrey Lane's new musical adaptation of Pedro Almodóvar's celebrated 1988 film about an actress coping with life after her lover has left. Bartlett Sher directs.

Previews for its open-ended run begin on October 2, with opening night set for November 4, 2010.

Driving Miss Daisy

Update: No sooner do I post my story on all the plays and musicals that have been confirmed for Broadway this next season and up pops another new revival. Vanessa Redgrave and James Earl Jones will return to the Great White Way this fall in Alfred Uhry's Pulitzer Prize-winning play Driving Miss Daisy.

Slated to being previews at the John Golden Theatre on October 7, Driving Miss Daisy will open on October 25. The limited engagement will conclude its run January 29, 2011.

The Scottsboro Boys (Lyceum Theatre)

John Kander and the late Fred Ebb's "new" musical about the injustices young African-American men face when arrested for crimes against white women in Alabama. The tuner is directed and choreographed by Susan Stroman. (I'm so excited about this show that I'll be catching its out of town tryout.)

Previews for this open-ended show begin October 7, 2010 with opening night scheduled for October 31, 2010.

Unchain My Heart: The Ray Charles Musical (TBD)

A jukebox bio-musical taking on the late, great Ray Charles. Set in a recording studio, the book is written by Suzan-Lori Parks. Brandon Victor Dixon (The Color Purple) stars as the sightless soulful genius.

UPDATE: Previews had been scheduled to begin for this open-ended run begin October 8; opening night is slated for November 7. On July 9, it was announced that the show has been postponed to Spring 2011 at a "Shubert theatre to be announced."

Rain: A Tribute To The Beatles (Neil Simon Theatre)

The Beatles-tribute band Rain brings its concert show to Broadway. Shows like this and Connick's will make you wonder why they don't just bring back the Special Event Tony.

Previews begin October 19 and the show opens October 26, 2010. The limited run is scheduled through January 2, 2011.

A Free Man of Color (Vivian Beaumont Theatre)

George C. Wolfe directs this John Guare play about a chain of events put into motion by a wealthy Don Juan type in New Orleans, circa 1802.

Previews begin October 21 with opening set for November 18. This Lincoln Center limited run is scheduled through January 2, 2011.

The Pee-Wee Herman Show (Stephen Sondheim Theatre)

After a celebrated West Coast run of his new adventure with his "Pee-Wee's Playhouse" cohorts, Pee-Wee Herman (a/k/a Paul Reubens) is seeking to complete his comeback (and Reubens' career rehabilitation).

Previews begin October 26, and the show opens November 11, 2010. Currently, the very limited run is slated to close December 5, 2010.

November 2010

Elf (Al Hirshfeld Theatre) - The holiday film becomes holiday musical this November, with a book by Bob Martin and Thomas Meehan and score from Chad Beguelin and Matt Sklar (The Wedding Singer).

Under the direction of Casey Nicholaw, this limited run is currently scheduled to begin previews on November 2 and open November 10. The musical will then conclude on January 2, 2011.

Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark (Hilton Theatre)

Given this show's notorious tabloid life to date, its inclusion on this list may seem dubious at best. But U2 manager Paul McGuinness was quoted by a Dublin paper just this past Friday saying Julie Taymor's beleaguered production would still arrive this year.

McGuinness says the musical from Paul David Hewson and David Howell Evans -- better known, respectively, as Bono and The Edge -- will open in November, so the production makes my list. Just don't hold your breath.

December 2010

The Importance Of Being Earnest (American Airlines Theatre)

Roundabout Theatre Company will revive Oscar Wilde's social farce about assumed identities and love. The play will be directed by Brian Bedford, who is also set to star.

The play is currently slated to open in December.

February 2011

Good People (Samuel J. Friedman Theatre)

UPDATE: Daniel Sullivan helms this world premiere work by David Lindsay-Abaire about a working-class Boston woman (Frances McDormand) with dreams.

Previews begin February 8, 2011 and the play opens March 3, 2011. Manhattan Theatre Club's limited run is currently scheduled through May 8, 2011.

Anything Goes (Theatre to be determined)

Sutton Foster stars in this Kathleen Marshall-helmed revival of Cole Porter's classic musical. While the venue is yet to be announced, Anything Goes will be mounted by Roundabout Theatre Company.

Dates have yet to be announced for previews and opening.

April 2011

War Horse (Vivian Beaumont Theatre)

Lincoln Center brings the highly-anticipated and acclaimed London production of War Horse to Broadway. The World War I tale of a man and his horse is brought to life through puppetry and music.

Previews are set to begin on March 17, 2011. Open night is scheduled for April 14, 2010.

Love Never Dies (Neil Simon Theatre)

Andrew Lloyd Webber's sequel to The Phantom Of The Opera transports the action from Paris' Opera House to New York's Coney Island. I saw the production in London and it needs a lot of work if it's going to last even a fraction of the 20+ years that Phantom has been around.

Previews are currently slated to begin for this open-ended run in April 2011.

Tomorrow, I'll discuss some of the other productions that could potentially reach the Great White Way.

So, dear readers, which of these shows has you most excited?

This is Steve On Broadway (SOB).

In keeping with the new Federal Trade Commission (FTC) regulations that unfairly discriminate against bloggers, who are now required by law to disclose when they have received anything of value they might write about, please note that I have received nothing of value in exchange for this post.

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At 28 June, 2010, Anonymous Monica Reida said...

I'm actually surprised that it's taken this long for Rain: The Beatles' Tribute Band to come to a New York stage because it's been touring for a couple of years. I've heard positive things about it, although it's not something I'd jump for. But I do think that with things like that and Harry Connick, Jr.'s concert that they might want to bring back the special event Tony.

I'm curious if Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark will actually open when it's supposed to.

At 28 June, 2010, Blogger Linda said...

What shows are you most looking forward to, Steve? For me, it's "Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown" (I'm a big David Yakbek fan), The Scottsboro Boys because I couldn't get tickets when it was at the Vineyard, and War Horse. I also really hope that Elf is good.

At 28 June, 2010, Blogger T.A. Geborkoff said...

I cannot wait to see Brief Encounter and the Scottsboro Boys! I love, love, love Noel Coward and am positively bursting at the seams waiting for it to open. Scottsboro will be my first Kander & Ebb I've seen since Cabaret!

At 28 June, 2010, Blogger Esther said...

I'm most excited about Brief Encounter because the concept sounds unique, War Horse because the horse puppets look so cool, Pitmen Painters because Lee Hall wrote Billy Elliot, and La Bete because I missed Boeing Boeing so I've never seen Mark Rylance. And of course I want to see David Hyde Pierce again!

At 28 June, 2010, Blogger Vance said...

The Importance of Being Earnest is a transfer from last seasons Stratford Shakespeare Festival which I loved so much, with Bedford playing Lady Bracknell (but not campily).

At 29 June, 2010, Blogger Mary said...

I saw an amazing show at Berkeley Rep this year (right after American Idiot premiered there), called "Girlfriend," with music by Matthew Sweet. Any sight of this on the Broadway (or off-Broadway) horizon?

At 29 June, 2010, Blogger Steve On Broadway (SOB) said...

Mary, I haven't heard a word about Girlfriend since its debut at the Berkeley Rep. But given how well it was received, that could easily change.

At 29 June, 2010, Blogger Linda said...

You are so fast, Steve! Is it just me or did Driving Miss Daisy come out of nowhere? I hadn't heard any rumors about it.

At 29 June, 2010, Blogger Steve On Broadway (SOB) said...

Linda, Like you I was caught completely off-guard. I love the pairing of Redgrave with Jones, but if you ask me, he's a little long in the tooth for the role of the "younger" chauffeur. I'll have more in my post Wednesday, June 30.


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