February 5, 2009
Broadway lost some
incredible musicals just before and after this year's
holiday season. Multi-million dollar productions
of 13, Boeing-Boeing, Grease,
Gypsy, Hairspray, Legally
Blonde, Spamalot, Spring Awakening,
Tale of Two Cities, [title of show],
Xanadu, and Young Frankenstein
are all kaput/gone leaving many a Midwestern mother-daughter
combo at a loss for what-to-do-this-spring-break
(especially over the demise of Grease and
Legally Blonde). And to continue the lemmings
over the cliff trend, Equus closes February
8, 2009 and Speed the Plow closes February
But as with the analogy about God, the door and
a window, new shows are coming to town to hopefully
entice tourists and New Yorkers alike.
Here is a listing of the shows that open in February
and March (be sure to check out our Broadway
Theater Listing Section for more current shows):
Previews Start February 9, 2009
Show Opens March 9, 2009
Show Closes May 24, 2009
Eugene O'Neill Theatre
Jane Fonda heads a
cast of eight in 33 Variations, a new American
play written and directed by Moisés Kaufman,
about Katherine Brandt (Jane Fonda) trying to solve
a centuries-old mystery about the world's greatest
composer. Katherine's obsession takes her from present-day
New York to 19th century Austria. As the music that
consumes Katherine comes to life on stage, she races
against time to find common ground with her daughter
and to embrace the legacy of her own life.
Tickets $111.50; $176.50
- $226.50 Premium 212-239-6200; 800-432-7250 telecharge.com
Theatre |230 West 49th Street
Previews Start February 26, 2009
Show Opens March 15, 2009
Lansbury returns to Broadway in the revival of Noel
Coward's classic 1941 farce Blithe Spirit,
also starring Christine Ebersole and Rupert Everett.
Tickets $31.50-$116.50; $151.50
- $301.50 Premium 212-239-6200; 800-432-7250 telecharge.com
Theatre |225 West 44th Street
Previews Start March 7, 2009
Show Opens March 26, 2009
Show Closes June 14, 2009
Geoffrey Rush and Susan Sarandon star in Eugene
Ionesco's Exit the King, translated by
Rush and director Neil Armfield.
The play is about
a megalomaniacal ruler, King Berenger (Rush) whose
incompetence has left his country in near ruin.
Despite the efforts of Queen Marguerite (Sarandon)
and the other members of the court to convince the
King he has only 90 minutes left to live, he refuses
to relinquish any control.
- $116.50 at 212-239-6200; 800-432-7250 & telecharge.com
Theatre |243 W. 47th Street
The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical
Previews Start March 6, 2009
Show Opens March 31, 2009
Al Hirschfeld Theatre
Hair: The American
Tribal Love-Rock Musical features book and
lyrics by James Rado and Gerome Ragni, and music
by Galt MacDermot. Diane Paulus directs.
With a score including musical numbers as "Let
the Sun Shine In," "Aquarius," "Hair"
and "Good Morning Starshine," Hair follows
a group of hopeful, free-spirited young people who
advocate a lifestyle of pacifism and free-love in
a society riddled with intolerance and brutality
during the Vietnam War. As they explore sexual identity,
challenge racism, experiment with drugs and burn
draft cards, the "tribe" in Hair creates
an irresistible message of 'hope' that continues
to resonate with audiences 40 years later.
Tickets $37.00 -
$122.00; $252.00 Premium 212-239-6200 800-432-7250
Hirschfeld Theatre|302 West 45th Street
Previews Start February 28, 2009
Opens March 12, 2009
Tony Award winners
Joan Allen and Jeremy Irons star in the world premiere
of Michael Jacobs' Impressionism, directed
by Tony Award winner Jack O'Brien.
Impressionism is the story of a world traveling
photojournalist and a New York gallery owner who
discover each other and also that there might be
an art to repairing broken lives.
Tickets $66.50-$116.50 - 212-239-6200, 800-432-7250
Schoenfeld Theatre |236
West 45th Street
Photo Credit: Joan Marcus
to be pretty
Previews Start March 13, 2009
Opens April 29, 2009
MCC Theater's presentation
of Neil LaBute's bristling new comic drama reasons
to be pretty transfers to Broadway!
America's obsession with physical beauty is confronted
headlong in this brutal and exhilarating new play.
In reasons to be pretty, Greg's tight-knit social
circle is thrown into turmoil when his offhanded
remarks about a female coworker's pretty face (and
his girlfriend's lack thereof) get back to said
girlfriend. But that's just the beginning.
Tickets 212-239-6200 &
West 45th Street
Story of My Life
Opens February 19, 2009
Story of My Life is a new musical about best
friends who change our lives forever, the personal
cost of success and the choices we make at the turning
points of our lives.
Ticket Price: $66.50 - $100.00 Tickets by Phone:
222 West 45th Street
Previews Start February 23, 2009
Show Opens March 19, 2009
musical West Side Story returns to Broadway, directed
by two-time Tony Award winning librettist Arthur
The show transports Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet
to the turbulent streets of the Upper West Side
in 1950's New York City. Two star-crossed lovers,
Tony and Maria, find themselves caught between the
rival street gangs of different ethnic backgrounds,
the "Jets" and the "Sharks."
Tickets $46.50-$121.50 212-307-4100
Theatre |1554 Broadway
Photo Credit: Robert J.
America. A Final Night with George W. Bush
February 5, 2009 - March 15, 2009
Will Ferrell stars in You're
Welcome America. A Final Night with George W. Bush,
directed by Adam McKay. It's time for a change in
America, but not without a few parting words from
the 43rd President of the United States. Don't miss
your chance to discover the man behind the myth,
the truth behind the lies, and the logic behind
the illogical in this limited Broadway event.
Ticket Price: $56.50-$116.50; $251.50 - $301.50
Premium Tickets by Phone: 212-239-6200 & 800-432-7250
Cort Theatre |138
West 48th Street
January 8, 2009
Last month I saw
the rockin' new musical Rock of Ages at
New World Stages. The play is set in a seedy about-to-be-gentrified
club in Hollywood and features the music of of Pat
Benatar, Journey, Quiet Riot, Quarterflash, Twisted
Sister, White Snake, Poison, Survivor and REO Speedwagon.
The show features a young, good-looking, mega-talented
cast who succeed in making 80's rock look sexy and
seedy. Rock is also American Idolized
by the presence of Constantine Maroulis in the cast
who totally rocks out songs like Night Ranger’s
“Sister Christian." Rock also has a winning
gimmick - in seat drink service (the musical started
out in a bar).
New York Cool's William
S. Gooch gave Rock of Ages a rave review.
To which I can only say, ditto. Click
here to William S. Gooch's review.
of Ages has shuttered down and will reopen
on Broadway in March at the Brooks Atkinson Theater.
For more information, go to www.rockofagesmusical.com
and/or see this article in Variety.
November 30, 2008
I saw two Broadway
shows last month: Alfred Hitchcock's The 39
Steps and 13 The Musical.
The 39 Steps
The 39 Steps, based on the 1935 Alfred
Hitchcock movie and directed by Peter McKintosh,
is beautifully timed and campy as hell. The plot
is a simple falling- through-the-rabbit-hole-chase-yarn.
The main character, Richard Hannay (played by Sam
Robards), is BORED so he goes to the theater where
he encounters a mysterious woman (Francesca Faridany,
who plays all the mysterious women in the cast).
He is then put in a compromising situation where
it looks like he has murdered one of these msyterious
women and quickly leaves on a personal Amazing
Race in order to exonerate himself. He then
runs into the other actors, Jeffrey Kuhn and Arnie
Burton, who play numerous other male roles, sometimes
simultaneously. All the actors are obviously having
a lot of fun on stage and they are equally as much
fun to watch. The director, Peter McIntosh, has
obviously had a blast directing this show, setting
the chase scenes ala Hitchcock's North by Northwest
The 39 Steps is presently playing at the
Cort Theatre at 138 West 48th Street.
Ticket are $98.50 212-239-6200, 800-432-7250 and
telecharge.com. The 39 Steps will close
at the Cort on January 11 and then move to the Helen
Hayes Theatre on January 20.
13 The Musical
Photo Credit: Joan Marcus
13 The Musical
is also a great night out and you don't have to
be a teenager to enjoy the show: 13 is
blessed with a great book - it is hysterical.
Here is a quote from
the press release: "Evan Goldman has it all
- he's popular, has the 'perfect' family and lives
in the greatest city in the world - New York. That
is until his parents get divorced and he's forced
to move - to a small town in Indiana. Uprooted from
his old life, he has to make new friends and somehow
maneuver the minefield of High School to become
part of the 'in-crowd'."
And Evan's problems
with "fitting in" are exacerbated by the
fact that his Bar Mitzvah party is just around the
corner and he has no one to invite except his next
door neighbor, Caitlin, a truly nice smart girl
who because she is truly nice and smart is also
These problems are
all solved in an entertaining fashion enhanced by
a great score and a talented energetic cast. This
show is closing on January 4, 2009 and it is a damn
shame since it has probably only failed to find
an audience because potential audience members think
it is a kid's show. Well, Grease is a kid's
show too, but it has the advantage of name recognition
from the movie and the original Broadway musical.
So, please spread the word about 13. It
is a truly great show.
October 20, 2008
Raul Esparza, Jeremy Piven,
and Elisabeth Moss in
Last month was a
sparse theater month; I only saw one play, David
Mamet's excellent Speed-the-Plow. Plow
is directed by Directed by Neil Pepe and is a (from
the press release) "behind the scenes story
of handshaking, dealbreaking, backstabbing and moviemaking
as only Pulitzer Prize winner David Mamet can tell
Plow features Mamet's trade mark fast
paced, fast talking dialogue. The story begins when
Charlie Fox (played by Raul Esparza) visits his
producing-partner-in-crime Bobby Gould (played by
Jeremy Piven) with great news, he has scored a coup
- the top star from the studio across the street
has agreed to star in a movie produced by Fox and
Gould and he, Charlie Fox, also has the winning
script. All is well; hands are "fived"
and conviviality reigns. And in the exuberance of
a deal well made, Charlie also challenges Bobby
to seduce his new secretary Karen (played by Elizabeth
Moss) that night.
Bobby proceeds to ask Karen to read a book that
he is supposedly considering (read deep-sixing)
and to come to his home that night with a report.
Well Karen makes her night visit and Bobby wins
his bet. But in the process of winning the bet,
Bobby is seduced in more than one way - Karen also
scores a coup. She persuades Bobby to produce a
film based on the book she just read, which is filled
with the kind of new age psychobabble that killed
all the trees in the eighties.
Neil Pepe's direction is impeccable; I was totally
engrossed by the verbal joust on stage.
Before the play, I had been excited to see Jeremy
Piven (Ari Gold on HBO's Entourage) and
Elizabeth Moss (so excellent on Mad Men
and The West Wing). And although both of
these actors did fine jobs, they were having trouble
staying on the stage with Raul Esparza. Raul Esparza,
who had been so excellent as the sleazy Lenny in
Harold Pinter’s The Homecoming, gave
one of the best performances I have seen on Broadway
this year or any year. Wow!
Speed-the-Plow is running at the Ethel
Barrymore Theater at 243 West 47th Street.
Tickets are $49.50-$110.00 at 212-239-6200 and telecharge.com.