Saturday, January 30, 2010

Play Preview: Lend Me a Tenor, The Miracle Worker and Next Fall

It may be cold, dreary winter out there (even in Florida this year), but things are starting to heat up for spring on Broadway.  Actually, both of these plays are getting their start in the winter, but with any luck, they will both be around this spring and beyond.

After confessing that I felt duped by the whole Ragtime press machine, I have to admit that I am still a sucker for the artwork and press photos that signal a new production.  It's like when I was little and the Sear's Christmas catalogue, with hundreds of pages of toys, came out each year.  You'd think after nearly 30 years of theatre-going, I wouldn't get excited every time a new marquee goes up or new logos and artwork are revealed.  And yet, here I am!  Just as excited as ever.

Both of these plays are on my "must see" list, and are part of my New Year's resolution to add more plays to my theatre diet.


Still a bit off calendar-wise, Lend Me a Tenor will probably appear in another, similar blog as the show gets closer to opening.  But I saw this in The New York Times and couldn't resist commenting.  This is the poster artwork for the revival, soon to open at the Music Box Theatre.  It is by artist Robert Rodriguez, who you might know from his most famous piece - the updated version of the Quaker Oats guy.  Accoring to the Times article, Rodriguez took photos of the cast members and then did Norman Rockwell style "make overs" on them, adding character-ish costumes and setting it at a 30's era hotel, just like the play's setting.  Having seen the original, I can tell you that this really represents the fun and madcap farcical quality of the play.  Nice choice, producers!


A play (and a movie) that I just love, The Miracle Worker, is getting a revival this winter/spring, starring two of my favorite actresses, Alison Pill (The Lieutenant of Inishmore) and film star and terrific actress Abigail Breslin.  I've really been taken by the artwork for this production - a vintage looking blue-toned sepia look.  I was amazed to find out that the photographer, John Dugdale is blind, and his assistant, Dan Levin helps him create each shot.  Yes, his blindness is appropriate for the content of the play, but it is amazing and admirable all at once.  And blind or not, the man takes an excellent picture.  For more on this, including a link to some video footage of the photoshoot, click here.

Outside the Circle in the Square Theatre

A sign in the breezeway at the Gershwin Theatre/Circle in the Square

(Marquee photos by Matthew Blank)


In a completely different vein - this play, I understand, is much more serious - Next Fall is really close to starting its Broadway run.  It starts previews in mid-February.  As you know, loyal readers, I love those new marquee photos from Playbill Online.  But recently, posted several rehearsal photos from the production, a few of which I've posted below.  Click here to see the full gallery of photos on

The Logo on the Helen Hayes Theatre Marquee

A broader view of the Helen Hayes Theatre

Both the cast photo and logo together adorn the doors of the theatre

The original cast photo from its off-Broadway run, and used again for Broadway

Playwright Geoffrey Nauffts and director Sheryl Kaller discuss the show at rehearsal

Cast members Connie Ray and MaddieCorman in rehearsal

Connie Ray, Sean Dugan, Sheryl Kaller, Cotter Smith and Patrick Breen share a laugh

(Marquee photos by Matthew Blank; rehearsal photos by Jenny Anderson)

From the farce of Lend Me a Tenor, to the real-life drama of The Miracle Worker, to the comedy-drama of Next Fall, this season should be full of interesting and varied choices in plays.

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