I say that because here is my 2nd annual "Looking Forward to Fall" blog, and I started by looking back at what I was excited about LAST fall... 3 plays I didn't see, 3 musicals I did see, and one that closed before I got to it... how will I do this year?
This blog assumes that fall includes shows scheduled to open in September, October or November. Of all that are currently on the schedule, here's what I'm looking forward to the most (by genre, then alphabetically):
Brief Encounter: I am interested in this for two reasons, neither of which has to do with the playwright or the film it is based on. So...WHY? Because I am very interested in seeing how they integrate multimedia aspects with traditional play staging. And because my blogging buddy, Steve on Broadway called this the best play of last year. I hope to see it in a couple of weeks!
Elling: I know almost nothing about this play except that it sounds like a moder day Odd Couple, one of my favorite plays. So...WHY? The cast! I absolutely love Denis O'Hare and Richard Easton. I've enjoyed Brendan Fraser and Jennifer Coolidge in several movies, too.
La Bete: It was a flop the last time around... So...WHY? Again, the cast: you really can't beat David Hyde Pierce or Mark Rylance on stage, and the comedic styles guarantee laughs. And Joanna Lumley just intrigues me... I've seen exactly ONE episode of Absolutely Fabulous, and she intrigues me. Then there is the witty, word-play script. You have to know by now that I love a challenge! The preview clip also really sells it...a play that swims in its live theatre-ness! Hope to be getting tickets soon...
Lombardi: My dad would be so proud! I've never even seen a whole Super Bowl game, and I find the sport generally dull... So... WHY? I must sound like a broken record: the cast! Dan Lauria and Judith Light are even brilliant on TV, so I can only imagine how great they are live on stage. Plus, if the clip can interest a non-sports fan like me, that says a lot. I really hope to get to this one.
(Please don't fuss at me for not choosing Driving Miss Daisy... I've said before I loved the original and the film too much to let this spoil it for me...)
Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson: Aside from kicking myself for missing it off-Broadway last spring...So... WHY? Well, I enjoy rock musicals, and am always interested in what new ways these "modern guys" kick and shove the musical theatre box into new shapes and sizes. I find the idea of a show about a period of American history that I know little about intriguing, and I'm not going to lie...I love the energy of a young cast, and the possibility of seeing Broadway's next big star, Benjamin Walker. Already have tickets! I'll let you know...
Elf: I am not a fan of Will Farrel, and I haven't seen the film. And to be honest, holiday shows make me...uncomfortable for some reason. So...WHY? First, I am determined to see every musical that opens on Broadway this season. Second, despite the theme and the lineage, I really liked the score to The Wedding Singer, so I'm willing to give these guys a chance again, plus you can't beat a book by Thomas Meehan! Then there is the cast...love me some Beth Leavel... and I'm hoping Casey Nicholaw finally gets another hit. I want to see them all, but this could be one I miss because of time... UPDATE: I hope to catch this one the same day I see Spidey & MJ!
The Scottsboro Boys: This one is a no-brainer. So...WHY? 3 words: Kander and Ebb. I've never seen a show of theirs that I didn't at least admire, let alone adore. If The Visit never makes it (it should), then they say that this may be their last show. It is a difficult topic, told with their flair for show biz, not unlike Cabaret, Chicago and Kiss of the Spider Woman. And let's face it... if they can make prison poisoned food that causes catastrophic diarrhea entertaining, then this should be a relative breeze. And let's face it, too... Susan Stroman ain't no slouch. Then there is big star in the making Joshua Henry, who was so good in American Idiot. Have my tickets for this one, too...
Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark: Dorky title, nasty gestation...So...WHY? I love Spider-Man! He and Batman are my two favorites. I love Julie Taymor! If anyone can make it work and be interesting and artistic about it, she can. Love the casting! Reeve Carney has the "next big star" buzz about him, Patrick Page is a great villain and will chew up all $50 million in scenery nightly, and Jennifer Damiano can sing and act... it will be cool to see her in something a tad less serious than her previous two shows... I hope to get tickets before it closes...or before it becomes so huge, I'll have no chance of seeing the original cast. UPDATE: I have tickets for a preview! In the"Flying Circle!" I can not wait!
I'll leave this delicious promo shot full size!
Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown: I suppose this is the most obvious...So...WHY? Um, Patti LuPone, Laura Benanti, Sherie Renee Scott, and Brian Stokes Mitchell all onstage in ORIGINAL roles, all at the same time. Excuse me for being rude, but this amounts to a musical theatre lover's wet dream. Then there is the brilliant director, Bartlett Sher, and one of my favorite composers of the 21st Century, The Full Monty/Dirty Rotten Scoundrels' David Yazbeck! And I have tickets! They are for an early preview, so we'll see... and I'm sure I'll go back... Anyone taking bets on the show going beyond its limited engagement?
Wicked: I like the show very much, don't adore it. So...WHY? Well, it has been awhile, I want to see the two witches, Mandy Gonzalez (I loved her in In the Heights) and Katie Rose Clarke (I loved her in Light in the Piazza), and mostly because I am going with my two best friends, one of whom has never seen the show. It will be exciting just for that! Have tickets for the day of the Flea Market.
Mamma Mia!: Again? So... WHY? I love the show, and I haven't seen it in years. And that same friend has never seen the stage show, either. This one may have to wait...but Heaven knows, it'll be around!
What are you going to see this fall? Write in and let us know!