BROADWAY FALL PREVIEW: David Mamet (Twice), Edward Albee, Annie, Jessica Chastain, Cyrano, Patti LuPone

By Robert Simonson
03 Sep 2012

Rob McClure, Christiane Noll and Zachary Unger in Chaplin.
Photo by Joan Marcus

The fall musical season began early, in August, with Chaplin, a bio-tuner about the silent film genius. Rob McClure stars at the Little Tramp in the Warren Carlyle-directed show, which follows Chaplin from the slums of London to stardom in Hollywood. Playing some the women in Chaplin's life (and there were many) are Jenn Colella, Erin Mackey and Christiane Noll. Opening night is Sept. 10 at the Barrymore. Rebecca, a stage version of novelist Daphne Du Maurier's soapy saga of Manderlay, will begin at the Broadhurst on Oct. 20. Another bio-musical, Scandalous, a show about Jazz Age evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson, by Kathie Lee Gifford, David Friedman and David Pomeranz will feature tireless Carolee Carmello as the religious star. George Hearn plays two of the men in Aimee's life. The show's list of producers includes the church founded by controversial McPherson. It starts Oct. 13 at the Neil Simon Theatre.

Otherwise, the fall will be dominated by revivals of musicals that topped the awards lists in their day. First out of the gate is the timeless Depression-era fable Annie. The red-haired moppet has visited New York stages twice since her original, lengthy stay in the late '70s and early '80s, including a Broadway revival and a Madison Square Garden tour engagement. This time she's got a first-rate team behind her, including director James Lapine, who is taking a break from staging cerebral Sondheim musicals, and two-time Tony winner Katie Finneran, who will play villainous Miss Hannigan. Lilla Crawford is the orphan in question. Aussie star Anthony Warlow plays billionaire Republican Daddy Warbucks. Previews begin Oct. 3 at the Palace.