PLAYBILL PICKS: Playbill Contributors Share Titles They're Eager to See in Spring 2014

By Playbill Staff
01 Jan 2014

Bullets Over Broadway star Zach Braff
Photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN

ADAM HETRICK, Editor in Chief

If/Then. Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey's Next to Normal was one of those musicals I returned to again and again. They've reunited with director Michael Grief on this ambitiously structured new musical. Idina Menzel stars as a woman seeking a fresh start in New York City where her potential life choices play out as the "If" and "Then" unfold.

The Bridges of Madison County. I admit, I wasn't a fan of the film and the book's popularity always left me feeling that this was one of those typical book-of-the-month romance novellas. However, director Bartlett Sher, composer Jason Robert Brown and book writer Marsha Norman offered members of the press a dazzling preview of their new musical adaptation that brings new depth and context to what promises to be an emotionally-rich theatrical experience starring Kelli O'Hara and Steven Pasquale.

Rocky. This stage production of the 1976 Academy Award-winning film about the heavyweight boxer is a must-see season curiosity for me in the best of possible ways. I don't count myself among those who grew up with this film, but director Alex Timbers continues to reshape the way audiences view and experience live theatre, and few writers deliver the kind of melodically and emotionally satisfying musicals the way Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty do. I have a feeling, and pardon the pun, that Rocky is going to be a theatrical knock-out.

Act One. Tony and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright director James Lapine has adapted Moss Hart's 1959 autobiography into this stage production that will chronicle the life of the legendary writer-director from his childhood on the Lower East Side to his glittering Broadway success with George S. Kaufman. Santino Fontana and Tony Shalhoub will portray Hart at various stages in his life.

Bullets Over Broadway. Woody Allen has teamed up with director-choreographer Susan Stroman on this stage musical adaptation of his backstage Broadway comedy that will be filled with period songs from the 1920s and 30s. I'm especially looking forward to seeing a whole new side of Marin Mazzie as tempestuous diva Helen Sinclair.