By Michael Gioia
31 Dec 2013
|Photo by Jacob Cohl|
Concluding Jan. 4
Spider-Man Turn Off the Dark (Broadway at the Foxwoods Theatre). Spider-Man Turn Off the Dark, the multi-million dollar musical adaptation of the Marvel comic book series that features a score by Bono and The Edge, has a book by Julie Taymor, Glen Berger and Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa.The production was known for having the longest preview period of all time. Here's how the musical is billed: "Peter Parker's ordinary teenage life takes a turn for the extraordinary when he’s bitten by a genetically altered spider and suddenly finds himself endowed with incredible superpowers. Parker quickly learns that with great power comes great responsibility as he tries to juggle the demands of high school and home life, while battling the Green Goblin and his band of super villains as they try to take down New York City and destroy everything Peter holds dear – including the beautiful girl-next-door, Mary Jane Watson." Visit SpiderManOnBroadway.com.
A Christmas Carol (Off-Broadway at the Theatre at St. Clement's). The Off-Broadway production of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol — featuring an adaptation by 39 Steps' Patrick Barlow — is directed by Joe Calarco and features Peter Bradbury, Mark Light-Orr, Jessie Shelton, Franca Vercelloni and Mark Price. "Five gifted actors bring to life all of our favorite characters, from Scrooge and Tiny Tim to Bob Cratchit and Mrs. Fezziwig," according to press notes. "Using nothing more than some simple props, fresh physicality and the power of imagination, this timeless story of redemption shows how Ebenezer Scrooge transforms from a stingy miser to a man who generously celebrates the spirit of the season all year long." Visit Telecharge.com.
Annie (Broadway at the Palace Theatre). The Broadway revival of Annie, the classic story about an orphan girl searching for her parents and a greater "Tomorrow," is directed by Tony Award winner James Lapine and choreographed by Tony Award winner Andy Blankenbuehler. The cast currently features Tony Award winner Faith Prince as Miss Hannigan, Ron Raines as Daddy Warbucks, 12-year-old Taylor Richardson as Annie, Brynn O'Malley as Grace Farrell, Clarke Thorell as Rooster Hannigan and Kirsten Wyatt as Lily St. Regis. Visit AnnieTheMusical.com.
First Date (Broadway at the Longacre Theatre). First Date, starring "Smash" and The Addams Family actress Krysta Rodriguez and "Chuck" star Zachary Levi, features a book by Austin Winsberg ("Gossip Girl"), with music and lyrics by Alan Zachary and Michael Weiner. Here's how the new Broadway musical is billed: "When tightly wound Aaron (Levi) is set up with serial-dater Casey (Rodriguez) a quick drink at a busy New York restaurant turns into a hilarious, high-stakes dinner. As the date unfolds in real time, the couple quickly finds they are not alone on this date as Casey and Aaron's inner critics take on a life of their own when other restaurant patrons and the wait staff get into the act. Dinner is served with sides of Google background checks, fake emergency phone calls, supportive best friends, manipulative exes and protective parents, who sing and dance them through ice-breakers, appetizers and potential conversational land mines. First Date is Broadway's new hysterical and hopeful new musical about the chances we take to find love." Visit FirstDateTheMusical.com.
700 Sundays (Broadway at the Imperial Theatre). Billy Crystal's Tony Award-winning play 700 Sundays, one of the highest-grossing plays in Broadway history, returned for a limited nine-week engagement. The autobiographical 700 Sundays is described as "an original two-act play in which Billy plays numerous characters that have influenced who he is today. It deals with his youth, growing up in the jazz world of Manhattan, his teenage years, and finally adulthood. It is about family and fate, loving and loss." Visit 700SundaysOnBroadway.com.
Betrayal (Broadway at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre). The Broadway revival of Harold Pinter's time-bending drama Betrayal stars Daniel Craig, Academy Award winner Rachel Weisz and Olivier nominee Rafe Spall. According to producers, "Emma (Weisz) is married to Robert (Craig), a publisher, but she has long had an affair with Jerry (Spall), a literary agent and Robert's best friend; as, in a brilliant device, time is regained, so the full complexity of their relationships comes to light." Visit BetrayalBroadway.com.
Fuerza Bruta (Off-Broadway at the Daryl Roth Theatre). The adrenaline-fueled Off-Broadway spectacle Fuerza Bruta, which immerses audiences in a fast-paced series of arresting images and techno music, is created by De La Guarda's Diqui James (co-founder/co-creator) and Gaby Kerpel (composer/musical director). According to producers, "Breaking free from the confines of spoken language and theatrical convention, Fuerza Bruta is an event where worlds collide and reality takes a back seat. At show time, audiences are ushered onto the main stage where they are engulfed in a 360 degree spectacle featuring mind-blowing visual effects just inches above the audience that must be seen to be believed - a man running full throttle on a giant treadmill, bursting through a series of moving walls; performers suspended in mid-air surrounded by a vast sea of mylar; and gorgeous women twisting ethereally in a lucite pool above the audience." Visit FuerzaBrutaNYC.com.
Too Much, Too Much, Too Many (Off-Broadway at the Black Box Theatre at the Harold and Miriam Steinberg Centre for Theatre). Rebecca Henderson, Luke Kirby, James Rebhorn and Phyllis Somerville star in the Roundabout Underground production of Too Much, Too Much, Too Many, a new play by Meghan Kennedy. Here's how Roundabout Theatre Company bills the new work: "Following the death of her husband (Rebhorn), Rose (Somerville) locks herself in her bedroom for the better part of a year, leaving her daughter Emma (Henderson) to care for her through the closed door. When the church sends a pastor (Kirby) to help coax Rose out of her room, he soon finds that Rose is not the only one using barriers to hide her true feelings." Visit FuerzaBrutaNYC.com.
Domesticated (Off-Broadway at the Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater). The Lincoln Center Theater world premiere of Tony and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Bruce Norris' Domesticated, starring Laurie Metcalf and Jeff Goldblum, is directed by Tony Award winner Anna D. Shapiro. The cast also includes Vanessa Aspillaga, Mia Barron, Robin De Jesus, Lizbeth Mackay, Emily Meade, Mary Beth Peil, Karen Pittman, Aleque Reid and Misha Seo. Norris' new play, commissioned by Lincoln Center Theater, "dives into the conflagration of gender, power, sexuality and politics that emerges in a private relationship after a public humiliation. Metcalf and Goldblum play Judy and Bill Pulver whose marriage is thrust into the public eye by scandal. As told by Norris, their story is wickedly funny, deeply serious and anything but predictable." Visit LCT.org.