PLAYBILL PICKS: Anticipation! Playbill Contributors Share Titles They're Eager to See in Fall 2013

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07 Sep 2013

Patti LuPone
Photo by Ethan Hill

ANDREW GANS, Senior Editor

The Old Friends (Off-Broadway). Tony winner Betty Buckley's New York stage appearances are an all-too-rare treat, so the combination of Buckley's innumerable talents with a never-before-produced Horton Foote play, The Old Friends, is high on my list of "Great Expectations" for the fall season. Add Lois Smith and Hallie Foote to the company, and the Signature Theatre production is surely not to be missed.

Far Away Places (Carnegie Hall). Another of my very favorite artists, Patti LuPone, will take to the stage of Carnegie Hall—her third solo performance at the famed concert hall—in November. The evening will feature a two-act version of her latest concert act, Far Away Places. The one-act Places, which Tony and Olivier winner LuPone debuted to rave reviews at 54 Below, was completely thrilling, so my expectations are especially high for Carnegie Hall.

The Glass Menagerie (Broadway). The idea of Cherry Jones, one of the great stage actresses of our time, taking on the role of faded Southern belle Amanda Wingfield in the Tennessee Williams classic The Glass Menagerie is also an exciting prospect. Added to the mix are Broadway favorite Celia Keenan-Bolger as Laura, screen star Zachary Quinto as Tom and Tony-winning Once director John Tiffany.

The Snow Geese (Broadway). One of the more underrated (and the most compelling) dramas of the previous Broadway season was Sharr White's The Other Place, so I'm looking forward to this writer's newest offering, The Snow Geese, a Manhattan Theatre Club production that marks the Broadway return of stage and screen star Mary-Louise Parker. The cast also boasts Tony winners Victoria Clark and Danny Burstein under the direction of Daniel Sullivan.

Beautiful: The Carole King Musical (Broadway). One of the most tantalizing prospects on the new musicals front is the chance to see star-in-the-making Jessie Mueller play Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Carole King in Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, which will arrive on Broadway — following an out-of-town engagement at San Francisco's Curran Theatre — Nov. 21 at the Stephen Sondheim Theatre. Mueller, who made her Broadway debut opposite Harry Connick, Jr. in the 2011 revival of On a Clear Day You Can See Forever, has also appeared in the Broadway productions of Nice Work If You Can Get It and The Mystery of Edwin Drood, the New York Philharmonic mounting of Carousel and Shakespeare in the Park's staging of Into the Woods, but this high-profile musical could catapult the singing actress into a new stratosphere.

I'm also intrigued by three Off-Broadway musicals: the world premiere of Fun Home, by Tony nominees Jeanine Tesori (music) and Lisa Kron (book and lyrics), which begins Sept. 30 at the Public Theater with a cast led by Tony Award winner Michael Cerveris and Tony nominee Judy Kuhn; John Kander and Greg Pierce's The Landing, starring Tony and Emmy winner David Hyde Pierce and Julia Murney, which will begin Oct. 3 at the Vineyard under the direction of Tony winner Walter Bobbie; and the eagerly awaited William Finn-James Lapine musical Little Miss Sunshine, based on the quirky film of the same name, which begins previews Oct. 15 at Second Stage. The cast of theatre favorites includes Will Swenson, Stephanie J. Block, Josh Lamon, Rory O'Malley, David Rasche, Logan Rowland, Wesley Taylor and Hanna Rose Nordberg as Olive Hoover.


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