Copenhagen by Michael Frayn
Producers: Micheal Codron, Lee Dean, The Royal National Theatre, James M. Nederlander, Roger Berlind, Scott Rudin, Elizabeth I. McCann, Ray Larsen, Jon B. Platt, Byron Goldman, Scott Nederlander.
A political play about the possible ramifications of a mysterious meeting between two famous physicists during World War II. The London-based Frayn has often seen his work done on Broadway. His best known works are the backstage farce, Noises Off, and the drama, Benefactors, both of which were nominated for Tonys, in 1984 and 1986, respectively. He is also the author of several books.
Dirty Blonde by Claudia Shear
Producers: The Shubert Organization, Chase Mishkin, Ostar Enterprises, ABC, Inc., New York Theatre Workshop.
Dirty Blonde, about two single people who meet through their mutual adoration of Mae West, is only Claudia Shear's second play. She burst onto the scene five years ago with Blown Sideways Through Life, her hit Off-Broadway solo show about her endless search for employment. She received an Obie Award for that show.
The Ride Down Mt. Morgan by Arthur Miller
Producers: The Shubert Organzation, Scott Rudin, Roger Berlind, Spring Sirkin, ABC, Inc., The Public Theater/New York Shakespeare Festival/George C. Wolfe.
The Ride Down Mt. Morgan, about the ego and appetite of cocky bigamist Lyman Felt, is Arthur Miller's first new play on Broadway since 1993's Broken Glass, though he has had numerous successful revivals in recent seasons -- among them this season's The Price, as well as Death of a Salesman and A View from the Bridge. The latter two won Tonys for best revival of a play. Miller won Tonys for the original productions of All My Sons, Death of a Salesman and The Crucible.
True West by Sam Shepard
Producer: Ron Kastner.
Sam Shepard has been represented on Broadway only twice before, most recently with Buried Child in 1997. Almost all of his many award winning plays have debuted Off-Broadway, including True West, first seen in 1980. True West concerns two brothers -- one a drifter, the other a screenwriter -- who war and eventually change places.
Analysis: Copenhagen, a long-running success in London, has already netted a couple smaller awards in New York. Of the American plays, Dirty Blonde has been most highly praised. Miller has recently received several Tony Awards (one for lifetime achievement in 1999) but has not been honored by the Tonys for a new work in several decades. Shepard, one of America's leading playwrights, has never won a Tony, though True West's true age may hurt its chances.