The 1996-97 Broadway theatre season has the potential to top even the bustling 1995-96 that ended May 31. Rarely since the 1960s have there been so many pretty-sure major non-musical projects in the pipeline so early in the game.
Lincoln Center Theatre, which has won Tony Awards three years in a row for revivals (Carousel in 1994, The Heiress in 1995 and A Delicate Balance in 1996) , has scheduled the premieres of two major new American plays: Christopher Durang's satirical comedy Sex and Longing and Wendy Wasserstein's drama An American Daughter.
Both are scheduled to open at the Cort Theatre; Sex this fall and Daughter in winter.
Wasserstein's drama is the story of a woman descendant of Ulysses S. Grant who gets tangled in a web of politics, media and emotions in contemporary Washington DC. The juicy leading role was played by Meryl Streep in a Seattle workshop, but the Broadway casting has not yet been settled. Daniel Sullivan directs.
Durang's comedy also tackles contemporary politics, as Sigourney Weaver plays a controversial woman author whose sex-themed book becomes a target of the Religious Right. Daniel Sullivan will direct. From London will come Taking Sides, Ronald Harwood's new drama about conductor and Nazi collaborator Wilhelm Furtwangler, whose artistic accommodation of the Nazis gets him in trouble in the postwar world. Directed by David Jones. the production is aiming for an autumn opening.
Also planned: the Broadway premiere of Horton Foote's 1995 Pulitzer Prize-winning play The Young Man From Atlanta and Christopher Plummer is the biographical drama Barrymore about tempestuous actor John Barrymore.
Here is a preview of planned new musicals that have announced they're headed for Broadway between June 1, 1996 and May 31, 1997:
SKYLIGHT: Broadway transfer of London drama by David Hare. September previews and opening TBA. Royale Theatre. Box office not open yet.
SEX AND LONGING: Sigourney Weaver stars in Christopher Durang's new satirical comedy. October previews and opening TBA. Cort Theatre.
TAKING SIDES: U.S. premiere of Ronald Harwood's London drama, directed by David Jones. Autumn 1996 previews, opening and theatre TBA.
THE YOUNG MAN FROM ATLANTA: Horton Foote's 1995 Pulitzer winner. Previews, opening and theatre TBA.
BARRYMORE: Christopher Plummer stars in William Luce's stage bio of actor John Barrymore. Previews Feb. 23, 1997. Opens March 9, 1997. Theatre TBA.
AN AMERICAN DAUGHTER: New drama by Wendy Wasserstein. Previews, opening and theatre TBA.
In addition to these, Circle in the Square reportedly is considering a new, yet-untitled play by Jane Anderson, who wrote the film American Quilt.