Broadway theatregoers looking to catch up on their classics, both straight and musical, are in luck this fall. Times Square will be serving up titles that even readers of "Theater for Dummies" will recognize, including David Mamet's Glengarry Glen Ross, Henrik Ibsen's An Enemy of the People, Edward Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Edmond Rostand's Cyrano De Bergerac, and the Tony Award-winning musicals Annie and The Mystery of Edwin Drood.
Of those attractions, it's an easy guess as to who'll be strutting around with the most Broadway bravado this autumn: Al Pacino, who will headline the second Broadway revival of Glengarry Glen Ross in a decade. Pacino famously played hotshot salesman Ricky Roma in the film version of Mamet's brutal drama of cutthroat capitalism. This time out, he'll be the down-on-his-luck Shelly Levene. Daniel Sullivan will direct at the Schoenfeld, beginning Oct. 16.
The only stars that come within shouting distance of Pacino's level of fame are featured in the other Mamet play scheduled to bow this fall. The Anarchist, beginning Nov. 13 at the Lyceum Theatre, will be directed by the writer himself. At this point, no one should be surprised by the unlikely subjects Mamet chooses for his latter-day plays. Still, a women's prison drama doesn't hit Broadway every day. Patti LuPone will play Cathy, a longtime inmate with ties to a violent political organization, who pleads for parole from the warden, played by elusive film star Debra Winger.
|Photo by Michael Brosilow|
By definition, a production of Cyrano needs a swashbuckling, spotlight-eating central player. (The last Broadway outing was a Kevin Kline vehicle.) For the job, the Roundabout Theatre Company has reeled in noted English showboat Douglas Hodge. American audiences know Hodge mainly from his attention-getting, Tony-winning turn as flamboyant Albin in La Cage aux Folles. Jamie Lloyd, former associate artistic director of Donmar Warehouse, directs. The American Airlines engagement begins on Sept. 14.
The last Broadway production of the Henry James-inspired drama The Heiress made a star out of Cherry Jones. (Well, a Broadway star, anyway. She was already a big name Off-Broadway.) The busy film actress Jessica Chastain ("The Tree of Life," "The Help") doesn't need a turn as the unhappily single Catherine Sloper to make her name, but director Moises Kaufman has lured her nonetheless. To give the story of Olde New York a proper drawing room flavor, Dan Stevens, the hero of TV's "Downton Abbey," will play suitor Morris Townsend. David Strathairn and Judith Ivey complete the cast. Previews begin Oct. 7 at the Walter Kerr.
|Photo by Henry Leutwyler|
Like White, playwright Craig Wright will be getting his Broadway debut this fall, following a great many Off-Broadway mountings. Paul Rudd, Michael Shannon, Kate Arrington and Edward Asner (not seen on Broadway in nearly a quarter century), will star in Wright's Grace, about a hopeful young couple who move to Florida with big plans to open a chain of Gospel-themed motels. Previews begin Sept. 13 at the Cort. Another first-timer is David West Read, whose The Performers will star Henry Winkler as an aging adult film star. Previews begin Oct. 23 at the Longacre. Enjoying her second Broadway production in as many seasons will be playwright Theresa Rebeck, whose Dead Accounts will feature Katie Holmes and Norbert Leo Butz as members of a family that receive a visit from their prodigal son. The Music Box Theatre is the place, starting Nov. 3. And briefly stopping by at the Richard Rodgers, Oct. 9-14, will be comic Lewis Black, delivering his latest rant against society in Running on Empty.
|Photo by Joan Marcus|
Otherwise, the fall will be dominated by revivals of musicals that topped the awards lists in their day. First out of the gate is the timeless Depression-era fable Annie. The red-haired moppet has visited New York stages twice since her original, lengthy stay in the late '70s and early '80s, including a Broadway revival and a Madison Square Garden tour engagement. This time she's got a first-rate team behind her, including director James Lapine, who is taking a break from staging cerebral Sondheim musicals, and two-time Tony winner Katie Finneran, who will play villainous Miss Hannigan. Lilla Crawford is the orphan in question. Aussie star Anthony Warlow plays billionaire Republican Daddy Warbucks. Previews begin Oct. 3 at the Palace.
If you can't get into Jersey Boys this fall, how about Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons On Broadway? After years of playing thousands of venues from San Francisco to Savannah to Sydney, Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons will celebrate the their 50th anniversary at the Broadway Theatre Oct. 19-27.