Listed below, chronologically by opening dates, are the shows officially scheduled so far on Broadway in the 2014-2015 season, with basic information and my two cents for the Fall shows. Both the schedule and my opinions are tentative and will be revised and updated as the season progresses.
You want stars, pick your favorite: Hugh Jackman, Glenn Close, Harry Potter’s Rupert Grint, Carol Burnett even, etc. You want revivals, you got them – nine of the 15 set to open from September through December. But there is also here the promise of a quality season. I’m heartened that the first six productions are all straight plays.
This is Our Youth
Playwright: Kenneth Lonergan
Director: Anna D. Shapiro
First preview: August 18, 2014
Opening: September 11
Closing: January 4, 2015
Principal cast: Michael Cera, Kieran Culkin, Tavi Gevinson.
48 hours in the live of three teenagers in 1982, one of whom has stolen cash from his father.
This is a revival. There were productions Off-Broadway in 1996 and 1998
One Chicago critic liked this production when it was in try-outs there, but wondered if the Cort will be too big for it. Lonergan wrote one of my favorite movies, “You Can Count On Me,” but find the plays of his I’ve seen (The Starry Messenger) painfully meandering.
Brooks Atkinson Theater
First preview: September 13
Opening: September 18
Closing: February 1, 2015
Playwright: A.R. Gurney
Director: Gregory Mosher
In a revival of A.R. Gurney’s play, two people write one another love letters over a period of 50 years.
The play features a star-studded rotating cast on the following schedule:
Brian Dennehy and Mia Farrow (September 13-October 10)
Carol Burnett and Brian Dennehy (October 11-November 7)
Alan Alda and Candice Bergen (November 8-December 5)
Stacy Keach and Diana Rigg (December 6-January 9)
Anjelica Huston and Martin Sheen (January 10-February 1).
This is a charming play, that I’ve seen in previous productions. (It was on Broadway in 1989.) If this production can be said to indulge in stunt-casting (and what else would you call it?) it’s stunt casting of the very highest order. My only regret is that they didn’t cast just one pair of younger performers, like, say, Robert Downey Jr. and Scarlett Johansson
You Can’t Take It With You
First preview: August 26
Opening: September 28
Closing: January 4, 2015
Playwrights: George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart
Director: Scott Ellis
Cast: James Earl Jones, Kristine Nielsen and Elizabeth Ashley lead a cast of nearly two dozen.
Two families (one deeply eccentric) collide when their children become engaged.
First produced on Broadway in 1936, this comedy (by the writing team that was the subject of the play Act One last season), is now on its fifth revival.
The Country House
Samuel J. Friedman Theater
First preview: September 9
Opening: October 2
Closing: December 9
Playwright: Donald Margulies
Director: Daniel Sullivan
Principal cast: Blythe Danner leads a six-member cast.
An adaptation by Margulies (Dinner With Friends) of Chekhov’s The Seagull focuses on a family of thespians who gather in a house in the Berkshires during the Williamstown theater festival.
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night
Ethel Barrymore Theater
First preview: September 10
Opening: October 5
Playwright: Simon Stephens adapting the novel by Mark Haddon
Director: Marianne Elliott
Fifteen-year-old Christopher, clinically awkward and brilliant, is suspected of killing the neighbor’s dog. He sets out on a life-changing journey to find the culprit.
This stage adaptation of a peculiarly-written novel I loved by Mark Haddon was well-received in London, winning 7 Olivier Awards (equalling the previous record-breaking Matilda.) It was especially praised for its design. The director and the designers are the same on Broadway, it is still a Royal National Theatre production, but the cast is different.
It’s Only A Play
First preview: August 28
Opening: October 9
Closing: January 4, 2015
Playwright: Terrence McNally
Director: Jack O’Brien
Cast: Nathan Lane, Matthew Broderick. F. Murray Abraham, Stockard Channing, Rupert Grint, Megan Mullally and Micah Stock.
Running time: 2 hours and 35 minutes, including one intermission.
The cast of a show called “The Golden Egg” await the reviews in this revival of Terrence McNally’s 1982 comedy, which is likely to be most appreciated for its cast — especially the reunited duo Matthew Broderick and Nathan Lane, as well as the Broadway debut of Harry Potter veteran Rupert Grint.
On The Town
Lyric Theater (formerly Foxwoods)
First preview: September 20
Opening: October 16
Lyrics by: Betty Comden and Adolph Green
Music by: Leonard Bernstein
Book by: Betty Comden and Adolph Green
Director: John Rando
Principal cast: Clyde Alves, Jay Armstrong Johnson, Tony Yazbeck
Three sailors spend a day on leave in New York City, meeting some great dames.
I have high hopes for this production, which features great choreography by Joshua Bergasse (based on the glimpses we’ve been given, in videos, in reports from pre-Broadway tryouts, and at Broadway in Bryant Park), and such standards as “New York, New York (It’s a Wonderful Town)” “Come Up to My Place” and “Lonely Town,” as well as some jazzy surprises like “I Can Cook Too.”
First preview: September 27
Opening: October 23
Playwright: Ayad Akhtar
Director: Kimberly Senior
Cast: Hari Dhillon, Gretchen Mol, Karen Pittman and Josh Radnor.
Running time: 90 minutes with no intermission.
Pakistani-American lawyer Amir and his white, artist wife Emily gives a dinner party that starts off friendly and turns ugly.
The play, Akhtar’s first, was produced at Lincoln Center in 2012, winning the Pulitzer Prize for Drama.
The Last Ship
Neil Simon Theater
First preview: September 30
Opening: October 26
Lyrics and Music: Sting
Book: John Logan and Brian Yorkey
Director: Joe Mantello
Gideon leaves his hometown to travel the world, returning 14 years later to discover that the love he left behind is engaged to somebody else, and the town’s shipbuilding industry is endangered.
The show is said to be inspired by Sting’s own childhood experiences.
The Real Thing
American Airlines Theater
First preview: October 2
Opening: October 30
Closing: January 4
Playwright: Tom Stoppard
Director: Sam Gold
Cast: Ewan McGregor, Maggie Gyllenhaal and Cynthia Nixon
Henry is a successful writer who is attempting to balance his professional and personal lives in this comedy about marriage and betrayal.
McGregor and Gyllenhaal are both making their Broadway debuts in this second Broadway revival of Stoppard’s play.
Circle in the Square Theater
First preview: October 31
Opening: November 16
Closing: January 25
Playwright: Jez Butterworth
Director: Ian Rickson
Cast: Hugh Jackman, Laura Donnelly, Cush Jumbo
Running time: 80 minutes with no intermission
A trout fisherman in a remote cabin tries to hook a woman into some night-time fishing.
Two words: Hugh Jackman.
St. James Theater
First preview: October 28
Opening: November 17
Lyrics by: Bill Russell
Music by: Henry Kreiger
Book by: Bill Russell with additional material by Bill Condon
Director: Bill Condon
Principal cast: Erin Davie, Emily Padgett
The Hilton twins, Daisy and Violet, were in real life conjoined twins who were trained by their guardians to become performers, and became the highest paid performers on the vaudeville circuit. “Side Show” purports to tell their story.
This “reimagined” revival of the 1997 musical was well-received in D.C., and is one of the most anticipated shows of the season, hugely leading (as of this writing) my Broadway Fall 2014 preference poll
A Delicate Balance
John Golden Theater
Playwright: Edward Albee
Director: Pam MacKinnon
First preview: October 20
Opening: November 20
Closes: February 22
Running time: 2 hours and 55 minutes, including 2 intermissions
Cast: Glenn Close, John Lithgow, Lindsay Duncan, Bob Balaban, Claire Higgins and Martha Plimpton.
A long-married couple must maintain their equilibrium as over the course of a weekend they welcome home their 36-year old daughter after the collapse of her fourth marriage, and give shelter to their best friends who seek refuge in their home, all the while tolerating Agnes’ alcoholic live-in sister.
The Edward Albee-Pam MacKinnon match-up, which brought us the priceless production of “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf,” promises to do justice with another one of the playwright’s caustic Pulitze Prize-winning masterpieces (despite the ugly poster.)
First preview: November 26
Opening: December 4, 2014
Closes: January 4, 2015
The Manipulator, Yu Ho-Jin
The Anti-Conjuror, Dan Sperry
The Trickster, Jeff Hobson
The Escapologist, Andrew Basso
The Inventor, Kevin James
The Warrior, Aaron Crow
The Futurist, Adam Trent
Seven illusionists perform magic and illusion. Broadway is a stop on their world tour.
The Elephant Man
First preview: November 7
Opening: December 7
Closes: February 15
Playwright: Bernard Pomerance
Director: Scott Ellis
Cast: Bradley Cooper, Patricia Clarkson, Alessandro Nivola, Anthony Heald, Scott Lowell, Kathryn Meisle, Henry Stram
Running time: one hour 55 minutes, including intermission.
Based on the true story of John Merrick, a horribly deformed man in the 19th century who was treated abominably.
This second Broadway revival of the 1979 play gives movie hearthrob Bradley Cooper a chance to show his inner beauty. (The deformity is not actually depicted. The audience is asked to imagine it.)
A peek at Spring 2015, which is even more tentative than the fall. I’ll flesh it out in the future. This is, as they say, a work in progress:
Samuel J. Friedman Theater
Playwright: Nick Payne
Director: Michael Longhurst
Cast: Jake Gyllenhaal
First preview: December 16
Opening January 13, 2015
Closes: March 15
Honeymoon in Vegas
Music and Lyrics: Jason Robert Brown
Book: Andrew Bergman
Director: Gary Griffin
First preview: November 18
Opening: January 15
Cast: Tony Danza, Rob McClure, Byrnn O’Malley
Jack Singer, a regular guy with an extreme fear of marriage, finally gets up the nerve to ask his girlfriend Betsy to marry him. But when they head to Las Vegas to get hitched, smooth talking gambler Tommy Korman, looking for a second chance at love, falls head over heels for Betsy.
Fish in the Dark
Opening March 5
Opening March 8
On The Twentieth Century
Opening March 12
Opening March 22
An American in Paris
Opening April 12
The King and I
Opening: April 16
Opening: April 22