Broadway Fall 2015 Preview - Part 2: The Plays
Following on from our preview of all the upcoming new and revived musicals in Part 1, it's time to divert our attention now to this Fall's upcoming plays.
With a star-studded line-up from stage veterans such as James Earl Jones, Cicely Tyson and Al Pacino to Broadway debuts from the likes of Keira Knightley, Clive Owen and Bruce Willis, New York is the place to be if seeing A-Listers up close and personal is your thing.
Aficionados of theatre who keep their keen eye on what's happening over the pond in the West End, will already know that this year's London transfers come littered with Olivier Awards. Can they live up to the success of their predecessor and Tony Award-winning Best Play - The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time? And what does the Manhattan Theatre Club and the Roundabout Theatre Company have in store for its loyal followers and theatre virgins alike?One new play has already come and gone this season, as The Big Bang Theory's tour-de-force known as Jim Parsons took on the role of the Almighty in AN ACT OF GOD at Studio 54, but the first new play of the Fall comes from the Manhattan Theatre Club as they present the Williamstown Theatre Festival production of FOOL FOR LOVE. The Sam Shepard drama stars Nina Arianda and Sam Rockwell and might prove to be a psychological battle of the sexes - all in the confines of a seedy hotel. Previews have already begun at Broadway's Samuel J. Friedman Theatre and the opening night has been set for 8th October. The limited run closes on 6th December 2015. MTC's second Broadway production of the season will see Tony Award winner Linda Lavin return to the stage in OUR MOTHER'S BRIEF AFFAIR, written by Richard Greenberg and directed by Lynne Meadow, at the same theatre from 28th December 2015.
At long last, man's best friend is also getting his claws into the Great White Way as A.R. Gurney's 1995 off-Broadway comedy gets its long-awaited Broadway premiere. SYLVIA begins previews at the Cort Theatre on 2nd October, before officially opening on 27th October. Did you ever have the burning desire to see a Tony Award winner actually playing a dog on stage? Well, wait no longer and get a ticket to see Annaleigh Ashford wag her tail and take on the title role! She'll be joined by Broadway veterans Matthew Broderick and Julie White.
If grand tales of love, lust, betrayal and guilt are more up your street then the Roundabout Theatre Company would gladly welcome you to its Broadway premiere of THERESE RAQUIN at Studio 54 from 1st October 2015 to 3rd January 2016. After a couple of successful stage outings in London's West End, two-time Oscar nominee Keira Knightley finally makes her Broadway debut and treads the boards in the title role. The impressive cast also includes Judith Light and Gabriel Ebert.
Make way, make way for the King... KING CHARLES III, that is! Mike Bartlett's 'future history' play, which took home the 2015 Olivier Award for Best Play, transfers to Broadway's Music Box Theatre from 10th October. Opening night is set for 1st Novemebr for the limited run which ends on 31st January 2016. British (acting) royalty in the form of Tim Piggott-Smith takes on the lead role in this controversial and ground-breaking drama about a future after the Queen of England's death, which dares to challenge the function of the modern British monarchy. A top pick for avid theatre fans!
From British royalty to action star royalty now, as Golden Globe and Emmy Award winner Bruce Willis makes his Broadway debut, alongside "Roseanne" favourite Laurie Metcalf in the new stage adaptation of one of Stephen King's classic novels - MISERY. Previews begin on 22nd October at the Broadhurst Theatre, before opening night on 15th November and a limited run through to 14th February 2016. Fans of shock, suspense and thrillers will not be disappointed by the Warner Bros. Theatre Ventures production. Tickets are bound to go like hot cakes for this one.
And if that wasn't enough Star Power for you, Scarface himself is coming back to town. Yes! Academy Award winner Al Pacino reunites with his theatrical dream partner David Mamet in CHINA DOLL. The two-hander revolves around a wealthy man who has just bought a plane as a wedding present for his young fiancé. However, as he's about to leave the office, the phone rings. Is this one phone call about to turn his life upside down? Catch Pacino's stage magic from 21st October 2015 to 31st January 2016 at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre.
There are also a few Broadway revivals hitting the Great White Way this Fall and two of them come courtesy of the Roundabout Theatre Company. OLD TIMES began previews on 17th September and will officially open at the American Airlines Theatre on 6th October and run through to 29th November 2015. The Harold Pinter classic marks the Broadway debut of Oscar nominee Clive Owen. He is joined by Eve Best and Kelly Reilly, in this twisting tale of desire, which is directed by Tony winner Douglas Hodge. Switching gear and rejoicing once again in the realm of farcical comedy, NOISES OFF will be staged at the same theatre from 17th December 2015. Directed by Jeremy Herrin, Michael Frayn's classic play-within-a-play caper stars a stellar cast of Broadway favourites, including Andrea Martin, Rob McClure and “Smash” star Megan Hilty.
Two legends of the Broadway stage re-unite from tomorrow, 23rd September at the John Golden Theatre. Tony Award winners James Earl Jones and Cicely Tyson compete in a battle of wits in D. L. Coburn's THE GIN GAME. Expect a true acting masterclass from both as this fateful game of gin rummy exposes the opponent's short-comings and insecurities. The limited run will come to an end on 10th January 2016.
Finally, after his Olivier Award-winning performance in London's West End, Mark Strong transfers with Arthur Miller's classic A VIEW FROM THE BRIDGE to Broadway. Ingeniously re-invented by acclaimed Belgian director Ivo van Hove, this much-hyped production is likely to bring a whole new generation of theatregoers into contact with Miller's Brooklyn-set masterpiece. Previews begin on 21st October at the Lyceum Theatre, before an official opening on 12th November and a limited run through to 21st February 2016.
So that about wraps it up for the Fall. Once again Broadway producers have offered up a fabulous range of plays this season – from pyschological thrillers to farcical comedies. Which play will you be most looking forward to?