Revivals and Transfers Dominate Broadway this Spring

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By Karen Isaacs

Broadway will welcome a number of revivals (mostly of plays), some transfers from off-Broadway and London, as well as some new musicals. Of course, any of this could change at any time – schedules are not always set in stone.

Let’s take a look at some of the more anticipated shows.

West Side Story – this revival is bound to be controversial. Director Ivo Van Howe tends to make major revisions in the revivals he directs; many have proclaimed him “a genius” while others are much less impressed. We do know that he has removed several songs and is not using the iconic Jerome Robbins choreography.

Girl from the North Country—had a successful run off-Broadway and was praised in London. It’s the music of Bob Dylan and a book by award-winning Irish playwright Conor McPhearson.

Another play by an Irish playwright, Hangman is returning to NYC, this time to Broadway after a sold out run off-Broadway last year. The dark comedy is about a hangman who is out of job when Britain abolished hanging as a method of execution.

Company, the Sondheim musical gets some nontraditional casting with Katrina Lenk as Bobbie, the commitment phobic thirtyish leading character and at least one gay couple is among her friends. Patti Lupone gets to sing “The Ladies Who Lunch.”

Other revivals scheduled are A Soldier’s Play, about the investigation into the death of a black sergeant on an army base. Blair Underwood and David Alan Grier star.  Laurie Metcalf will sink her teeth into Martha in a revival of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Laurence Fishborne gets to play the hustler in David Mamet’s American Buffalo.

One of the hotter tickets this spring may be the revival of Neil Simon’s Plaza Suite. It stars real-life husband and wife Matthew Broderick and Sarah Jessica Parker in the three one-act comedies all set in the famed hotel.

Another well-deserved revival is Richard Greenburg’s Take Me Out about a gay professional baseball player; Jesse Tyler Ferguson heads the cast.

Pulitzer-prize winning playwright Tracey Letts will have his second Broadway play this season when The Minutes opens. His play Linda Vista was on Broadway in the fall.

Another musical revival, Caroline or Change features a book by Tony Kushner and music/lyrics by Jeanine Tesori. The show had a limited Broadway run in the early 21st century but deserves another look.

In the more dubious category is a musical version of the film comedy Mrs. Doubtfire and a musical, Diana, about the late Princess of Wales.

This is only scratching the surface of the Broadway and off-Broadway shows that will open. Each years, there are always a few surprises.

This content courtesy of Shore Publications and zip06.com.

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