Fall Broadway openings promise diverse selectionPosted on September 5, 2013 | by Dylan Jarrett
Summer is always a slow time on Broadway — the Tonys are over, the season has ended and audiences are left waiting to see what the fall will bring. A few shows do open each summer, such as the recent musicals “First Date” and “Soul Doctor,” but Broadway truly starts to pick up once the school year begins. Finally, theatergoers can look forward to what the coming months have in store.
This fall will see two new musicals hit the Broadway stage, “Big Fish” and “A Night With Janis Joplin.” “Big Fish,” which is adapted from the movie and novel of the same name, will star Norbert Leo Butz as Edward Bloom, a salesman whose tall tales define his relationships with his family members. Directed by Susan Stroman with music and lyrics by Andrew Lippa, the play will open Oct. 6 at the Neil Simon Theatre.
Then, opening Oct. 10 at the Lyceum Theatre is “A Night With Janis Joplin,” a concert experience that tells the story of the iconic 1960s rocker. As Joplin, newcomer Mary Bridget Davies will perform songs from the famous musician’s career, including “Me and Bobby McGee” and “Piece of My Heart.”
A number of straight plays can also be seen on Broadway this fall. Two big revivals, both of classic playwrights — William Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet” and Tennessee Williams’ “The Glass Menagerie” — will be opening within a week of one another, on Sept. 19 at the Richard Rodgers Theatre, and Sept. 26 at the Booth Theater, respectively.
Shakespeare’s tragic “Romeo and Juliet” will star Orlando Bloom and Condola Rashad in a production addressing racial divides. “The Glass Menagerie,” Williams’ story about a woman living with her adult children, starring Celia Keenan-Bolger and Zachary Quinto, will be transferring from the American Repertory Theater in Cambridge, Massachusetts where it received rave reviews.
Also coming to the stage is “A Time To Kill,” a courtroom drama adapted from the John Grisham novel. Starring Sebastian Arcelus as Jake Brigance, “A Time To Kill” is the story of a young white lawyer caught up in the racial tensions of the South when he chooses to defend a black man.
Finally, “The Snow Geese,” an original play from Sharr White, will make its world premiere. A World War I drama starring Mary-Louise Parker, “Geese” is about a widow struggling with her eldest son’s wartime deployment and the debt left by her recently deceased husband. It is set to open Oct. 24 at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre.
There’s little doubt that this will be a busy Broadway season. A mixture of plays, musicals, new works and classics ensures a versatile group of shows will entertain audiences through the rest of the year. It’s true that Broadway shows can be expensive, but this year’s host of options is one to take advantage of while living so close to the Great White Way.
A version of this article appeared in the Thursday, Sep. 5 print edition. Dylan Jarrett is books/theater editor. Email her at email@example.com.