Around The Town

Broadway Update: 2015 Beckons

                     By: David Sheward

“Airline Highway” at Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theatre

As 2014 winds down, it’s time to look forward to 2015. As usual, the spring is crowded with openings in order to qualify for the Tonys. It’s a little early, but the frontrunner for Best Play is still The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. Dog’s biggest threats are also from Britain–The epic Wolf Hall and Helen Mirren in The Audience, both featuring royalty (Henry VIII in Wolf and the current monarch in Audience.) Both have snob hit written all over them.

                     By: David Sheward

“Airline Highway” at Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theatre

As 2014 winds down, it’s time to look forward to 2015. As usual, the spring is crowded with openings in order to qualify for the Tonys. It’s a little early, but the frontrunner for Best Play is still The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. Dog’s biggest threats are also from Britain–The epic Wolf Hall and Helen Mirren in The Audience, both featuring royalty (Henry VIII in Wolf and the current monarch in Audience.) Both have snob hit written all over them.

Mirren will probably take Best Actress so she can have a Tony for playing a queen to go with her Oscar and Emmy. Wolf is a two-evening spectacle and could give Dog a run for its money as Best play–both are based on novels which never stopped The Grapes of Wrath. The design categories still belong to Dog, though Wolf will probably win for Costumes.My choice for Best Play so far is from off-Broadway: Samuel D. Hunter’s Pocatello. Lisa D’Amour’s Airline Highway looks fascinating and has received excellent reviews in Chicago plus Joe Mantello, of Wicked, Take Me Out, and Assassins fame, is at the helm. D’Amour’s Detroit is one of my favorite plays and this one about displaced New Orleans residents celebrating the life of their dying den mother in a rundown motel could be a big winner. It’s the last show of the season and will be fresh in voters’ minds. But it’s American and the Tony people love their British theater.

Best Musical is a real head-scratcher at this point. The only likely nominee right now is Sting’s The Last Ship which received mixed reviews and suffered at the box as a result but has benefited from the composer-lyricist’s presence in the cast for a limited engagement. He’s scheduled to tour in Australia in a few weeks, but it wouldn’t surprise me if he came back at Tony time. He’ll definitely perform on the telecast (like last year) and Best Score will be on the air so he can make an appearance if he wins. But Fun Home is the biggest threat to Ship. Home took home almost every available award when it was Off-B’way last season. Also in the running are Finding Neverland (but the public may be suffering from Peter Pan overload), Dr. Zhivago, Something Rotten, An American in Paris, and It Shoulda Been You, which I saw in New Jersey two years ago. It struck me as more than a little sitcom-y, but there may have been rewrites. The Heart of Robin Hood seems to be a play with music.

Here’s a rundown of the second half of the Broadway and Off-Broadway season (including 2015-16) plus a breakdown by category of the 2014-15 B’way list.

Dec. 29–The Temptations and the Four Tops (Palace)
2015 (Sometime)–Dames at Sea, Liberace Musical, The Color Purple, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas
Jan. 8–Dying for It (Atlantic)
Jan. 13–Constellations (MTC/Samuel J. Friedman)
Jan. 15–Honeymoon in Vegas (Nederlander)
Jan. 22–Into the Woods (Roundabout/Laura Pels)
Jan. 29–A Month in the Country (CSC)
Feb. 11--Rasheeda Speaking (New Group/Signature)
Feb. 11–Between Riverside and Crazy (Second Stage)
Feb. 12–The Iceman Cometh (BAM/Harvey Theatre)
Feb. 12–The Events (NYTW)
Feb. 17–Hamilton (Public)
Feb. 23--Big Love (Signature)
Feb. 24–The World of Extreme Happiness (City Center/MTC)
February 2015–Placebo (PH); The Liquid Plan (Signature); The Nether (MCC/Lortel)
March 3–John and Jen (Keene Company)
March 5–Fish in the Dark (Cort)
March 12–On the 20th Century (American Airlines/Roundabout)
March 19–The Heidi Chronicles (Music Box)
March 27–Hamlet (CSC)
March 28–The Audience (Schoenfeld)
March 29–The Heart of Robin Hood (Marquis)
March–The Total Bent (Public); Iowa (PH)
April 2–Skylight (Golden)
April 7–Hand to God (Booth)
April 8–Finding Neverland (Lunt-Fontanne)
April 9–Wolf Hall, Parts I and II (Winter Garden)
April 12–An American in Paris (Palace)
April 12–Ghosts (BAM/Harvey Theatre)
April 14–It Shoulda Been You (Brooks Atkinson)
April 15–The King and I (LCT/Vivian Beaumont)
April 19–Fun Home (Circle in the Square)
April 20–Living on Love (Longacre)
April 21–Doctor Zhivago (Broadway)
April 22–Something Rotten (St. James)
April 23–Airline Highway (MTC/Samuel J. Friedman)
Spring 2015–Amazing Grace
May 21–The Sound and the Fury (Elevator Repair Service at the Public)
May 2015–Dr. Faustus (CSC); What I Did Last Summer (Signature); Permission (MCC/Lortel)
Oct. 5–On Your Feet (Marquis)
Oct. 29–Therese Racquin (American Airlines/Roundabout)
Nov. 2015--Fiddler on the Roof
Fall 2015–China Doll, American Psycho
Dec. 6–School of Rock (Winter Garden)
Jan. 14, 2016–Noises Off (Roundabout)
2015-16–
Children of a Lesser God, Houdini, Gigi, Night Mother
2017–Sherlock Holmes

Future–Bandstand, Disney’s Frozen, Soul Train, Pretty Woman, The First Wives Club, Magic Mike, Freaky Friday, King Kong, Miss Saigon, The Visitor

2014-15 Broadway Season Breakdown

New Plays
Airline Highway
The Audience
Constellations
The Country House
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
Disgraced (transfer from off-Broadway)
Fish in the Dark
Hand to God (transfer from off-Broadway)
The Heart of Robin Hood
Living on Love
The River
Wolf Hall, Parts I and II

New Musicals
An American in Paris
Doctor Zhivago
Finding Neverland
Fun Home (transfer from off-Broadway)
Holler If Ya Hear Me
Honeymoon in Vegas
It Shoulda Been You
The Last Ship
Something Rotten

Play Revivals
A Delicate Balance
The Elephant Man
The Heidi Chronicles
Love Letters
It’s Only a Play
The Real Thing
Skylight
This Is Our Youth
You Can’t Take It With You

Musical Revivals
The King and I
On the Town
On the Twentieth Century
Side Show

Specialties
The Illusionists: Witness the Impossible
The Temptations and the Four Tops

Originally Published on December 30, 2014 in The David Desk 2 

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