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Fall in Line

Date: Sep 11, 2008


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On Broadway this fall, it's the best of times and the worst of times—not just because a splashy new musical of Dickens' classic A Tale of Two Cities opens soon at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre, but because it really is the best of times for TDF members to snap up some sweet ticket deals—and the worst of times to stand on the sidelines. It's time to get with the program, people.

As usual, Broadway features a mix of plays and musical, revivals and premieres, imports and homegrowns. Jill Santoriello's musical based on the Dickens novel kicks off the season on Sept. 18 at the Hirschfeld (and it's already been available both to TDF members and at the TKTS Discount Booths). Galloping close on its heels is the London import Equus, Peter Shaffer's disturbing psychological drama, which opens Sept. 25 at the Broadhurst and stars Daniel Radcliffe, a.k.a. Harry Potter, along with Kate Mulgrew and Richard Griffiths. Also winging in from London is a new production of Chekhov's The Seagull, opening Oct. 1 at the Walter Kerr, featuring Kristin Scott Thomas and Peter Sarsgaard.

While classic films have become Broadway's favorite properties for musical makeovers, To Be or Not To Be, opening Oct. 2 at the Friedman, is something different: A stage adaptation of Ernst Lubitsch's classic WWII comedy about a Polish acting troupe outsmarting the Nazis; it's directed by Casey Nicholaw (The Drowsy Chaperone), but it's a non-musical. Giving Broadway its first brand-new all-original musical of the season is 13, the newest offering from composer Jason Robert Brown (Parade) and playwright Dan Elish, about an Upper West Side teen trying to fit in in high school (though it opens on Oct. 4, previews for the show have already turned up on the TDF members' list).

Considering that his last appearance on the Great White Way was as Tricky Dick in the acclaimed Frost/Nixon, Frank Langella gets a moral upgrade playing Sir Thomas More in Robert Bolt's contemporary classic A Man for All Seasons, opening Oct. 7 at the American Airlines Theatre. And an all-star cast—John Lithgow, Dianne Wiest, Patrick Wilson, Katie Holmes—assembles for a much-anticipated revival of Arthur Miller's ever-timely family drama All My Sons, opening Oct. 16 at the Schoenfeld.

The ever-acerbic David Mamet has two auspicious revivals on Broadway this season: First comes Speed-the-Plow, his scathing takedown of Hollywood dealmakers, opening Oct. 23 at the Barrymore and starring Jeremy Piven and Raul Esparza; then into the Belasco on Nov. 17 thunders his American Buffalo, a Pinter-esque crime play to star John Leguizamo, Cedric The Entertainer and Haley Joel Osment. Between these two pillars of Mamet dances Billy Elliot, the London smash musical based on the hit movie about a young ballet prodigy in a coal-mining town, which opens Nov. 13 at the Imperial.

Something's a Foote at the Booth starting Nov. 20—to be precise, the multigenerational family drama by Horton Foote, Dividing the Estate, transferring from its acclaimed run at Primary Stages. Christian Hoff, Stockard Channing and Martha Plimpton kick up their heels at Studio 54 beginning Dec. 11 for Pal Joey, a long-overdue revival of Rodgers & Hart's sleek classic musical about a ruthless cad about town.

The year finishes with a splash of green and white. First comes Shrek, a new musical adaptation of the animated hit, opening at the Broadway Theatre Dec. 14 with Brian d'Arcy James, Chester Gregory II, Sutton Foster and Christopher Sieber in the leads. And finally, the Yuletide rolls in with the Broadway premiere of a stage musical based on the 1954 Christmas classic, Irving Berlin's White Christmas, opening Nov. 23 at the Marquis.

From Dickens to Berlin, this is a fall that's looking up.