On A Clear Day
Look. Harry Connick Jr. may, in fact, be the world’s most perfect man. We’d pay good money to sit in the St. James and watch him lie down in the middle of the stage and just breathe and look pretty for a while. So, like, clearly we’re interested in On A Clear Day You Can See Forever. Then you throw in some interesting (re)imagination—oh, you mean, Harry’s character was originally a lady?—and Michael Mayer, and you have our curiosity piqued. We’ll be there. Probably several times a week.
The last time you saw this, the kid you used to babysit when he was 7 played Jesus in the local high school production—No? Just The Mick?—and even then the material held up. So it stands to reason that in a more sophisticated, hopefully better funded production, things could be interesting. Which is why we’re generally looking forward to seeing Godspell—back in our list, again—finally make it back to Broadway. Cast someone really, really exciting as Jesus and we’ll be silk-screening our own Superman T-shirts in no time.
Of all the new plays, few have us feeling quite as buzzed as The Mountaintop. Samuel L. Jackson will make his Broadway debut as Martin Luther King, Jr. in Katori Hall’s Olivier Award-winning play about the civil rights leader’s last night on earth. He’ll play opposite the likewise amazing Angela Bassett, but the most TMI casting footnote came care of the show’s original female star, Halle Berry. She dropped out, according to some rather blunt official reports, due to “child custody reasons.”
After taking a momentary break from the world of musicals (!), David Henry Hwang will be represented on Broadway this upcoming season with his comedy Chinglish, which is just coming off a blockbuster run at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago. It’s the story of a business man who travels to China and has some minor (and major) communications issues along the way. We are so there. In the meantime, follow David on Twitter! He’s cool!
Bonnie & Clyde
Wildhorn has been so successful on Broadway these days, it seems like a great idea to mount another full production, right? Especially one about a notorious pair of murderous bank-robbers/lovers, featuring a song called “Dying Ain’t So Bad” whose genius lyrics include the rhyming of bad and sad. Man. Laura Osnes better not fall in love, or she’ll get blamed for this ship sinking! Okay. That’s not fair. We here at The Craptacular genuinely hope this musical is, at the very least, so bad it’s a guilty pleasure. That is, after all, what craptacularity is all about.
Porgy & Bess
So. You’ve waited your entire theater-loving life to hear Audra McDonald perform (even just a few seconds of) “Summertime,” a treat which your near-constant YouTube trolling has never produced actual evidence of. (And really, if it’s not on YouTube, does it exist?) You’re excited. Then Diane Paulus hired Susan Lori Parks to write and added Norm Lewis and Joshua Henry to the cast for her new book-musical take on the famous Gershwin Opera, and you got REALLY excited. The best news? If you can’t wait for December 17th, you can always truck up to ART in Boston this fall to get a glimpse of the new show before it makes its way to the Richard Rogers Theater. We probably will.
So, it’s Stephen Sondheim, which is important. And it’s Bernadette Peters and Jan Maxwell and Danny Burstein—among others—which is also important. But forgive us, we’re just not that excited. This show is always being revived or re-recorded somewhere, and it’s always about the same group of old people who are seriously miserable and unhappy with the state of their lives. Content like that just doesn’t inspire enthusiasm on our end, sadly. That said, we are ready to be proved wrong. So please, Eric Schaeffer, wow us. Please!
Okay. Here’s the thing. This has been set for the spring of 2012 for a while. And it’s supposed to involve Ricky Martin as Che. Which. Seems problematic. But The Mick may or may not be obsessed with Eva Peron. So. She may or may not give a shit if he can act, or if this musical is even worth reviving in the first place. Besides, it seems that like… Andrew Lloyd Webber has been out of fashion for so long that it is, indeed, cool to like him again. So. We’ll be feeling very hip as we stroll into the theater for this one.
A show about sex and basketball? Sounds like our kind of musical. A love letter from Ben Brantley is helping to nudge this little show – about high school girls who withhold sex until their boyfriends start winning games – toward the Great White Way. Listen, if a rock opera based on La Boheme could work, a pop musical based on Aristophanes has a shot. Cast someone cute and we’re first in line.
The Wildly Speculative
Jesus Christ Superstar
Was Jesus Canadian? Ponder these, and other important spiritual questions next season, when Des McAnuff’s critically acclaimed revival makes it to Broadway. Or so the rumor goes. Our favorite thing about this show, besides the fact that it stars the mind-blowing Brent Carver as Pilate, is this: Everyone who first read about this show, which had its origins at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival, thought it was coming over from England. Nah, dude. It’s just crossing the border from Toronto. Thanks for schooling us in like, everything, Canada, including our geography.
Oh God, we do hope this show makes it to Broadway. The fates would not allow us to have Love Never Dies, so maybe there’s a chance that we’ll see this definitely-not-in-English-yet popera based on the classic novel and Hitchcock film. Every clip of this show makes us feel like we’re on drugs, which clearly means that we’re dying to see it. I mean, come on. It has everything – velvet costumes, power ballads, a creative team that’s had tremendous success creating theater for Japanese and central-European audiences. This is a flawless recipe for craptacularity. Bring it.
It’s barely more than a twinge in some theater producer’s mind right now, but we’re already salivating over the idea of Ben Walker in Bus Stop. In a cowboy hat. And maybe chaps. Sometimes, in our minds, there’s chaps. Recently staged as a reading with Ben and Amanda Seyfred (Ooohkaaay…), we’d love to see this onstage, stat. And anything that keeps Benjamin Walker out of the clutches of horrible Hollywood is fine by us.
The Stuff We Kind of Don’t Care About
Nice Work If You Can Get It
A Katherine Marshall musical starring Matthew Broderick with Gershwin songs? Oh god. Shoot us in the face. We already had a Frankenstein Gershwin musical and that was totally insufferable. (Right at you, Crazy for You.) Do we need another one? Also, is Matthew Broderick going to dance? Say it ain’t so, Kathleen. Say it ain’t so.
Man & Boy
Seriously, we had to Google this to even remember what it was. That’s where we’re at here. It stars Frank Langella, which is always worth a mention, but we’re just not terribly excited by the idea of this Roundabout production. Maybe they’ll cast someone real cute to play his socialist son. That’d certainly add some interest.
A straightforward production of Noel Coward starring Kim Cattrall and Paul Gross. We love Kim and all, but… mustering enthusiasm for this one is hard. Also, who even is Paul Gross and will we have a crush on him?