Remember that time that all of Broadway was so effing scared of shows closing instantly and with terrible reviews that they decided to open all of them in the spring instead of the fall? You know, so they had a better shot at winning Tony Awards, which are clearly the golden, shining path to success, longevity, and recoupment. Anyway, welcome to the fall, 2012 Broadway season, you guys! It’s pretty damn depressing, as you’re about to realize. Well, most of it is. Hidden within the sweaty folds of the season are a few gems… and a couple of totally weird things that we have to see, regardless of taste or quality… ours, or the shows’. Here’s the buzz…
Who would have thought that a decades-old Rupert Holmes musical staged by the Roundabout would be the show to watch this season? But with a particularly intriguing cast (Stephanie J. Block, Will Chase, Jessie Mueller, Chita Rivera, Betsy Wolfe), and a score that’s held up over time, this show has become one of our most anticipated of the season. We can’t wait to see how the show handles the choose-your-own-ending conceit in these modern times (Text messaging? Twitter? Clap-o-Meter?), and how many of the show’s famously deleted/modified/never-recorded/rarely-recorded/rarely-performed songs and endings will actually see the light of day. Bring it. And we think it was Jasper in the drawing room with the knife…
Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf
Sure, this play about a feuding married couple could make you claw your eyes out and entirely lose your faith in love, life, and humanity. But throw in the deliciously talented, awkwardly hot Tracy Letts and you have a play that we basically need to see. Possibly many times. Sober. Although that wouldn’t be in keeping with the mood…
Glengarry Glen Ross
Okay. So. We may think Jeremy Shamos is the best (and that he deserved a Tony just for that scene in Clybourne Park where he jumped around a lot). And we may want to throw our panties in the air every time we hear Bobby Cannavale’s voice rumble our way. And Al Pacino may be a fucking legend. And one of us may still have half of The West Wing memorized. And we may love the word fuck so much that it makes our parents unhappy, even to this day. But give us a minute and we’ll totally wow you with all the intelligent, nuanced reasons we — oh fuck it, why bother?! Those really are the reasons we’re excited. And we stand by each and every one of them.
We totally understand why Annie makes some people want to stomp on shrill little orphans and their freckles. And we bet producers are having all kinds of fun with stage parents, as we speak. But we’ll confess to thinking this revival is kind of a big deal. First of all, Katie Finneran will be playing Miss Hanigan, which is basically genius. And then, there’s Anthony Warlow—he of the epic Jekyll and Hyde conceptual recording, crazy pipes, and handsome bald pate—who has yet to make his Broadway debut. When it comes to casting Daddy Warbucks, on a scale of one to perfection, he’s a dream. We’d call him Daddy any day.
We’d be super duper sad about the dearth of hot, high-profile new musicals in the fall… if it weren’t for Rebecca. Because it isn’t every day that Broadway gets a Eurotrash import with fire. If you’re a connoisseur of the truly craptacular — and who isn’t? — you’re probably unable to contain your excitement for this goth-y, power-ballad-drenched semi-thriller. I mean, yeah, it could be bad. But we hope it’s the kind of bad that feels oh-so-good.
We’d love to have been flies on the wall when all the producers sat around a table and went, “A Theresa Rebeck play starring Katie Holmes. What a great idea!” Because then we could have silently laughed at them. Or buzzed with mocking, miniature glee. Thank God for Norbert Leo Butz –- we find ourselves saying this a lot -– who at least guarantees this show a crumb or two of genuine credibility and quality, and makes it something other than a blatant attempt to give Katie Holmes some post-Tomkat relevance.
Kathie Lee Gifford wrote a musical, y’all. That is a real thing, and not just a figment of your most craptacular dreams. This could be fifty shades of cray — possibly in a bad way — but frankly, we actually cannot wait. We’re already in our seats, strapped in for a wild, boozy ride. The fact that Carolee Carmello is starring is just icing on this pill-popping cake.
A PLAY ABOUT MALE PORN STARS STARRING CHEYENNE JACKSON. I mean. What? Is this the product of some kind of crazy voo-doo that turned every girl/gay in theater’s wettest dream into a reality? And if so, does anyone even care? Here at The Craptacular we always say “You can’t have it all, unless you’re Cheyenne Jackson.” But with The Performers on Broadway, we might need to modify that maxim to: “You can’t have it all, unless you’re watching Cheyenne Jackson play a porn star live on stage.” We’re thinking they should probably sell underwear at intermission — you know, for those of us who need backup — they’d make a killing.
Not to be dicks, but, what even is this show? And why are we hearing nothing about it? Normally, a show with a tagline that involves the word ‘tramp’ and that much yellow artwork would hold our attention for at least a few seconds, but there isn’t even a whisper coming out of the Barrymore. We’re having a hard time getting ourselves worked up.
Sure, Charles Isherwood is dying to bring his zinger of a review back out of the archives, and we kind of can’t blame him. Unfortunately, we also can’t even make ourselves pretend to be excited that this adaptation of our second favorite Christmas movie of all time — after Holiday Inn, of course, where “White Christmas” made its debut—is coming back to Broadway for the Holidays. Even The Mick’s Mom isn’t enthused. That’s bad news, considering she still answers the phone, “Buddy the Elf, what’s your favorite color?” on Christmas Day.
Here’s how not to promote your upcoming play, if you’re a Hollywood star: Show up at The Tonys in a barely-there dress breezily fielding questions about what your Tonys speech will be… next season. For a show that does not yet exist. Jessica Chastain’s whole Tony night schtick put a bad taste in our mouths for lots of reasons, but we’re trying to keep our spirits up for Moises Kaufman, who we’re trusting to rein in his star — or at least get a decent performance out of her. Because her dowdy character in this play won’t be saved by a sequined dress.
Cyrano de Bergerac
Oh god, are we really doing this again? This old dog probably didn’t need another revival, and with a cast that barely registers on the Richter scale of awesomeness, although we do love ourselves some Doug Hodge. And the show’s art isn’t helping much. (What’s Cyrano hiding under that hat? Boxes of Altoids? A porcupine?) We are mildly curious about Kyler Soller, the Aaron Tveit-alike playing Christian, but that character’s too insubstantial to really get us excited.