This fall, Broadway will see some new musicals ("Memphis"), some classic musicals ("Bye Bye Birdie," "Finian's Rainbow," "Ragtime"), new plays ("Superior Donuts," "After Miss Julie") and a whole lot of play revivals (just about everything else).
You can find tickets for just about everything on Broadway at Telecharge's website, but if you want to save some money and take a little risk, check out the new TKTS booth in Times Square for same-day, half-price tickets. (If you've used the booth before, give it another look. They take credit cards now!)
Speaking of saving some money on shows, you can usually find good discounts by joining the free clubs at Playbill.com or TheaterMania.com (both offer discounts to shows and events in numerous cities). And if you live more than 100 miles from New York City, you can apply for National Membership to the Theatre Development Fund for $12 a year. Membership will get you tickets to shows all over the city, generally for about $20 to $36 per ticket. Visit www.tdf.org for more information.
Upcoming Broadway Shows
"After Miss Julie," a new play by Patrick Marber based on August Strindberg's "Miss Julie," produced by Roundabout Theatre Company. Runs September 18–December 22 at the American Airlines Theatre, 227 W. 42nd St.
"Brighton Beach Memoirs" and "Broadway Bound," revivals of Neil Simon's autobiographical plays, to be performed in repertory. Performances begin October 2 (Brighton Beach Memoirs) and November 18 (Broadway Bound) at the Nederlander Theatre, 208 W. 41st St. Brighton Beach Memoirs opens October 25 and Broadway Bound will bow on December 10.
"Bye Bye Birdie," a revival of the 1960 musical about an Elvis-esque rock star facing the military draft and the teenage girls who adore him. Robert Longbottom will direct for Roundabout Theatre Company; John Stamos and Gina Gershon star. Previews begin September 10 at Henry Miller's Theatre, 124 W. 43rd St. Opens October 15 for a limited run through January 10, 2010.
"Fela!," a musical about the Nigerian musician Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, produced Off-Broadway in 2008 and directed, choreographed, and co-written by Bill T. Jones. Performances begin October 19 at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre, 230 W. 47th St. Opens November 23.
"Finian's Rainbow," a revival of the 1947 musical by Burton Lane, E.Y. Harburg, and Fred Saidy about Irish immigrants in the Deep South, a racist senator and a leprechaun searching for his stolen pot of gold. Based on the Encores! concert presentation, which ran at City Center in March, the show will reunite much of that cast (including Cheyenne Jackson and Tony-winner Jim Norton in the title role). Previews begin October 8 at the St. James Theatre, 246 W. 44th St., with the opening scheduled for October 29.
"Hamlet," a revival of Shakespeare's classic about a melancholy prince who can't make up his mind. (For the record, the answer is "To be.") Jude Law stars in this Donmar Warehouse production directed by Michael Grandage. Previews begin September 12 at the Broadhurst Theatre, 235 W. 45th St., and the play opens October 6 for a 12-week run.
"Memphis," a musical based on the life of Huey Calhoun, a white disc jockey in the segregated South of the 1950s who caused controversy by promoting African-American music. David Bryan of Bon Jovi wrote the music; the book and lyrics are by Joe DiPietro ("I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change"). Previews begin September 23 at the Shubert Theatre, 225 W. 44th St., and the show opens October 19.
"Oleanna," a revival of David Mamet's gritty two-character play about an act of sexual harassment that may or may not have actually happened, depending on how you look at it. This production, starring Julia Stiles and Bill Pullman, begins previews September 29 at the Golden Theatre, 252 W. 45th St., and opens October 11.
"Ragtime," a revival of the 1998 musical by Terrence McNally, Lynn Ahrens, and Stephen Flaherty, based on E.L. Doctorow's novel about three New York families at the turn of the 20th century. This production played the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. Previews begin October 23 at the Neil Simon Theatre, 250 W. 52nd St., and the show opens November 15.
"The Royal Family," a revival of the 1927 comedy by George S. Kaufman and Edna Ferber about a family of actors. Produced by Manhattan Theatre Club; the play will star Rosemary Harris, John Glover, Jan Maxwell, Reg Rogers, Tony Roberts, and Stephen Collins. Doug Hughes directs. Previews begin September 15 at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre, 261 W. 47th St. Opens October 8 for a limited run.
"Superior Donuts," a new play by Tracy Letts about a Chicago doughnut shop. Tina Landau directs. Previews begin September 16 at the Music Box Theatre, 239 W. 45th St., and the play opens October 1.