WITH PAT COLLINS
Lucille Lortel Theater
Lucas Hedges, whose a-star-is-born performance in Manchester By The Sea brought him critical acclaim and award season nominations makes his professional stage debut in Yen. Hench, his character in Anne Jordan’s play and younger brother Bobbie (Justice Smith) live outside London in a town which in no way resembles the cozy, charming villages in British TV shows. The boys are destitute and living in squalor having been abandoned by an alcoholic mother. A neighbor’s concern for the boys’ dog named Taliban results in significant changes in their lives. Lucas first appeared on stage playing Puck in a school production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Trip Cullman directs the Off-Broadway MCC Theater production which will end February 19th due to Lucas’ previous film commitments.
The Palace Theater
Glorious Glenn Close is back on Broadway beginning February 2nd reprising the role of Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard, the musical for which she won a Tony Award in 1994. Norma, a faded star of Hollywood’s silent films desperate to make a comeback falls for a young, handsome unsuccessful screenwriter who moves into her crumbling mansion on the fabled boulevard. Michael Xavier plays Joe Gillis, and Fred Johnson is Norma’s faithful manservant Max. This production like previous ones is based on Billy Wilder’s 1950 classic film and features a 40-piece orchestra. Glenn and company star for 16 weeks.
American Airlines Theater
An investigative reporter in Spotlight, Bruce Banner/The Hulk in The Avengers, and the San Francisco police detective in Zodiac are just some of the examples of Mark Ruffalo’s extraordinary range as an actor who is one of the best of his generation. In the Roundabout revival of Arthur Miller’s 1968 play, Mr. Ruffalo as Victor Franz, a soon to retire police sergeant, is in charge of settling his parent’s estate. Their deaths force Victor to reunite with his estranged brother Walter, a wealthy successful doctor (Tony Shalhoub). The setting is the attic of a Manhattan brownstone filled with furniture and other objects. Danny DeVito, making his Broadway debut, plays the aptly named antique dealer Solomon who is hired to assess the value of the attic’s dusty contents. Hostilities soon resurface between the selfless Victor and his self-centered sibling. Jessica Hecht, in the splendid recent revival of Fiddler On The Roof, is Victor’s wife here. Mr. Miller based the Victor character on a childhood friend who reportedly had the highest IQ on the force in his day. The Price’s limited run is scheduled to end May 7th.
THE GLASS MENAGERIE
The Belasco Theater
Less than four years after an acclaimed production with Cherry Jones opened on Broadway, Tennessee William’s play is back with two-time Oscar winner Sally Field as Amanda Wingfield. Ms. Field who made her Broadway debut in 2002 in The Goat Or Who Is Sylvia will share the stage with Madison Ferris as the daughter Laura, Finn Wittrock playing The Gentleman Caller, and Joe Mantello in the Tom Wingfield role. Sam Gold a Tony winner for Fun Home directs.
SUNDAY IN THE PARK WITH GEORGE
The Hudson Theater
The renovated landmark Hudson Theater will reopen with a revival of the Stephen Sondheim-James Lapine’s musical Sunday in The Park With George on February 11th. Jake Gyllenhaal—who made his Broadway debut in Constellations—stars as Georges Seurat. Also, Annaleigh Ashford, who won a Tony Award for You Can’t Take It With You and earned rave reviews for Kinky Boots, portrays Dot. The two actors are well prepared for their new show. They sang in a concert version of the Pulitzer Prize-winning musical at New York City Center in October 2016. The Broadway production is scheduled to end April 23.
IF I FORGET
Laura Pels Theatre
Quarreling siblings also reunite to observe their father’s 75th birthday in a new play by Steven Levenson who also wrote the book for Broadway’s new hit musical Dear Evan Hansen. Daniel Sullivan directs this Roundabout production which features Obie winner Jeremy Shamos, Kate Walsh (known to television viewers as Dr. Addison Montgomery on Private Practice) and Maria Dizzia, who portrayed Polly in Orange Is The New Black. Opens February 22nd.
Max Von Essen, the Tony-nominated co-star of An American In Paris, leads the cast in what the producers describe as an unromantic comedy. Written in the 1930’s but not produced until now the play offers a peek inside an open marriage which of course was uncommon much less discussed in the early years of the 20th century. February 18th is the closing date.
CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY
Get Your Golden Ticket now for the musical based on Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Tony-winning director Jack O’Brien cast Christian Borle as Willy Wonka, memorably played on screen by Gene Wilder who passed away last August. The Hairspray team of Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman wrote new numbers for the score which will also include “Pure Imagination” and other songs from the 1971 film. Mr. Borle, a two-time Tony winner (Peter And The Starcatcher and Something Rotten), made us laugh and cry in the recent splendid revival of Falsettos. His new show’s first preview performance is March 28th.
There’s Always Something There To Remind Me recounts the private life of the late Oscar and Grammy winning lyricist Hal David who collaborated with Burt Bacharach on “What The World Needs Now Is Love,” “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head” and other favorite songs. Hal’s widow Eunice David authored the book, a 310-page hardcover published by Dorrance Publishing (check out dorrancebookstore.com).