Theater Thursdays: This Season’s New Broadway Plays

Theater Thursday

Wondering what plays are opening this season on Broadway? We’ll talk about which Musicals are coming to The Great White Way in a few weeks, but for now, check out what plays will be heading to the NYC Theater District! I have noted any celebrities (or anyone whose name I recognized) appearing, and I’ve given my opinion (though I don’t really know any of these shows) on each play; you can also find most of this information, plus more in depth articles on each show on Playbill.com

 

This Is Our Youth

by Kenneth Lonergan

Begins Previews August 18

Opens September 11

Notable Cast: Michael Cera

Synopsis: Set in New York in 1982, This Is Our Youth follows forty-eight hours in the lives of three very lost young souls: Warren (Cera), a dejected nineteen year old who has just stolen $15,000 from his abusive, tycoon father; Dennis (Culkin), his charismatic drug-dealing friend who helps Warren put the stolen money to good use; and Jessica (Gevinson), the anxiously insightful young woman who Warren yearns for

This is based on a movie Michael Cera was in right? I’ll be interested to hear how his subdued acting style translates to the stage.

 

You Can’t Take It With You

by Moss Hart and George S. Kaufman

Begins Previews August 26

Opens September 28

Notable Cast: James Earl Jones, Kristine Nielsen, Rose Byrne

Synopsis: You Can’t Take It with You portrays the colorful, freethinking Sycamore family and the mayhem that ensues when their daughter’s fiancé brings his conservative, straight-laced parents to the Sycamore residence for dinner on the wrong night.

Sounds like it could be hilarious; I’d pay to see James Earl Jones.

 

It’s Only a Play

by Terrence McNally

Begins Previews August 28

Opens October 9

Notable Cast: Matthew Broderick, Nathan Lane, Megan Mullaly, F. Murray Abraham, Stockard Channing, Rupert Grint

Synopsis: It’s opening night of Peter Austin’s (Broderick) new play as he anxiously awaits to see if his show is a hit. With his career on the line, he shares his big First Night with his best friend, a television star (Lane), his fledgling producer (Mullally), his erratic leading lady (Channing), his wunderkind director, an infamous drama critic, and a wide-eyed coat check attendant on his first night in Manhattan.

Holy smokes look at that cast! I’d go for that alone. Aside from the fact that this sounds suspiciously like “The Producers”, anything led by Matthew Broderick and Nathan Lane is bound to be Broadway gold.

I would probably rather just see Lane and Broderick’s “Producers”. Too bad time travel hasn’t been invented yet.

 

The Country House

by Donald Margulies

Previews begin September 9

Opens October 2

Notable Cast: Blythe Danner

Synopsis: Anna Patterson (Danner), the matriarch of a brood of famous and longing-to-be-famous creative artists who have gathered at their Berkshires summerhouse during the Williamstown Theatre Festival. But when the weekend takes an unexpected turn, everyone is forced to improvise…inciting a series of simmering jealousies, a flurry of romantic outbursts and a bout of passionate soul-searching.

Hmm…this one sounds interesting. Could be full of agendas, if it’s about artists. Probably pretty inspiring stuff though, what with the passionate soul-searching and all.

 

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

by Mark Haddon (novel) and Simon Stephens (adaptation)

Previews begin September 10

Opens October 5

Synopsis: Fifteen-year old Christopher has an extraordinary brain; he is exceptionally intelligent but ill-equipped to interpret everyday life. When he falls under suspicion for killing his neighbor’s dog, he sets out to identify the true culprit, which leads to an earth-shattering discovery and a journey that will change his life forever.

I can imagine this has to do with some sort of disability, which is always a mixture of inspiring and completely depressing. From the synopsis, it could potentially be either rather funny, or very sad. Probably not going to be one I’m interested in seeing.

 

Love Letters

by A. R. Gurney

Previews begin September 13

Opens September 18

Notable Cast: Carol Burnett, Brian Dennehy, Mia Farrow, Anjelica Huston, Martin Sheen, Candice Bergen

Synopsis: Love Letters follows the lifelong friendship between the artist Melissa and the politician Andrew. Their story is told through a series of letters, notes and cards exchanged over 50 years.

Interesting concept, though having recently done a show based on letters, this could very easily be a fairly boring show. Not because of the performances, but because of the script. It’s very hard to convey story arc and climax through letters (at least in the show I did it was). On the other hand, it could be extremely sweet. And with Carol Burnett, I’m assuming there’s at least a little bit of humor?

 

Disgraced

by Ayad Akhtar

Previews begin September 27

Opens October 23

Synopsis: The story of a successful Muslim-American lawyer and his wife, enjoying their comfortable and successful life on New York’s Upper East Side. When a co-worker and her husband come to dinner, what begins as polite table conversation explodes, leaving everyone’s relationships and beliefs about race and identity in shards.

This sounds like my very least favorite kind of show. I really hate modern drama of this sort; I’m sure plenty of people will like it, but I probably won’t be one of them.

 

The Real Thing

by Tom Stoppard

Previews begin October 2

Opens October 30

Notable Cast: Ewan McGregor, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Cynthia Nixon, Josh Hamilton

Synopsis: Henry (McGregor) is a playwright not so happily married to Charlotte, the lead actress in his play about a marriage on the verge of collapse. When Henry’s affair with their friend Annie (Gyllenhaal) threatens to destroy his own marriage, he discovers that life has started imitating art. After Annie leaves her husband so she and Henry can begin a new life together, he can’t help but wonder whether their love is fiction or the real thing.

And yet another modern drama that sounds miserable. Probably worth it to see MacGregor and Gyllenhaal.

 

A Delicate Balance

by Edward Albee

Previews begin October 20

Opens November 20

Notable Cast: Glenn CLose, John Lithgow, Martha Plimpton

Synopsis: Agnes (Close) and Tobias (Lithgow), a long-married couple, must maintain their equilibrium as over the course of a weekend they welcome home their 36-year-old daughter (Plimpton) after the collapse of her fourth marriage, and give shelter to their best friends (Balaban and Higgins), all the while tolerating Agnes’ alcoholic sister Claire (Duncan).

Yikes. This sounds…horrendous.

 

The River

by Jez Butterworth

Previews begin October 31

Opens November 16

Notable Cast: Hugh Jackman

Synopsis: A remote cabin on the cliffs, a man and a woman, and a moonless night. Jez Butterworth’s The River asks: when we find each other, are we trying to recapture someone we once lost?

I would prefer to see Hugh Jackman dancing and singing; this sounds like it could be quite scandalous.

 

The Elephant Man

by Bernard Pomerance

Previews begin November 7

Opens December 7

Notable Cast: Bradley Cooper, Patricia Clarkson

Synopsis: From a desperate existence in a Victorian freak show to his days as the toast of London high society, Bernard Pomerance’s play traces the life of John Merrick or the ‘Elephant Man.’

Well, this sounds interesting, though it’s probably got is fair share of depressing. I’d love to see Bradley Cooper up close. Ya know. Cause I’m so interested in his acting technique. That’s totally why.

 

Constellations

by Nick Payne

Previews begin December 16

Opens January 13

Notable Cast: Jake Gyllenhaal

Synopsis: One relationship. Infinite possibilities. A new play about the boundless potential of a first encounter, free will, and friendship.

What a cryptic synopsis. I pretty much have zero idea what this is about.

 

The Audience

by Peter Morgan

Previews begin February 17

Opens March 8

Notable Cast: Helen Mirren

Synopsis: For sixty years Elizabeth II has met each of her twelve Prime Ministers in a weekly audience at Buckingham Palace. The Audience imagines a series of pivotal meetings between the Downing Street incumbents and their Queen. From Churchill to Cameron, each Prime Minister uses these private conversations as a sounding board and a confessional — sometimes intimate, sometimes explosive.

Helen Mirren is back playing the Queen again. Apparently she’s transferring into Broadway from the West End production. Historical pieces, especially political ones, should be interesting. It’d be great to see Helen Mirren live as well.

 

Noises Off

by Michael Frayn

Set to open Fall 2015

Notable Cast: Andrea Martin

Synopsis: The opening night performance of the farce Nothing On is just hours away, and as the cast stumbles through their final dress rehearsal, things couldn’t be going any worse. With lines being forgotten, love triangles unraveling and sardines flying everywhere, it’s complete pandemonium. Can the cast pull their act together on the stage even if they can’t behind the scenes?

This is probably my favorite straight play ever. It’s HYSTERICAL. Literally one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen in my entire life. Parts of it are wildly inappropriate, so don’t take your kids, but dang, I’m so glad this is coming back to Broadway.

 

Lots of plays coming to Broadway this season! Lots of celebrities too! Are you interested in seeing any of these shows?

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