New plays and musicals add to the fun of fall in New York. And the actors starring in this season’s productions are some of Broadway’s finest.
Frank Langella, whose performance last year as Richard Nixon in Frost/Nixon won a Tony Award, takes on the role and robes of Sir Thomas More in A Man for All Seasons. John Lithgow and Dianne Wiest head the cast of All My Sons, Arthur Miller’s drama about corruption in government contracting.
Raúl Esparza joins Jeremy Piven of HBO’s Entourage in Speed-the-Plow, David Mamet’s scathing attack on Hollywood. Daniel Radcliffe, best known as Harry Potter, and Richard Griffiths, award winner for The History Boys, play a deranged teenager and his shrink in Equus. The drama Impressionism premieres with Jeremy Irons and Joan Allen as a jaded photojournalist and a New York gallery owner whose outlooks on life change.
The musical Pal Joey is back with Christian Hoff, Stockard Channing, and Martha Plimpton. The story of a two-bit nightclub entertainer is somewhat hackneyed, but Richard Rodgers’s music and Lorenz Hart’s lyrics—“Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered,” for example—are sublime.
Elton John’s music and lyrics for Billy Elliot bring zest and hope to the story of a motherless boy in England’s impoverished mining area who likes nothing more than dancing. New York’s Public Theater is giving another shot to Stephen Sondheim’s musical Bounce, which landed with a thud at its Kennedy Center premiere five years ago but has been tinkered with.
While not new, South Pacific, Jersey Boys, and Wicked are still hot tickets.