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Five hot new plays—and how to get tickets

The names are familiar: Frankenstein, Stalag 17, The Little Mermaid. But this is theater?

Turning old movies into Broadway shows has proved so successful that more producers are sticking with the formula.

The most anticipated musical this fall is Young Frankenstein, written and produced by Mel Brooks. Roger Bart, who picked up a Tony nomination for his role in The Producers, and Will & Grace’s Megan Mullally head the cast. Part of the buzz has to do with the monstrous price for the best seats on weekends: $450. During the week, orchestra tickets are $120 to $350. Tickets are available through Ticketmaster, 212-307-7171 or

Movie director Spike Lee, who has never worked in live theater, is directing the Broadway version of Stalag 17, based on the funny 1951 movie about POWs in World War II.

If family entertainment is what you want, look no further than The Little Mermaid, a Disney spectacle opening in time for the holidays. For tickets, visit Ticketmaster or

Joe Mantello, who frequently directs both on- and off-Broadway, is directing the revival of The Ritz, Terrence McNally’s 1975 pre-AIDS stage farce about a guy who tries to avoid a mobster by hanging out in a gay bathhouse. Not for the kiddies. For tickets, call 212-719-1300.

Don’t be fooled by the name Rock ’n’ Roll. It is not a jukebox musical but a drama by Tom Stoppard set in Cambridge, England, and in Prague between 1968 and 1990, when Czechoslovakia was under communist rule. A big hit in London, Rock ’n’ Roll transfers to Broadway with its original cast, including Rufus Sewell, who picked up England’s top acting awards for this role. For tickets, call 800-432-7250.

How to Buy Tickets

A lifelong aversion to paying service fees is why I try to buy tickets directly from the box office, either by phone or online. This is getting harder as more theaters, especially on Broadway, sell only through such brokers as Ticketmaster.

Besides the box office, it’s also worth checking for tickets at, which may offer tickets to sold-out shows, and, which offers discounted seats.

TKTS, the booth where half-price, day-of-performance tickets are sold, has been moved temporarily to the Marriott Marquis Hotel on West 46th Street, between Broadway and Eighth Avenue. The other TKTS booth is at 199 Water Street, at the South Street Seaport. To see which shows are selling tickets through TKTS, check; its information is usually reliable.