Opening productions hold definite promise
“Equus,” with Daniel Radcliffe. Opened Sept. 25. The theater is alive with cell phones ready to document the in-the-buff Broadway debut of Harry Potter. Richard Griffiths plays the shrink in this revival of the Peter Shaffer psychodrama.
“The Seagull,” with Kristin Scott Thomas and Peter Sarsgaard. Opens Oct.1. They tried out the Chekhov classic at London’s Royal Court Theater, to much acclaim, so they must be ready for Broadway.
“All My Sons,” with Katie Holmes. Opens Oct. 16. With hubbie Tom Cruise waiting in the wings during the Sept. 18 preview, the mob scene on West 45th Street recalled the “Hamlet” days of Liz and Dick. The Arthur Miller revival rounds out its cast with vets John Lithgow, Patrick Wilson and Dianne Wiest.
“Speed-the-Plow,” with Jeremy Piven and Elizabeth Moss, directed by Neil Pepe. Opens Oct. 23. “Entourage” meets “Mad Men,” and Pepe moves uptown from his home base at the Atlantic Theater. Raul Esparza also stars.
“American Buffalo,” with Cedric the Entertainer and Haley Joel Osment. Opens Nov. 17. The standup comic has branched out into the movies (“The Honeymooners,” “Talk to Me”) and now the theater. Also making his stage debut is the “Sixth Sense” kiddie star. John Leguizamo is their partner in crime in this David Mamet revival.
“Hedda Gabler,” adapted by Christopher Shinn. Opens Jan. 25. The last time Ibsen’s heroine made it to Broadway, in 2001, the adaptor was Jon Robin Baitz, who has yet to see one of his own plays preem there. Let’s hope Shinn’s plays aren’t similarly stymied. This time around, Mary-Louise Parker does Hedda.
“Reasons to Be Pretty,” by Neil LaBute. Opens March. After several Off Broadway outings, the scribe brings his latest skewering of the culture of beauty to the Great White Way.
“9 to 5,” with a score by Dolly Parton. Opens April 23. The country star isn’t reprising her role of Doralee. Instead, she wrote the songs for this new tuner. Allison Janney, Megan Hilty and Stephanie J. Block are the stressed-out secretaries.
“Fences,” directed by Suzan-Lori Parks. Opens spring 2009. She won a Pulitzer for “Topdog/Underdog,” her Broadway debut as a scribe. What fate will her switch to helmer bring?