New shows land Off Broadway and beyond
With Broadway openings cooling down for the summer, the sked Off Broadway and beyond continues to heat up as new attractions look to capitalize on summer biz.First up is the U.S. tour of Canuck cirque offering “Traces,” set for a 10-week run at the Union Square Theater, the Off Broadway venue adjacent to the increasingly crowd-heavy transit hub of Union Square. The acrobatics showcase from Montreal troupe 7 Fingers initially played Gotham in a 2008 run at the family-oriented New Victory, and now returns as part a U.S. tour produced by a team headed by Fox Theatricals (Kristin Caskey and Mike Isaacson). Non-verbal physical spectacles have done well at the Union Square in the past, with “Slava’s Snowshow” previously carving out a run of more than two years; nearby venue the Daryl Roth Theater currently hosts “Fuerza Bruta,” a similarly tourist-friendly offering with an emphasis on acrobatics. “Traces” kicks off its run July 29. In August, Connecticut’s Goodspeed Musicals has nailed down details for its production of Kait Kerrigan and Brian Lowdermilk’s musical “The Unauthorized Autobiography of Samantha Brown.” Daniel Goldstein, who directs the upcoming Broadway revival of “Godspell,” is set to helm the tuner, which runs Aug. 4-28 with a cast that incudes “Next to Normal” alum Meghann Fahy, Andrew Durand (“Spring Awakening”) and Rialto regular Steven Bogardus. Then in September “Play It Cool,” a new tuner from a team that includes a couple of Off Broadway vets, lands a commercial production at Gotham’s Theater Row. The 1950s tale set in an underground nightclub has a book by Larry Dean Harris (who also conceived the show) and Martin Casella (“The Irish Curse”), lyrics by Mark Winkler (the co-writer of Off Broadway longrunner “Naked Boys Singing”) and music by Phillip Swann. Helmed by Sharon Ronsen, “Play It Cool” begins previews Sept. 2.