You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

An unendangered species

Tonys Preview 2012

Back around the turn of the millennium, it was not unusual for Broadway to go for months without a new play on its many boards. The rise of the nonprofits helped there, but the oft-raised fear was that the non-musical would be relegated to the very limited non-commercial run.

Recent seasons have proven the doomsayers wrong; and currently, no fewer than five new plays currently on Broadway made the leap from nonprofit to commercial stints: Jon Robin Baitz’s “Other Desert Cities,” Rick Elice’s “Peter and the Starcatchers,” David Ives’ “Venus in Fur,” Bruce Norris’ “Clybourne Park” and Nicky Silver’s “The Lyons.”

That’s more new plays than graced some entire Broadway seasons back in the 1980s and ’90s. And it doesn’t count that rarest of legit breed, the commercial world preem of a play on Broadway. Theresa Rebeck and Eric Simonson jumped in without a nonprofit safety net, giving us, respectively, “Seminar” and “Magic/Bird.”

Another world premiere, but under the auspices of the nonprofit MTC, is “The Columnist,” David Auburn’s long-awaited follow-up to “Proof.” John Lithgow stars as Vietnam War-defender Joseph Alsop in the bioplay, set to open end of season.

Shuttered but not to be dismissed in the Tony contest are Lydia R. Diamond’s “Stick Fly,” David Henry Hwang’s “Chinglish” and Katori Hall’s “The Mountaintop,” which starred Angela Bassett and Samuel L. Jackson. It recouped! The legit community tends to applaud such an accomplishment come award time.

Did anyone forget to mention the U.K.? The aforemention plethora of original plays are all homegrown. The Brits, who have an ongoing love affair with Tony, are fewer in number than usual this year but are likely to make their presence felt once again. Peter Quilter profiles Judy Garland in the recently opened “End of the Rainbow” and Richard Bean’s comedy “One Man, Two Guvnors” from the National Theater looks ready to laugh its way to the bank.

Return to Tony Awards 2012>>

More Legit

  • The Prom Broadway

    Musical Comedy 'The Prom' Sets Broadway Run for November 2018

    Back around the turn of the millennium, it was not unusual for Broadway to go for months without a new play on its many boards. The rise of the nonprofits helped there, but the oft-raised fear was that the non-musical would be relegated to the very limited non-commercial run. Recent seasons have proven the doomsayers […]

  • Torch Song review

    Off Broadway Review: Harvey Fierstein's 'Torch Song' With Michael Urie

    Back around the turn of the millennium, it was not unusual for Broadway to go for months without a new play on its many boards. The rise of the nonprofits helped there, but the oft-raised fear was that the non-musical would be relegated to the very limited non-commercial run. Recent seasons have proven the doomsayers […]

  • Springsteen on Broadway opening

    Bruce Springsteen Extends Broadway Run?

    Back around the turn of the millennium, it was not unusual for Broadway to go for months without a new play on its many boards. The rise of the nonprofits helped there, but the oft-raised fear was that the non-musical would be relegated to the very limited non-commercial run. Recent seasons have proven the doomsayers […]

  • Tracy Letts

    Stagecraft Podcast: Blackmail Led Tracy Letts to Acting (Listen)

    Back around the turn of the millennium, it was not unusual for Broadway to go for months without a new play on its many boards. The rise of the nonprofits helped there, but the oft-raised fear was that the non-musical would be relegated to the very limited non-commercial run. Recent seasons have proven the doomsayers […]

  • profiles theatre Sexual Harassment

    Sexual Harassment in the Theater: How Chicago Fought Back

    Back around the turn of the millennium, it was not unusual for Broadway to go for months without a new play on its many boards. The rise of the nonprofits helped there, but the oft-raised fear was that the non-musical would be relegated to the very limited non-commercial run. Recent seasons have proven the doomsayers […]

  • The Band's Visit

    Broadway Box Office: Promising Start for 'The Band's Visit'

    Back around the turn of the millennium, it was not unusual for Broadway to go for months without a new play on its many boards. The rise of the nonprofits helped there, but the oft-raised fear was that the non-musical would be relegated to the very limited non-commercial run. Recent seasons have proven the doomsayers […]

  • Judd Apatow

    Judd Apatow on Weinstein Co. at Power of Women Luncheon: 'Shut It Down'

    Back around the turn of the millennium, it was not unusual for Broadway to go for months without a new play on its many boards. The rise of the nonprofits helped there, but the oft-raised fear was that the non-musical would be relegated to the very limited non-commercial run. Recent seasons have proven the doomsayers […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content