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As Tony Awards Approach, Broadway’s Fall Roster Shapes Up

The musical “Dames at Sea” will make it to Broadway at last, nailing down a fall opening that is the latest to join the lineup of new shows that will jostle for attention once the annual theater awards season wraps up.

With a half-dozen musicals already confirmed to open before the end of the year — including Off Broadway juggernaut “Hamilton” this summer and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “School of Rock” in December — Broadway goers have already begun to get a sense of what the first half of the 2015-16 season will look like.

Directed by Randy Skinner (“42nd Street”), the production of 1966 musical “Dames at Sea” lands on Broadway after a delay in the original plan to open the show in 2014. Although it’s the first time the musical — written by composer Jim Wise and book-writer-lyricists George Haimsohn and Robin Miller — has even appeared on Broadway, it seems likely to be considered a revival in terms of Tony eligibility, given its profile as a show that played more than once both Off Broadway and on the West End. (The original staging helped launch the career of Bernadette Peters.)

Another upcoming revival, “The Color Purple” starring Jennifer Hudson, also has set a fall 2015 opening. New musicals on the autumn docket include “Amazing Grace,” “Allegiance” and Estefan musical “On Your Feet!,” in addition to “Hamilton” and “School of Rock.”

Plays on the slate include Clive Owen starrer “Old Times,” Brit hit “King Charles III” and Al Pacino outing “China Doll,” among others.

A spoof of Busby Berkeley-era musicals, “Dames at Sea” begins previews Sept. 24 ahead of an Oct. 22 opening at the Helen Hayes Theater. How the venue’s purchase by Second Stage Theater — and its upcoming plan to close the theater for renovations — will affect the run of “Dames at Sea” isn’t yet clear. At the moment, renovations are set to begin sometime in 2016 ahead of a reopening during the 2017-18 season.

“Dames” is captained by producers Infinity Theater Company (Anna Roberts Ostroff and Alan Ostroff) and Perry Street Theatricals (Martin Platt and David Elliott).

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