Shanley, Krieger on Manhattan bill

'To Be or Not to Be,' 'American Plan' also slated

A new musical by John Patrick Shanley (“Doubt”) and Henry Krieger (“Dreamgirls”) is among upcoming Rialto and Off Broadway fare at Gotham nonprofit Manhattan Theater Club.

Also on the org’s 2008-09 slate are legit adaptations of “To Be or Not to Be,” a new play by Lynn Nottage (“Intimate Apparel”) and the Broadway bow of Richard Greenberg’s “The American Plan.”

“Romantic Poetry,” with book and lyrics by Shanley and music by Krieger, follows the intersecting lives of Gotham-area denizens. Initially seen last summer in a short no-critics run at Vassar’s Powerhouse Theater, “Poetry” begins perfs at City Center Stage I (the larger of MTC’s two Off Broadway spaces) Oct. 1, ahead of an Oct. 28 opening.

“To Be or Not to Be,” Brit scribe Nick Whitby’s stage version of the 1942 comedy-drama pic about a legit troupe caught up in WWII espionage, will play MTC’s Biltmore Theater on Broadway. Casey Nicholaw (“The Drowsy Chaperone”) helms the show, starting previews Sept. 11 and opening Oct. 2.

“To Be” will be followed at the Biltmore by “American Plan,” the Greenberg play that MTC first produced Off Broadway in 1990. David Grindley (“Journey’s End”) directs the Broadway staging of the 1960s-set story, about a young woman who falls in love with an aspiring architect while summering in the Catskills. Show begins perfs Jan. 2, with an opening skedded for Jan. 22.

The latest from Nottage, “Ruined,” centers on a businesswoman in a small town in the Congo. Show begins perfs Jan. 21 on Stage I, with an opening set for Feb. 10.

Directed by Kate Whoriskey, the production bows at the Goodman in Chicago in the fall before coming to Gotham.

One additional MTC Broadway production remains to be announced, along with two shows for Stage II, the smaller of the theater’s Off Broadway spaces.

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