Amanda Peet
(Photo © Joseph Marzullo)
Amanda Peet
(Photo © Joseph Marzullo)
A trio of star-studded productions bow on the Great White Way this month, causing much excitement among Broadway theatergoers. Back on the stage for the first time in three years, Emmy Award winner Cynthia Nixon joins fellow Emmy (and Tony Award) winner Tyne Daly for Rabbit Hole, David Lindsay Abaire's new play about a family torn apart about tragedy. John Slattery, Mary Catherine Garrison, and John Gallagher, Jr. complete the cast of this highly original work (February 2, Manhattan Theatre Club at the Biltmore).

The season's second Neil Simon revival, Barefoot in the Park, arrives on February 16 with the too-beautiful-to-be-true Amanda Peet and Patrick Wilson as the struggling newlyweds Corie and Paul Bratter, the luminous Jill Clayburgh as Mrs. Banks, and the delightful Tony Roberts as the suave Victor Velasco (Cort Theater). Speaking of long-awaited revivals, Tony winner Kathleen Marshall helms the Roundabout's new production of the classic Richard Adler-Jerry Ross musical The Pajama Game, with Harry Connick Jr. as factory superintendent Sid Sorokin and Kelli O'Hara as union organizer Babe Williams, the woman who's "not at all in love" with him. (February 23, American Airlines Theater).

Moving to Off-Broadway, the Atlantic Theater Company brings over the American premiere of Martin McDonagh's black comedy The Lieutenant of Inishmore (February 27); meanwhile at Manhattan Theatre Club, Stephen Lang, Chris Bauer, and Margaret Colin head up the cast of Pultizer Prize winner John Patrick Shanley's new work Defiance, about two officers on a North Carolina Marine Corps base in 1971 on a collision course over race, responsibility, and women (February 28).

Plenty of original works abound: Ian Cohen's Lenny & Lou is a rip-roaring take on family dysfunction (February 2, 29th Street Rep); Charles Grodin peeks inside the world of Manhattan co-op boards in The Right Kind of People (February 9, Primary Stages); the talented Adam Rapp serves up Red Light Winter, about two old college friends whose encounter with a Dutch prostitute comes back to haunt them in New York (February 9, Barrow Street Theater); and Neena Beber's Jump/Cut examines three friends caught up in a filmmaking adventure (February 12, Julia Miles Theatre).

As the month continues: Glen Berger's The Wooden Breeks conjures up a mythical village of dreamers and schemers -- populated by such first rate-actors as Veanne Cox and Ana Reeder (February 15, Lucille Lortel); Michael John Garces' Acts of Mercy tells of two sons struggling to reconcile with their dying father (February 16, Rattlestick Theater); those inventive folks from Les Freres Corbusier put their own spin on Ibsen in Heddatron (February 16, HERE); and Kenny Finkle takes a look at the world through the eyes of cats in Indoor/Outdoor (February 22, DR2).

Two solo shows are of particular note: Jason Fisher takes on one of the world's most legendary comedians in Lenny Bruce: In His Own Words (February 1, Zipper), while Steven Fales recounts his own colorful life in Confessions of a Mormon Boy (February 5, Soho Playhouse). On the revival front, there's Theater for a New Audience's production of All's Well That Ends Well (February 12, Duke on 42nd Street); while the Mint Theater offers up Rose Franken's lesser-known World War II-era comedy Soldier's Wife (Theatre Three, February 22).

Finally, Off-Broadway also plays host to a host of interesting musicals: Will Power's The Seven is a hip-hop take on the ancient Greek story of Thebes, with choreography by the great Bill T. Jones (February 12, New York Theater Workshop); I Love You Because focuses on the love life of four typically messed-up New Yorkers (February 14, Village Theater); the lovely Nancy Anderson tackles the title role in Fanny Hill, Ed Dixon's adaptation of the once-scandalous novel about a girl who takes up the world's oldest profession (February 15, York Theatre); and Jeff Bowen and Hunter Bell's hilarious show-biz musical [title of show] finally gets its Off-Broadway bow (February 26, Vineyard Theatre).