The 2011-2012 theater season is nicely underway and about to get into full swing, So TheaterMania asked 25 theater professionals -- actors, directors, writers, producers, designers, and executives -- what shows they were most forward to looking to seeing over the next few months. Here's what they told us!
Bonnie and Clyde because my dear friend Laura Osnes is co-starring in it. Nice Work If You Can Get It because it's a Gershwin show and lots of my friends are working on it. The Columnist with John Lithgow, who's a genius and one of the most generous and talented men I've ever met. Any show with John is a "must see." And let's not forget On A Clear Day You Can See Forever and The Gershwins' Porgy & Bess. Aren't we lucky to have such a lovely season to look forward to?
I love anything by Douglas Carter Beane, so I'm excited about his Lysistrata Jones coming to Broadway, with music and lyrics by Lewis Flinn and directed and choreographed by the wonderful Dan Knechtges. I'm a huge fan of Walter Bobbie and David Ives, so I'm eager to catch Venus in Fur with Nina Arianda. I'm also excited to see Stephen Sondheim's Merrily We Roll Along at City Center Encores!
Since I'm such an Elaine May and Woody Allen fan, I'm really looking forward to Relatively Speaking on Broadway. And I missed Venus in Fur when it played Off-Broadway, so I'm happy I'll have the opportunity to catch it with the amazing Nina Arianda.
I'm looking forward to seeing David Henry Hwang's Chinglish again. Chinese-American business relationships are going to play an important role in our nation's future; and, for the first time, we're going to see that dramatized onstage. Wait. That's the wrong word. I should say that we're going to see that comedized onstage! And I'm excited to see Samuel L. Jackson in The Mountaintop and An Evening With Patti LuPone and Mandy Patinkin.
I can't wait to see Godspell, because it brings me back to my early days in New York when I first met Stephen Schwartz! And I'm excited to see Frank Langella in Terrence Rattigan's Man and Boy and Alan Rickman in Seminar. I'm like a kid in a candy shop when it comes to theater - I want to taste everything!
Andre de Shields
I am keen as English mustard to witness Samuel L. Jackson and Angela Bassett in The Mountaintop. I am curious to know if Bayard Rustin, architect of Dr. King's civil disobedience strategy, is censured from this play as he has been from the beginning of the Civil Rights Movement because of his sexual orientation as a gay black man. And I am excited to see Frank Langella in Terence Rattigan's Man and Boy. He's been my hero since Dracula.
I'm looking forward to Terence Rattigan's Man and Boy. I saw Rattigan's Flare Path in London and was reminded of my love of Rattigan; and years ago, I did his The Winslow Boy regionally. The emotional pain was shattering. Plus, Frank Langella is one of our great actors. I've never worked with him, but would love to. And after seeing The Light in the Piazza and South Pacific, I'm such a fan of director Bartlett Sher, that I'm eager to see his revival of Funny Girl, starring Lauren Ambrose.
I can't remember a more diverse and eclectic season, and that's really exciting. But I can't wait to see The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess with Audra McDonald and Norm Lewis. Those two glorious voices and that incredible Gershwin score!
I can't wait to see Michael John LaChiusa's musical Queen of the Mist starring Mary Testa and directed by Jack Cummings III. Mary did my play, String of Pearls, and Jack directed my show 1,000 Words Come to Mind.
I want to see Man and Boy, not only because of Frank Langella, but also because my buddy Michael Siberry is in it! He was such a pleasure to work with in Death Takes a Holiday. And I'm definitely curious about The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess. You can't beat a great Gershwin score, or hearing Audra McDonald and Norm Lewis sing it!
In November, I hope to see Dreamless Land, a coming-of-age story written and directed by Julia Jarcho, because I've heard good things about it. I'd also love to see Venus in Fur, Chinglish, and I never tire of seeing A Streetcar Named Desire.
Philip Wm. McKinley
Wit has always been one of my favorite plays, and with Cynthia Nixon starring, it will be a definite must-see. Funny Girl has been long overdue for a revival. I approached Lauren Ambrose several years ago for a musical and I'm happy to see she's found her role. And I can't think of a more interesting, talented company than Stockard Channing, Rachel Griffiths, Judith Light, Stacy Keach and Thomas Sadoski in Jon Robin Baitz's Other Desert Cities.