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New York Spotlight: September 2008

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Daniel Radcliffe stars in Equus
(© Carol Rosegg)
Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe makes his Broadway debut in Peter Shaffer's riveting drama, Equus, at the Broadhurst Theatre, September 5-February 8. He plays troubled teen Alan Strang, who blinds six horses and is remanded to the care of psychiatrist Martin Dysart, played by Tony winner Richard Griffiths (who also appears in the Potter films as Harry's uncle Vernon Dursley). The two actors previously starred in the play on London's West End, under the direction of Thea Sharrock, who also helms the Broadway production. The cast also features Kate Mulgrew, Anna Camp, Carolyn McCormick, Lorenzo Pisoni, Sandra Shipley, and T. Ryder Smith.

There are other starry Broadway revivals on the horizon, as well. John Lithgow, Dianne Wiest, Patrick Wilson, and Katie Holmes head the cast of Arthur Miller's All My Sons, at the Schoenfeld (September 18-January 11). Three-time Tony Award winner Frank Langella stars in Robert Bolt's A Man for All Seasons, directed by Doug Hughes at the American Airlines Theatre, beginning September 12. Meanwhile, Peter Sarsgaard and Zoe Kazan join Olivier Award winner Kristin Scott Thomas in the Royal Court Theatre's production of Anton Chekhov's The Seagull, at the Walter Kerr Theatre, September 16-December 21.

As for new works, David Rasche, Jan Maxwell, and Kristine Nielsen star in Nick Whitby's world premiere comedy To Be Or Not To Be, playing Manhattan Theater Club's newly renamed Samuel J. Friedman Theatre, beginning September 11. Based on the film of the same name, and set in 1939 Warsaw, the play involves a theatrical troupe recruited to help catch a spy.

The first musical of the fall Broadway season is Jason Robert Brown's new tuner, 13, at the Bernard B. Jacobs beginning September 16. It tells the story of a New York teenager forced to relocate to Indiana, where he has to make new friends and try to become part of the "in-crowd."

Off-Broadway, Mark Linn-Baker, Jeb Brown, Jerry Dixon, Ivan Hernandez, Patina Renea Miller, and Emily Swallow star in Romantic Poetry (Manhattan Theater Club, beginning September 30), by Pulitzer Prize winner John Patrick Shanley and Dreamgirls composer Henry Krieger, described as a "crackpot musical romance."

There's plenty of star power to be found all over the city. Tovah Feldshuh headlines Irena's Vow (Baruch Performing Arts Center, September 7-November 2), about a courageous housekeeper who risked her own life in order to save twelve Jewish refugees in German-occupied Poland. Bobby Cannavale stars in Frank Pugliese's The Talk (Cherry Lane, September 9-October 16), about four brothers who return home for their mother's funeral. Norbert Leo Butz and Elizabeth Marvel tackle Michael Weller's two-hander, Fifty Words (MCC Theater, September 10-October 25), an expansive look at modern marriage.

Annette O'Toole leads the cast of Adam Rapp's new play, Kindness (Playwrights Horizons, September 25-November 2), about an ailing mother and her teenage son. Mandy Patinkin stars as Prospero in Classic Stage Company's production of Shakespeare's The Tempest (September 3-October 12). Michael Tucker and Jill Eikenberry are featured in the York's revival of the Stan Daniels-Joseph Stein musical, Enter Laughing (September 3-October 12).

Tarrell Alvin McCraney's new play Wig Out!, about two competing drag houses, will play the Vineyard Theatre, September 10-October 19. Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa's King of Shadows, about a homeless runaway who claims he's being pursued by supernatural demons, makes its world premiere at Theater for the New City, September 2-28.

Finally, the New York Musical Theatre Festival is back for its fifth year, with fare including Bonnie & Clyde: A Folktale, with book and lyrics by musical theater star Hunter Foster, and music by Rick Crom; Wood, a modern-day re-imagining of A Midsummer Night's Dream, starring Cady Huffman; and The Jerusalem Syndrome, a musical comedy -- with a cast including Liz Larson and Austin Miller -- inspired by the real-life phenomenon of tourists who come to the Holy City and believe they are figures from the Bible.

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