New Year Resolutions, Women on the Verge, and Going Into the Woods With James Corden

The year kicks off with a flood of incoming transfers — and don’t miss your last chance to vote in the WhatsOnStage Awards.

James Corden and Emily Blunt play on-screen spouses as the Baker and Baker's Wife.
James Corden and Emily Blunt play on-screen spouses as the Baker and Baker's Wife.
(© Disney Enterprises, Inc.)

Happy new year from London! We hope you had a restful and enjoyable holiday season and are gearing up for a 2015 filled with theatergoing.

It's a time of year, of course, for making resolutions, and with this in mind I recently compiled a list of suggested "theater resolutions," which includes taking a theater break. And if you're planning one in London this year (and if not, why not?!), be sure to read our chief critic Michael Coveney's top picks of shows to see in the coming 12 months — from the upcoming West End transfer of Beautiful to Benedict Cumberbatch's hot-ticket Hamlet.

More immediately, we also have a rundown of "must-see" shows this month, including the recently opened Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, the reworked musical version of Pedro Almodóvar's film which was first seen on Broadway in 2010. We also look ahead at some incoming Off-West End transfers, including the Donmar Warehouse revival of My Night With Reg, set in the 1980s gay community, and Di and Viv and Rose, a new comedy starring West End regulars Tamzin Outhwaite, Samantha Spiro, and Jenna Russell.

Meanwhile, on the big screen Into the Woods has been getting readers excited over the Christmas period; we caught up with James Corden (a former host of the WhatsOnStage Awards, among other things!), as well as Anna Kendrick and director Rob Marshall. Also, don't miss our quiz — Sondheim or Disney? — which is sure to test even the most avid musical-theater enthusiast.

The news agenda in Europe recently has of course been dominated by the Charlie Hebdo killings in France. In a thoughtful piece, our new critic Matt Trueman reflects on how, in the 20th-anniversary year of Sarah Kane's infamous "in-yer-face" drama Blasted, the play eerily predicted a world of unpredictable violence and terror. You can also read Matt's recent reviews, including Liberian Girl at the Royal Court and Daniel Kitson's Tree at the Old Vic.

Finally, a quick plea to remember that voting in the 15th Annual WhatsOnStage Awards — the only major theater prize to be voted for entirely by the audience — closes on January 31. Results will be announced during a glittering Concert at the Prince of Wales Theatre on February 15, hosted by the hilarious Mel Giedroyc and Steve Furst. So if you are planning that theater break, why not make sure we're on your itinerary? A few tickets are still available here.