Revered titles reimagined on The Great White Way
If it’s March in NYC that can only mean one thing for Broadway theater: new productions. As a rough winter comes to a close, spring ushers in new productions with memorable performances from star talent.
In 1951, the American musical film An American In Paris was released starring Gene Kelly and featuring the timeless music of George and Ira Gershwin. Featuring hit songs like “I Got Rhythm” and wonderful dance numbers, the film was a success that brought home six Academy Awards. Now, the magic can be experience anew on Broadway for the very first time! After a successful run in Paris, France in 2014, the production is headed to the Big Apple where it promises to be a musical filled with beauty, artistry and heart. Come and see the romantic story of a young American soldier, a beautiful French girl and an indomitable European city, each yearning for a new beginning in the aftermath of war. Previews begin 3/13 for a 4/12 opening. (Palace Theatre, 1564 Broadway)
Another highly anticipated new Broadway musical based off of an Academy Award winning film is hitting Broadway this month: Finding Neverland. The 2004 film starring Johnny Depp and Kate Winslet took home an Oscar for Best Original Score and was nominated for Best Picture, Actor, and more. The musical, which stars Matthew Morrison (Glee) and Tony nominee and five-time Emmy winner Kelsey Grammer (Frasier), follows the real life story of playwright J.M. Barrie and his relationship with the family that inspired Peter Pan, one of the most beloved stories of all time. Previews begin 3/15 for a 4/15 opening. (Lunt-Fontanne Theatre, 205 W. 46th St.)
While Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella closed in January, the duo is back on Broadway with their version of The King And I, starring five-time Tony Award nominee Kelli O’Hara (The Light in the Piazza, South Pacific) and Academy Award nominee Ken Watanabe (The Last Samurai, Inception). This classic tale of a British schoolteacher’s unexpected relationship with the imperious King of Siam is a musical revival that is sure to have critics raving. Watanabe will be making his anticipated Broadway debut in this production, while O’Hara is a veteran who most recently starred in The Bridges of Madison County, and before that, Nice Work If You Can Get It, where she performed alongside Matthew Broderick. Previews begin 3/12 for a 4/16 opening. (Vivian Beaumont Theater, 150 W. 65th St.)
Lastly, check out a musical revival starring Emmy and Tony winner Kristen Chenoweth (Wicked, The West Wing) and Golden Globe winner Peter Gallagher (The O.C., Covert Affairs). On the Twentieth Century is a story about the collision of luck, love, and mischief when bankrupt theater producer Oscar Jaffee (Gallagher) embarks on a mission to cajole glamorous Hollywood starlet Lily Garland (Chenoweth) into playing the lead in his new, non-existent epic drama about Mary Magdalene. Set on the luxurious “Twentieth Century” train travelling from Chicago to New York City, the musical marks Chenoweth’s return to Broadway after nearly five years and it is hailed a hilarious production with nonstop laughs. Previews began 2/12 for a 3/12 opening. (American Airlines Theatre, 227 W. 42nd St.)
(Photo Credit: Sylvain Gripoix)