New York Theater: Fall Preview

Time to get our drama geek on! Here are some shows we should all be excited about this season:

Stephen Fry and Mark Rylance in Twelfth Night

Stephen Fry and Mark Rylance in Twelfth Night

Twelfth Night (Belasco Theater)

Mark Rylance as Olivia? Stephen Fry as Malvolio?? I’ve been fascinated by this all-male production since its inception at Shakespeare’s Globe a while ago, and now the whole company is making their Broadway debut. Candles as lighting, onstage seating, Elizabethan dress, the whole nine yards. Even better, twice a week Rylance will be tackling what feels like the logical next step in becoming the typical Accomplished Actor: that dreaded Duke of Gloucester.

The Snow Geese (Samuel Friedman Theater)

The Snow Geese

The Snow Geese

A new play by Sharr White – who wrote last year’s touching, disturbing The Other PlaceThe Snow Geese sounds like the kind of high drama that makes Tony voters salivate. Set in upstate New York during WWI, its plot contains some distinctly Chekhovian elements: a family reunited, a recently deceased father, an impending deployment. One of those “family secrets” dramas! Theater legend Mary Louise Parker is naturally the face of this production, but the rest of the cast (directed by the astonishing Daniel Sullivan) looks just as promising.

Romeo and Juliet (Richard Rogers Theater)

Condola Rashad and Orlando Bloom in Romeo & Juliet

Condola Rashad and Orlando Bloom in Romeo & Juliet

The charmingly bland Orlando Bloom and up-and-coming Condola Rashad star in the first Broadway production of R&J in almost forty years. Director David Leveaux’s decision to cast white actors as Montagues and black actors as Capulets could be either brilliant or cringe-worthy. It’s in previews now, and not long after it premieres The Classic Stage Company will open their own competing production, starring Elizabeth Olsen.

Big Fish (Neil Simon Theatre)

Kate Baldwin and Norbert Leo Butz in Big Fish.

Kate Baldwin and Norbert Leo Butz in Big Fish.

I still think about Norbert Leo Butz’s roof-raising performance in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels to this day. He’s been effortlessly moving from big Broadway musical to big Broadway musical ever since, and this adaptation from Andrew Lippa and John August looks simply sublime. Side note: their website is kind of beautiful. Sunflowers!!

The Glass Menagerie (Booth Theatre)

Zachary Quinto, Cherry Jones, and Brian J. Smith in The Glass Menagerie

Zachary Quinto, Cherry Jones, and Brian J. Smith in The Glass Menagerie

The amount of talent in this production is staggering. The American Repertory Theater production of Tennessee Williams’ classic received nothing but rave reviews earlier this year, and the accolades are unlikely to stop when the production opens on Broadway in a couple weeks. Zachary Quinto and Celia Keenan-Bolger are acting powerhouses, but the real pull here is a chance to see the great Cherry Jones in action. Plus, their director is John Tiffany, the visionary behind Once and Black Watch.

All the world’s a stage, bitches. Let’s go.

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