7 Shows On The Fall/Winter 2015 Radar

Oh, Fall…filled with fashionable layering, the pumpkin-spice everything and the typically strong theater, to which I say, "YES TO EVERYTHING!” And in case your theatre list needs some topping off - because bloggers don’t let readers theatrego undernourished, we are not savages after all - I have some Fall selections I am keeping my proverbial eye on.

<Corny Collins> RA RA RA ROLL CALL! </Corny Collins>

- Spring Awakening, Opens on September 27 at the Brooks Atkinson Theater

I pretty much covered all of the bases when I attended the press event, but it bears repeating: one of my all-time favorite musicals - a life-changing one, that I saw during its original run when I was a teenager (oh, those awkward times!) - is being revived and too soon or not, who gives a fuck either way?! I don’t, they don’t, so bring on the teenage angst and alternative/folk score in spoken language and ASL…and in case you didn’t know, I DON’T DO SADNESS!!!

- Fool For Love, Opens on October 8 at the Samuel J. Friedman Theater

You want a reason why I am excited for Fool for Love? Her name is Nina Arianda, flawless queen of flawlessness...who also happens to be flawless. And girlfriend is BACKKKKK and I’m like, “YAYYYYYY.” Although, in all seriousness, Sam Rockwell has his acting credentials in order and his Broadway return - in a Sam Shepard play, no less - seems like a good fit. He definitely has his work cut out though because it is next-to-impossible to establish presence when Nina is nearby looking fabulous and acting her ass off…have I mentioned she’s flawless?!

- The Humans, Opens on October 25 at the Laura Pels Theater

On the surface, The Humans doesn’t sound like anything we haven’t seen a million and three times before (an allegedly funny and dramatic family romp set around Thanksgiving). But this is Stephen Karam’s return to the NY theatre scene after he was a Pulitzer-finalist for Sons of the Prophet and this is extremely important. Pair him with Joe Mantello in the director’s chair, who can do no wrong in my book, and a cast including Reed Birney, Jayne Houdyshell and Sarah Steele, amongst others, and we have a contender for a sleeper hit of the fall.

- On Your Feet!, Opens on November 5 at the Marriott Marquis Theater

While bio-jukebox musicals are a long-standing “no thanks!” in my Broadway canon, I happen to find myself quite excited over On Your Feet!, coming in hot out of its pre-Broadway run in Chicago. The fabulously talented Gloria Estefan was my first-ever concert at age three or four and her kickass music was a mainstay in my household growing up. Nostalgia aside, Alexander Dinelaris is on-hand providing the book and given his recent success with the Oscar-winning Birdman, count me in. And I can’t get over how much newcomer Anna Villafane looks like a young Gloria...like, she had to have been conceived in a petri-dish for the sole reason of playing her. They even attended the same high school in Miami, for Pete’s sake!

- Allegiance, Opens on November 8 at the Longacre Theater

Could someone check their calendar and remind me how fucking long we have been waiting for this musical to arrive on Broadway? A quick glance tells me some three years, but in theatre time, that may as well be forever. Not only is the concept intriguing/epic/harrowing like the best of them (revolving around George Takei’s first-hand experience in internment camps during World War II), we have the vocally talented Telly Leung and Lea Salonga on tap to show all other basic bitches how to arrive on stage and SLAYYY. Here’s me hoping the buzz of Allegiance will reignite and the too-long wait was worth it.

- Hir, Opens on November 8 at the Peter Jay Sharp Theater

There is just something about the premise of this play and the prospect of cutting Kristine Nielsen loose to chew all the scenery while sending massive FUCK YOUs in every direction…because all of that sounds awesome and Kristine is awesome and I love her. Between the dismantling of the patriarchy and the presence of a transgender character, Hir sounds like one of the more topical offerings of the Fall, with the bonus of shenanigan-ing along the way. My favorite combination!

- School of Rock, Opens on December 6 at the Winter Garden Theater

By all means, the School of Rock musical could be great since the source material - the early-2000s film starring a kick-ass Jack Black - is a fun and fantastic gem. And Alex Brightman is playing Dewey Finn, which is the best decision ever and I whole-heartedly support him since he has paid his theatre dues for an ample amount of time. But then, they had to go and enlist Andrew Lloyd Webber to provide a contemporary rock music score and you can practically hear the needle-scratch coming from miles away. I don’t particularly find ALW talented in a high-quality sort of way, I prefer his output when it is totally bonkers and hilariously awful (see, Love Never Dies…the best/worst musical I have ever seen and maybe of all time). If we get the Love Never Dies version of Webber, well…I may just have to move into the Winter Garden because that is where you will find me until I am being lowered into my grave. Any other version of ALW and we’re left with what could have been…even though this could go either way, I am STOKED at the prospect of the CRAY!

Photo Credit: Timmy Blupe

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