Curtain Up! BroadwayWorld Shines a Spotlight on 2014's New Plays
Only on Broadway it is normal to spot Walter White and Harry Potter within blocks of each other. That's right, this season's stunning slate of plays has brought with it a slew of stars from Bryan Cranston to Daniel Radcliffe, Audra McDonald to James Franco, Tyne Daly to Denzel Washington. In just weeks, a whole new group of productions will have officially opened--adding ten new plays to the Broadway roster.
Ranging form literary classics to brand new works, this spring's new plays include: A Raisin in the Sun, Act One, All the Way, Casa Valentina, The Cripple of Inishmaan, Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill, Mothers and Sons, Of Mice and Men, The Realistic Joneses, and The Velocity of Autumn.
Below, BroadwayWorld profiles all of the new plays from the 2014 season!
A RAISIN IN THE SUN
Written by: Lorraine Hansberry
Cast: Denzel Washington, LaTanya Richardson Jackson, Anika Noni Rose, Sophie Okonedo, Sean Patrick Thomas, Jason Dirden, Stephen McKinley Henderson, David Cromer, Bryce Clyde Jenkins
Director: Kenny Leon
Dates: Opens April 3 at Ethel Barrymore Theatre
About the Show: Set on Chicago's South Side, A Raisin in the Sun revolves around the divergent dreams and conflicts within three generations of the Younger family: son Walter Lee, his wife Ruth, his sister Beneatha, his son Travis and matriarch Lena, called Mama. When her deceased husband's money comes through, Mama dreams of moving to a new home and a better neighborhood in Chicago. Walter Lee, a chauffeur, has other plans: buying a liquor store and being his own man. Beneatha dreams of medical school. The tensions and prejudice they face form this seminal American drama.
Written by: James Lapine
Cast: Santino Fontana, Tony Shalhoub, Andrea Martin, Chuck Cooper, Will Lebow
Director: James Lapine
Dates: Opens April 17 at Vivian Beaumont Theater
About the Show: ACT ONE is based on the classic autobiography by Moss Hart, deemed one of the finest books about 20th-century American theater, eloquently chronicles the playwright/director's impoverished childhood and his determined struggle to escape poverty and forge a career in the theater. A path which led to his collaboration with George S. Kaufman and their first great success, Once In a Lifetime.
ALL THE WAY
Written by: Robert Schenkkan
Cast: Bryan Cranston, Michael McKean, Brandon J. Dirden, Rob Campbell, John McMartin, Roslyn Ruff, Robert Petkoff, James Eckhouse
Director: Bill Rauch
Dates: Opened March 6 at Neil Simon Theatre
About the Show: This drama takees audiences behind the doors of the Oval Office and inside the first years of Lyndon B. Johnson's presidency, and his fight to pass a landmark civil rights bill.
Written by: Harvey Fierstein
Cast: Patrick Page, Gabriel Ebert, John Cullum, Mare Winningham, Reed Birney, Lisa Emery, Tom McGowan, Larry Pine, Nick Westrate
Director: Joe Mantello
Dates: Opens April 23 at Samuel J. Friedman Theatre
About the Show: Back in 1962, most men went to the Catskill Mountains to escape the summer heat, but others took the two-hour drive to escape something else entirely: being men. Nestled in the land of dirty dancing and borscht belt comedy sat an inconspicuous bungalow colony that catered to a very special clientele: heterosexual men whose favorite pastime was dressing and acting as women. It was paradise for these men-white-collar professionals with families-to spend their weekends discreetly and safely inhabiting their chosen female alter egos. But when they got the opportunity to share their secret lives with the world, these "self-made women" had to decide whether the freedom they would gain by emerging from hiding was worth the risk of personal ruin.
THE CRIPPLE OF INISHMAAN
Written by: Martin McDonagh
Cast: Daniel Radcliffe, Ingrid Craigie, Padraic Delaney, Sarah Greene, Gillian Hanna, Gary Lilburn, Conor MacNeill, Pat Shortt, June Watson
Director: Martin McDonagh
Dates: Opens April 20 at Cort Theatre
About the Show: Set on the remote island of Inishmaan off the west coast of Ireland, word arrives that a Hollywood film is being made on the neighboring island of Inishmore. The one person who wants to be in the film more than anybody is young Cripple Billy, if only to break away from the bitter tedium of his daily life.
LADY DAY AT EMERSON'S BAR & GRILL
Written by: Lanie Robertson
Cast: Audra McDonald
Director: Lonny Price
Dates: Opens April 13 at Circle in the Square Theatre
About the Show: Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill recounts Holiday's life story through the songs that made her famous. 1959, in a small, intimate bar in Philadelphia, Holiday puts on a show that unbeknownst to the audience, will leave them witnesses to one of the last performances of her life. Through her poignant voice and moving songs, one of the greatest jazz singers of all-time shares her loves and her losses.
MOTHERS AND SONS
Written by: Terrence McNally
Cast: Tyne Daly, Bobby Steggert, Frederick Weller, Grayson Taylor
Director: Sheryl Kaller
Dates: Opened March 24 at John Golden Theatre
About the Show: Mothers and Sons, a play about a mother who pays a surprise visit to the New York apartment of her late son's ex-partner, who is now married to another man and has a young son. Challenged to face how society has changed around her - without her - she is finally able to see the rich life her son might have led.
OF MICE AND MEN
Written by: John Steinbeck
Cast: James Franco, Chris O'Dowd, Leighton Meester, Jim Parrack, Jim Norton
Director: Anna D. Shapiro
Dates: Opens April 16 at Longacre Theatre
About the Show: Of Mice and Men tells the story of George and Lennie, an unlikely pair of friends drifting from job to job across The Farms and fields of California, holding fast to their dream of one day having an acre of land they can call their own.
THE REALISTIC JONESES
Written by: Will Eno
Cast: Tracy Letts, Toni Collette, Michael C. Hall, Marisa Tomei
Director: Sam Gold
Dates: Opens April 6 at Lyceum Theatre
About the Show: What do you really know about your neighbors? The Joneses invite you to find out.
THE VELOCITY OF AUTUMN
Written by: Eric Coble
Cast: Estelle Parsons, Stephen Spinella
Director: Molly Smith
Dates: Opens April 21 at Booth Theatre
About the Show: THE VELOCITY OF AUTUMN swirls around Alexandra, a 79-year-old artist in a showdown with her family over where she'll spend her remaining years. In Alexandra's corner are her wit, her volcanic passion and the fact that she's barricaded herself in her Brooklyn brownstone with enough Molotov cocktails to take out the block. But her children have their own secret weapon: estranged son Chris who returns after 20 years, crawls through Alexandra's second floor window, and becomes the family's unlikely mediator. No sooner are the words "Hi, Mom" uttered than the emotional bombs start detonating.