Broadway's European invasion
A surprising number of spring shows come to Broadway from overseas.
Wed Feb 22 2012
After a successful winter run at New York Theatre Workshop, this tender little heartbreaker (based on the 2006 hit indie flick) tries its fortunes on the Great White Way. Although the cast is local, the creative team hails from Ireland, Scotland and the Czech Republic. (Glen Hansard and Markta Irglov, the movie's stars, cowrote the score.) If you saw the film, you know the story: A shy Dublin troubadour-busker falls in love with a mysterious Eastern European immigrant, who is determined to be his muse. Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre, 242 W 45th St between Broadway and Eighth Ave (212-239-6200, oncemusical.com). In previews; opens Mar 18. $59.50--$131.50.
End of the Rainbow
A drama about the troubled final years of superstar Judy Garland? Of course the English should stage it! It's not like Judy has fans or experts on this side of the pond. All right, we'll put aside the protectionist snark, considering that the buzz for Tracie Bennett's performance has steadily built since she wowed London's West End in 2010. Peter Quilter's "play with music" will be staged by Terry Johnson, who did fabulous work on the recent revival of La Cage Aux Folles. Belasco Theatre, 111 W 44th St between Broadway and Sixth Ave (212-239-6200, endoftherainbowbroadway.com). Previews begin Mar 19; opens Apr 2. $31.50--$121.50.
Yes, "Unchained Melody" is warbled in this musical version of the 1990 supernatural romance movie. But the producers promise more than just chick-flick nostalgia: Expect eye-popping visual effects and a new rock score, with tunes penned by Brit rocker Dave Stewart (Eurythmics) and megaproducer Glen Ballard. Set in "modern-day New York," the story follows a couple torn apart by death but reunited—ectoplasmically! The show, staged by the fine English director Matthew Warchus (The Norman Conquests), has been road tested in London's West End. Lunt-Fontanne Theatre, 205 W 46th St between Broadway and Eighth Ave (877-250-2929, ghostonbroadway.com). Previews begin Mar 15; opens Apr 23. $57--$137.
Harold Pinter's shadowy study of menace and territoriality comes to the Brooklyn Academy of Music in a production starring the electrifying Jonathan Pryce. Pryce plays Davies, a homeless fellow given temporary housing by two mysterious brothers who inhabit a cramped, junk-strewn apartment. BAM Harvey Theater, 651 Fulton St between Ashland and Rockwell Pls, Fort Greene, Brooklyn (718-636-4100, bam.org). May 3--June 17; $25--$100.
One Man, Two Guvnors
Humor is a tricky commodity to export; sometimes it spoils in transit, sometimes not. (For every Monty Python, you get, well, Benny Hill.) We'll try to keep our expectations reasonable for Richard Bean's adaptation of this 1745 Carlo Goldoni farce. Bean updates the slapstick hysteria to 1960s Brighton, England, where portly James Corden (The History Boys) plays the henchman for two gangsters with complex connections, but who must not meet. Nicholas Hytner stages this transfer for the National Theatre. Music Box Theatre, 239 W 45th St between Broadway and Eighth Ave (212-239-6200, onemantwoguvnorsbroadway.com). Previews begin Apr 6; opens Apr 18. $66.50--$126.50.