I usually hate the spring. As it approaches the Tony eligibility deadline, everyone in the theater industry becomes a little nuts. Even people without shows on the boards seem a bit more high-strung than normal.
But, regardless, there is much I am excited about this spring. I love heartwarming tales of female friendship (I saw both Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants movies in the theaters) and stories of child geniuses. Sadly, Sisterhood's Amber Tamblyn will no longer be gracing the boards this spring (though Sisterhood member America Ferrera was just here, giving a superb performance in Bethany off-Broadway). But we do have a musical about my favorite child genius -- Matilda. I am so excited about Matilda. I have always loved the story. I love the clips I've seen of the musical. And I am happy to welcome Lauren Ward back to Broadway.
Speaking of back to Broadway -- Bette Midler is coming. I've been waiting for years, and now she is coming. Midler is starring in one of three one-woman shows on the Great White Way this season. She is joined in that club by Holland Taylor, giving an spot-on performance in Ann, and Fiona Shaw, soon to be resurrecting the Virgin Mary.
There are other new plays that have more than one cast member -- Broadway favorite Nathan Lane leads the cast of The Nance; Christopher Durang's Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike has transferred after a great run off-Broadway; Tom Hanks headlines Nora Ephron's Lucky Guy; Judith Light and Jessica Hecht star in Richard Greenberg's The Assembled Parties and Breakfast at Tiffany's is coming to the stage.
And there's more! I haven't even talked about the other musicals! You don't need me to tell you about these shows. As I did in the fall, I've asked the shows' producers to comment on their productions. They had 20 words or less to sell you their shows. Most participated.
Here are the results:
"Holland Taylor literally channels Gov. Ann Richards, in a truly inspiring, hilarious performance. The great lady rides again!" -- Jack Thomas on Ann, which began previews on February 18 and opens March 7 at the Vivian Beaumont Theatre.
"Sigourney Weaver, David Hyde Pierce, Kristine Neilsen and Durang at their hilarious, zany and poignant best. Laughter returns to Broadway!" -- Joey Parnes on Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, beginning previews on March 5 and opening March 14 at the Golden Theatre.
"Truman Capote's iconic novella adapted for the stage -- starring the ravishing Emilia Clarke as Holly Golightly. Glamour's back on Broadway!" -- Colin Ingram on Breakfast at Tiffany's, beginning previews on March 4 and opening March 20 at the Cort Theatre.
"10 contestants. Four days. One truck. A spectacular score and the heartbeat and humor of America today." -- Beth Williams - Broadway Across America on Hands on a Hardbody, beginning previews on February 23 and opening March 21 at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre.
"It's a big, fun new musical relevant for our times, with a fantastic score by Cyndi Lauper, and lots of heart!" -- Daryl Roth & Hal Luftig on Kinky Boots, beginning previews on March 5 and opening April 4 at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre.
"Matilda the Musical is a celebration of stories; without them we are all just eating machines with shoes." -- The producers of Matilda on Matilda, beginning previews on March 4 and opening April 11 at the Shubert Theatre.
"The Motown music catalog wasn't just popular music, it was a transformative force in our culture, both politically and socially." -- Kevin McCollum on Motown: The Musical, beginning previews on March 11 and opening April 14 at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre.
"The Nance is a funny, touching portrait of a comic in the fading days of burlesque. Great cast, what could be better?" -- Lincoln Center Theater Artistic Director André Bishop on The Nance, beginning previews on March 21 and opening April 15 at the Lyceum Theatre.
"Richard and Lynne's 10th collaboration is an exciting new Broadway play -- an authentic New York story with a terrific cast." -- Manhattan Theatre Club Executive Director Barry Grove on The Assembled Parties, beginning previews on March 21and opening April 17 at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre.
"People will be talking about Alan's performance for years. And you only have 73 chances to be one of them." -- Ken Davenport on Macbeth, beginning previews on April 7 and opening April 21 at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre.
"First revival of Horton Foote's inspiring American classic; dream cast: Cicely Tyson, Cuba Gooding Jr., Vanessa Williams, Condola Rashad, Tom Wopat." -- Nelle Nugent on The Trip to Bountiful, beginning previews on March 30 and opening April 23 at the Stephen Sondheim Theatre.
"What's better than Bette back on Broadway after 30 years in John's terrific new play under Joe's always stellar direction?" -- Arielle Tepper Madover on I'll Eat You Last: A Chat With Sue Mengers, beginning previews on April 5 and opening April 24 at the Booth Theatre.
"One of the greatest musical comedies ever returns to Broadway for the first time. We've got Magic to Do!"- Barry & Fran Weissler and Howard & Janet Kagan on Pippin, beginning previews on March 23 and opening April 25 at the Music Box Theatre.
Also opening on Broadway this spring but quote-less: Orphans, Lucky Guy, The Testament of Mary, The Big Knife and Jekyll & Hyde.