Huffpost Arts
James Sims Headshot

Broadway's Fall Season Full of A-Listers, on Stage and Off

Posted: Updated:
HARRY CONNICK JR
Getty

Looking around the Broadway scene these past few months, it appeared as though musicals were the only fare in town. But with the fall season approaching, straight plays are headed back to Times Square, and they've got a big list of stars in tow.

Some of the A-list talents headed to Broadway might not be the first names one thinks of when considering stage artists, but this season is packed with recognizable faces, both on stage and behind the scenes. Sex and the City's Kim Cattrall should bring some HBO fans to the Music Box Theatre when she revives Noel Coward's play Private Lives. She recently wowed audiences in the London production of the story about a divorced couple that rekindles their romance while on separate honeymoons with new spouses. Private Lives begins previews November 6th and will have a limited run through February 5th, 2012.

Three big names are coming together in a production of Relatively Speaking, although it's their written words that play the starring role. Ethan Coen, Elaine May and Woody Allen all wrote one-act comedies that will come together each night at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre, beginning September 20th. Audiences might also recognize some of the acting troupe, as Steve Guttenberg and Marlo Thomas are just two of the long list of actors making up these three short plays.

And if audiences are still longing for a taste of Harry Potter, aside from the currently running How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying starring Daniel Radcliffe, actor Alan Rickman will be taking the stage at the John Golden Theatre beginning October 27th in the play Seminar. Written by Theresa Rebeck, the play depicts four young writers taking a seminar by a famed literary figure.

Alicia Keys is bringing her name to the Broadway community, although only from a producing point of view, as she is presenting the play Stick Fly at the Cort Theatre beginning November 18th. Described as a modern day comedy of manners, this work follows the hijinks of an affluent African American family spending a weekend in Martha's Vineyard. The acting talent includes Dule Hill, Mekhi Phifer, Ruben Santiago-Hudson and Tracie Thoms.

Samuel L. Jackson is joining forces with Angela Bassett in the play The Mountaintop beginning September 22nd. Telling the story of Martin Luther King Jr.'s night before his assassination, this Kenny Leon directed production was originally set to co-star Halle Berry, but due to "child custody issues" a casting swap was made, bringing in Bassett as a fine replacement.

Another powerhouse ensemble joining Broadway this fall comes by way of the new play Other Desert Cities, which takes the stage at the Booth Theatre October 12th. Rachel Griffiths and Thomas Sadoski join Stockard Channing, Stacy Keach and Judith Light in this story of a once promising novelist stirring up trouble with her family after announcing that her next book will tell of their private lives. Written by Jon Robin Baitz, who created the long-running television series Brothers & Sisters, Other Desert Cities also boasts an all-star director in Joe Mantello, who last wowed audiences as a lead actor in the play Normal Heart.

Already on stage is renowned actor Frank Langella, who is starring in the revival of Man and Boy, a play detailing the relationship between a corrupt financier and his rebel son in the 1930s. Having started previews at the American Airlines Theatre earlier this month, this Roundabout Theatre Company production officially opens October 9th and will run through November 27th.

Plays aren't the only vehicles for A-listers this season. A few big names are tossing their hats into the musical ring, with the likes of Harry Connick Jr., Patti LuPone, and Wicked creator Stephen Schwartz having works on Broadway.

First up is the all-star revival of Stephen Sondheim's Follies, which officially opened September 12th at the Marquis Theatre. Along with Bernadette Peters, the acting crew includes Jan Maxwell, Danny Burstein, Ron Raines and Elaine Paige, a list sure to garner attention from the Tony Awards committee come awards season.

Patti LuPone and Mandy Patinkin are mixing things up for Broadway audiences in an extremely limited run of their touring concert production. Made up of music from the likes of Sondheim, Richard Rodgers and Vernon Duke, An Evening with Patti LuPone and Mandy Patinkin starts performances November 16th at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre and closes January 13th.

Godspell, the classic work by Stephen Schwartz, makes a triumphant return to Broadway at the Circle in the Square Theatre beginning October 13th. The star of Showtime's television hit Weeds, Hunter Parrish, leads the ensemble cast, helping bring songs like "Day By Day" and "Learn Your Lessons Well" back to life for theatregoers.

A last minute addition to the glitzy roll call this fall is Broadway darling, and big screen heartthrob, Hugh Jackman. Thanks to a break in shooting schedules, Hugh will be bringing his one-man musical show to the Broadhurst Theatre October 25th. The last time he was belting out on the Broadway was nearly seven years ago in The Boy From Oz. Expect the scalpers to be in a frenzy.

Rounding out the star-studded fall season on Broadway is Harry Connick Jr., who will star in the revival of the musical On a Clear Day You Can See Forever. The classic songwriters Burton Lane and Alan Jay Lerner wrote this show in the 1960s, which audiences might remember from the 1970 film adaptation starring Barbra Streisand. Beginning November 12th at the St. James Theatre, this revival officially opens December 11th.