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(September 19, 2005) On the occasion of the 14 th annual BROADWAY ON BROADWAY, a free outdoor concert in Times Square that marks the kick-off of the 2005-06 Broadway season, The League of American Theatres and Producers, Inc. today announced the new fall season, highlighted by big names, up-and-coming talent, classic shows, and new works.
After a strong summer season that saw Broadway tourism return to pre-September 11th levels, and overall attendance and grosses at an all-time high, Broadway expects to continue this momentum throughout the 2005-06 season.
“With nearly all 39 Broadway houses lit this season, there is no question that Broadway is very much at the top of the cultural menu,” commented Jed Bernstein, President, The League of American Theatres and Producers, Inc. “This fall season promises to be an extraordinary one, with a variety of offerings that are sure to please every member of the family.”
Among the highlights is the return of the legendary Chita Rivera in the new musical Chita Rivera: The Dancer's Life; the return of Andrew Lloyd Webber, with his first new score in several years, Woman in White; the reteaming of “Producers” pair Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick in the revival of the Neil Simon classic The Odd Couple, and Patti LuPone in a newly conceived production of Stephen Sondheim's Sweeney Todd opposite Michael Cerveris. Composer-Lyricist Joe Brooks (“You Light Up My Life”) has created an original musical for Broadway, In My Life, and the long-awaited The Color Purple, based on Alice Walker's beloved novel, has its Broadway premiere.
Joe Brooks, the Academy Award-winning songwriter of “You Light Up My Life,” directs his new musical, In My Life . Set in New York City, In My Life is about the romance between a musician with Tourette's syndrome and a Village Voice journalist. Opens Thursday, October 20 at the Music Box Theatre. (Contact: Don Summa at Richard Kornberg & Associates 212 944 9444)
Jersey Boys is a new bio-musical, directed by Des McAnuff, with a book by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice, music by Bob Gaudio, lyrics by Bob Crewe, that tells the story of the popular doo-wop singers Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. Opens Sunday, November 6 at the Virginia Theatre. (Contact: Susanne Tighe at Boneau/Bryan-Brown 212 575 3030)
Andrew Lloyd Webber's sweeping new musical of romance and deception, The Woman in White, captures the lush atmospherics of its source, Wilkie Collins's sensational Victorian thriller. The tale begins when a dashing young man, employed as the art tutor to two devoted sisters, is stranded at a remote railway station. Out of the darkness looms a woman, a mysterious figure dressed in white, desperate to share a chilling secret. He and the sisters soon find themselves trapped in a web of betrayal and greed, the victims of a seemingly flawless crime. Together they will need all their resourcefulness and courage to outwit a hugely charismatic and ingenious villain. Starring Michael Ball and Maria Friedman, directed by Trevor Nunn, with lyrics by David Zippell and Charlotte Jones. Opens Thursday, November 17 at the Marquis Theatre. (Contact: Dennis Crowley at Barlow Hartman 212 398 1800)
The Color Purple is a new musical inspired by Alice Walker's novel The Color Purple , an uplifting story about one woman's search for love, inner strength, and herself. Book by Marsha Norman; Music and Lyrics by Brenda Russell, Allee Willis and Stephen Bray, and directed and designed by John Doyle. Starring LaChanze, The Color Purple opens December 1 at the Broadway Theatre. (Contact: Leslie Baden at Barlow Hartman 212 398 1800)
Chita Rivera stars in Chita Rivera: The Dancer's Life , a new musical celebrating her life and 50-year career on Broadway . The musical will showcase landmark numbers drawn from Rivera's legendary Broadway performances, spanning from West Side Story to Chicago. Choreographed and directed by Graciela Daniele, written by Terrence McNally and new songs by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty. Opens December 11 at The Schoenfeld (Contact: Rick Miramontez at Barlow Hartman 212 398 1800)
Tony Award® winner Richard Greenberg's new comedy A Naked Girl on the Appian Way is his latest since Take Me Out . Jill Clayburgh stars opposite Richard Thomas as a successful cookbook author whose two children return from a year abroad in Europe with unexpected news that transforms her and her distracted genius husband's life. Directed by Tony Award® winner Doug Hughes. Opens October 6, Roundabout Theatre Company at American Airlines Theatre. (Contact: Matt Polk at Boneau/Bryan-Brown 212 575 3030)
Latinologues, a send-up of the Latino experience in America, opens at Broadway's Helen Hayes Theatre on October 13. The production — created and written by Rick Najera — comes to Broadway after touring the country the past few years; it won the 2004 Imagen Award for Best Live Theatrical Production. The Broadway cast comprises of Najera, Eugenio Derbez, Rene Lavan and Shirley A. Rumierk. Cheech Marin (“Cheech and Chong”) directs. (Contact: Bill Evans at Bill Evans & Associates 212 704 9894)
Souvenir, a comic and touching new play with music written by Stephen Temperley, features Tony Award-winner Judy Kaye as Florence Foster Jenkins, a wealth society eccentric of the 1930s and 40s who suffered under the illusion that she was a great coloratura soprano – when in fact the opposite was true. Nevertheless, her annual charity recitals at the Ritz Carlton and performances at other venues brought her cult status, especially as news of her unfortunate singing spread, culminating in her legendary sold-out concert at Carnegie Hall. Also features Donald Corren as Jenkins long-suffering accompanist. Directed by Vivian Matalon. Opens November 10 at the Lyceum Theatre. (Contact: Tom D'Ambrosio at Richard Kornberg & Associates 212 944 9444)
The fall season showcases revivals of works by great American playwrights – Neil Simon, Edward Albee, and Eugene O'Neill – performed by some of the most talented actors from stage and screen.
Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick make their return to Broadway in the revival of Neil Simon's classic The Odd Couple, directed by Joe Mantello. Opens October 27 at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre. (Contact: Bill Evans/Bill Evans & Associates 212 704 9894)
Stephen Sondheim's Sweeney Todd makes its third appearance on Broadway in a new revival that has actors doubling as musicians. Sweeney Todd is the tale of the 19th century London barber who, according to legend, turns to murder when a judge takes his wife and child from him. Directed by John Doyle. Patti LuPone will play Mrs. Lovett opposite Michael Cerveris' Sweeney Todd. Opens November 3 at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre. (Contact: John Barlow at Barlow Hartman 212 398 1800)
This new production of Edward Albee's Pulitzer Prize winning play Seascape features George Grizzard and Frances Sternhagen as a married couple. Elizabeth Marvel and Frederick Weller play a pair of lizards who appear on the beach with them. Directed by Mark Lamos. Opens November 21 at the Booth Theatre. (Contact: Philip Rinaldi at Philip Rinaldi Publicity 212 501 3201)
Eugene O'Neill's A Touch of the Poet returns to Broadway for the fourth time. Gabriel Byrne plays an Irish immigrant who is down-on-his-luck. He faces a conflict between his desire to maintain European gentility and his financial situation when his daughter falls in love with a wealthy American. Directed by Doug Hughes. Opens December 8, Roundabout Theatre Company at Studio 54. (Contact: Matt Polk at Boneau/Bryan-Brown 212 575 3030)
Other Notes of Interest
• The movie Rent , based on the Pulitzer Prize and Tony-winning musical, arrives in movie theaters on November 23. The Producers , the movie, starring Matthew Broderick and Nathan Lane will follow, later this year.
• The Phantom of The Opera becomes the longest-running show of all time on Monday, January 9, with 7,486 performances.
New Multi-Lingual Broadway Website
Sponsored by Continental Airlines , ILoveNYTheater.com is a unique, comprehensive, multi-lingual information-based website – the first of its kind – designed for any consumer seeking information on Broadway shows in New York. Universal symbols and easy navigational tools are the anchor for the overall design concept. The site can be utilized in English, Spanish, German, Japanese, Portuguese, and French. The site, which will be continually enhanced and updated, offers information about all aspects of Broadway, direct links to ticketing agencies, surveys, merchandise, a database and a Business-to-Business Center.
The website is sponsored by Continental Airlines, the official airline of Broadway. Visa â is the preferred card of ILoveNYTheater.com.
Broadway Meets Country
In celebration of the Country Music Awards descending upon Manhattan for the first time, Saturday, November 12 , superstars from the worlds of Country Music and Broadway will join together for “Broadway Meets Country,” performing classic Country and Broadway selections.
This unforgettable evening will be held at The Allen Room, Frederick P. Rose Hall, Home of Jazz at Lincoln Center (Broadway at 60th Street, New York City), against the breathtaking backdrop of New York's Central Park.
The impressive line-up includes Broadway performers Idina Menzel, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Bernadette Peters, and Patrick Wilson. Country stars scheduled to perform, include Trace Adkins, Raul Malo, Lee Ann Womack and Trisha Yearwood.
This special charity performance is a fundraiser for The Actors' Fund of America, and the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund, to aid the victims of Hurricane Katrina.
About The League of American Theatres and Producers, Inc.
The League of American Theatres and Producers, Inc., founded in 1930 and operating under the trademark “Live Broadway,” is the national trade association for the Broadway industry. The League's 500-plus members include theater owners and operators, producers, presenters, and general managers in over 140 North American cities, as well as suppliers of goods and services to the theater industry. Broadway industry programs initiated by the League include Kids' Night on Broadway; Broadway On Broadway; an annual outdoor concert in Times Square, The Broadway Line, a national toll-free Broadway information hotline (888-BROADWAY); Broadway Ticket Center; LiveBroadway.com; IloveNYTheater.com, a new multi-lingual Broadway website; and an Internet Broadway database, ibdb.com.
Each year, League members bring Broadway to more than 25 million people in New York and on tour across the U.S. and Canada, contributing $4.3 billion to the New York economy and billions more to the national economy.
The League of American Theatres and Producers, Inc. reported a collective box-office gross of $769 million in New York for the 2004-5 season. The number of tickets sold for Broadway during the 2004-5 season reached 11.5 million.