Stars, stars and more stars.
That’s what will be driving the Broadway box office this fall and winter, as an array of movie stars — some making their Broadway debuts — have committed to the limited-run theater that’s so popular on the Great White Way. First-timers include the Gyllenhaal siblings, with Jake making his debut in Nick Payne’s Constellations and Maggie in a revival of Tom Stoppard’s The Real Thing; Maggie’s Real Thing cast mate, Ewan McGregor; and Seinfeld/Curb Your Enthusiasm writer Larry David, who will star in his own Fish in the Dark.
Coming back to Broadway and taking on the huge challenge of playing the title role in The Elephant Man is Bradley Cooper, previously seen alongside Julia Roberts in Three Days of Rain. The way-versatile Hugh Jackman — leading man, song-and-dance man, Tony host and Wolverine — is back in The River by British playwright Jez Butterworth. Helen Mirren, who won an Oscar for playing Queen Elizabeth II in The Queen, takes on Her Majesty again in The Audience.
The luminous Blythe Danner (aka Gwyneth Paltrow’s mom) and Graceland’s Daniel Sunjata star in Donald Margulies’ The Country House, while Glenn Close and John Lithgow explore the love and war of Tom Stoppard’s The Real Thing. In It’s Only a Play, Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick revisit the comic chemistry that helped make The Producers such a smash. And James Earl Jones gets his silly on in You Can’t Take It With You.
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The 2014-15 season will include plays, of course, though not as many as you’ll find Off-Broadway. Some, like The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time and Constellations, have been London-tested. Others have been awarded prizes in the distant or recent past — You Can’t Take It With You won the Pulitzer in 1937, Disgraced in 2013. Still others are revivals of time-tested dramas and comedies.
Musicals are a mixed bag of transformed movies (Honeymoon in Vegas and the coming-in-spring An American in Paris), revivals (On the Town, about a trio of on-the-loose sailors, and Side Show, about sisters forever bonded) and new musicals, most notably The Ship with a score by Sting and a book by John Logan (Red) and Brian Yorkey (Next to Normal).
Most Broadway shows sell their tickets through Telecharge (800-432-7250, www.telecharge.com) or Ticketmaster (800-745-3000, www.ticketmaster.com). If prices aren’t listed, the tickets haven’t gone on sale yet. The season will get far busier as spring and the Tony Awards approach, but here’s a look at what’s new this fall and winter:
The Audience, Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre, 236 W. 45th St.; $75-$145; previews Feb. 13, opens March 8; Telecharge or www.theaudiencebroadway.com: Oscar-winner Helen Mirren plays Queen Elizabeth II once more in Peter Morgan’s new play, which follows the monarch through meetings with a dozen prime ministers over a 60-year period.
Constellations, Samuel J. Friedman Theatre, 261 W. 47th St.; previews Dec. 16, opens Jan. 13; Telecharge or www.manhattantheatreclub.com: Jake Gyllenhaal makes his Broadway debut in Nick Payne’s dizzying, dazzling play about the infinite possibilities that follow a social encounter between a man and a woman.
The Country House, Samuel J. Friedman Theatre, 261 W. 47th St.; $67-$125; through Dec. 9; Telecharge or www.manhattantheatreclub.com: Blythe Danner stars as the matriarch of an artistic family in Pulitzer Prize-winner Donald Margulies’ Chekhov-inspired comedy, which takes place in a Berkshires country house during the annual Williamstown Theatre Festival.
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Ethel Barrymore Theatre, 243 W. 47th St.; $27-$129; Telecharge or www.curious onbroadway.com: The National Theatre’s production of Simon Stephens’ play, based on Mark Haddon’s best-seller, is about an intelligent, socially awkward teen wrongly accused of killing his neighbor’s dog.
A Delicate Balance, John Golden Theatre, 242 W. 45th St.; $60-$155; previews Oct. 20, opens Nov. 20, closes Feb. 22; Telecharge: Glenn Close and John Lithgow star in the revival of Edward Albee’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play about a long-married couple whose lives are shaken by her alcoholic sister, their angry daughter and their terrified best friends.
Disgraced, Lyceum Theatre, 149 W. 45th St.; $50-$138; in previews, opens Oct. 23; Telecharge or www.disgracedonbroadway.com: Ayad Akhtar’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play, starring Hari Dhillon, Gretchen Mol, Karen Pittman and Josh Radnor, involves a Muslim-American lawyer, his artist-wife and their dinner guests, as a polite conversation morphs into an explosive confrontation over race and identity.
The Elephant Man, Booth Theatre, 222 W. 45th St.; $99-$169; previews Nov. 7, opens Dec. 7, closes Feb. 15; Telecharge or www.elephantmanbroadway.com: Movie star Bradley Cooper takes on the challenge of playing John Merrick, the disfigured and brilliant 19th century sideshow performer whose life was altered by a caring doctor and a compassionate actress.
Fish in the Dark, Cort Theatre, 138 W. 48th St.; $49-$155; previews Feb. 2, opens March 5, closes June 7; Telecharge: Larry David wrote and stars in this new comedy about a death in the family.
Fun Home, Circle in the Square Theatre, 235 W. 50th St.; previews April 4, opens April 22; Telecharge: After success Off-Broadway, the play about a graphic novelist telling the story of her singular, brilliant late father comes to Broadway.
Honeymoon in Vegas, Nederlander Theatre, 208 W. 41st St.; $77.75-$161.75; previews Nov. 18, opens Jan. 15; Ticketmaster or www.honeymoonbroadway.com: Jason Robert Brown and Andrew Bergman team up for a new musical based on the 1992 hit movie. Tony Danza plays the slick older gambler who falls for a younger guy’s bride-to-be.
The Illusionists: Witness the Impossible, Marquis Theatre, 1535 Broadway; $55.75-$146.75; previews Nov. 26, opens Dec. 4, closes Jan. 4; Ticketmaster: This touring production stars seven great illusionists — Yu Ho-Jim, Dan Sperry, Jeff Hobson, Andrew Basso, Kevin James, Aaron Crow and Adam Trent — doing their breathtaking thing.
It’s Only a Play, Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre, 236 W. 45th St.; $72-$147; closes Jan. 4; Telecharge or www.itsonlyaplay.com: Nathan Lane, Matthew Broderick, F. Murray Abraham, Stockard Channing, Rupert Grint, Megan Mullally and Micah Stock make up the all-star cast of Terrence McNally’s 1982 comedy about an opening night, a party and the blame game that comes with bad reviews.
The Last Ship, Neil Simon Theatre, 250 W. 52nd St.; $68.75-$146.75; in previews, opens Oct. 26; Ticketmaster or thelastship.com: Sting wrote the score to this musical about an English seafaring town and the adventurous man who returns from his world travels to find the shipyard in peril and his childhood girlfriend engaged to another man.
Love Letters, Brooks Atkinson Theatre, 256 W. 47th St.; $52-$127; closes Feb. 1; Ticketmaster: Different pairs of stars read through A.R. Gurney’s play about the lifelong relationship of a man and woman, as told through their letters. See Brian Dennehy and Mia Farrow through Oct. 10, Carol Burnett and Dennehy Oct. 11-Nov. 7, Alan Alda and Candice Bergen Nov. 8-Dec. 5, Stacy Keach and Diana Rigg (Dec. 6-Jan. 9), Angelica Huston and Martin Sheen (Jan. 10-Feb. 1).
On the Town, Lyric Theatre, 213 W. 42nd St.; $46.25-$157.25; in previews, opens Oct. 16; Ticketmaster or www.onthetownbroadway.com: A grand revival of the 1944 Betty Comden-Adolph Green-Leonard Bernstein musical follows the adventures of three sailors on a 24-hour shore leave in New York.
On the Twentieth Century, American Airlines Theatre, 227 W. 42nd St.; $67-$147; previews Feb. 12, opens March 12, closes June 7; 212-719-1300 or www.roundabouttheatre.org: Peter Gallagher plays a producer who spends his time on a luxury train trip from Chicago to New York trying to convince a Hollywood star, played by Kristin Chenoweth, to play the lead in his new show.
The Real Thing, American Airlines Theatre, 227 W. 42nd St.; $67-$137; in previews, opens Oct. 30, closes Jan. 4; 212-719-1300 or www.roundabouttheatre.org: This revival of Tom Stoppard’s play about a successful writer, love and betrayal features Ewan McGregor and Maggie Gyllenhaal in their Broadway debuts, alongside Cynthia Nixon.
The River, Circle in the Square Theatre, 235 W. 50th St.; $35-$175; previews Oct. 31, opens Nov. 16, closes Jan. 25; Telecharge or www.theriveronbroadway.com: Hugh Jackman is the big draw in Jez Butterworth’s erotic, unsettling play about a man and woman in a remote cabin.
Side Show, St. James Theatre, 246 W. 44th St.; $49-$155; previews Oct. 28, opens Nov. 17; Telecharge or www.sideshowbroadway.com: Erin Davie and Emily Padgett play Daisy and Violet Hilton, real-life conjoined twins who performed in vaudeville in the 1920s and ’30s, in director Bill Condon’s re-imagined version of the Bill Russell-Henry Krieger musical.
Skylight, Golden Theatre, 242 W. 45th St.; $60-$149; previews March 16, opens April 2; Telecharge or www.skylightbway.com: The acclaimed London revival of David Hare’s play comes to Broadway. Carey Mulligan is the teacher whose settled life is upended when her former lover, played by Bill Nighy, arrives hoping to rekindle their romance.
This Is Our Youth, Cort Theatre, 138 W. 48th St.; $35-$135; closes Jan. 4; Telecharge or www.thisisouryouthbroadway.com: Kenneth Longergan’s play about a trio of Manhattan teens dealing with issues of drugs, sex and money stars Michael Cera, Kieran Culkin and the hot young actress Tavi Gevinson.
You Can’t Take It With You, Longacre Theatre, 220 W. 48th St.; $37-$152; closes Jan. 4; Telecharge or www.youcanttakeitwithyoubroadway.com: This revival of the classic George S. Kaufman-Moss Hart comedy about an eccentric family and a “normal” one whose kids get engaged stars James Earl Jones, Elizabeth Ashley, Kristine Nielsen and Rose Byrne.