October Stages: Celebrity Pull on BroadwayOctober 16, 2017 - by Griffin Miller, Theatre Editor
Don’t even bother checking your rearview mirror: New York’s new theatre season is in the moment, shattering the fall status quo with superstars Bruce Springsteen (in his Broadway debut, Springsteen on Broadway) and John Leguizamo (re-emerging after a five-year hiatus from Broadway) in his latest solo comedy, Latin History for Morons.
Credit: Rob DeMartin
High profile comedienne and Broadway neophyte Amy Schumer has dived into the new season as well, taking up residence at the Booth Theatre in Steve Martin’s Meteor Shower. Her costars in this two-couples-one-weird-night play include Tony-winner Laura Benanti (Gypsy), Alan Tudyk (Firefly), and Keegan-Michael Key (Playing House).
Further star power arrives on the Great White Way via Elizabeth McGovern, whose memorable embodiment of Lady Cora Crawley on Downton Abbey will prequel her role as matriarch of a wealthy English family in J.B. Priestley’s 1937 drama Time and the Conways. Only unlike American-born Lady Crawley, McGovern’s Mrs. Conway is not odd-accent-out but British from the first syllable on.
Speaking of matriarchs, Annette O’Toole (one of the stars of the original version of Stephen King’s It) is currently Off-Broadway playing a formidable familial Queen Bee facing off against her daughter’s suitor—the wild-card title character of The Show-Off—in another vintage gem, this one by Pulitzer Prize winner George Kelly. Catch it before it closes on October 21st.
And while we’re Off-Broadway, think Stuffed, currently in previews at the Westside Theatre, a definite “check it out” for anyone with body and/or food issues (and their significant others)—basically everyone on the planet. Starring Marsha Stephanie Blake (Orange Is the New Black), Eden Malyn (House of Lies), and Lisa Lampanelli, the take-no-prisoners comic who wrote the timely script for this ultimately poignant comedy.
Meanwhile, rocking Lincoln Center Theater’s fall roster is After the Blast, actor/screenwriter/playwright Zoe Kazan’s latest at the intimate Claire Tow Theater. The hot-button drama zeroes in on a group of people caught in the crosshairs of a post-environmental mega-crisis. And while you’re in a Lincoln Center state of mind, you’ll want to make note of Junk, by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Ayad Akhtar (Disgraced), making its Broadway debut at the Vivian Beaumont Theater. Set in the greed-infested world of 1980s junk bonds, the drama stars Rescue Me alum Steven Pasquale.