At the core of the Big Apple is its astounding array of theater offerings
from comedies to drama, from classical to cutting edge, and from intimate to
But what many visitors can't wait to sample is New york's unmatched
contribution to theater around the world—the Broadway musical. Visitors
to New york during the Institute on Psychiatric Services, which meets from
october 5 to 8 at the Marriott Marquis, will be able to select from an
eclectic mix of long-running blockbusters and newer shows that will probably
not play in their hometowns for years.
Among the shows that have generated considerable buzz—and multiple
Tony awards—in the last few years is "Avenue Q," a funny and
often touching musical about accepting and embracing people's differences. The
show is sung by a collection of puppet-like "monsters" and
real-life actors, all of whom are in their 20s and live in a downscale
Brooklyn apartment building where each is trying to find his or her purpose in
life. The definitely for-adults-only show received Tony awards in 2004 for
best musical, best score, and best book of a musical.
The clever and inventive comedy "The Drowsy Chaperone" opened
earlier this year. It's actually a musical, a fantasized one, inside a
musical. The male lead plays a recording of his favorite musical, the
eponymous, old-fashioned one that opened in 1928 about an up-and-coming
Broadway starlet who prefers marriage to stardom and the Machiavellian
producer who plots to keep her nuptials from occurring. In best Broadway
tradition, the old musical that the modern-day fan is listening to
miraculously begins to unfold in his living room, which is of course our
Great and not-so-great Hollywood films have also presented considerable
fodder for hit musicals in recent years, probably because the audience is
already familiar with them. Among the enduring ones that will likely still be
playing in October are "Spamalot," based on "Monty Python
and the Holy Grail"; "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels";"
Hairspray"; and "The Lion King." Joining the roster
this year was "The Color Purple," based on Steven Spielberg's 1985
film, which was in turn based on a story by Alice Walker.
"A Chorus Line" will make its way to the Great White Way
this fall. Paul Kolnik
Many Broadway aficionados are eagerly anticipating the revival of one of
Broadway's groundbreaking musicals, "A Chorus Line," scheduled to
open on October 5. The show, in which more than a dozen dancers at an audition
use song, and of course, dance, to reveal the pain and joy they have endured
in their lives, held the record for the longest-running Broadway show until
the era of blockbuster spectacles in the 1980s.
Also to be revived by fall is that musical war horse "Les
"The Times They Are a-Changin'," a dance musical based on songs
by Bob Dylan and choreographed by Twyla Tharp, begins previews on September
25, though its formal opening is October 26. Tharp had a major success a few
years ago when she choreographed "Movin' out," a show based on
songs by Billy Joel.
And by the way, that famous chandelier is still plummeting to the stage in"
Phantom of the Opera," the producers of "Springtime for
Hitler" are still hoping for a tax-dodging flop, it's still hard to be
green in "Wicked," and mama mia, that collection of goodtimey ABBA
songs just won't go away.