Winter theater: Critic’s picks
Winter always means a slew of new show openings, but theatergoers aren’t limited to the traditional holiday fare. Plenty of new plays and musicals are gearing up to fill the void between the busy lineup of fall debuts and next year’s promising spring schedule. Here’s a look at what we’re highly anticipating in the coming months that will sate your theater cravings through 2012.
‘On A Clear Day You Can See Forever’
Starring Harry Connick Jr. in the role of an infatuated psychiatrist, this musical love story offers boatloads of charm and whimsy accompanied by a 19-piece orchestra. For a few hours at least, inside the St. James Theatre, you may just be convinced that your whole world can turn upside-down for the right special someone. Opening Dec. 11. www.onacleardaybroadway.com
‘Bonnie & Clyde’
Billed as “Broadway’s most-wanted musical,” this unconventional romance about one of history’s most notorious crime duos is currently in previews and opening Dec. 1. Although released song samples by composer Frank Wildhorn are chillingly reminiscent of his work on the recent flop “Wonderland,” we’re holding out hope that this one comes together to deliver all the heart-stopping thrill and tragedy of the Bonnie and Clyde storyline we’ve come to know and love. www.bonnieandclydebroadway.com
This one offers the big-name pull, notably Alan Rickman (“Harry Potter”) and Lily Rabe (“Merchant of Venice”). The cast practically guarantees success even before you get down to the chortle-worthy premise that likely drew these heavyweights to begin with: Reminiscent of last year’s “Master Class,” produced by MTC, “Seminar” showcases a group of novelists who seek tutelage from a relentless literary luminary (Rickman). Catch it in previews now, with the run officially starting Nov. 20. www.seminaronbroadway.com
Did you know Alicia Keys has collaborated on a new play? And no, it’s not even a musical. That might be all we need to say to pique your interest about this one, but you might also like to know that the show features Dule Hill (“Psych”) and Mekhi Phifer (“ER”) as brothers competing to show off their new girlfriends to the family during one turbulent weekend on the typically serene Martha’s Vineyard. Opening night is Dec. 8. www.stickflybroadway.com
‘Other Desert Cities’
Through Jan. 8
Lincoln Center Theater
150 W. 65th St.,
Rachel Giffiths plays a woman who returns home to celebrate Christmas with her family (Stockard Channing, Stacy Keach, Thomas Sadoski and Judith Light), only to drop the bombshell that she’s publishing a memoir, forcing everyone to revisit a pivotal and tragic event in the family’s history.
‘Hugh Jackman Back on Broadway’
Through Jan. 1
235 W. 44th St.
After boxing robots in “Real Steel,” Hugh Jackman is back on Broadway, performing some of his favorite musical numbers with the help of an 18-piece orchestra. In this 10-week engagement, he’ll perform songs that reflect on his life and career, both onstage and onscreen.
Opens Dec. 14
Walter Kerr Theatre
219 W. 48th St.
This musical brings a new twist to Aristophanes’ classic comedy when a bunch of cheerleaders swear abstinence until their ball player boyfriends win a game — and ultimately, find that true love can exist without engaging in the act.
‘Seven in One Blow or The Brave Little Kid’
One Sheridan Sq.
Due to popular demand, the critically acclaimed production will be back at Axis Company for the 10th consecutive year, bringing its blend of technological wizardry and live performance. In this adaptation of a classic Grimm fairytale, the protagonist embarks on a monster-filled journey to discover love — perfect for the family as the holidays draw near.