Reports of the death of the Broadway play may have been exaggerated.
After a spring slate full of non-musicals, the fall sked is equally packed with straight plays -- a dozen of them opening before the end of the year.
The slate is a fertile field of new works by big-name scribes (Tom Stoppard, Aaron Sorkin), little-seen revivals ("The Ritz," "Cymbeline"), London hits ("The Seafarer") and regional transfers ("August: Osage County"). There's even a "new" play by Mark Twain. In both number and diversity, the lineup clearly overshadows the tuner slate: just three new musicals before the holidays.
"Last year, there were a lot of plays that were a little heavier," says Bob Boyett, producer of the recently unearthed Twain farce "Is He Dead?" along with Conor McPherson's supernatural-tinged "The Seafarer" and Stoppard's "Rock 'n' Roll," all opening in November. "The difference in this coming season is that we have a much broader, and in my opinion a much brighter, spectrum."
The conversation about fall musicals is a short one. Remaining on the 2007 sked are the two mega-events of "Young Frankenstein" and "The Little Mermaid," both of which recently opened out of town in their respective tryouts, with the long-gestating and comparatively low-profile Shakespeare-in-Texas tuner, "Lone Star Love," also in the mix.