One Man, Two Guvnors
A good year for comedy
Beyond the musicals, groups visiting Broadway this year found plenty of comedy in the new crop of plays.
“We had a nice mix of dramas and comedies,” Martin said. “My favorite of the season has been ‘One Man, Two Guvnors.’ It’s more laughing than you’ll do in the rest of the year. We had ‘Peter and the Starcatcher,’ which tells the Peter Pan story, and it’s wowing kids and adults. Even the serious dramas like ‘Clybourne Park,’ ‘Other Desert Cities’ and ‘The Lyons’ were very funny.”
“One Man, Two Guvnors” won a Tony for best actor in a play. The play is an English adaptation of an 18th-century Italian play called “Servant of Two Masters,” and brings the events into Brighton, England, in the 1960s.
“Peter and the Starcatcher” serves as a prequel to the popular “Peter Pan” stories, giving audiences a look at how a young orphan turned into the “boy who never grew up.” A cast of 12 actors portray over 100 characters in the play. The show won three Tony Awards, including best performance by a featured actor in a play.
Judith Light won the Tony for best performance by a featured actress in a play for her role in “Other Desert Cities.” Noted for both its comedy and drama, this play follows the fictional journey of a modern-day novelist who endeavors to write a book about a difficult chapter in her family’s history.
Girl power coming
Martin is excited about new shows for the upcoming fall season, many of which are popular stories that revolve around strong female characters.
“We have ‘Rebecca’ coming in, based on the novel by Daphne du Maurier,” he said. “It’s a huge hit in Europe. It’s a huge undertaking with spectacular scenery, and it will open at the Broadhurst in the fall.
“We have a revival of ‘Annie’ coming in the fall. We’re also bringing over ‘Matilda,’ which has been a big hit in London.”
“Matilda” is an adaptation of Roald Dahl’s famous children’s book and will feature a variety of young girls taking turns playing the title role. Du Maurier published “Rebecca” in 1938, and it became one of the most celebrated novels of the day. The musical highlights the romantic elements of the story, along with mystery and intrigue.
Younger audiences will see one of the most popular girl-power movies of the 2000s reborn as a Broadway musical when “Bring It On” takes the stage this fall.
“‘Bring It On’ is about cheerleading and rivalry, and it’s by the same team that brought us ‘The Book of Mormon,’” Martin said. “It’s the one that I’m the most interested in, and it should be a little bit edgier than the other new shows.”