Broadway leaps into spring
Some big-name actors return to the stage and stir up the classics.
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Once scoffed at as "a play in which nothing happens – twice," Beckett's "Waiting for Godot" is now an unquestioned tragicomic masterpiece that has influenced everything from the plays of Edward Albee to sitcoms like "Seinfeld" and "Arrested Development." The story revolves around a couple of bedraggled hobos idling by a sad-looking tree and anticipating the arrival of someone who never shows up. The challenge for this star-studded cast is to stoke the play's deadpan comic rhythms, while leavening its brisk comedy with the loneliness and despair of characters facing the existential void. In his mime work and watershed role in "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" Bill Irwin (Vladimir) has proven himself more than capable of handling the shadows with the light. So, too, has Nathan Lane (Estragon). While it remains to be seen whether John Goodman (who plays Pozzo), and is well-known for his avuncular Dan Conner on "Roseanne" and impressive work with the Coen Brothers, can pull off this balancing act. (Previews begin April 3; opens April 30.)Skip to next paragraph
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While it’s been about 30 years since “West Side Story” or “Hair”appeared on a Broadway stage, “Guys and Dolls” was last seen in a majorUS revival in the relatively recent mid-’90s with Nathan Lane, FaithPrince, and Peter Gallagher. The classic musical that many consider thegreatest of all time has become a staple of high school theaterprograms and regional stages across the country. Almost everyone knowsthe indelible tunes of Frank Loesser. Still, for all its longevity doesthe show resonate in our current times? Leave it to director DesMcAnuff (“Jersey Boys,” “The Who’s Tommy”) to find the heart and soulin this story of two men – a craps-game organizer and a high roller –who can’t resist the gambling life, until love comes to town. The castseems intriguing. Oliver Platt, known for raising the bar withunforgettable character parts in otherwise mediocre fare like “Marriedto the Mob,” “Simon Birch,” “Frost/Nixon,” and the TV series “Huff,”gets the role of Nathan Detroit. The smooth Craig Bierko plays thescheming and suave Sky Masterson. While Lauren Graham, wisecracking momLorelai on the TV series “Gilmore Girls,” should make for a sultry andsassy Miss Adelaide. (Previews began Feb. 4; opens March 1.)