Stage Preview: 12 Plays We're Excited For in '12
We're Excited About: Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber's landmark rock opera about Argentina's iconic first lady scored seven Tonys in 1980. Thirty-two years later, its first Broadway revival adds the Oscar-winning tune ''You Must Love Me'' from the Madonna-led 1996 movie, choreography by How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying's Rob Ashford, and pop star Ricky Martin in the role of singing revolutionary Che. The character's tour de force ''Oh, What a Circus'' is a mixture of pipes and bon-bon shaking that the Latin vocalist was made for. Previews begin March 12; opens April 5.
We're Excited About: How's this for inspired casting: The Big Bang Theory's Jim Parsons takes on one of Jimmy Stewart's signature stage and screen roles as Elwood P. Dowd, the lovable charmer whose best friend is a 6-foot-tall invisible rabbit. Previews begin May 18; opens June 14.
We're Excited About: The Sydney Theatre Company's revival of Anton Chekhov's tragicomedy — starring Oscar winner Cate Blanchett and adapted by her husband, Andrew Upton — earned raves last summer at Washington, D.C.'s Kennedy Center. The show will most likely transfer to New York's City Center with its original cast, which includes fantasy-franchise staple Hugo Weaving (The Matrix) and recent Oscar-nominee Jacki Weaver (Animal Kingdom), intact. Opens July 19.
Death of a Salesman
We're Excited About: Young man-of-the-moment Andrew Garfield makes his Broadway debut alongside Philip Seymour Hoffman in Arthur Miller's Pulitzer Prize-winning drama — which has Tony winner Mike Nichols at the helm. Previews begin Feb. 13; opens March 15.
We're Excited About: Kevin Spacey exploits his darkly comic and alarmingly disturbing side (think American Beauty meets Se7en) as the eponymous self-hating autocrat in Sam Mendes' modern-dress version of Shakespeare's history play. It's also the final installment of the U.K.-U.S. Bridge Project's series of co-productions at Brooklyn's BAM. Previews began Jan. 10; opens Jan. 18.
Ghost Brothers of Darkland County
We're Excited About: Stephen King penned the twisty story, John Mellencamp wrote the bluesy songs, and T Bone Burnett acted as musical director for this long-awaited gothic mystery set in America's Deep South — which will, quite appropriately, premiere at Altanta's Alliance Theatre. Previews begin April 4; opens April 11.
We're Excited About: Pulitzer Prize finalist Lisa D'Amour's backyard-set comedy about life gone awry in suburbia was originally destined for Broadway after its Chicago run — but the show's out-of-work yuppies and surreal dream sequences should prove a better fit at off-Broadway's Playwrights Horizons. Opens this fall.
Hands on a Hard Body, the Musical
We're Excited About: Black Swan choreographer Benjamin Millepied brings his moves the La Jolla Playhouse's musical adaptation of the 1997 documentary about a Texas endurance contest that challenges people to keep their hand on a new pickup truck for days. (The person who keeps his-her hand on the truck the longest — no squatting or leaning allowed — drives it home.) As if that odd pairing isn't exciting enough, the show also includes songs co-written by Phish front man Trey Anastasio and a book by Grey Gardens-scribe Doug Wright. Opens April 27.
Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
We're Excited About: The Steppenwolf Theatre Company's much-loved production of Edward Albee's classic four-hander hits Broadway on the play's 50th anniversary with its George and Martha (Amy Morton and Tracy Letts) in tow. Opens Oct. 13.
We're Excited About: The primary creative team behind one of the Main Stem's most legendary flops — the 1988 musical adaptation of Stephen King's best-selling horror novel — returns for an off-Broadway do-over with a fully reimagined production that promises to be bloody fun, if not bloody great. Previews began Jan. 13; opens March 1.
Jesus Christ Superstar
We're Excited About: The Stratford Shakespeare Festival's sparkling revival of Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber's rock & roll retelling of Jesus' last days finally comes to Broadway, bringing the 1970s hits ''Superstar'' and ''Everything's Alright'' with it. Previews begin March 1; opens March 22.
We're Excited About: Newsies high-flying paperboys were a hit during the show's New Jersey run, revealing something no one expected: Book writer Harvey Fierstein's redux of the Disney cult musical could end up being the Mouse House's best Broadway show in years. Previews begin March 15; opens March 29.