Revivals to light up Broadway in early 2013

Broadway is gearing up to melt away the snowy winter of discontent with a slew of new shows.

Theatergoers look forward not only to the many new musicals, comedies and dramas which light up the Great White Way, but also to many revivals which appeal not only to regular theater patrons but also to tourists.

It is often a recognizable title of a hit from yesteryear which draws thousands to a Broadway house, giving the box office a big boost. This spring is no exception with ten revivals scheduled to open by May and therefore eligible to be nominated for this year’s Tony Award as “Best Revival” in June.

“RODGERS AND HAMMERSTEIN’S CINDERELLA” – Based upon the 1957 made-for-television musical, this version is more an adaptation than a revival.

With an updated book from the original by Oscar Hammerstein II and music from Richard Rodgers, Cinderella’s glass slipper will start fitting on Feb. 21 for an open run.

“FIORELLO!” – Tony Award-winning “Best Musical” in 1960 is a salute to New York’s feisty mayor Fiorello H. LaGuardia. With music by Jerry bock and lyrics by Sheldon Harnick, “Fiorello” will run Jan. 30 through Feb. 4 as part of the Encore! series, which reintroduces rarely produced musicals.

“PASSION” – My least favorite Sondheim musical – sorry, oh daughters of mine! – won the 1994 Tony Award for “Best Musical.” With a book by James Lapine and music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, “Passion,” opening Feb. 28., examines an Italian soldier at the apex of an unusual love triangle with Broadway veterans Judy Kuhn and Melissa Erico as the women competing for his affection.

“ANNIE” – America’s favorite orphan found a home on Broadway right before Christmas, competing with other holiday fare (“How the Grinch Stole Christmas: the Musical,” “The Nutcracker,” “A Christmas Story: The Musical” and “Elf, the Musical”). Anthony Warlow (best known as the original “Jekyll & Hyde”) plays Daddy Warbucks in this colorful musical, optimistic for a better “Tomorrow.”

“JEKYLL & HYDE” — Soon to complete a 25-week national tour with a Broadway opening in April, “Jekyll & Hyde” was a critical and popular hit running more than 1,500 performances on Broadway when originally produced in 1997. Singing Frank Wildhorn’s powerful score will be Constantine Maroulis (from “American Idol”) playing Henry Jekyll and Edward Hyde.

“THE MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD” – The first Broadway revival of the Victorian musical whodunit (with the audience voting on the killer’s identity) will end its run on Feb. 10. With book, lyrics and music by Rupert Holmes, “Drood” won several Tony awards when first mounted on 1986. Included in the big cast are several Broadway veterans, including Chita Rivera.

“THE BIG KNIFE” – Current Broadway favorite Bobby Cannavale moves from last fall’s revival of’ “Glengarry Glen Ross” into the revival of Clifford Odets’ drama about a Hollywood star with a secret that could destroy his career. “The Big Knife,” first staged in 1949, will open April 16.

“GOLDEN BOY” – Another Clifford Odets’ revival was first presented on Broadway in 1937. A violin prodigy risks injury to his hands when the big bucks of the fight game beckon. The supporting cast includes Tony Shalhoub (TV’s “Monk”) and Danny Burstein (Tony Award nominee from last year’s revival of “Follies.”)

“CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF” – The revival of Tennessee Williams’ smoldering drama opens Jan. 16. For marketing purposes, the veteran cast is “headed” by Scarlett Johansson as Maggie, the love starved Southern belle frustrated by an alcoholic husband.

“INTO THE WOODS” – Barely beating the Tony Award eligibility date with an opening May 10, a scaled down version of Stephen Sondheim-James Lapine fairy tale will get a minimalist approach with the large cast narrowed to 10 actors and the large orchestra reduced to a single piano. Should make for a different “answer” to the question: What happens after “happily ever after?”