NEW YORK CITY - Ah, autumn in New York. It's the time when leaves fall in Central Park, and theatrers raise their curtains on the new season on Broadway.
Dozens of new plays and musicals, coupled with several revivals and Shakespearian adaptations, will light up the Great White Way, each hoping for a long run and for some Tony Award nominations.
Some producers try to add to the box-office appeal by luring movie stars or popular television performers to step out onto the legit stage.
This photo released from the Broadway website shows Kate Baldwin and Norbert Leo Butz in “Big Fish.”
Here is a Baker's Dozen of the most anticipated musicals, comedies, and dramas which comprise a promising new season:
"Big Fish" - Tony winner Norbert Leo Butz plays a father whose tall tales frustrates his family in this new musical based upon Tim Burton's 2003 film.
"Beautiful: The Carole King Musical" - How a Brooklyn girl Carol Klein is transformed into a successful singer-songwriter stars Jessie Mueller and features "Will You Love Me Tomorrow?" and other tunes of the period.
"The Bridges of Madison County," opening Jan. 14 - Adapted from the 1995 film starring Clint Eastwood and Meryl Streep, the musical stars Kelli O'Hara as the Iowa housewife whose chance meeting with a National Geographic photographer played by Steven Pasquale forces her to choose between love and security.
"Little Miss Sunshine," opens Nov. 7 - This musical comedy is based upon the popular 2006 film in which little Olive Hoover and her eccentric family head cross the country for her to compete in the preteen Little Miss Sunshine contest.
COMEDIES AND DRAMAS
"A Time to Kill," opens Oct. 20 - The first time that a John Grisham novel has been adapted for the stage, the compelling drama focuses upon a white lawyer defending a black man who took justice into his own hands in Mississippi.
"Domesticated," opens Nov. 4 - Jeff Goldblum and Laurie Metcalf play a married couple who innocently get caught up a scandal in a new play by Pulitzer Prize winning playwright Bruce Norris.
"Bullets Over Broadway," opens April 14 - Zach Braff , of TV's "Scrubs," plays a playwright. Vincent Pastore is the financing mobster who males an offer ("Cast my talentless moll or else!") in Woody Allen's adaptation of his 1994 movie.
"One Night," running now through Nov. 24 - Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Charles Fuller of "A Soldier's Story" again focues on the military in this drama about women in the armed forces and the price some pay for serving their country.
"The Commons of Pensacola," opens Nov. 21 - Blythe Danner and Sarah Jessica Parker play a mother and daughter grappling with the aftermath of a Wall Street scam perpetrated by their husband and father.
"The Glass Menagerie," now running - Although billed as a "thorough rejuvenation" of Tennessee 1944 drama, this revival comes to Broadway with the same cast which won acclaim earlier this year in Cambridge, Mass. Cherry Jones heads the cast as the mother who desperately hopes for a gentleman caller for her daughter."
"The Sunshine Boys," running now through Nov. 3 - Judd Hirsch and Danny DeVito play the aging vaudeville comedians in this latest revival of Neil Simon's comedy classic.
I consider myself fortunate to have seen the last revival with Tony Randall and Jack Klugman (shortly before his death) as the funny, feuding Lewis and Clark.
"The Winslow Boy," opens tonight and runs until Dec. 1 - Terrance Rattigan's 1946 play is revived after a popular run at England's Old Vic. A 14-year-old boy is expelled military school for cheating and his family pulls together in a costly fight to save their honor.
"A Raisin in the Sun," opens March 15 - Dianne Carroll returns to the New York stage after three decades to play the beleaguered matriarch, with Denzel Washington as her frustrated son, in this tale of a black family's struggles in 1950s Chicago.