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Theater: Bumper Crop

2 minute read
T.E. Kalem

A guide to Broadway

A record 17 million visitors are expected in New York City this year. For those with the theater on their travel agenda, the pick of Broadway’s bumper crop of 27 offerings:

A Chorus Line. Terpsichore is the divine Muse of this musical as Choreographer Michael Bennett takes the parade-ground drill of the Radio City Rockettes and raises it to a Platonic idea.

Ain’t Misbehavin’. This handsome tribute to Fats Waller is a jumpin’ Harlem cantata of urban night music. Winner of the New York Drama Critics’ Circle and Tony Awards for Best Musical, 1978.

Chapter II. Neil Simon, the bluechip comic writer of the Broadway stage, adds a reflective dimension as he ponders the shadow of a first wife’s death falling across the path of a second bride.

Da. A middle-aged Irishman bids his father’s ghost adieu, but the ghost kicks up his heels in witty, wise and mischievous ways. A medal should be struck for every member of a marvelous cast headed by Barnard Hughes as Da.

Dancin’. It’s a wonder that audiences can keep their feet still as they watch the electric and eclectic dance inventions of Choreographer Bob Fosse.

Deathtrap. Like a boa constrictor, this murder mystery coils lethally around its characters. Marinating menace with a lunatic humor, John Wood, a superb actor, can make a playgoer die laughing.

Dracula. Looking like a haunted Byronic prince, Frank Langella sucks blood as if it were champagne.

Gemini. An earthy Italo-American family comedy that the early William Saroyan might have enjoyed or, for that matter, written.

I Love My Wife. A saucily engaging musical in which two pairs of would-be swinging couples get into bed together only to find that monogamous love is more than sin deep.

The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. The words but never the actions are raw in this folksy, affectionate and hilarious musical about the closing of a bordello.

The Gin Game. Facing death with a certain caustic equanimity has become a popular stage theme in the past couple of seasons. In this play, a cantankerous old man and an assertive old lady play bracing games of gin rummy even though the cards of life are stacked against them.


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