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Broadway Fills Theaters for New Season

Hcjr Broadway has been busy filling its theaters for the new season.

Nina Arianda, of “Born Yesterday” which recently ended its Broadway run, will be returning to the role of Vanda in David Ives’s play “Venus in Fur.” Arianda portrayed the actress who is willing to do whatever it takes to land a role in this play-within-a-play during the Off-Broadway production, and Off-Broadway director, Walter Bobbie, will return to direct. According to The New York Times, preview productions are scheduled to begin at the Samuel J. Friedman Theater on October 13 with an opening in November.

The Shubert Theater will be filled by Theresa Rebeck’s new play “Seminar” starring Alan Rickman. The dark comedy tells the story of a legendary author, Leonard (played by Rickman), who gives private lessons to four young writers. The New York Times said sex and scandal are major themes of this ominous play. Performance dates are expected to be announced in the coming weeks.

The American Repertory Theatre will be bringing and adaptation of the George Gershwin-Dubose Heyward folk opera “Porgy and Bess” to the Richard Rodgers Theatre. Norm Lewis and Audra McDonald are set to star in the musical about beggar Porgy and his love for Bess. Broadway performances will begin on December 17, and the official opening will be held on January 12, 2012, according to Playbill.

Bernadette Peters and the rest of the Kennedy Center production of “Follies” cast will reprise their roles at the Marquis Theater. Following two couples (all former members of the Weismann Follies) as they reminisce on the eve of their theater’s demolition, the musical originally opened on Broadway in 1971 and won seven Tony Awards. The New York Times reported this revival will open September 12 for a limited engagement.

Entering the Music Box Theatre, Noel Coward’s “Private Lives” will star Kim Cattrall and Paul Gross for a limited Broadway engagement. The comedy, fresh off a 2010 London run, concerns the divorced Amanda and Elyot who meet on adjoining balconies while honeymooning with new spouses. Playbill said that the run is set to begin on November 17 and will continue through February 5, 2012.

Harry Connick Jr. will take the stage in a revised revival of “On a Clear Day You Can See Forever.” Tony Award-winning director Michael Mayer will return to the St. James Theatre (home of his “American Idiot”) to explore the story of Dr. Mark Bruckner (Connick, Jr.) who takes on the case of his life. According to Playbill, Previews will begin on November 12 with the show set to open on December 11.

The Schoenfeld Theatre will house “Bonnie and Clyde” a new rockabilly and blues inspired musical about the American outlaws. Laura Osnes (currently in the Tony-winning “Anything Goes”) and Jeremy Jordan (Broadway’s “West Side Story,” “Rock of Ages”) will take on the lead roles and Tony nominee Jeff Calhoun will direct, Playbill reported. Previews are set to begin on November 4, and an official opening is scheduled for December 1.

The David Henry Hwang comedy “Chinglish” will make its way to Broadway after finishing a run at Chicago’s Goodman Theater in July. The story follows the owner of an American sign company in China as he encounter language and cultural barriers. Chicago director, Leigh Silverman, will stay on as director, but no Broadway casting has been announced. According to The New York Times, the play will find a home at a yet-to-be-determined Shubert theater in the fall.

Matthew Broderick is slated to star in the new musical “Nice Work If You Can Get It” directed by “Anything Goes” director Kathleen Marshall. The romantic comedy follows the story of a Prohibition-era playboy and will feature some of George and Ira Gershwin’s most loved songs. Broadway.com said the show will open in spring 2012 with additional casting and venue announcements coming shortly.

Alicia Keys is producing Lydia R. Diamond’s play “Stick Fly” for the Lyceum Theater at the end of the year.  The show explores the interactions of a well-off black family at their home in Martha’s Vineyard. The New York Times reported that previews will begin on November 18, and opening night is scheduled for December 8. Casting has yet to be announced.

Pictured: Harry Connick, Jr. (Photo: Getty Images)

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