Last season, Broadway seemed to finally shake off the recession with a record $1.08 billion gross from more than 12.5 million patrons, who flocked to New York to see 42 new shows, according to The Broadway League, the industry trade group.
The season was the best in 20 years and easily topped the the $943 million and $1.02 billion take from the last two seasons respectively. Audiences were also the largest in more than two decades.
That means, this season will have its work cut out for it to beat those numbers. But an all-star line up awaits, if the weather and the economy cooperate.
Among some of the celebrities hitting the boards will be Nicole Kidman, Sex and The City’s Kim Katrall and Cynthia Nixon, Harry Potter’s Alan Rickman, Samuel L. Jackson, Angela Bassett, Latin singer Ricky Martin and Hugh Jackman.
Blair Underwood, best known for the NBC legal drama “L.A. Law” will make his Broadway debut in a new take on classic play A Streetcar Named Desire.
Cattrall will lead in the revival of Noel Coward’s play Private Lives at the Music Box Theater.
She’ll be reprising the role from a run in London about a divorced couple that reunites while on separate honeymoons with new spouses. She’ll hit the boards Nov. 6 through Feb. 5th, 2012.
Hollywood’s Ethan Coen, Elaine May and Woody Allen have written one-act comedies in a production starring Steve Guttenberg and Marlo Thomas in the three short plays. It will play the Brooks Atkinson Theatre, starting Sept 20.
Rickman will headline the play Seminar about four young writers taking a seminar by a famed literary figure with unorthodox teaching methods. Catch it at the John Golden Theatre, debuting Oct. 27th.
Here’s a rundown of Broadway highlights in the new season:
Bonnie and Clyde: A rockabilly score and stars Laura Osnes and Jeremy Jordan highlight the re-telling of the famous bank robbing duo’s story. Opens Dec. 1 at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre.
Man and Boy: Frank Langella stars as a businessman tries to find his way back into his son’s life during an economic crisis. Opens Oct. 9; closes Nov. 27 at the American Airlines Theatre.
Relatively Speaking: Guttenberg and Thomas join Mark Linn-Baker and John Turturro in an evening of one-act plays by Allen, Coen and May. Opens Oct. 20 at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre.
The Mountaintop: Jackson and Bassett lead in this drama about the night before Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination in in Memphis on April 3, 1968. Opens Oct. 13 at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre.
Other Desert Cities: A star-studded cast including Stockard Channing, Rachel Griffiths, Judith Light and Stacy Keach tells the compelling story of a former GOP bigwig who has deep family secrets, Opens Nov. 3 at the Booth Theatre.
Venus in Fur: Based on the erotic novel by the same name, Nina Arianda stars as an actress who really wants the part in a play and will do anything to get it. Opens Nov. 8; through Dec. 18 at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre.
Hugh Jackman, Back on Broadway: The Hollywood actor and Tony winner sings and dances backed by an 18-piece orchestra, in a musical. Opens Nov. 10 and closes Jan. 1 at the Broadhurst Theatre.
Seminar: Rickman plays mentor to four ambitious novelists who must endure his unorthodox teaching methods. Opens Nov. 20 at the John Golden Theatre.
Private Lives: Cattrall and Paul Gross star in a morality play about reuniting on while honeymooning with new spouses. A Noel Coward classic. Opens Nov. 17 at the Music Box Theatre.
Lysistrata Jones: In this modern day adaptation of Aristophanes’ Lysistrata, Douglas Carter Beane’s and Lewis Finn’s new musical is about a basketball team that finds itself after girlfriends of the players refuse to sleep with them until they win. Opens Dec. 14 at the Walter Kerr Theatre.
Stick Fly: Singer Alicia Keys produces Lydia R. Diamond’s play about two African-American sons bringing their girlfriends to meet the parents at their posh Martha’s Vineyard home. One is black the other white. Opens Dec. 8 at the Cort Theatre.
Road to Mecca: An elderly widow fights to stay in her home with the aid of a young teacher who is determined to keep her out of nursing home. Rosemary Harris, Jim Dale and Carla Gugino star. Opens Jan. 17 at the American Airlines Theatre.
The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess: This isn’t a revival but a reimagining of the classic musical. Purists are not unmused with Diane Paulus’ and Suzan-Lori Parks’ adaptation, but Audra McDonald and David Alan Grier will try to convince them otherwise. Opens Jan. 12 at the Richard Rodgers Theatre.
An Evening with Patti LuPone and Mandy Patinkin: These two Broadway legends star in a concert setting. Opens Nov. 21 at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre.
Wit: This off-Broadway hit makes the leap to Broadway. Sex and the City’s Cynthia Nixon stars as a poetry professor battling cancer. Opens Jan. 26 at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre.
End of the Rainbow: Singing and acting legend Judy Garland is the focus of this play about the last days of her life. Tracie Bennett stars in Peter Quilter’s drama. Opens Apr. 3. The theater has yet to be announced.
Ghost: The theatrical adaption of the 1990 movie starring Demi Moore and Patrick Swayze hits Broadway after a successful run in London. Opens April. Theater TBA.
Rebecca: The Daphne du Maurier novel by the same name made famous on film by Alfred Hitchcock comes to Broadway as a musical, with lyrics by Michael Kunze and music by Sylvester Levay. Opens April 22. Theater TBA.
The Columnist: Reprising his role from the musical The Sweet Smell of Success, John Lithgow plays a powerful columnist making and breaking lives. Opens April 25 at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre.
Fat Pig: Playwright Neil LaBute directs his play about a man who falls in love with a plus-sized woman. Dates TBA. Belasco Theatre.
Big Fish: Based on the 2003 fantasy adventure film directed by Tim Burton, the play is based on the 1998 novel of the same name by Daniel Wallace. Susan Stroman (The Producers) directs with music and lyrics by Andrew Lippa (The Addams Family). Date and theater TBA.
Clybourne Park: A twist on the 1959 classic A Raisin in the Sun about a black family buying a Chicago home in a white neighborhood. Fifty years later, a white couple buys a house in what is now an African-American neighborhood. Date and theater TBA.
Kiss of the Spider Woman: a new adaptation by Jose Rivera (Motorcycle Diaries) and Allan Baker. Date and theater TBA.
Nice Work If You Can Get It: Broadway veteran Matthew Broderick and Kelli O’Hara star in a comedy musical featuring the works of George and Ira Gershwin. Date and theater TBA.
Sweet Bird of Youth: Kidman will star in this play about a man who brings a faded movie star home. The play was delayed after James Franco dropped out of this Tennessee Williams revival. Date and theater TBA.
Godspell: In the first revival of the 1970s hit, Hunter Parrish (Spring Awakening) will star in the Stephen Schwartz musical based on St. Matthew’s Gospel, Opens Nov. 7 at Circle in the Square Theatre.
On a Clear Day You Can See Forever: The Burton Lane and Alan Jay Lerner musical is reimagined by Michael Mayer with a new book by Peter Parnell. Harry Connick Jr. stars as the shrink. Opens Dec. 11 at the St. James Theatre.
Death of a Salesman: This Arthur Miller classic should be taken to new heights by star Philip Seymour Hoffman as traveling salesman Willy Loman and Director Mike Nicols. Opens March 2012 at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre.
Evita: The first Broadway revival of this Andrew Lloyd Webber musical about Argentina’s Eva Peron will bring together Ricky Martin, Michael Cerveris and Argentina’s own Elena Roger. Date TBA at the Marquis Theatre.
The Best Man This Gore Vidal revival, directed by Michael Wilson will feature James Earl Jones as a former president. Date and theater TBA.
Funny Girl: “Six Feet Under” star Lauren Ambrose stars as comedian Fanny Brice. Bobby Cannavale plays gambler, Nick Arnstein. Barbra Streisand made the role unforgettable on film. Date and theater TBA.
A Streetcar Named Desire: Blair Underwood makes his Broadway debut as the brutish Stanley Kowalski. Date and theater TBA.