Ten shows that will make a splash in 2013

Matthew James Thomas (Pippin), center, in "Pippin"

Matthew James Thomas (Pippin), center, in "Pippin" (Credit: Matthew James Thomas (Pippin), center, in "Pippin")

Whether you're looking for a new all-ages musical adapted from a classic children's book or a pair of shows about an NYC mayor and a Texas governor, 2013 will feature plenty of exciting theater offerings:

1. MATILDA
This inventive musical adaptation of the well-known children's story about an intelligent young girl who takes on a television-obsessed family and a monstrous headmistress received terrific buzz during its London premiere. It's very British in style, but has the makings of a family-friendly Broadway hit. Starts previews on March 4 at the Shubert Theatre.

2. ANN
This new one-woman play about the late Texas Gov. Ann Richards, written by and starring Holland Taylor, received strong notices during its out-of-town engagements in Texas and Washington, D.C. Starts previews on Feb. 18 at Lincoln Center's Vivian Beaumont Theatre.

3. CINDERELLA
Rodgers & Hammerstein's breezy take on the fairy tale has been filmed for television three times, but never played Broadway before. For the occasion, comic playwright Douglas Carter Beane has rewritten the book and an enticing cast has been gathered, including Laura Osnes, Santino Fontana, Victoria Clark and Harriet Harris. Starts previews on Jan. 25 at the Broadway Theatre.

4. PIPPIN
Although an official announcement has yet to be made, I would be very surprised if Diane Paulus' highly anticipated revival of the '70s Fosse musical "Pippin," which is still in previews at the American Repertory Theatre in Boston, doesn't transfer to Broadway by the end of this season. Stay tuned for more details.

5. FIORELLO!
To mark the 20th anniversary of the indispensable Encores! series at City Center, there will be a revival of the Pulitzer-winning 1959 musical "Fiorello," which celebrates the rise of New York City Mayor Fiorello La Guardia and is the first show ever done by the series. Jan. 30-Feb. 3 at City Center.

6. FAR FROM HEAVEN
Playwrights Horizons will present the New York premiere of this musical version of the Julianne Moore film about a typical '50s housewife whose life is turned around. The show stars Kelli O'Hara and contains a new score by the "Grey Gardens" team of Scott Frankel and Michael Korie. May 18-June 30 at Playwrights Horizons.

7. THE LARAMIE PROJECT CYCLE
"The Laramie Project," the groundbreaking piece of documentary theater about the murder of gay college student Matthew Shepard, will be revived alongside the Tectonic Theater Company's new sequel "The Laramie Project: Ten Years Later." Feb. 12-24 at BAM.

8. THE LAST FIVE YEARS
Jason Robert Brown's exquisite two-person musical, which charts the birth and death of a marriage from opposite points of view (he starts at the beginning and goes forward, she starts at the end and moves backward), will be revived in a new production directed by Brown himself. Mar. 7-April 21 at Second Stage.

9. THE NANCE
This will be quite a season for Douglas Carter Beane. In addition to "Cinderella," Nathan Lane will star in his new play exploring the stereotype of the flamboyant, gay man of 1930s burlesque comedy. Starts previews on Mar. 21 at the Lyceum Theatre.

10. CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF
Scarlett Johansson, who won a Tony three years ago for her excellent performance in "A View from the Bridge," will now tackle Maggie the Cat in a new revival of Tennessee Williams' steamy bedroom drama. Now in previews at the Richard Rodgers Theatre.

Tags: ENTERTAINMENT , MATT WINDMAN

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