Call it willfulness, or I could just be in denial. But my list of 10 exciting theater projects for next year includes no musical adaptations of movies. Oh, there will be plenty -- for starters, "Honeymoon in Vegas," "Finding Neverland," "An American in Paris," "Dr. Zhivago" and a revival of the 1973 adaptation of the 1958 movie "Gigi." And -- who knows? -- we may finally get that long-delayed, scandal-plagued production of "Rebecca, the Musical."
Naturally, we're hoping they all will be splendid. Masochists, we're not. But this is a list of upcoming plots, plans and notions that exist, or originated, as pure theatrical ideas. In chronological order, they are:
Medieval TV stars and prisoners head for Off-Broadway Peter Dinklage (an amazing theater actor before HBO's "Game of Thrones") and Taylor Schilling (who studied theater before heading to Netflix prison in "Orange Is the New Black"), take on romantic 19th century Russians in a revival of Turgenev's "A Month in the Country" at Off-Broadway's tiny Classic Stage Company, beginning previews Jan. 8.
Take that, Billy Joel Ethan Lipton & His Orchestra -- really, one terrific, witty, socially conscious Brooklyn songwriter and his three-piece jazz-folk-theater band -- has a yearlong monthly residency downtown at Joe's Pub at the Public Theater. They start Jan. 21 with the revival of "No Place to Go," his irresistible musical about unemployment, then do a new show every month.
Good old reliable Nathan? Nathan Lane takes a huge leap from comedy to "The Iceman Cometh," Eugene O'Neill's five-hour, 18-character drama about disillusionment and dashed hopes in Harry Hope's tavern. Brian Dennehy co-stars in director Robert Falls' transfer from Chicago's Goodman Theatre, which runs Feb. 5-March 15 at the BAM Harvey Theater.
The first hip-hop president? In 2008, a Washington Heights composer-actor named Lin-Manuel Miranda shot directly into the theater stratosphere with the exhilarating, Tony-winning "In the Heights," Broadway's first Hispanic musical actually written by a Hispanic. On Feb. 16 at the Public Theater, his much-anticipated "Hamilton," based on the life of Alexander Hamilton, opens. Miranda, who stars, also wrote the book, lyrics and the music based on his hip-hop album, "The Hamilton Mixtape."
Larry David does Broadway? The star of the semiautobiographical "Curb Your Enthusiasm" and co-creator of "Seinfeld" brings his witty, excruciatingly personal style to "Fish in the Dark," his first play and his Broadway acting debut. It's a multicharacter comedy about a death in the family, opening March 5.
Hail the Queen again Helen Mirren, who was indelibly Elizabeth II in the 2006 movie "The Queen," comes to Broadway March 8 as the monarch in "The Audience." Peter Morgan, who wrote that film, now imagines what might have happened in Elizabeth's ultra-private weekly meetings with each of her 12 prime ministers over more than five decades.
Raise your hand if you miss Heidi Holland Me, too. Shockingly, Wendy Wasserstein was the first woman playwright -- ever -- to win a Tony Award. It was 1989 and the play was "The Heidi Chronicles," a brilliant, lovable, heartbreaking journey through significant times in America and the women's rights movement as seen through the life of an art historian. Elisabeth Moss ("Mad Men") stars.
English history is such bloody fun Here comes "Wolf Hall: Parts One & Two," a 51/2 hour saga about Henry VIII, Anne Boleyn, Thomas Cromwell and all the king's jolly courtiers. The acclaimed Royal Shakespeare Company adaptations of Hilary Mantel's two award-winning novels come to Broadway April 9 with the original cast -- 20 actors playing 70 characters. The plays can be seen over two evenings or in a marathon with break for dinner.
Getting to know them, again The Lincoln Center Theater is betting on a second lightning strike with "The King and I." The Rodgers and Hammerstein classic will be revived April 16 with the same director, Bartlett Sher, and star, Kelli O'Hara, who made "South Pacific" a seven-Tony, two-year hit at the Beaumont Theater. O'Hara portrays the governess Anna, with Ken Watanabe as the King of Siam.
The Public Theater does it again "Fun Home" was the best musical I saw in 2013 and, on April 19, Broadway finally gets to see it, too. The musical, which won last year's New York Drama Critics' Circle Award, is based on Alison Bechdel's graphic growing-up novel, with a score by Jeanine Tesori ("Violet") and book by Lisa Kron ("Well"). Sam Gold again directs much the same wonderful cast from the Public Theater production.
April 28 Tony nominations announced
June 7 Tony Awards (CBS)