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a steady rain, daniel craig, hugh jackman
Evan Agostini/AP
Actors Daniel Craig, left, and Hugh Jackman take their bows at the curtain call for the
Broadway opening performance of "A Steady Rain" on Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2009, in New York.

Fall in New York: Broadway Buzz and Celebrities on Stage

October 22, 2009
by Sarah Amandolare
Theater season has hit, bringing a variety of options to New York City. Discover some of the most hyped productions, including dramatic tales of marriage, strained work relationships and an unusual 1800s medical treatment. Hollywood stars have also flooded Broadway, performing in both classic and modern plays.

New York Theater Options This Fall

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Among the most attention-grabbing performances to hit New York City theater this season are a gripping tale of sexual harassment, a take on so-called "hysterical" women of the late 1800s and a glimpse into the life of a stubborn Chicago donut shop owner.

An Emotional Puzzle

"Oleanna" by David Mamet has already captivated Los Angeles audiences with its dramatic interactions between a female college student and her professor. Starring Bill Pullman and Julia Stiles, the play "has electrifying dialogue, blazing emotion and an ending that will leave you talking for weeks," daring the viewer "to take a side ... if you can," according to the play's Web site. "Oleanna" opens on Oct. 11 at the John Golden Theatre on West 45th Street.

On Marriage and Hysteria

"In the Next Room," by rising playwright Sarah Ruhl, is also referred to as "the vibrator play." The performance is based on medical treatments in the 1880s that used vibrator therapies for female patients suffering from "so-called 'hysteria,'" according to the Lincoln Center Theater Web site. The story centers on the relationship between a husband and wife; he is a doctor and she is confused by the treatments he provides for his female patients.

Stubbornness Meets Spark

Pulitzer Prize winner Tracy Letts brings his Chicago-based tale, "Superior Donuts," to Broadway. The play opened on Oct. 1 at the Music Box, and stars Michael McKean as "the stuck proprietor of a Chicago doughnut shop" and his dealings with an enthusiastic and intriguing young employee, Franco, played by Jon Michael Hill. In an article for Playbill, Kenneth Jones discusses how the production has been "revised and refined" by Letts since it premiered in Chicago in 2008.

Celebrities on Stage

For celebrity enthusiasts, New York City blog New York Show Tickets reports on a few big names who take the Broadway stage this fall: Jude Law stars in "Hamlet," while Daniel Craig and Hugh Jackman lead "A Steady Rain," and Sienna Miller headlines "After Miss Julie."

To read more about Law's largely well-received performance, visit this Los Angeles Times roundup of "Hamlet" critiques. The Canadian Broadcasting Centre provides a roundup of reviews of "A Steady Rain."
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