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Broadway’s 2014 lineup takes to the stage

January 23rd, 2014

What could be more thrilling for theater lovers than the view of Times Square in New York City? One could argue that this year’s Broadway lineup will be just as dazzling. 2014 is packed with a lineup of familiar shows featuring well-known actors.

Some new changes to the old classics will create a whole new experience for audiences. “Les Misérables,” a highly acclaimed musical, will make its third return to Broadway in early March, along with new orchestrations and a scenic design facelift. The Tony Award-winning musical “Titanic,” which tells an emotional story of the historical ship’s passengers, will make its appearance in the fall after a summer in Toronto. Another classic, “Cabaret,” featuring Tony-winning actor Alan Cumming alongside actress Michelle Williams, will be making its return to the Broadway stage as well. As for comedies and dramas, Broadway will welcome two literary classics.

The American classic, “A Raisin in the Sun,” will return with actor Denzel Washington starring in this beloved drama. Also, the dark comedy, “The Cripple of Inishmaan,” will star none other than Daniel Radcliffe. This marks Radcliffe’s third return to Broadway after his critically acclaimed performances in the productions of “Equus” and “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.”

As for other anticipated comedies and dramas, fans of the canceled television show “Smash” will enjoy actress Debra Messing’s performance in “Outside Mullingar,” a story of an Irishwoman’s attempt at romance.

For a production that hits home, Eric Coble, playwright and member of the Cleveland Heights-University Heights Board of Education, will launch his first Broadway play, “The Velocity of Autumn.” Coble, who has written dozens of plays, will premiere the last of his trilogy about a visual artist’s three stages of life performed in New York City. Previews for “The Velocity of Autumn” will begin at the start of April.

On a more musical note, the latest buzz is the February premiere of “Aladdin.” Disney fans will be ecstatic to see yet another Walt Disney film (following “The Lion King,” “Beauty and the Beast,” “Tarzan,” “Mary Poppins,” “The Little Mermaid” and “Newsies”) come to life on the Broadway stage. Also, it has just recently been announced that plans are in the making to transfer “Frozen,” Disney’s most recent movie success, into a Broadway musical production in the future.

Based on the classic Sylvester Stallone 1976 film, “Rocky” will bring the ring to the stage in Broadway’s fight of the year. This highly anticipated production is sure to be a crowd pleaser for all “Rocky” fans. Grammy winning singer/songwriter Carole King currently has her story being told onstage in “Beautiful: The Carole King Musical.” This musical shares King’s rise to fame in music history and highlights her early career before becoming a music legend.

In addition to seeing the faces of Washington and Radcliffe onstage, get ready to welcome back some of Broadway’s favorite faces. First, Tony Award winner Sutton Foster returns in “Violet,” a musical about a woman’s search for a cure through faith. Foster, noted for her previous performances in “Thoroughly Modern Millie,” “The Drowsy Chaperone” and “Shrek the Musical” to name a few, is a Broadway treasure. Secondly, “How I Met Your Mother’s” Neil Patrick Harris will make a huge splash on Broadway as a transgender Eastern German singer of a fictional rock and roll band in search of her lost soulmate in the rock musical “Hedwig and the Angry Inch.” Harris is no stranger to theater and promises to give an electric performance in this one of a kind production.

Lastly, Broadway will give a warm, heartfelt welcome back to Tony winner Idina Menzel. Best known for her Broadway performances in “Rent” and “Wicked,” Menzel will be starring in “If/Then,” a realistic storytelling of a woman’s start to a new life in New York City. Menzel, a remarkable talent, will certainly pull in a full audience and will guarantee an unbelievable performance.

For more information about Broadway’s 2014 lineup, look to playbill.com, broadway.com or theatermania.com for ticket prices, dates, times, overviews and reviews.