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'White Christmas' to open before Thanksgiving

August 27, 2008 11:36:46 AM PDT
Christmas arrives ahead of Thanksgiving on Broadway this season."Irving Berlin's White Christmas" has announced it will officially open Nov. 23 - four days before Thanksgiving. Preview performances for the stage version of Berlin's celluloid classic begin Nov. 14 at the Marquis Theatre.

No word yet on who will be in the cast, but the production will be directed by Walter Bobbie. "White Christmas" features a book by David Ives, who adapted Mark Twain's farce "Is He Dead?" for Broadway last season.

The plot concerns two good buddies who go to a Vermont inn to stage a holiday show and find romance. And the Berlin songs, besides the title number, will include "Count Your Blessings Instead of Sheep," "I Love a Piano" and "How Deep Is the Ocean."

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Broadway ticket availability and capsule reviews of shows as of Aug. 25. Unless otherwise noted, tickets are available at the theaters' box offices for the shows listed. Details about how to obtain tickets appear at the end.

-"A Tale of Two Cities." A musical version of Charles Dickens' novel about the French Revolution. Now in previews. Opens Sept. 18.

Al Hirschfeld. Telelcharge.

-"August: Osage County." Tracy Letts' drama, a hit for Chicago's Steppenwolf Theatre Company, concerns a venomous mother and her dealings with three daughters. Winner of the 2008 Tony Award for best play. Music Box. Telecharge.

-"Avenue Q." Love blossoms among the 20-something set - a group that includes puppets - in this very funny, adult musical comedy. Golden. Telecharge.

-"Boeing-Boeing." Mark Rylance, Christine Baranski and Bradley Whitford star in the London hit about a man juggling affairs with several flight attendants. Longacre. Telecharge.

-"Chicago." This Kander and Ebb-Bob Fosse creation is Broadway's longest running musical revival and deservedly so.

Ambassador. Telecharge.

-"Grease." A revival of the venerable musical celebrating 1950s high school and featuring stars chosen during the recent NBC television reality series. Brooks Atkinson. Ticketmaster.

-"Gypsy." A powerhouse Patti LuPone stars as the mother of stripper Gypsy Rose Lee in a revival of one of the greatest of all Broadway musicals. St. James. Telecharge.

-"Hairspray." The cult John Waters movie set in 1960s Baltimore has been turned into a hilarious, tuneful musical. Neil Simon. Ticketmaster.

-"In the Heights." The lively off-Broadway musical about Latino residents in an area of upper Manhattan called Washington Heights moves to Broadway. Winner of the 2008 Tony Award for best musical. Richard Rodgers. Ticketmaster.

-"Jersey Boys." The musical story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. Winner of four 2006 Tonys including best musical.

August Wilson. Telecharge. Difficult.

-"Legally Blonde." Bailey Hanks now stars in this musical version of the Reese Witherspoon movie about a determined young woman who goes to Harvard Law School. Palace. Ticketmaster.

-"Mamma Mia!" The London musical sensation featuring the pop songs of ABBA makes it to Broadway. Die-hard ABBA fans will like it best. Winter Garden. Telecharge.

-"Mary Poppins." The world's most famous nanny comes to the stage after her great success as a P.L. Travers book and a Disney movie. New Amsterdam. Ticketmaster, a special Disney hot line, 212-307-4747.

-"Monty Python's Spamalot." A musical inspired by that demented film comedy "Monty Python and the Holy Grail." Shubert.

Telecharge.

-"South Pacific." Kelli O'Hara is nurse Nellie Forbush and Paulo Szot is French plantation owner Emile de Becque in a revival of the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical based on one of the short stories in James A. Michener's "Tales of the South Pacific."

Vivian Beaumont. Telecharge. Difficult.

-"Spring Awakening." A striking rock musical based on Frank Wedekind's classic drama about a dozen young people discovering their sexual identities. Music by Duncan Sheik. Book and lyrics by Steven Sater. Eugene O'Neill. Telecharge.

-"The 39 Steps." A stage adaptation by Patrick Barlow of Alfred Hitchcock's 1935 movie thriller about a man on the run. Four actors portray more than 150 roles. Cort. Telecharge.

-"The Lion King." Director Julie Taymor is a modern-day Merlin, creating a stage version of the Disney animated hit that makes you truly believe in the magic of theater. Minskoff.

Ticketmaster, a special Disney hot line, 212-307-4747. Difficult on weekends.

-"The Little Mermaid." Disney's stage version of its popular animated film about a sea maiden who longs to live on land.

Lunt-Fontanne. Ticketmaster, a special Disney hot line, 212-307-4747.

-"The Phantom of the Opera." The one with the chandelier. The Andrew Lloyd Webber musical about a deformed composer who haunts the Paris Opera House is the prime, Grade A example of big Brit musical excess. But all the lavishness does have a purpose in Harold Prince's intelligent production, now the longest-running show in Broadway history. Majestic. Telecharge.

-"title of show." Jeff Bowen and Hunter Bell's little musical about writing a musical. An off-Broadway hit, the story has been expanded to include the show's move to Broadway. Lyceum.

Telecharge.

-"Wicked." An ambitious, wildly popular musical about the witches in "The Wizard of Oz" as young women. Based on the novel by Gregory Maguire. Gershwin. Ticketmaster. Difficult.

-"Xanadu." A fast, funny roller disco musical loosely adapted from the cult 1980s film. Whoopi Goldberg has joined the show through Sept. 7 only. Helen Hayes. Telecharge.

-"Young Frankenstein." Mel Brooks transfers his comedic monster mash of a movie from screen to stage - only with more song and dance. Hilton. Ticketmaster.

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The Telecharge number is 212-239-6200 unless otherwise indicated. There is a $6.50 service charge per ticket, plus a handling fee per order that varies from $2.50 to $4 depending on method of delivery.

Ticketmaster is 212-307-4100. There is a $7 "convenience" charge per ticket, plus a handling fee per order that varies depending on method of delivery.

All theaters owned by Jujamcyn - the St. James, Martin Beck, Virginia, Eugene O'Neill and the Walter Kerr - have a $1.50 surcharge per ticket for theater restoration. Shows in Shubert theaters have a "facilities" surcharge of $1.25 per ticket.

Both Telecharge and Ticketmaster will provide information on specific seat locations. They also have toll-free numbers for theater ticket calls outside New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.

For Telecharge call 800-432-7250; for Ticketmaster call 800-755-4000.

The League of American Theaters and Producers has a special telephone line called the Broadway Line for information on most Broadway shows (except "The Lion King" and "Beauty and the Beast") and how to purchase tickets. Calls must be made on a touch-tone phone. The number is 1-888-BROADWAY. The line also will provide information on Broadway touring productions. Consumers in the New York tri-state area may call 212-302-4111.

The TKTS booth in Times Square is currently in a temporary location just outside the New York Marriott Marquis hotel on West 46th Street between Broadway and Eighth Avenue. It sells same-day discount tickets to Broadway, off-Broadway, music and dance productions. There is a $4 service charge per ticket. Cash or travelers checks only. Hours of operation are Monday through Saturday evening performances, 3 p.m.-8 p.m.; matinees Wednesday and Saturday, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.; Sunday 11 a.m.-7 p.m.

The downtown TKTS booth is in the South Street Seaport at the corner of Front and John Streets. Hours of operation are Monday through Saturday 11 a.m.-6 p.m., Sunday, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Credit cards are accepted at South Street.

Matinee tickets must be purchased at South Street Seaport the day before, meaning Wednesday matinee tickets are available Tuesday, Saturday matinee tickets are available Friday and Sunday matinee tickets are available Saturday.

A TKTS booth in downtown Brooklyn, located at 1 MetroTech Center (the corner of Jay Street and Myrtle Avenue), operates Monday through Friday 11 a.m.-6 p.m. for same-day evening performances and next-day matinee performances. Cash, credit cards and travelers checks accepted.

Full-price tickets and information on Broadway and off-Broadway shows are available at the Broadway Ticket Center, located on the east side of Broadway between 46th Street and 47th Street. There is a $4.50 service charge per ticket.


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