The Post-Gazette's 96th ShowPlane heads to Broadway, Nov. 14-18. It features four musicals combining old and new, comedy, mystery and drama. All four are opening fresh this fall.
• "Chaplin" is a big new musical about the Little Tramp by Christopher Curtis and three-time Tony Award winner Thomas Meehan ("Annie," "Hairspray," "The Producers"). Already in previews, it opens tomorrow, Sept. 10.
• "Rebecca" is a romantic thriller, a musical version of the Daphne du Maurier novel and Alfred Hitchcock's Oscar-winning film of love and obsession, set at the mysterious Manderlay. "Perhaps the most lavish new musical ... in the last 20 years," the ads claim. Much-awarded Michael Blakemore directs.
• "The Mystery of Edwin Drood" won five 1986 Tony Awards including Best Musical. Starring Chita Rivera and Stephanie J. Block, this comedy-mystery begins previews Oct. 19: We'll see it along with the critics, just as it opens.
• "A Christmas Story" is based on the 1983 movie, derived from stories by Jean Shepard, about a boy's desperate quest for the most perfect gift. This, too, will be opening just as we see it.
The ShowPlane group stays at the Millennium Broadway Hotel, just off Times Square. Included is a welcoming dinner and a discussion of the plays over post-show drinks with Post-Gazette senior theater critic Chris Rawson, who will be reviewing as he goes.
There is also an optional farewell dinner and a private tour of an interesting corner of Manhattan, complete with professional guide and lunch. Experienced escorts from Pittsburgh accompany the group and offer suggestions for additional theater, dining and touring.
Included in the package are the four shows, four nights at the hotel, dinner, discussion, round-trip airfare from Pittsburgh, transfers between the New York airport and hotel, gratuities and taxes. The basic tour price is $1,994 per person based on two people sharing a double room. The single supplement is $693.
A deposit of $500 per person is required to hold your reservation; status will be confirmed upon receipt of deposit and reservation request form. All payments are to be made to Gulliver's Travels Inc., 460 S. Graham St., Pittsburgh PA 15232-1210.
For information on the trip, call Gulliver's Travels at 412-441-3131. For information on the musicals, call Mr. Rawson at 412-216-1944.theater