Fall is nearly here, time to anticipate the Post-Gazette's 97th Show Plane. Heading to Broadway Nov. 13-17, it features three musicals that opened fresh in the spring. This is one fewer than the four shows usually offered, leaving an extra slot for an additional show of your choice, or something else the Big Apple has to offer.
• "Kinky Boots," this year's Tony Award-winning best musical, is an energetic, heartfelt adaptation of a 2005 film comedy, based on the real story of a small English shoe factory. The creative team is Cyndi Lauper (score, lyrics), Harvey Fierstein (book) and, in the juicy, flamboyant lead role, Pittsburgh native and CMU grad Billy Porter, who won the Tony as best actor in a musical.
• "Matilda" arrived as a huge hit from London, where it was developed by the Royal Shakespeare Company. Don't be misled by its origin in Roald Dahl's dark story for children -- in his review from London, senior theater critic Chris Rawson called it a "deliciously edgy musical comedy noir of repression and escape," aimed at adults of all ages.
• "Motown" is a new chronicle of the popular music that took off in the early '60s, featuring the classics of Diana Ross, Smokey Robinson, Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye and others.
Those three musicals leave two open theater slots on Saturday for additional shows. Gulliver's Travels will help you secure tickets, or you can make your choices at the last minute, perhaps using the half-price booth in Times Square.
The Show Plane group stays just off Times Square at the Millennium Broadway Hotel, in the heart of the theater district. Included is a welcoming dinner Wednesday and a discussion of the plays Friday with Mr. Rawson (and perhaps an actor) over post-show drinks at Sardi's.
There is also an optional farewell dinner Saturday, and, on Friday, a private tour of the United Nations, complete with professional guide and lunch in the newly renovated Delegates Dining Room. Experienced escorts from Pittsburgh accompany the group and offer suggestions for additional theater, dining and touring.
The package includes three shows, four nights at the hotel, dinner, discussion, roundtrip airfare from Pittsburgh, transfers between the New York airport and hotel, gratuities and taxes. The basic price is $2,096 per person based on two people sharing a double room. The single supplement is $644.
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 shows, call Mr. Rawson at 412-216-1944. First Published September 8, 2013 4:00 AM