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Theater: Broadway Gears Up for Spring

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Tom Hanks, Alec Baldwin, Bette Midler. These are some of the big stars landing on Broadway this spring season. And even before the stars come out, a number of other shows are drawing attention.

Adam Feldman, theater critic with Time Out New York, says this season, even the meat-and-potatoes shows have big names attached to them. 

"I think more and more, straight drama on Broadway relies on having at least some big name attached to it in order to sell, because frankly in past seasons, even really good shows that didn't have any star name attached, have not done as well as people have hoped," he told WNYC's Soterios Johnson. 

In the next couple of weeks previews begin for several highly anticipated shows, including "Breakfast at Tiffany’s," "Kinky Boots" and "Matilda."

Elisabeth Vincentelli, theater critic with the New York Post, says she's looking forward to many of these, including Kinky Boots. "I'm very intrigued by the idea of Cyndi Lauper writing a theater score," she said. "There's more and more pop-rock writers making that transition. There's a new musical called Hands on a Hard Body that has a score by Trey Anastasio for the band Phish, of all bands. A band not known for its pop concision."

Both recently reviewed the Sondheim revival of "Passion" and the new play "The Revisionist," with Jesse Eisenberg and Venessa Redgrave.

Click on "listen" for more picks from Feldman and Vincentelli.