Originally created 05/10/04

Deborah Cox will be Broadway's 'Aida' all summer long



NEW YORK -- The sultry billboard will stare down onto 47th Street and the Times Square area all summer - Deborah Cox has extended her stay in the New York company of "Aida" through Sept. 5.

The rhythm and blues artist, who joined the show in February, plays the Nubian princess in the Elton John-Tim Rice musical, which has been running on Broadway since March 2000.

Cox follows such other pop stars as Simone, Toni Braxton and Michelle T. Williams in the role. She is best known for such singles as "Who Do U Love?" and "We Can't Be Friends," as well as the dance hit, "Something Happened on the Way to Heaven."

For tickets to "Aida," call the Disney hot line, 212-307-4747 or visit the Web Site www.DisneyOnBroadway.com

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Broadway ticket availability and capsule reviews of shows as of May 3. 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 Raisin in the Sun." Sean Combs, Audra McDonald, Phylicia Rashad and Sanaa Lathan star in a revival of Lorraine Hansberry's groundbreaking drama. Royale. Telecharge.

-"Aida." Deborah Cox stars in Elton John and Tim Rice's crowd-pleaser of a musical based on the ancient Egyptian love triangle. John's music may be the show's initial lure, but audiences will be wowed by designer Bob Crowley's spectacular sets and often outlandish costumes. Palace. Ticketmaster.

-"Assassins." A stunning revival of the Stephen Sondheim-John Weidman musical about presidential assassins. A Roundabout Theatre Company production. Studio 54. 212-719-1300.

-"Avenue Q." Love blossoms among the twentysomething set - a group that includes puppets - in this very funny, adult musical comedy that has transferred from off-Broadway. Golden. Telecharge.

-"Beauty and the Beast." For those who want a lavish, literal, live-action version of the delightful Disney animated feature, this is the ticket. Others may be content to rent the film. Lunt-Fontanne. Ticketmaster.

-"Bombay Dreams." A bland version of the lavish London success that celebrates India's Bollywood musicals. Broadway. Telecharge.

-"Chicago." A potent revival of the 1975 Bob Fosse musical with a sassy Kander and Ebb score. Broadway's longest running musical revival - and deservedly so. Ambassador. Telecharge.

-"Fiddler on the Roof." A lovely revival of the classic Bock-Harnick and Robbins musical, starring Alfred Molina as Tevye and Randy Graff as Golde. Minskoff. Ticketmaster.

-"42nd Street." Those tapping feet are back. A loud, relentless revival of one of the biggest musical hits of the 1980s. Ford Center for the Performing Arts. Ticketmaster. Closes Jan. 2, 2005.

-"Frozen." Swoosie Kurtz, Brian F. O'Byrne and Laila Robins star in Byrony Lavery's harrowing play about the disappearance of a young girl. Circle in the Square. Telecharge.

-"Golda's Balcony." A forceful Tovah Feldshuh is the legendary Israeli prime minister in a fascinating one-woman show written by William Gibson. Helen Hayes. Telecharge.

-"Gypsy." Bernadette Peters is the ultimate stage mother in a revival of one of the best musicals Broadway has ever produced. Shubert. Telecharge. Closes May 30.

-"Hairspray." The cult John Waters movie set in 1960s Baltimore has been turned into a hilarious, tuneful musical. Michael MeKean has inherited the role of full-figured Edna Turnblad, played in the film by Divine. Neil Simon. Ticketmaster. Difficult on weekends.

-"I Am My Own Wife." The astonishing Jefferson Mays stars in Doug Wright's evocative play about a German transvestite who survived both the Nazi and communist regimes. Winner of the 2004 Pulitzer Prize for drama. Lyceum. Telecharge.

-"Jumpers." Simon Russell Beale and Essie Davis star in a revival of the verbally dense Tom Stoppard comedy. Brooks Atkinson. Ticketmaster.

-"Little Shop of Horrors." The cheeky 1982 off-Broadway hit about a man-eating plant finds its way to Broadway in a spiffy, much larger production. Telecharge.

-"Mamma Mia!" The London musical sensation featuring the pop songs of ABBA makes it to Broadway. Die-hard ABBA fans will like it best; others may be puzzled. A special "Mamma Mia!" Telecharge number 212-563-5544.

-"Match." A husband and wife, played by Ray Liotta and Jane Adams, arrive at the home of a famous dancer (Frank Langella) and want to question him about his past. A play by Stephen Belber. Plymouth. Telecharge.

-"Movin' Out." Songs by Billy Joel. Choreography by Twyla Tharp. A dance musical about good friends, taking them from the 1960s onward. The dancing is exuberant; the story less so. Richard Rodgers. Ticketmaster.

-"Prymate." Two scientists battle over control of a gorilla, a creature they communicate with by American Sign Language. A play by Mark Medoff. Longacre. Telecharge.

-"Rent." Jonathan Larson's touching and now nostalgic look at struggling artists in New York's East Village. Loosely based on Puccini's opera "La Boheme." Nederlander. Ticketmaster.

-"Sly Fox." Richard Dreyfuss stars in a fitfully funny revival of Larry Gelbart's adaptation of Ben Jonson's "Volpone," transplanted to late 19th-century San Francisco. Ethel Barrymore. Telecharge.

-"The Boy From Oz." An appealing and hardworking Hugh Jackman stars as Australian entertainer Peter Allen in this pallid musical autobiography that uses Allen's original songs. The musical shuts down while Jackman is host of the 2004 Tony Awards Sunday June 6 and when he vacations on certain Tuesday evenings this summer including July 6, July 20 and Aug. 3. Imperial. 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. New Amsterdam. Ticketmaster. Difficult on weekends.

-"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. Majestic. Telecharge.

-"The Producers." Brad Oscar and Roger Bart star in this riotous stage version of the Mel Brooks movie. The musical is even better than the film, which is saying something. St. James. A special "Producers" Telecharge number 212-239-5800.

-"Thoroughly Modern Millie." Susan Egan now stars as the 1920s flapper in this bubbly stage reworking of the Julie Andrews movie musical. Leslie Uggams and Dixie Carter are also in the cast. Marquis. Ticketmaster.

"Twentieth Century." Alec Baldwin and Anne Heche star in an adaptation by Ken Ludwig of the classic comedy by Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur. A Roundabout Theatre Company production. American Airlines. 212-719-1300. Closes June 6.

-"Wicked." Kristin Chenoweth is the good witch, Idina Menzel the bad witch and Joel Grey the Wizard in an ambitious if problematic new musical based on the Oz novel by Gregory Maguire. Gershwin. Ticketmaster. Difficult on weekends.

-"Wonderful Town." The fabulous Donna Murphy stars in a buoyant revival of the Leonard Bernstein, Betty Comden and Adolph Green musical based on "My Sister Eileen." Al Hirschfeld. Telecharge.

The Telecharge number is 212-239-6200 unless otherwise indicated. There is a $6 service charge per ticket, plus a $2.50 handling fee per order.

Ticketmaster is 212-307-4100. There is a $6 service charge per ticket, plus a $3 handling fee per order.

All theaters owned by Jujamcyn - the St. James, Martin Beck, Virginia, Eugene O'Neill and the Walter Kerr - have a $1 surcharge per ticket for theater restoration. Shows that opened in Shubert theaters after Jan. 1, 2001, have a "facilities" surcharge for theater restoration: $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 at Broadway and 47th Street sells same-day discount tickets to Broadway, off-Broadway, music and dance productions. There is a $3 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.-3:30 p.m. 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.

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.

For 24-hour information on theater, dance and music performances in New York's five boroughs, call the Theater Development Fund's New York City-On Stage, 212-768-1818.