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12 New Musicals to See Beyond Broadway This Spring

By: Raven Snook
Date: Feb 16, 2024

Plus five exciting revivals


Broadway isn't the only destination for new musicals this spring. Some of NYC's smaller stages are presenting shows by big-name creators, including a new musical cowritten by A Strange Loop's Michael R. Jackson, a tuner about truth from Jason Robert Brown, and an exciting collaboration from songwriter Sufjan Stevens, playwright Jackie Sibblies Drury and choreographer Justin Peck. Bonus: There are also five intriguing musical revivals, including a reinvention of Cats.

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MCC Theater: The Connector - begins January 12

The Robert W. Wilson MCC Theater Space, 511 West 52nd Street between Tenth and Eleventh Avenues in Midtown West

Previews begin January 12. Opens February 6. Closes March 17.

A new musical from Tony-winning songwriter Jason Robert Brown (Parade, The Bridges of Madison County, The Last Five Years), The Connector explores the dangers of fiction presented as fact as an ambitious young magazine journalist (former Evan Hansen Ben Levi Ross) takes more than a few liberties with his stories. Jonathan Marc Sherman's book was clearly inspired by Stephen Glass and his disgraced ilk, but it's not just about his unmasking. It's also a musing on how we've ended up in a world where truthiness and alternative facts reign. In addition to being thought-provoking, it boasts one of Brown's strongest scores in years, plus the return of Scott Bakula to the stage.


White Rose: The Musical - begins January 17

Theatre Row, 410 West 42nd Street between Ninth and Dyer Avenues in Midtown West

Previews begin January 17. Opens January 25. Closes March 31. If you're a TDF member, log in to your account to purchase discount tickets.

Based on a true story, this new musical commemorates the German university students who protested Hitler and his fascist propaganda. Siblings Sophie (The Prom's Jo Ellen Pellman) and Hans Scholl (Mike Cefalo) were at the center of this nonviolent resistance movement that bravely defied the Nazis. This is a passion project for Brian Belding, the show's creator, book writer and lyricist, who's been developing White Rose for many years with composer Natalie Brice.


The Christine Jorgensen Show - begins February 8

59E59 Theaters, 59 East 59th Street between Madison and Park Avenues in Midtown East

Previews begin February 8. Opens February 14. Closes March 3. If you're a TDF member, log in to your account to purchase discount tickets.

Her 1950s sex change made her famous but there was a lot more to Christine Jorgensen's life. Donald Steven Olson's intimate bio musical celebrates her journey from soldier to transgender trailblazer and her unexpected career as a nightclub star, facilitated by a little-known song-and-dance man. Jesse James Keitel (Queer as Folk, Big Sky) stars alongside cabaret great Mark Nadler.


The York Theatre Company: A Sign of the Times - begins February 8

New World Stages, 340 West 50th Street between Eighth and Ninth Avenues in Midtown West

Previews begin February 8. Opens February 22. Closes June 2. If you're a TDF member, log in to your account to purchase discount tickets.

The York Theatre Company is behind this jukebox musical featuring nostalgic hits from the 1960s. The story revolves around a young photographer trying to make her way in the Big Apple during an era of big changes. But the main attractions are the songs, such as Petula Clark's "Downtown," The Spencer Davis Group's "Gimme Some Lovin" and Fontella Bass' "Rescue Me," and the powerhouse cast of Broadway vets, including Beautiful's Chilina Kennedy, Chicago's Ryan Silverman and Tony nominee Crystal Lucas-Perry (Ain't No Mo').


FIVE: The Parody Musical - begins February 15

Theater 555, 555 West 42nd Street between Tenth and Eleventh Avenues in Midtown West

Previews begin February 15. Opens February 19. Closes April 21. If you're a TDF member, log in to your account to purchase discount tickets.

This SIX spoof spotlights the ladies in Donald Trump's lascivious life as they sing for their salvation. It's not just his wives, Ivana, Marla and Melania, who get their say, Stormy Daniels and his daughter Ivanka also overshare. Each one wants your vote—just like 45—in this campy musical comedy.


Playwrights Horizons: Teeth - begins February 21

Playwrights Horizons, 416 West 42nd Street between Ninth and Dyer Avenues in Midtown West

Previews begin February 21. Opens March 19. Closes April 28.

Playwrights Horizons had me at "a new Michael R. Jackson musical." But the Pulitzer Prize and Tony winner for A Strange Loop has a collaborator this time: Anna K. Jacobs, who composed the music to his lyrics and cowrote the book. Based on the 2007 cult flick of the same name about an evangelical Christian teen who discovers her vagina has a set of chompers, this dark musical comedy about consent and bodily autonomy is sure to have bite. Sarah Benson directs a cast led by Broadway vets Alyse Alan Louis and Steven Pasquale.


Audible Theater: Dead Outlaw - begins February 28

Minetta Lane Theatre, 18 Minetta Lane between Sixth Avenue and MacDougal Street in the West Village

Previews begin February 28. Opens March 10. Closes April 14.

The last musical by songwriter David Yazbek, book writer Itamar Moses and director David Cromer, The Band's Visit, won them all Tony Awards. The three reunite and are joined by songwriter Erik Della Penna for Dead Outlaw, a new musical based on the insane true story of Elmer McCurdy, a turn-of-the-20th-century outlaw whose mummified body became a sideshow attraction that ended up in a horror ride in a California amusement park. This show traces McCurdy's jaw-dropping journey, before and after his demise.


Here I Am - begins March 1

AMT Theater, 354 West 45th Street between Eighth and Ninth Avenues in Midtown West

Previews begin March 1. Opens March 8. Closes April 14.

Recent college grads Christian Cantrell and Samantha Roberts are behind Here I Am about the challenges of love and intimacy in the social media age. The duo wrote the musical and Roberts also directs and costars in this heartfelt examination of the complications of dating IRL when online is always calling.


Park Avenue Armory: Illinoise - begins March 2

Park Avenue Armory, 643 Park Avenue between 66th and 67th Streets on the Upper East Side

Previews begin March 2. Opens March 7. Closes March 26.

Tony-winning choreographer Justin Peck (Carousel, Steven Spielberg's West Side Story) transforms Sufjan Stevens' lauded 2005 album Illinois into a thrilling dance-theatre piece that celebrates some of the denizens of the Prairie State. A live band and a trio of singers perform the songs, which have been reordered to accommodate a narrative about love and loss crafted by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Jackie Sibblies Drury (Fairview, Marys Seacole). The cast of superlative dancers includes Tony-nominated ballet star Robbie Fairchild and So You Think You Can Dance winners Gaby Diaz and Ricky Ubeda, who all appeared in Illinoise's acclaimed Chicago Shakespeare Theater engagement earlier this year. Not a traditional musical but an exhilarating multidisciplinary experience.


The Tank: The Lydian Gale Parr - begins April 5

Target Margin Theater, 232 52nd Street between the Belt Parkway and Second Avenue in Sunset Park, Brooklyn

Begins April 5. Closes April 21.

Another boundary-pushing piece, this fantastical chamber oratorio centers on a child from an embattled city who's tasked with delivering a letter to the attacking general, but the kid keeps missing him. As the tyke continues on this Kafkaesque journey, he begins transforming into other folks, all desperately seeking an end to war. A timely meditation on violence and inhumanity featuring music by Alaina Ferris, a libretto by Karinne Keithley Syers and staging by The Tank's Artistic Director Meghan Finn.


MCC Theater: The Lonely Few - begins April 26

The Robert W. Wilson MCC Theater Space, 511 West 52nd Street between Tenth and Eleventh Avenues in Midtown West

Previews begin April 26. Opens May 20. Closes June 9.

A rock and roll musical about queer love in the deep South, The Lonely Few stars Jagged Little Pill Tony winner Lauren Patten as Lila, whose band plays the local bar in her small Kentucky town. When Amy (Taylor Iman Jones), an established singer-songwriter, invites the group on tour, it seems like Lila's big break, but unexpected romance makes for a bumpy journey. With songs by Zoe Sarnak and a book by Rachel Bonds (Jonah), The Lonely Few comes to New York after a well-received world premiere at LA's Geffen Playhouse.


Signature Theatre: Three Houses - begins April 30

The Pershing Square Signature Center, 480 West 42nd Street between Dyer and Tenth Avenues in Midtown West

Previews begin April 30. Opens May 21. Closes June 16.

Songwriter and playwright Dave Malloy is known for setting complex subjects to song, whether it's a slice of War and Peace (the Tony-nominated Natasha, Pierre, & The Great Comet of 1812), a whale of an opera (Moby Dick) or an exploration of addiction (Octet). Billed as a "post-pandemic open mic night parable about magic, madness and the end of the world," Three Houses promises more intense emotions as a trio of folks in different countries grapple with ghosts, isolation and the impending apocalypse. Annie Tippe (Octet) directs.


Bonus Musical Revivals

New York City Center Encores!

New York City Center, 131 West 55th Street between Sixth and Seventh Avenues in Midtown West

Just as it does every spring, Encores! presents three revivals of undersung musicals featuring big stars, barely there sets and a glorious on-stage orchestra. Once Upon a Mattress already closed, but you can still catch:

  • Jelly's Last Jam - February 21-March 3
    If you're a TDF member, log in to your account to purchase discount tickets.
    Thirty-two years ago, Jelly's Last Jam was nominated for 11 Tony Awards and marked the Broadway debut of visionary director and writer George C. Wolfe. Encores! is finally giving this musical about jazz pioneer Jelly Roll Morton—who controversially claimed to have invented the genre—the revival it has long deserved. Sweeney Todd's Nicholas Christopher is the title music maker and his costars include a trio of Tony winners: Billy Porter (Kinky Boots), Joaquina Kalukango (Paradise Square) and Leslie Uggams (Hallelujah, Baby!). Robert O'Hara (Slave Play) directs and tap-dance genius Dormeshia co-choreographs.

  • Titanic - June 12-23
    Maury Yeston and Peter Stone's sung-through musical about the doomed ocean liner won five 1997 Tony Awards, including best musical. After a 25-year absence, Titanic is set to sail again in New York courtesy of Encores! Anne Kauffman directs a cast led by Tony winners Chuck Cooper (The Life, Trouble in Mind), Bonnie Milligan (Kimberly Akimbo) and Brandon Uranowitz (Leopoldstadt). A moving portrait of the people who encountered a nightmare on the so-called ship of dreams.


J2 Spotlight Musical Theater Company

AMT Theater, 354 West 45th Street between Eighth and Ninth Avenues in Midtown West

Like Encores!, J2 Spotlight Musical Theater Company revives rarely performed musicals, though admittedly with smaller budgets. This season's lineup is:

  • Do Re Mi - April 19-28
    A modest hit in 1960, this rarely revived musical follows the misadventures of Hubie Cram, a small-time schemer who gets caught up in drama in the record business. Garson Kanin penned the book and the score was written by musical theatre greats Jule Styne (Gypsy, Funny Girl) and Betty Comden and Adolph Green (On the Town, Wonderful Town) and features the well-known songs "Cry Like the Wind," "All of My Life" and "Make Someone Happy."

  • Lucky Stiff - May 3-12
    A flop when it premiered at Playwrights Horizons in 1988, this musical farce has become a cult favorite (and even a starry indie movie) thanks to its crazy story and wonderful songs by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty (Ragtime, Anastasia) in their first collaboration. Based on Michael Butterworth's novel The Man Who Broke the Bank at Monte Carlo, it centers on a shoe salesman who must take the embalmed corpse of his recently murdered uncle on a vacation in order to claim an inheritance. High jinks and hilarity ensue.


Perelman Performing Arts Center: Cats: "The Jellicle Ball" - begins June 13

Perelman Performing Arts Center, 251 Fulton Street at the intersection of Vesey and Greenwich Streets in the Financial District

Previews begin June 13. Opens June 20. Closes August 11.

Banish your memory of Cats. This inspired revival resets the Andrew Lloyd Weber musical on NYC's Ballroom scene with fierce felines competing to be top dog. Staged as an immersive spectacle by Zhailon Levingston (Tina: The Tina Turner Musical, Chicken & Biscuits) and Perelman Performing Arts Center's Artistic Director Bill Rauch, it's a brilliant reinvention of a classic.


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Raven Snook is the Editor of TDF Stages. Follow her on Facebook at @Raven.Snook. Follow TDF on Facebook at @TDFNYC.