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14 New Musicals to See Beyond Broadway This Fall

By: Raven Snook
Date: Sep 22, 2023

Catch Sondheim's final work, Alicia Keys' first musical, a new show by Michael John LaChiusa and more


Broadway isn't the only destination for exciting new musicals this fall. Some of NYC's smaller stages have lots of big, buzzy shows, including Stephen Sondheim's final work starring Tony winners David Hyde Pierce, Rachel Bay Jones and Denis O'Hare; nine-time Grammy winner Alicia Keys' first foray into musical theatre; a new tuner by Michael John LaChiusa based on the early life of his longtime collaborator Graciela Daniele; and Tony-winning performer Gavin Creel's theatrical songwriting debut. Bonus: three must-see musical revivals.

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Emerging Artists Theatre: Doris Day: My Secret Love - begins September 4

28th Street Theater, 15 West 28th Street between Fifth Avenue and Broadway in NoMad

Previews begin September 4. Opens September 11. Closes October 29. If you're a TDF member, log in to your account to purchase discount tickets.

Doris Day: My Secret Life is nothing like the romantic comedies that made the title star famous in the 1950s and 1960s. Writer Paul Adams digs into her bittersweet biography, filled with bad marriages, mean men and many lost loved ones. But there's joy there, too, especially when Tiffan Borelli, a dead ringer for Day, performs the songs she made famous, including "Secret Love," "I’m Not at All in Love" and "Que Sera, Sera (Whatever Will Be, Will Be)." An eye-opening sentimental journey.


Cross That River - begins September 13

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

Previews begin September 13. Opens September 17. Closes October 8. If you're a TDF member, log in to your account to purchase discount tickets.

Singer-songwriter Allan Harris' history-inspired Cross That River had a brief run Off Broadway six years ago. Now it's back for an encore. Harris and his cowriter and wife, Pat Harris, fuse fact and fiction for this tuneful tale about a runaway slave who becomes one of the first Black cowboys in the Old West. The score mixes jazz, blues and country to tell this complicated American story about freedom.


SAW The Musical: The Unauthorized Parody of Saw - begins September 16

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

Previews begin September 16. Opens October 1. Closes June 23, 2024. If you're a TDF member, log in to your account to purchase discount tickets.

One of two horror movie musical parodies opening this fall (the other spoofs The Exorcist), SAW injects songs and comedy into the tale of the Jigsaw Killer who toys with his victims as they try to escape the bathroom trap. Expect lots of belting, brutality and bodily fluids.


Soho Playhouse: SOUTH - begins September 20

Soho Playhouse, 15 Vandam Street between Sixth Avenue and Varick Street in Soho

Previews begin September 20. Opens October 4. Closes November 15. If you're a TDF member, log in to your account to purchase discount tickets.

Florencia Iriondo's heartfelt solo musical chronicles her journey from Argentina to New York City as she searches for family and a place to belong. Backed by a two-piece band, Iriondo shares her intimate and uplifting immigration tale.


Dixon Place: The Picher Project - begins September 28

Dixon Place, 161A Chrystie Street between Rivington and Delancey Streets on the Lower East Side

Previews begin September 28. Opens September 30. Closes October 21.

Inspired by interviews and historical events, this docu-musical chronicles the rise and fall of Picher, Oklahoma. Once the world's largest producer of lead and zinc, the town became an EPA Superfund site and all residents were forced to leave. Through the lives of Picher citizens and members of the Quapaw Nation, The Picher Project explores the impact of illness, love and loss.


The Shed: Here We Are - begins September 28

The Shed, 545 West 30th Street between Tenth and Eleventh Avenues in Hudson Yards

Previews begin September 28. Opens October 22. Closes January 21, 2024.

The world premiere of Stephen Sondheim's final musical is one of the most anticipated productions of the season. Yes, the buzz is mixed—the New York Post gripes that Act II allegedly has no songs while Frank Rich offers a more nuanced assessment for New York Magazine of how the show was finished after the great man died. Certainly Sondheim lovers are paying high prices to see his last work, which is inspired by two Luis Buñuel films: The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie and The Exterminating Angel. David Ives (Venus in Fur) wrote the book and Joe Mantello directs a starry ensemble, including Tony winners David Hyde Pierce, Rachel Bay Jones and Denis O'Hare alongside Micaela Diamond, Amber Gray, Steven Pasquale and Bobby Cannavale.


The York Theatre Company: When We Get There - begins October 7

The York Theatre Company at Theatre at St. Jean's, 150 East 76th Street near Lexington Avenue on the Upper East Side

Begins October 7. Closes October 15.

The York presents a developmental mounting of the new Civil Rights musical When We Get There, about a Black teenager who inspires three adults—her mom, the Jewish woman her mother cleans for and a helpful handyman—to drive from New Jersey to Selma to join Dr. Martin Luther King's march. They head south full of hope on a life-changing journey as they confront prejudice, violence and their own secrets.


The Brick: Room, Room, Room, in the many Mansions of eternal glory for Thee and for everyone - begins October 12

The Brick, 579 Metropolitan Avenue near Lorimer Street in Williamsburg, Brooklyn

Begins October 12. Closes October 28.

A genderqueer collective of artists is behind this acoustic pop-folk opera about Public Universal Friend, a real-life 18th-century preacher who was raised Quaker but, after a life-changing vision, claimed to have been reborn as a genderless evangelist. This time-hopping, genre-defying tuner explores Public Universal Friend's trailblazing life as well as the experiences of gender-nonconforming folks trying to navigate the world today.


Lincoln Center Theater: The Gardens of Anuncia - begins October 19

Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater, 150 West 65th Street between Broadway and Amsterdam Avenue in Lincoln Square

Previews begin October 19. Opens November 20. Closes December 31.

After a well-received run at San Diego's Old Globe, The Gardens of Anuncia arrives Off Broadway. Written by Tony-nominated songwriter and librettist Michael John LaChiusa (The Wild Party, Hello Again, Marie Christine), and directed and co-choreographed by the legendary Graciela Daniele, this new tango-infused musical is based on Daniele's early years growing up in Juan Perón's Argentina. Tony winner Priscilla Lopez (A Chorus Line) plays the title character, who reflects on her life while working in her garden. There she conjures the spirits of the strong women (Andréa Burns, Eden Espinosa, Mary Testa) who raised her and made sacrifices so she could pursue her artistic dreams. We spoke with Daniele and LaChiusa a few years ago about this passion project and we're eager to see it on stage.


The Public Theater: Hell's Kitchen - begins October 24

The Public Theater, 425 Lafayette Street at Astor Place in the East Village

Previews begin October 24. Opens November 19. Closes January 14, 2024.

Another show inspired by an artist's coming of age. Grammy-winning pop star Alicia Keys is behind Hell's Kitchen, a semi-autobiographical musical about a rebellious teenager being raised by a single mom in '90s NYC who finds forbidden love and a passion for piano. The show has been gestating for a decade and features many of Keys' hits as well as new songs. Boasting a cast of 20, including Brandon Victor Dixon (Shuffle Along), Shoshana Bean (Mr. Saturday Night) and newcomer Maleah Joi Moon as Keys' stage avatar; a book by Pulitzer finalist Kristoffer Diaz (The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity); choreography by Camille A. Brown (for colored girls...) and direction by Michael Greif (Rent), Hell's Kitchen seems poised to move uptown if it's well received.


Wild Project: Jill Sobule's F*ck7thGrade - begins November 8

The Wild Project, 195 East 3rd Street between Avenues A and B in the East Village

Begins November 8. Closes November 26.

A musical memoir from the pop star who wrote "I Kissed a Girl"—no, not Katy Perry! Back in 1995, Jill Sobule, a queer and delightfully quirky singer-songwriter, charted with "Supermodel," which was on the Clueless soundtrack. But after a brief flirtation with fame and the original "I Kissed a Girl" single, she returned to her eccentric, indie roots. F*CK7THGRADE traces the evolution of her songwriting and sexuality with humor and heart, as Sobule, playing herself, realizes that in some ways, she'll forever be haunted by her awkward middle school years. I saw this charming, offbeat show last year and am thrilled it's back for an encore run.


MCC Theater: Walk on Through: Confessions of a Museum Novice - begins November 13

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

Previews begin November 13. Opens December 4. Closes January 7, 2024.

Even though Tony-winning performer Gavin Creel (Hello, Dolly!, She Loves Me, Into the Woods) has lived in New York City for decades, he had never been to The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Then the Met commissioned him to write a musical about coming for a visit! The result is Walk on Through: Confessions of a Museum Novice, which marks Creel's theatrical songwriting debut. Creel himself stars in this intimate (though not a solo) show about the unexpected places art can take you.


National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene: Amid Falling Walls (Tsvishn Falndike Vent) - begins November 14

Edmond J. Safra Hall at the Museum of Jewish Heritage, 36 Battery Place near 1st Place in Battery Park City

Previews begin November 14. Opens November 20. Closes December 10.

National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene, the venerable company behind Yiddish Fiddler and The Golden Bride, presents a new musical featuring songs, stories and poetry created by European Jews during the Holocaust. Curated and arranged by Zalmen Mlotek, Amid Falling Walls (Tsvishn Falndike Vent) is a testament to the enduring power of art, even in the face of evil, and includes material written and performed in ghettos, concentration camps and underground theatres. Performed in Yiddish with English subtitles.


Atlantic Theater Club: Buena Vista Social Club - begins November 17

Atlantic Theater Company's Linda Gross Theater, 336 West 20th Street between Eighth and Ninth Avenues in Chelsea

Previews begin November 17. Opens December 13. Closes January 28, 2024.

Inspired by the Grammy-winning 1997 album and group of the same name, Buena Vista Social Club™ celebrates the Cuban musicians who became international sensations for reviving the sounds of their homeland's golden age. Tony nominee Saheem Ali (Fat Ham) directs this exhilarating world premiere, which features choreography by Patricia Delgado and Tony winner Justin Peck (Carousel).


Bonus Musical Revivals

The York Theatre Company: Golden Rainbow - begins September 23

The York Theatre Company at Theatre at St. Jean's, 150 East 76th Street near Lexington Avenue on the Upper East Side 

Begins September 23. Closes October 1.

Aside from the standard "I've Gotta Be Me," little is remembered about the 1968 musical Golden Rainbow that starred husband-and-wife crooners Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gormé. That's why we're thankful for The York Theatre Company's beloved Musicals in Mufti staged concert series for reviving this Las Vegas-set show about a widower single dad who finds an unexpected connection with his sister-in-law. Mara Davi and Tony nominees Max Von Essen and Robert Cuccioli lead the cast.


Classic Stage Company: I Can Get It For You Wholesale - begins October 10

Classic Stage Company, 136 East 13th Street between Third and Fourth Avenues in the East Village

Previews begin October 10. Opens October 30. Closes December 17.

Classic Stage Company presents a rare revival of I Can Get It for You Wholesale, aka the musical that launched Barbra Streisand's career 60-plus years ago! A dark musical comedy with songs by Harold Rome, it takes place in 1930s NYC and centers on an ambitious and amoral shipping clerk (Tony winner Santino Fontana) who'll do anything to get ahead. John Weidman (Assassins) revises his father Jerome Weidman's original book, and the cast includes Judy Kuhn, Adam Chanler-Berat, Rebecca Naomi Jones and Julia Lester in Babs' role of Miss Marmelstein.


New York City Center: Pal Joey

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

Begins November 1. Closes November 5.

You've never seen Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart's musical Pal Joey like this. For its annual gala, City Center is giving this troubled tuner a total overhaul, with a new book by Richard LaGravenese and Daniel "Koa" Beaty that transforms the title character into a Black jazz singer (Tony nominee Ephraim Sykes) who refuses to sell out. Co-directed by Tony Goldwyn and tap-dance legend Savion Glover, who also appears in the show, this Pal Joey features jazzy arrangements of the classic score along with newly added Rodgers and Hart songs like "The Lady is a Tramp." Brooks Ashmanskas, Loretta Devine, Elizabeth Stanley and Brooks Ashmanskas costar.

Top image: Brandon Victor Dixon, who's starring in Alicia Keys' new musical Hell's Kitchen at The Public Theater.

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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.