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A guide to 22 upcoming productions
The spring is always busy on Broadway, but this season is especially robust. There are 22 productions opening between now and late April, from thoughtful new plays to star-packed revivals of classic musicals. The following guide will help you navigate what's coming, so you can plan your ideal calendar. Happy theatregoing!
NOTE: Within each category, shows are listed in the order they begin performances
Come From Away
(Schoenfeld Theatre; 45th Street btw. 7th and 8th Aves)
Previews begin February 18. Opens March 12.
On September 11, 38 planes carrying over 6,500 people were forced to land in Gander, Newfoundland, which doubled the population of that small Canadian town. This musical explores what happens between the locals and the sudden arrivals, and reviews of earlier productions have praised it for its heart, humor, and inspirational spirit. The show is written by Irene Sankoff and David Hein, a married couple making their Broadway debut.
(Nederlander Theatre; 41st St. btw. 7th and 8th Aves.)
Previews begin March 7. Opens April 6.
Double Diva Delight! Both Patti LuPone and Christine Ebersole star in this new musical from the team behind Grey Gardens. They play, respectively, Helena Rubinsten and Elizabeth Arden, who founded the global cosmetics industry in the early 20th century.
(Walter Kerr Theatre; 48th St. btw. Broadway and 8th Ave.)
Previews begin March 9. Opens April 3.
Move over Les Miz, there's a new French musical in town! Based on the beloved 2001 film about a quirky Parisian woman whose quest to help the less fortunate leads her to unexpected romance, this adaptation stars Hamilton's Phillipa Soo in the title role.
(August Wilson Theatre; 52nd St. btw. Broadway and 8th Ave.)
Previews begin March 16. Opens April 17.
Stop me if you've heard this one before. Stop me if you've heard this one before. Stop me… okay, I'll stop. But the point is that the Bill Murray film Groundhog Day – about a dyspeptic weatherman who's forced to live the same day over and over – will be striding onto the stage. The movie is one of the all-time great comedies, and it seems possible that composer-lyricist Tim Minchin will be able to capture its cracked spirit. After all, Minchin also wrote the score for Matilda, which was both delicious and bizarre.
(Broadhurst Theatre; 44th St. btw. 7th and 8th Aves.)
Previews begin March 23. Opens April 24.
Back in the 90s, Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens took a break from writing musicals like Ragtime and Once on This Island to compose a few songs for an animated film about the last surviving child of the Russian royal family as she attempts to reunite with her grandmother. Now those songs have become the bedrock of a full-length stage adaptation.
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
(Lunt-Fontanne Theatre; 46th St. btw. Broadway and 8th Ave.)
Previews begin March 28. Opens April 23.
Yes, this stage version of Roald Dahl's novel about Willy Wonka and his candy empire will feature the song "Pure Imagination," which Gene Wilder sang so perfectly in the first Charlie movie. The rest of the score, however, is brand new, and it's written by Marc Shaiman and Scott Witman, who gave the world Hairspray and Catch Me If you Can. Broadway bigshot Christian Borle will star as Wonka, making this his second leading role of the season. (He also played Marvin in Falsettos.)
(Bernard Jacobs Theatre; 45th St. btw. 7th and 8th Aves.)
Previews begin March 31. Opens April 26.)
Laura Osnes returns to the Great White Way as Julia, a war widow in 1945 who joins a swing band that's trying to win a national radio contest. But while they're jazzing and singing their way to fame, the aftershocks of the war (and other personal secrets) might get in the way of the hot tunes. In a surprising and impressive touch, this show doesn't rely on standard favorites from the period, but instead features a brand new score from Richard Oberacker and Robert Taylor. Both of them are making their Broadway debuts.
(Booth Theatre; 45th St. between 7th and 8th Aves.)
Previews begin February 14. Opens March 2.)
Joshua Harmon's sharp and salty romantic comedy was a hit for the Roundabout Theatre last season, and now it's coming to Broadway with most of its original cast intact. Broadway fans should be delighted to see young stars like Gideon Glick, Rebecca Naomi Jones, and Lindsay Mendez navigating the precarious world of modern relationships, while those of us who remember Reagan will surely be happy to see Barbara Barrie back on stage.
(Studio 54; 54th St. btw. Broadway and 8th.)
Previews begin March 4. Opens March 26.
Playwright Lynn Nottage is a genius. Let's just say that for the record. Besides, the MacArthur Foundation gave her a "genius" grant, and she won a Pulitzer Prize for her play Ruined. She could easily win again for Sweat, a perceptive drama about the employees of a small-town factory who are terrified to learn that the plant might be closing down. This is a play about of-the-moment issues filled with recognizable Americans just trying to get by, but it's also something of a thriller. An early scene suggests something bad is coming, and we have to figure out what it might be.
The Play That Goes Wrong
(Lyceum Theatre; 45th St. btw. 6th and 7th Aves.)
Previews begin March 9. Opens April 2.
In the spirit of Noises Off, this British farce follows a troupe of mildly talented actors who are trying to put on a murder-mystery drama. You can guess from the title how that works out. This play was a hit on London's West End, where it won an Olivier Award for Best New Comedy.
(Vivian Beaumont Theatre; 65th St. btw. Columbus and Amsterdam)
Previews begin March 23. Opens April 13.
When it played at Lincoln Center last summer, J.T. Rogers's play became a hot ticket for anyone who loves political theatre. Inspired by the true events that brought Israeli and Palestinian leaders together for peace talks in the early 90s, the show is both a thoughtful treatise on global politics and an empathetic (even funny) look at how custom and ritual can impact our personal relationships. And let me make this bold prediction now: Michael Aronov is going to get a Tony nomination for his performance as a passionate and principled Israeli politician.
A Doll's House, Part 2
(Golden Theatre; 45th St. at 8th Ave.)
Previews begin April 1. Opens April 27. Closes July 30.
In his sequel to Henrik Ibsen's indispensable drama, playwright Lucas Hnath (Red Speedo, The Christians) imagines what happens to Nora Helmer when she returns to the family she so famously left behind at the end of the original play. She's been gone for years, however, and many things have changed, so who knows what will happen? The all-star cast includes Laurie Metcalf, Chris Cooper, Jayne Houdyshell, and Condola Rashad.
(Cort Theatre; 48th St. btw. 6th and 7th Aves.)
Previews begin April 4. Opens April 18.
Playwright Paula Vogel, who won a Pulitzer Prize in the 90s for How I Learned to Drive, finally makes her Broadway debut with this historically-based and theatrically imaginative drama about a play that was banned from New York in the early 20th century. Censored for its lesbian content (and possibly because of its roots in the Yiddish theatre circuit), this forbidden script became an emblem for social justice in the arts. Vogel and Rebecca Taichman (her director and co-creator) fill this story with poetic elements that underscore the emotional cost of government censure.
(Palace Theatre; 7th Ave. and 46th St.)
Previews begin February 2. Opens February 9.
Glenn Close returns to the role that won her a Tony Award in the early 90s, playing faded Hollywood star Norma Desmond. For those keeping count, this production will become the fourth musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber that's currently on Broadway, joining Cats, The School of Rock, and The Phantom of the Opera.
Sunday in the Park with George
(Hudson Theatre; 44th St. btw. 6th and 7th Aves.)
Previews begin February 11. Opens February 23. Closes April 23.
This revival of Stephen Sondheim's Pulitzer Prize-winning musical not only stars Jake Gyllenhaal and Annaleigh Ashford, but also serves as the inaugural production at the reopened Hudson Theatre, which hasn't housed a Broadway production since 1968. How appropriate that it should return with a show about the lasting power of art, told through the story of painter Georges Seurat (in Act I) and his great-grandson (in Act II).
(Broadway Theatre; 53rd St. and Broadway)
Previews begin March 1. Opens March 23. Closes January 14, 2018.)
Even if you don't know this musical – Boublil and Schönberg's smash-hit follow-up to Les Miserables -- you've probably heard how the original production featured a flying helicopter. But beyond the spectacle, there are also some stirring songs and a tragic love story that updates the tale of Madame Butterfly.
(Shubert Theatre; 44th St. btw. 7th and 8th Aves.)
Previews begin March 15. Opens April 20.
Bette Midler stars as Dolly Levi in this revival of the musical about a widow who's trying to spark romance in the lives of the people around her. David Hyde Pierce, Kate Baldwin, and Gavin Creel are also in the 36-person cast.
The Glass Menagerie
(Belasco Theatre; 44th St. btw. 6th and 7th Aves.)
Previews begin February 7. Opens March 9. Closes July 30.
In this latest revival of Tennessee Williams's play about a faded Southern belle trying desperately to ensure the happiness of her troubled children, Sally Field stars as Amanda Wingfield and Joe Mantello plays her son, who is based on Williams himself.
(American Airlines Theatre; 42nd St. btw. 7th and 8th Aves.)
Previews begin February 16. Opens March 16. Closes May 7.
If you give up your dreams to support your family, can you ever be sure you made the right choice? That question haunts the hero of Arthur Miller's 1968 play as he sells off his parents' estate. Mark Ruffalo stars alongside Tony Shalhoub, Jessica Hecht, and Danny DeVito.
(St. James Theatre; 44th St. btw. 7th and 8th Aves.)
Previews begin March 10. Opens April 5. Closes June 2.
Kevin Kline stars in this revival of Noël Coward's droll comedy about a self-obsessed actor who's trying to manage a mid-life crisis. Director Moritz von Stuelpnagel proved his comedy chops a few seasons ago with his production of Hand to God, and along with Kline, he's got Kate Burton, Cobie Smulders, and Kristine Nielsen in his cast to bring the laughs.
The Little Foxes
(Friedman Theatre; 47th St. btw. Broadway and 8th Ave.)
Previews begin March 29. Opens April 19. Closes July 16.
In certain circles, Lillian Hellman's play about a vindictive, fraying Southern family battling for control of an estate is considered one the most juicily enjoyable plays in the American canon. (That circle includes yours truly). Laura Linney and Cynthia Nixon will alternate the roles of Regina and Birdie, warring sisters-in-law with axes to grind. Bring. It. On.
Six Degrees of Separation
(Barrymore Theatre; 47th St. btw. Broadway and 8th.)
Previews begin April 5. Opens April 25. Closes July 16.
Allison Janney and John Benjamin Hickey will play Ouisa and Flan Kittredge in John Guare's sensational dramedy about a con man who tricks a wealthy community into believing he's the son of Sidney Poitier. This revival is directed by Trip Cullman, who's also directing Significant Other this spring.
Follow TDF Stages editor Mark Blankenship at @IAmBlankenship. Follow TDF at @TDFNYC.