Your Broadway Spring Preview! 2020 Edition
By RAVEN SNOOK
Friday, January 17, 2020  •  
Fri Jan 17, 2020  •  
Broadway  •   5 comments Share This

A guide to 22 upcoming productions

The Broadway season is about to kick into high gear with 21 new shows opening between now and the end of April, plus one big summer entry. From acclaimed Off-Broadway transfers (Hangmen, Sing Street, Girl From the North Country) to lauded London imports (Caroline, or Change; My Name Is Lucy Barton; The Lehman Trilogy); from revamped musicals (West Side Story; Company) to starry play revivals (Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick in Plaza Suite; Darren Criss, Sam Rockwell and Laurence Fishburne in American Buffalo), our guide helps you navigate everything that's coming.

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NOTE: Shows are listed in first preview date order within each category.

MUSICALS

West Side Story
Broadway Theatre, 1681 Broadway at 53rd Street

In previews. Opens February 20. Open run.

Ivo van Hove's radical reinvention of West Side Story kicked up controversy long before its cast members kicked up their heels. (New choreography? Lots of video? No "I Feel Pretty?" No intermission?!) But the avant-garde Belgian director is known for reimagining classics: He won a Tony for his bloody production of A View from the Bridge, though his unconventional takes on The Crucible and Network were much more polarizing. Previews started in December, and word is there's been some behind-the-scenes tweaking. The official opening even got pushed two weeks due to actor injury. However you feel about it, this "West Side Story for the 21st century" is already one of the most talked about productions of the season.

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The Off-Broadway production of
The Off-Broadway production of 'Girl From the North Country' at The Public Theater; photo by Joan Marcus

Girl From the North Country
Belasco Theatre, 111 West 44th Street between Broadway and Seventh Avenue

Previews start February 7. Opens March 5. Open run.

Well-received at The Public Theater in 2018, this musical weaves Bob Dylan tunes into a poetic evocation of life during the Great Depression. Set in 1934, the show takes place in a Duluth, Minnesota boarding house, where an eclectic assortment of strangers connect. The songs, not the story, are the main attraction, but don't expect to hear all the hits. Writer-director Conor McPherson prizes ambiance over familiarity. Mare Winningham and three-time Tony nominee Marc Kudisch reprise their Off-Broadway performances.

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The London production of
The London production of 'Six;' photo by Idil Sukan

Six
Brooks Atkinson Theatre, 256 West 47th Street between Broadway and Eighth Avenue

Previews February 13. Opens March 12. Open run.

Yas Queens! Oozing with girl power, this pop musical about Henry VIII's six wives went from the Edinburgh Festival Fringe to Broadway in just three years, with stops in London, Sydney and Chicago along the way. Written by newcomers Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss, the show is presented as a concert, during which each spouse sings for her suffering, with the most tormented woman crowned the group's lead singer. The studio cast recording already has a royal following online; producers are hoping the production will follow suit.

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Company
Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre, 242 West 45th Street between Seventh and Eighth Avenues

Previews March 2. Opens March 22. Open run.

A gender-swapped revival of Stephen Sondheim's landmark musical about romantic relationships, this production stars Tony winner Katrina Lenk as Bobbie, a single woman surrounded by married couples. Tony-winning director Marianne Elliott premiered this take in London, but the legendary Patti LuPone, who won an Olivier for her turn as Joanne, is the only holdover from that mounting. With a cast of Broadway regulars (including Christopher Sieber, Jennifer Simard, Christopher Fitzgerald and Nikki Renée Daniels) and other surprises (a same-sex couple), this Company may end up being as groundbreaking as the original was 50 years ago.

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Diana
Longacre Theatre, 220 West 48th Street between Broadway and Eighth Avenue

Previews March 2. Opens March 31. Open run.

The writers of the Tony-winning Memphis are behind this musical about the People's Princess. The production, which premiered at the La Jolla Playhouse last year, traces her rise from shy girl to unhappy royal to beloved icon and activist who was cut down in her prime. Tony winner Christopher Ashley directs a cast that includes two-time Tony winner Judy Kaye as Queen Elizabeth.

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'Mrs. Doubtfire' at Seattle's 5th Avenue Theatre; photo courtesy of the theatre

Mrs. Doubtfire
Stephen Sondheim Theatre, 124 West 43rd Street between Broadway and Sixth Avenue

Previews March 9. Opens April 5. Open run.

Based on the beloved 1993 Robin Williams comedy about a divorced actor who crossdresses as a female nanny in order to hang with his kids, this musical comedy premiered at Seattle's 5th Avenue Theatre last fall. Written by the team behind Something Rotten!, directed by four-time Tony winner Jerry Zaks and starring Tony nominee Rob McClure as the undercover dad, Mrs. Doubtfire arrives on Broadway with brand recognition and family appeal.

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Flying Over Sunset
Vivian Beaumont Theater, 150 West 65th Street between Broadway and Amsterdam Avenue

Previews March 12. Opens April 16. Closes June 28.

The most far-out musical this spring, Flying Over Sunset takes place in 1957 at a beach house, where movie star Cary Grant (Tony nominee Tony Yazbeck), author Aldous Huxley (Tony nominee Harry Hadden-Paton) and playwright-turned-politician Clare Boothe Luce (Tony nominee Carmen Cusack) are all tripping on acid. Yes, it sounds kooky, but it's from the crack creative team of writer-director James Lapine (Sunday in the Park with George, Into the Woods), composer Tom Kitt (Next to Normal) and lyricist Michael Korie (Grey Gardens), so we have high-Flying hopes.

 

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Sharon D. Clarke in the London production of
Sharon D. Clarke in the London production of 'Caroline, or Change;' photo by Alastair Muir

Caroline, or Change
Studio 54, 254 West 54th Street between Broadway and Eighth Avenue

Previews March 13. Opens April 7. Closes June 28.

After a hit run in London, this acclaimed revival of Tony Kushner and Jeanine Tesori's musical comes to Broadway courtesy of the Roundabout Theatre Company. Sharon D. Clarke won the Olivier for her searing turn as the title character, an African-American maid in 1963 Louisiana who's trying to raise up her daughters while serving as a surrogate mother to the young son of the Jewish family that employs her. The eclectic score fuses spirituals, blues and klezmer music, while the story explores timely issues of race and class.

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Zara Devlin and Brenock O
Zara Devlin and Brenock O'Connor in New York Theatre Workshop's production of 'Sing Street;' photo by Matthew Murphy

Sing Street
Lyceum Theatre, 149 West 45th Street between Sixth and Seventh Avenues

Previews March 26. Open April 19. Open run.

Based on John Carney's cult movie of the same name, this bittersweet coming-of-age musical centers on 16-year-old Conor (Brenock O'Connor), an aspiring rocker struggling with family, school and romantic issues in economically depressed '80s Dublin. A hit at New York Theatre Workshop earlier this season, it's transferring to Broadway just in time for awards season. Comparisons to the Tony-winning musical Once are rampant, since that show was also based on a Carney film, featured a book by Enda Walsh and started at NYTW. But Sing Street has a different youthful vibe, as Conor and his cohorts form a band and play preexisting New Wave hits as well as fresh numbers live on stage. Tony winner Rebecca Taichman directs.

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MJ The Musical
Neil Simon Theatre, 250 West 52nd Street between Broadway and Eighth Avenue

Previews July 6. Opens August 13. Open run.

A jukebox musical about the King of Pop, MJ boasts stellar talents both on and backstage. Two-time Pulitzer Prize winner Lynn Nottage is penning the book, which conjures key creative moments from his career; Tony winner Christopher Wheeldon choreographs and directs; and Ain't Too Proud Tony nominee Ephraim M. Sykes embodies the icon. Yet ever since this project was announced, it's sparked controversy as well as curiosity, with critics wondering how (or if) the show will deal with the accusations of sexual abuse against the star. We'll find out this summer.

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PLAYS

My Name Is Lucy Barton
Samuel J. Friedman Theatre, 261 West 47th Street between Broadway and Eighth Avenue

Already open. Closes February 29.

After two hit runs on the West End, Rona Munro's adaptation of Elizabeth Strout's bestselling novel comes to Broadway courtesy of Manhattan Theatre Club. As in London, Laura Linney stars as the title character, a writer who recounts a time when she was gravely ill, and how she awoke to find her estranged mother by her hospital bedside. Over the course of five days, the two discussed their troubled past in rural Illinois, which was marked by poverty and abuse. The four-time Tony nominee voices both characters and never leaves the stage during this one-woman play.

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Blair Underwood in
Blair Underwood in 'A Soldier's Story;' photo by Joan Marcus

A Soldier's Play
American Airlines Theatre, 227 West 42nd Street between Seventh and Eighth Avenues

In previews. Opens January 21. Closes March 15. At press time, discount tickets were available for A Soldier's Play

Charles Fuller's Pulitzer Prize-winning drama comes to Broadway in this Roundabout Theatre Company revival directed by Tony winner Kenny Leon. When a black sergeant is murdered on a Southern Army base in 1944, an African-American investigator must piece together what happened before his white supervisors make up their own convenient story. An exploration of what it means to be black in America, the play stars Blair Underwood and three-time Tony nominee David Alan Grier, who appeared in the original Off-Broadway production and the movie adaptation.

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Grand Horizons
Helen Hayes Theatre, 240 West 44th Street between Seventh and Eighth Avenues

In previews. Opens January 23. Closes March 1. At press time, discount tickets were available for Grand Horizons

Playwright Bess Wohl makes her Broadway debut with this dramedy at Second Stage Theatre about the breakup of a long-married couple (James Cromwell and Tony winner Jane Alexander, returning to Broadway after 22 years) and the impact it has on their grown sons, played by Michael Urie and Ben McKenzie. That may sound like a sitcom setup, but considering Wohl's inventive work (Continuity, Small Mouth Sounds), it's likely to go in unexpected directions.

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The Minutes
Cort Theatre, 138 West 48th Street between Sixth and Seventh Avenues

Previews start February 25. Opens March 15. Closes June 14.

Tracy Letts' caustic comedy about the drama at a small-town city council meeting comes to Broadway after a hit run at Chicago's Steppenwolf Theatre Company. The Broadway cast includes Armie Hammer, Tony winners Blair Brown and Jessie Mueller, and the playwright himself. Anna D. Shapiro, Letts' collaborator on his Pulitzer Prize-winning August: Osage County, directs.

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The Off-Broadway production of
The Off-Broadway production of 'Hangmen' at Atlantic Theater Company; photo: Ahron R. Foster

Hangmen
John Golden Theatre, 252 West 45th Street between Seventh and Eighth Avenues

Previews February 28. Opens March 19. Closes July 18.

After a smash run at Atlantic Theater Company two years ago, Martin McDonagh's pitch-black comedy about execution and vengeance transfers to Broadway. Reminiscent in tone of the four-time Tony nominee's other dark mysteries (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri; The Pillowman), the play centers on Harry, a hangman who's sent into a spiral when his vocation is abolished in 1965 England. Expect wicked humor, prolific profanity, eccentric characters, malevolence and plenty of jaw-dropping surprises.

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Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
Booth Theatre, 222 West 45th Street between Seventh and Eighth Avenues

Previews March 3. Opens April 9. Closes August 2.

Two-time Tony winner Laurie Metcalf headlines this revival of Edward Albee's groundbreaking play about two couples whose lives unravel during a night of alcohol-and-illusion-fueled conflict. Metcalf's frequent collaborator, two-time Tony winner Joe Mantello, directs, and Rupert Everett, Russell Tovey and Patsy Ferran costar.

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The Lehman Trilogy
Nederlander Theatre, 208 West 41st Street between Seventh and Eighth Avenues

Previews March 7. Opens March 26. Closes June 28.

A theatrical epic that deconstructs American capitalism through the meteoric rise and catastrophic downfall of one family, Lehman Brothers is told in three parts over three-plus hours. Tony nominee Simon Russell Beale, Adam Godley and Ben Miles play the title siblings, as well as their sons and grandsons as the influential company they built over decades collapses, sparking a financial crisis. Tony winner Sam Mendes directs the lauded production, which previously ran in London and at the Park Avenue Armory.

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Plaza Suite
Hudson Theatre 141 West 44th Street, between Broadway and Sixth Avenue

Previews March 13. Opens April 13. Closes July 12.

Hollywood power couple Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick star in this revival of Neil Simon's comedy about three different sets of men and women facing various romantic crises in a hotel suite. Tony winner John Benjamin Hickey took a hiatus from starring in The Inheritance so he could direct. Let's hear it for good old-fashioned laughs.

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American Buffalo
Circle in the Square Theatre, 1633 Broadway with the entrance between Broadway and Eighth Avenue on 50th Street

Previews March 24. Open April 14. Closes July 12.

David Mamet's classic about a trio of two-bit hustlers angling for a larger slice of the American dream gets a starry revival, with Oscar winner Sam Rockwell, and Emmy winners Laurence Fishburne and Darren Criss. Atlantic Theater Company artistic director Neil Pepe helms the production.

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How I Learned to Drive
Samuel J. Friedman Theatre, 261 West 47th Street between Broadway and Eighth Avenue

Previews March 27. Open April 22. Closes June 7.

Almost a quarter century after starring in the premiere of Paula Vogel's Pulitzer Prize-winning play Off-Broadway, Tony winner Mary-Louise Parker and Tony nominee David Morse return to the two-hander at Manhattan Theatre Club. Once again, Parker plays a troubled woman looking back on the magnetic uncle who shaped her life in good and terrying ways. The original director, Mark Brokaw, helms the production.

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Birthday Candles
American Airlines Theatre, 227 West 42nd Street between Seventh and Eighth Avenues

Previews April 2. Open April 21. Closes June 21.

Debra Messing inhabits the same woman from age 17 to 101 in Roundabout Theatre Company's production of Noah Haidle's play about the twists and turns of life. Each scene is set on one of her birthdays, and the actors playing her loved ones include fellow TV stars Andre Braugher and Enrico Colantoni, both making their Broadway debuts.

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Take Me Out
Helen Hayes Theatre, 240 West 44th Street between Seventh and Eighth Avenues

Previews April 2. Open April 23. Closes June 14.

Scott Ellis directs this revival of Richard Greenberg's Tony-winning play about a beloved biracial baseball player (Jesse Williams from Grey's Anatomy) who comes out and then contends with prejudice and homophobia. Modern Family's Jesse Tyler Ferguson costars as his loquacious gay accountant.

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

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5 Comments:
Jeanne said:
Cannot wait for West Side Sttory to open!!!
Posted on 1/18/2020 at 8:51 AM
Laurie said:
Though many of these productions sound exciting it still is a male heavey season as usual.
Posted on 1/18/2020 at 8:54 AM
Mary Vroman said:
Looking forward to American Buffalo and How I Learned to Drive in particular. Also, would like to see Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick in Plaza Suite and Laurie Metcalf in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf with Joe Mantello directing.
Posted on 1/19/2020 at 1:59 PM
Lorraine Estrada said:
Looking forward to seeing West Side Story AND Diana!
Posted on 1/21/2020 at 4:43 PM
Joan small said:
Very exciting. Can’t wait
Posted on 1/25/2020 at 8:42 AM
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