Hamilton, Tom Sturridge in 1984, Prince of Broadway, My Fair Lady & More
Welcome to another edition of our Broadway Round-up, as we find ourselves slap bang in the middle of the busiest period of the Broadway season with shows opening left, right and centre in hopes of being nominated for a coveted Tony Award. The cut-off date for eligibility is 27 April this year, so in true Broadway fashion, the road leading to that date is overflowing with new shows opening on the Great White Way. Indeed, there has been a total of 25 brand new productions opening this season and that's not even including the wonderful revivals currently on offer.
Check out our reviews of some of these fantastic productions of the Spring here: Sunset Boulevard, Sunday in the Park with George, The Glass Menagerie, Come From Away, Significant Other, Arthur Miller's The Price, Sweat, Miss Saigon, The Play That Goes Wrong, Amélie and Present Laughter.
Keep checking www.NewYorkTheatreGuide.com the rest of the month to read our critics' reviews of the other Broadway productions in contention this season, including War Paint, Oslo, Groundhog Day, Indecent, Lillian Hellman's The Little Foxes, Hello, Dolly!, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Anastasia, Six Degrees of Separation, Bandstand and A Doll's House, Part 2.
With last year's Awards season predictably turning out to be pretty much a one-horse race thanks to the juggernaut that is Hamilton, this year many of the categories are wide open and it will certainly be intriguing to see which musicals and plays end up on top.
The first Broadway production of the 2017-2018 season will be Robert Icke and Duncan Macmillan's stage adaptation of George Orwell's classic novel 1984, which has been staged multiple times in the West End and now will transfer to the newly re-opened Hudson Theatre on Broadway. The exciting news is that producers Sonia Friedman and Scott Rudin have announced that our very own Tom Sturridge will lead the Broadway cast as Winston Smith. The Tony and Olivier Award nominee will be joined by Tony winner Reed Birney (as O’Brien) and Olivia Wilde (as Julia), as well as Wayne Duvall (Parsons), Carl Hendrick Louis (Martin), Nick Mills (Syme), Michael Potts (Charrington), and Cara Seymour (Mrs. Parsons). Previews begin on 18 May 2017, before an official opening on 22 June.
On 14 April - a very Good Friday - everyone is going to want to be in the room where it happens, as three-time Tony nominee Brian d'Arcy James will return to Hamilton. James originated the role of King George III at the show's premiere at the Public Theater, off-Broadway, but was already booked to star in the Broadway premiere of Something Rotten! when Miranda's masterpiece got the nod to move up town. Finally, those Hamilfans will get to see the original king on Broadway. As previously announced, everyone's favourite Tony-winning Genie James Monroe Iglehart will also begin performances as Marques de Lafayette and Thomas Jefferson on the same night.
And from the King of Broadway to the Prince of Broadway... Hal Prince, that is! Yes, as we know, the long-in-the-works musical based on the life and career of legendary 21-time Tony Award-winning director and producer Hal Prince known as Prince of Broadway is heading to the Manhattan Theatre Club's Broadway venue - the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre - for a limited engagement from 3 August 2017. Now, we also know initial casting for the production. Reprising their respective roles from the musical's 2015 world premiere in Japan will be Tony nominees Nancy Opel, Emily Skinner, and Tony Yazbeck, alongside Kaley Ann Voorhees. They will be joined by Tony winner Chuck Cooper, Janet Dacal, Bryonha Marie Parham and Tony nominee Brandon Uranowitz. Boasting songs from such celebrated musicals as West Side Story, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Fiddler on the Roof, Cabaret, Evita, Company, Follies, A Little Night Music, Sweeney Todd, and The Phantom of the Opera, this promises to be one of the most exciting theatrical events of next season.
Speaking of next season, Lincoln Center Theater has also now revealed plans for a much-loved classic to be revived on the company's Broadway stage of the Vivian Beaumont Theatre. For the first time in 25 years, Lerner & Loewe's iconic musical My Fair Lady will be revived on Broadway. Tony winner and LCT Resident Director Bartlett Sher is at the helm of the production which will begin previews on 22 March 2018, before an official opening on 19 April. Who will get the nod to play Eliza Doolittle and serenade us with "I Could Have Danced All Night"? Stay tuned...
Another production already announced for the 2017-2018 season is a Broadway revival of Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty's Tony-nominated and Olivier Award-winning musical Once on This Island. The musical, infused with Caribbean rhythms, tells the story of Ti Moune, who unexpectedly falls in love with a young man from the rich side of the island. Despite cultural differences, she sets off on a journey to be with him and is guided along the way by the island gods. Although a venue is yet to be named, the revival, directed by Tony nominee Michael Arden, will begin previews on 9 November 2017 and officially open on 3 December.
Hamlet is arguably the most coveted role for any high-profile actor. Recent London productions have seen Benedict Cumberbatch and Andrew Scott test their acting chops by taking on the Danish prince. The Public Theater has announced that Golden Globe winner Oscar Isaac is the next in line. The Hollywood star will play a limited engagement in the Shakespeare classic at the Public's Anspacher Theater from 20 June to 3 September 2017. Could a Broadway transfer be on the cards for Mr. Isaac?... That is the question...
With so many new openings in the near future, sadly that also means that a handful of shows will be closing. As they say - That's show business, kid! Early closure notices have been posted for Broadway's a cappella musical In Transit will play its final performance at the Circle in the Square this Easter Sunday, 16 April. The Broadway transfer of Joshua Harmon's Significant Other is set to shutter on 23 April at the Booth Theatre. Cagney will end its long-running off-Broadway engagement at the Westside Theatre on 28 May, however, producers home to find a Broadway home for the James Cagney-themed musical in the future. And lastly, after a monstrous run of 57 years in New York City, The Fantasticks will play its final performance at off-Broadway's Jerry Orbach Theater on 4 June 2017.
Time for a quick casting news round-up: Waitress composer Sara Bareilles made her Broadway debut in the musical in the starring role of Jenna on 31 March and was joined by fellow new cast mates Tony nominee Will Swenson (who assumed the role of Earl) and Emmy nominee Chris Diamantopoulos (as Dr. Pomatter). Panic! at the Disco frontman Brendon Urie will officially make his Broadway debut as Charlie Price in Kinky Boots from 29 May at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre. Two-time Emmy nominee Janeane Garofalo will make her Broadway debut as Lee in the Roundabout Theatre Company's Broadway premiere of Scott McPherson's dark comedy Marvin's Room at the American Airlines Theatre from 8 June to 27 August 2017. She will be joined by three-time Emmy nominee Lili Taylor (as Bessie) and Tony nominee Celia Weston as (Ruth). It was also announced that “Once Upon a Time” and “House” star Jennifer Morrison, as well as Quincy Dunn-Baker and Sue Jean Kim, will join "Friends" star Matthew Perry in the New York premiere of The End of Longing at off-Broadway's Lucille Lortel Theatre from 18 May to 24 June 2017. Perry's self-penned dark comedy staged its world premiere here at the Playhouse Theatre.
Finally, a huge congratulations to playwright Lynn Nottage, who recently made history by becoming the first woman to ever win two Pulitzer Prizes for Drama. The second award is for her gritty drama Sweat, which continues to run at Studio 54 on Broadway!
Keep an eye on our sister site - www.NewYorkTheatreGuide.com - for all the latest happenings on and off-Broadway! Until next time!