Harry Potter, Prince of Broadway, Sunday in the Park with George and More
Since our last Broadway Round-up, perhaps the most exciting announcement for all us muggles was that our favourite wizard will be picking up that Nimbus 2000 broomstick and flying over the pond to open Harry Potter and the Cursed Child on Broadway in Spring 2018. It was revealed that the Ambassador Theatre Group, who own the Lyric Theatre - one of Broadway's largest venues at 1,900 seats - are now in exclusive negotiations with the show's producers. Furthermore they have promised to re-design the auditorium, lobby and entrances of the theatre to suit the production, removing 400 seats in the process in order to stage John Tiffany's more intimately atmospheric staging. It is still unknown whether the British cast favourites will transfer with the production or whether they will pass their wands to an American cast for the Broadway premiere. With Disney's Frozen and Harry Potter already announced for Spring 2018, the Great White Way is undoubtedly looking forward to a magical rise in ticket sales... And 2018 will be here quicker than you can say "Quidditch"!
The planned renovations of the Lyric Theatre sadly means that Paramour - Cirque du Soleil's first musical created specifically for Broadway - will have to move out of the venue. The high-flying show which depicts a love triangle set during Hollywood's Golden Age of Cinema, will play its final Broadway performance on 16th April 2017. It will have entertained Cirque fans for a whole year on the Great White Way and Cirqu du Soleil Theatrical CEO Scott Zeiger is now in negotiations with international theatre owners to transfer the show, including a Stage Entertainment production in Germany.
Other exciting news for musical theatre aficionados is the announcement that the long-in-the-works musical Prince of Broadway - based on the life and career of the 21-time Tony Award-winning director and producer Hal Prince. The musical was rumoured to be hitting the Great White Way a few years ago, but that never came to fruition. The world premiere was then held in Tokyo in October 2015 and featured such stars as Ramin Karimloo, Shuler Hensley, Tony Yazbeck, Emily Skinner, and Josh Grisetti. Now finally the show will land on Broadway itself, officially opening at Manhattan Theatre Club's Samuel J. Friedman Theatre on 24th August 2017, following previews from 3rd August. Prince of Broadway features a book by David Thompson, with new songs, musical supervision, arrangements and orchestrations, by Jason Robert Brown. It will also include familiar hits from many of Prince's productions, including 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! Oh, and Hal Prince himself will be directing, with co-direction and choreography by Susan Stroman!
The Ambassador Theatre Group will open its second Broadway theatre next February, after its acquisition of the iconic Hudson Theatre. Oscar nominee Jake Gyllenhaal was originally scheduled to star in a revival of Lanford Wilson's 1987 play Burn This, which was later pulled due to "scheduling conflicts." However, the "Brokeback Mountain" star will now re-open the Hudson with the Broadway transfer of his recent musical outing at off-Broadway's New York City Center - Stephen Sondheim & James Lapine's Sunday in the Park with George. Tony winner Annaleigh Ashford will also reprise her role as Dot/Marie, with additional casting to be announced. The limited engagement runs from 11th February to 23rd April 2017, with an official opening set for 23rd February.
Congratulations to the Public Theater on yet another scored Broadway transfer. The downtown non-profit institution has been churning out hits left, right and centre in recent years - including the Tony-winning musicals Fun Home and Hamilton (heard of it???) - and the trend looks set to continue. The recent off-Broadway production of Sweat, written by Lynn Nottage, has been given the green light for a limited engagement at Broadway's iconic Studio 54 from 4th March to 10th September 2017. This will mark the Broadway debut for the talented playwright.
Another off-Broadway production being hotly tipped for a transfer uptown is the current New York Theatre Workshop production of Shakespeare's famous tragedy Othello. This comes as no surprise really as the cast includes "Selma" star David Oyelowo in the title role, opposite "007" himself Daniel Craig as Iago. According to the New York Post, "James Bond" franchise producer Barbara Broccoli is reportedly behind the transfer which could land on Broadway as early as next Spring. Fingers crossed!
Congratulations to four Broadway productions who were all recently nominated for the Grammy Award for "Best Musical Theater Album." The nominees are Bright Star, The Color Purple, Fiddler on the Roof and Waitress... Who is the fifth nominee, you ask? Well, it's only our own London Cast Recording of Kinky Boots! A pat on the back goes to Olivier winner Matt Henry, two-time Olivier nominee Killian Donnelly (who can now be seen in the Broadway production!) and the rest of the original West End cast! The winner will be announced on 12th February 2017 at the 59th Annual Grammy Awards, hosted by our unstoppable entertainment export James Cordon.
Break a leg to Cate Blanchett, Richard Roxburgh and the rest of the cast of the Sydney Theatre Company production of The Present, which began previews last Saturday at Broadway's Barrymore Theatre. The production, based on Anton Chekhov's 'Platonov,' will hold the first official Broadway opening of 2017 on 8th January.
Finally, we would like to say a big congratulations to two-time Olivier Award winner Janie Dee who will be returning to New York to star in the U.S. premiere of Linda at off-Broadway's New York City Center from 3rd February to 2nd April 2017. Noma Dumezweni did an amazing job stepping in last minute for Kim Cattrall for the Royal Court production and we are sure that this Manhattan Theatre Club incarnation is also in very capable hands with Ms Dee!
For all the up-to-date Broadway and off-Broadway news, be sure to keep checking www.NewYorkTheatreGuide.com!