Broadway’s winter-into-spring season is about to go full throttle. These months leading up to the Tony Awards take new theatergoers on a wild ride through previews, opening nights, and reviews. Adding to the excitement is the celebrity count (high) and the roster of productions (formidable). And so we begin…
Laurence Fishburne, Sam Rockwell, and Darren Criss in American Buffalo. Photo by Matthew Murphy.
American Buffalo –Circle in the Square – Previews from 3/24; Opening Night: 4/14/20. Three heavy hitters are front and center in the revival of this David Mamet play: Emmy and Tony winner Laurence Fishburne (The Matrix; black-ish; Two Trains Running); Oscar winner Sam Rockwell (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri; Jojo Rabbit; Fosse/Verdon); and Darren Criss (Glee; Hedwig and the Angry Inch; How to Succeed…).
Birthday Candles – American Airlines Theatre – Previews from 4/2; Opening Night: 4/21/20. Emmy winners Debra Messing (Will & Grace) and André Braugher (Brooklyn Nine-Nine) star alongside Enrico Colantoni (Veronica Mars; A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood) among others. Playwright Noah Haidle’s previous collaboration with Roundabout was in 2005 with his comedy Mr. Marmalade.
How I Learned to Drive –Samuel J. Friedman Theatre – Previews from 3/27; Opening Night: 4/22/20. Originally an Off-Broadway sell-out when it opened in 1997 starring Mary-Louise Parker (Proof; Weeds; Red) and Tony nominee David Morse (The Iceman Cometh; House; Treme), with direction by Mark Brokaw, the groundbreaking play that earned playwright Paula Vogel a Pulitzer has reunited the three for its Broadway debut.
The Lehman Trilogy – Nederlander Theatre – Previews from 3/7; Opening Night: 3/26/20. Following its SRO run at the Park Avenue Armory last year, this epic work by Stefano Massini adapted by Ben Power has come to Broadway for a limited 16-week engagement with its original cast of Simon Russell Beale (Spamalot; My Week with Maryln; The Deep Blue Sea), Adam Godley (Anything Goes; Homeland; Breaking Bad), and Ben Miles (The Norman Conquests; V for Vendetta). Directing is Oscar and Tony winner Sam Mendes.
The Minutes – Cort Theater – Opening Night: 3/15/20. From Steppenwolf Theatre’s writer/actor Tracy Letts (Pulitzer Prize winning drama August, Osage County; Homeland) comes this limited-run starring Tony winner Blair Brown (Copenhagen; The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd), Cliff Chamberlain (Homeland; State of Affairs), K. Todd Freeman (Netflix’s A Series of Unfortunate Events), Tony winner Jessie Mueller (Beautiful: The Carole King Musical; Waitress; Carousel), and theatre icon, Austin Pendleton (Choir Boy; The Diary of Anne Frank; Oz).
Take Me Out – Helen Hayes Theatre – Previews from 4/2; Opening Night: 4/23/20. The first revival of Richard Greenberg’s Tony-winning play boasts a cast of actors that will be familiar to TV and film viewers, starting with Jesse Williams (Grey’s Anatomy; The Butler) who plays the central character, Darren Lemming. Among his costars are Jesse Tyler Ferguson (Modern Family; Fully Committed), Brandon J. Dirden (All the Way; The Americans), Ken Marks (Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark; Elementary), and Patrick J. Adams (Suits; Rage).
Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? – Stephen Sondheim Theatre – Previews from 3/3; Opening Night: 4/9/20. Tony and Emmy winner Laurie Metcalf (Three Tall Women; Roseanne; Big Bang Theory) and Rupert Everett (My Best Friend’s Wedding) are sharing the stage in the latest revival of Edward Albee’s vitriolic masterpiece, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Joining them in the four-character play are Olivier-winning actress Patsy Ferran (Summer And Smoke) and Russell Tovey, last seen on Broadway in Angels in America.
Hangmen – Golden Theatre – Opening Night: 3/19/20. Irish playwright Martin McDonagh’s (The Beauty Queen of Leenane; The Pillowman) devilishly dark comedy stars Dan Stevens of Downton Abbey fame who made his Broadway debut in The Heiress opposite Jessica Chastain. Included in the cast are Olivier nominee Mark Addy (Game of Thrones) and Tony nominee Tracie Bennett (End of the Rainbow; Shirley Valentine).
Matthew Broderick with Sarah Jessica Parker, photo by Little Fang.
Plaza Suite – Hudson Theatre – Previews from 3/13; Opening Night: 4/13/20. Golden couple Matthew Broderick (The Producers; Ferris Bueller’s Day Off) and Sarah Jessica Parker (Sex and the City; Once Upon a Mattress) are costarring in the first ever revival of Neil Simon’s classic comedy. The two take on three different roles in this trio of vignettes.
Caroline, or Change – Studio 54 – Previews from 3/13; Opening Night: 4/7/20. Tony and Pulitzer Prize winner Tony Kushner (book & lyrics) and Tony winner Jeanine Tesori’s award-winning musical is back on Broadway following a five-star run on London’s West End. The new production stars Sharon D. Clarke, a celebrated British actress and singer, who is being introduced to American theatre audiences in this new production.
Company –Bernard Jacobs Theatre – Previews from 3/2; Opening Night: 3/22/20. The legendary Patti LuPone (Evita; Gypsy) returns to Broadway to belt “The Ladies Who Lunch” in this gender-revamped revival of the Sondheim favorite. The cast is led by Tony winner Katrina Lenk (The Band’s Visit) in the role of “Bobbie.”
Little Fang, La Jolla Playhouse’s world-premiere performance of Diana.
Diana – Longacre Theatre – Previews from 3/2; Opening Night: 3/31/20. A new musical by Joe DiPietro (book) and David Bryan (score) centering on Princess Di. Jeanna De Waal (Kinky Boots; American Idiot) plays the title character while Roe Hartrampf makes his Broadway debut as Prince Charles. Tony winner Judy Kaye (The Phantom of the Opera; Nice Work If You Can Get It) is Queen Elizabeth and Erin Davie (Sunday in the Park with George; Side Show) plays Camilla Parker Bowles.
Flying Over Sunset – Vivian Beaumont Theatre – Previews from 3/12; Opening Night: 4/16/20. Erika Henningsen, who originated the role of Cady Heron in Mean Girls plays the daughter of Clare Boothe Luce (Tony nominee Carmen Cusack) in this new musical. Also in the cast are Tony nominee Tony Yazbeck (On the Town) as Cary Grant and, returning to the theatre where he picked a Tony nomination playing Henry Higgins in My Fair Lady, is Harry Hadden-Paton as Aldous Huxley.
Todd Almond and the Cast of Girl From the North Country on Broadway, photo by Matthew Murphy.
Girl From the North Country – Belasco Theatre - Opening Night: 3/5/20. Following a sold-out run at the Public Theater, this new musical features a score plucked from Bob Dylan’s songbook with book and direction by Irish playwright Conor McPherson (The Weir, The Seafarer) and a formidable company of actors, including Tony nominee Marc Kudisch (Thoroughly Modern Millie), Jay O. Sanders (Uncle Vanya; Law & Order), and Tony and Oscar nominee Mare Winningham (Casa Valentina; The Outsider; American Horror Story).
Mrs. Doubtfire – Stephen Sondheim Theatre – Previews from 3/9; Opening Night: 4/5/20. Fresh from playing a newly minted ghost in Beetlejuice, Tony nominee Rob McClure (Chaplin) is taking on the title role in this musical version of the film starring Robin Williams. McClure is joined by several of the Big Apple’s top comedic actors including Tony nominee Brad Oscar (The Producers; Something Rotten!) and Peter Bartlett (Meet the Parents; The Drowsy Chaperone).
Sing Street – Lyceum Theatre – Previews from 3/26; Opening Night: 4/19/20. New York Theatre Workshop’s hit musical (book by Tony-winner Enda Walsh [Lazarus]; score by Gary Clark and John Carney) headed directly to Broadway following both critical and audience acclaim during its Off-Broadway run. Based on the film of the same name written and directed by Mr. Carney, the show is directed by Tony winner Rebecca Taichman (Indecent).
Six – Brooks Atkinson Theatre – Opening Night: 3/12/20. From the Edinburgh Festival to the Great White Way—with many stops along the way, including London and Chicago (where the Broadway cast came together), this “celebration of girl power” uses the six wives of Henry XIII as a conduit to an edgy, rock musical backed by an all-female band. Among the cast (three of whom are making their Broadway debuts) is Abby Mueller, whose Broadway credits include Beautiful: The Carole King Musical and Kinky Boots, as Jane Seymour.
SIX DEGREES OF TRIVIA
- Matthew Broderick played the title hero to Rupert Everett’s villainous Sanford Scolex in the 1999 film comedy Inspector Gadget.
- In 2013, when Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? last appeared on Broadway, Tracy Letts won a Tony for George, currently being played by Rupert Everett.
- Austin Pendleton appeared in the film A Beautiful Mind, as did Ed Harris who’s currently starring as Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird.
- Sisters Abby and Jesse Mueller—who each played Carole King on Broadway—will be simultaneously on stage in their respective shows (Six and The Minutes), just a short walk across Broadway and one street down.
David Byrne’s American Utopia, burning down the house on Broadway. Photo by Brian Derballa.
- David Byrne’s American Utopia might have closed on 2/16, but it will be back. A 17-week run comes up this fall, between September 18th, 2020 and January 17th, 2021.
- Two Broadway hits are heading to the Silver Screen: Hamilton—a filmed version of the Broadway show complete with original stars, sets, and costumes, as close to seeing the sell-out in person as you can get; and Mean Girls—from film to Broadway musical to film musical. Creatively, the Broadway team of Tina Fey (book), her husband, Jeff Richmond (music) and Neil Benjamin (lyrics) will remain intact.
Photo by Nathan Johnson.