15 Shows You Should Already Have Tickets For

present-2-05311615 Shows You Should Already Have Tickets For. Broadway and Off Broadway.

By Ross
Lots of big names and exciting projects to look forward to. Here’s my list of ‘must haves’ and ‘gotta gets’. Some on the list won’t be fast sellers but some already are sold out. Be warned.
1/ The Present

• Theatre: Ethel Barrymore
• Previews: December 17, 2016
• Opening: January 8, 2017
• Written by Andrew Upton
• Director: John Crowley
• Cast: Cate Blanchett, Richard Roxburgh

This is the one I couldn’t wait to get tickets for.  The cast says it all, Blanchett on Broadway, and then you add in that it’s a new play based on Chekhov’s Platonov, but updated to the 1990’s, and I’m sold (not that I wasn’t already). As will most, or all of the tickets before the play even opens.

les-liaisons-dangereuses-22/ Les liaisons Dangereuses

• Theatre: Booth
• Previews: October 8, 2016
• Opening: October 30, 2016
• Written by Christopher Hampton
• Director: Josie Rourke
• Cast: Janet McTeer, Liev Schreiber

Once again, a classic magnificent play with a stellar cast.  ‘Tony Tony Tony’ is all I can say. And it’s a transfer from an acclaimed run at the Donmar Warehouse in London.  How can it go wrong?  So don’t wait or you might miss out.

 

3/ Heisenberg 
• Theatre: MTC-Samuel J. Friedman
• First Preview: September 20, 2016
• Opening: October 13, 2016
• Written by Simon Stephens
• Director: Mark Brokaw
• Cast: Denis Arndt, Mary-Louise Parker
One of my favorite shows from last season, and it has kept the same wonderful cast.  A great play by Simon Stephens (author of Tony winner The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time) who writes dialogue for messed-up people better then anyone.  Tailor-made for Parker.  The one thing I’m concerned about is that it was in such a lovely intimate theatre when it ran off-Broadway last year, so I’m curious/nervous how it will transfer to the more classic stage at the MTC’s Friedman. Check out what I had to say about it last fall:
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4/ Dear Evan Hansen

• Theatre: Belasco
• Previews: November 14, 2016
• Opening: December 4, 2016
• Score: Ben Pasek and Justin Paul; book: Steven Levenson
• Director: Michael Greif
• Cast: Ben Platt, Laura Dreyfuss, Rachel Bay Jones, Jennifer laura Thompson, Mike Faist, Will Roland, Kristolyn Lloyd, Michael Park.

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I saw this both at Arena Stage in Washington, DC and Off-Broadway at Second Stage in the spring of 2016. Winning the Outer Critics Circle Award as Best New Off-Broadway Musical, I’m so excited to see it come to Broadway.  And possibly win a few Tony nominations here and there next Spring.  Just check out what I had to say about it after the DC viewing. The title says it all:

https://frontmezzjunkies.com/2015/08/23/dear-evan-hanson-please-come-to-broadway/

nytw_othello_2_23_16_0390-3-1280x7205/ Othello
• New York Theatre Workshop
• First Preview: November 22, 2016
• Opening: December 12, 2016
• Director:Sam Gold
• Cast: David Oyelowo, Daniel Craig, David Wilson Barnes, Marsha Stephanie Blake, Rachel Brosnahan, Blake DeLong, Glenn Fitzgerald, Slate Holmgren, Anthony Michael Lopez, Matthew Maher, Nikki Massoud, Kyle Vincent Terry, Finn Wittrock

 

With this cast, especially the the two leads, David Oyelowo (Royal Shakespeare Company’s The Histories, Selma) and Daniel Craig (Betrayal, Spectre), plus the Tony Award winner Sam Gold returning to NYTW to direct this iconic play, Othello should and could be the star-studded event of the off-Broadway scene….or not.  Can you even get a ticket for this anymore? Or is it sold-out already.  I know I purchased my membership to NYTW mainly so I could buy my tickets within the first hour they went on sale (OK, OK, first few minutes..). I missed Lazarus last year, and I’m looking forward to #9 on my list, Nat Turner in Jerusalem, so I think it’s going to be a good year.

8575a0cb34b409f431eb757c3bd1d80d 6/ Plenty
• The Public Theater/Newman Theater
• First Preview: October 4, 2016
• Opening: October 20, 2016
• Playwright: David Hare
• Director: David Leveaux
• Cast: Corey Stoll, Rachel Weisz

 

Or this could be the female-alternative star-studded off-Broadway hard-to-get ticket of the season. This was one of the first plays I ever saw on Broadway way back in 1983 starring Kate Nelligan.  I didn’t understand the play back then; the story of a English woman who served as a spy for the French Resistance during World War II dealing with her marriage, the collapse of her ideals, and her faultering sanity. I also saw the movie with Meryl Streep, and still wasn’t sure if I got it. Hopefully, this time I will understand it.

But to be honest, every production that is being done at the Public Theatre this year sounds so amazing and interesting, I’m trying to see them all. Gabriels (all parts), Sweat, Tiny Beautiful Things, Party People.  Only missing a few at this point.  Need more tickets. 🙂

9a23b0d1-cb37-9522-6934276cb6d03f6c7/ Sweet Charity
• Theatre: The New Group-Romulus Linney Courtyard Theatre
• First Preview: November 2, 2016
• Target Opening: November 20, 2016
• Music by Cy Coleman, Lyrics by Dorothy Fields, Book by Neil Simon
• Director: Leigh Silverman; choreography: Joshua Bergasse
• Cast: Sutton Foster, Shuler Hensley
A great leading lady in a great musical, (and I do love this musical) but in a small off-Broadway house.  I’m very curious to see how the much anticipated production launches  The New Group’s season. And what will the choreography of Joshua Bergasse be like compared to the legendary Fosse choreography that is etched in our memory?  With a star like Sutton Foster in the lead role who rejuvenated Anything Goes a few seasons ago, I’m very optimistic.
8/ Falsettos 

• Theatre: Walter Kerr
• First Preview: September 29, 2016
• Target Opening: October 27, 2016
• Written by William Finn (music & lyrics), James Lapine (book)
• Director: James Lapine
• Cast: Christian Borle, Stephanie J. Block, Andrew Rannells

83116-1I saw this musical back in 1992 before I even lived in NYC.  I only remember that all the furniture was on wheels, and that I was terribly moved by the story of Marvin and his intimate and deep core relationships, including his ex-wife, his new boyfriend, his adolescent son, his psychiatrist, and his neighbors.  And with this cast, I don’t think I will be disappointed.

9/  Nat Turner in Jerusalem
• New York Theatre Workshop
• First Preview: September 7, 2016
• Opening: September 26, 2016
• Playwright: Nathan Alan Davis
• Director: Megan Sandberg-Zakian
• Cast: Phillip James Brannon, Rowan Vickers

The first play of the NYTW’s season details Nat Turner’s final night in a jail cell after leading a landmark slave uprising in 1831 in Jerusalem, VA. History tells us he was later hanged.  This probably isn’t a must-buy-in-advance kind of play, but one I’m really looking forward to experiencing.

KEEN_TTB_TheatreRow_300x400px10/ Tick, Tick,…BOOM
• Theatre: Keen Company-Theatre Row’s Acorn
• First Preview: October 4, 2016
• Target Opening: October 20, 2016
• by Jonathan Larsen
• Director: Jonathan Silverstein
• Cast: Nick Blaemire, Ciara Renee, George Salazar
This autobiographical musical by Jonathan Larson, the Pulitzer Prize– and Tony Award–winning composer of Rent, is one that I’ve heard so much about but know so little.  It’s the story of Jon, an aspiring composer who is questioning his life on the eve of his 30th birthday. His girlfriend wants to get married and move out of the city, his best friend is making it big on Madison Avenue, while he is still struggling, waiting on tables, and trying to write the great American musical (is it Rent?). Set in 1990, this sounds like something I’m going to like. A lot.
90-111/ All The Ways To Say I Love You
• Theatre: MCC- Lucille Lortel Theatre
• First Preview: September 6, 2016
• Opening: September 28, 2016
• Playwright: Neil LaBute
• Director: Leigh Silverman
• Cast: Judith LightJudith Light starring in a Neil LaBute play.  Who couldn’t be excited by this mix? And I’m shocked to see that I have never reviewed a MCC production on my blog yet, so hoping this will be the first.

12/ The Front Page

• Theatre: Broadhurst
• First Preview: September 20, 2016
• Opening: October 20, 2016
• Written by Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur
• Director: Jack O’Brien
• Cast: Nathan Lane, John Slattery, John Goodman, Jefferson Mays, Rosemary Harris, Sherie Rene Scott

I included this not for the obvious reasons.  It’s a revival of the classic 1928 comedy about tough reporters trying to beat each other for the big scoop. It has a cast that reminds me of that super successful (but what I thought was tedious) It’s All About The Play last season.  I was excited about that cast too, and was thoroughly disappointed.  But this one has Sherie Rene Scott, and who can’t want to see her…do anything…I mean, really? And it will be a hard ticket to come by, I’m guessing.  Especially if it’s good.

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*the next three shows aren’t so much  ‘rush out to buy cause they’ll go fast’ kinda shows, but I’m interested, curious and, more importantly, intrigued.

13/ A Life 
• Playwrights Horizons/Peter Jay Sharp Theater
• First Preview: September 30, 2016
• Opening: October 24, 2016
• Director: Anne Kauffman
• Cast: David Hyde Pierce

I’m a big fan of almost anything at Playwrights Horizons, and to see David Hyde Pierce on a small off-Broadway stage in a new play that sounds so funny and different, it just seems too thrilling to miss.  I just saw the wonderful Aubergine at PHnyc, and I’m looking forward to the whole season.

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14/ Sell/Buy/Date 
• Theatre: MTC- City Center Stage II
• First Preview: September 27, 2016
• Opening Night: October 18, 2016
• Director: Carolyn Cantor
• Cast: Sarah Jones

Tony Award-winning playwright and performer Sarah Jones (Bridge & Tunnel) returns  in MTC’s Sell/Buy/Date, an exciting new show inspired by the real-life experiences of people in and around the sex industry. I’m sold.  Once again, I don’t think this will be a hard ticket to get, but one I’ll be glad I had.  That’s fairly true of the whole MTC season.  Two others are already on this list, and add on Vietgone and August Wilson’s Jitney and we are all set.

 

1260_160820_art_notes-from-the-field_doing-time-in-education15/ Notes From the Field

• Theatre: Second Stage – Tony Kiser Theatre
• First Preview: October 15, 2016
• Opening Night: November 2, 2016
• Director: Leonard Foglia
• Cast: Anna Deavere Smith

I know very little about this show or what it will be like, but she is one of the most provocative stage performers we have. This time around, she is commenting on the school-to-prison pipeline, and that’s just got to be a fascinating journey to take with her. The whole Second Stage season looks to be an interesting one, and this is the first of three productions that caught my eye all lead by some great names.  Anna Deavere Smith (Twilight: Los Angeles). Tracy Letts (Superior DonutsAugust: Osage County). David Cromer (director-The Effect,  Our Town).  Bruce Norris (Clybourne Park). Michael Greif (director-Dear Evan Hansen, Next to Normal). Enough for me to sign up.

10 Shows to Watch Out for the Release of Tickets:

So rev up your computers and get in line. Ready. Set…..

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A/ Hello Dolly!

• Theatre: Shubert
• Previews: March 15, 2017
• Opens: April 20, 2017
• Music and lyrics: Jerry Herman; book: Michael Stewart
• Director: Jerry Zaks; choreographer: Warren Carlyle
• Cast: Bette Midler, David Hyde Pierce

I hear that the weekly cost of the running of this revival is the most expensive in Broadway history.  But no wonder, look at that cast! I can’t wait to snatch up a ticket to see Bette Midler as Dolly, the matchmaker who sets out to find a match for herself at the turn of the 20th century.  Can you?

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B/ Sweeney Todd, The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
• Theatre: Barrow Street Theatre
• First Preview: February 14, 2017
• Target Opening: March 1, 2017
• Music & Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, Book by Hugh Wheeler, Adapted by Christopher Bond
• Director: Bill Buckhurst
• Cast: TBA
Anyone who knows my blog, knows that my most favorite Broadway musical experience was Patti LuPone and Michael Cerveris in the 2005 Revival of Sweeney Todd. I’ve seen it numerous times over the years with numerous stars, but I was extremely disappointed that I missed the latest London production that took place in an actually meat pie shop (and then the transfer to the West End to another space that pretended to be a meat pie shop, serving meat pies and beer to the audience).  This is the NYC transfer of the same concept, and I want to be there. Eating, drinking, and enjoying some spectacularly delicious Sondheim.
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C/ Oslo

• Theatre: Vivian Beaumont
• Previews: March 23, 2017
• Opens: April 13, 2017
• Playwright: J.T. Rogers
• Director: Barlett Sher
• Cast: Jennifer Ehle, Daniel Jenkins, Jefferson Mays and Daniel Oreskes

I hear this transfer from the Lincoln Center Theatre about the top-secret, high-level meetings between the State of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization that culminated in the signing of the historic 1993 Oslo Accords is something powerful to behold.  So I hope to be there to see.

charlie-chocolate-factory-logo
D/ Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

• Theatre: Lunt-Fontanne
• First Preview: March 28, 2017
• Opening: April 23, 2017
• Written by David Greig (book), Marc Shaiman (music & lyrics), Scott Wittman (lyrics), Roald Dahl (novel)
• Director: Jack O’Brien
• Cast: Christian Borle

This West End transfer is looking to be the big challenger from England for the Best New Musical Tony (along with Groundhog Day) trying to snatch away the award from Dear Evan Hansen (which I’m hoping it doesn’t).  I can’t say I’m overly excited to see it.  I think I’d rather check it out in London where these kind of shows (Matilde) seem to be on the darker, more interesting side, before they get all polished and shiny for the NY Broadway crowds.

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E/ Groundhog Day
• Theatre: August Wilson
• Previews: March 2017
• Target Opening: April 17, 2017
• Music and lyrics: Tim Minchin, book: Danny Rubin
• Director: Matthew Warchus
• Cast: TBA
The new musical adapted from the 1993 Bill Murray film chronicles the story of a cynical TV weatherman who is sent to cover the annual Groundhog Day event, when he finds himself trapped repeating the same day over and over again. It just opened in London to pretty across-the-board raves.  Will it hold it together and become a hit here too?
jakegyllenhaal22apr2016w165h250F/ Burn This

• Theatre: Hudson
• Previews: February 2017
• Opening: March 6, 2017
• Written by Lanford Wilson
• Director: Michael Mayer
• Cast: Jake Gyllenhall

With Jake Gyllenhall in the lead of a revival of the classic Lanford Wilson drama opening up the newly renovated Hudson Theatre, I’m guessing it will be a sold out limited run.  And I’m hoping I’ll be one of those lucky theatre junkies who gets to see this intense show.

G/ M. Butterfly
• Theatre: TBA
• Target Previews: Late February 2017
• Target Opening: Spring 2017
• Playwright: David Henry Hwang
• Director: Julie Taymor
• Cast: TBA
Julie Taymor is set to helm the revival of the 1988 drama about a French diplomat who carries on an affair with a beautiful Chinese opera singer who he believes to be a woman, but who turns out to be a man. It’s the first major New York staging of the show since the original production, which won the Tony for Best Play and was a Pulitzer Prize finalist.  I love her work especially when she has a great play to work with, so I’ll be there.  Now just tell me where? And when? And with who?
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H/ The Little Foxes
• Theatre: MTC-Samuel J. Friedman
• Previews: March 29, 2017
• Opens: April 19, 2017
• Playwright: Lillian Hellman
• Director: Daniel Sullivan
• Cast: Laura Linney, Cynthia Nixon
I love that Manhattan Theatre Club will stage a revival of the 1930s drama about the ruthless Southern belle Regina Giddens and her scheme to outwit her husband.  Great cast. And a play I have never seen before.  I’m excited to Linney and Nixon again on that Friedman stage. And this time, together. I’m applauding already.
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I/ Latin History For Morons• Public Theater/Anspacher Theater
• First Preview: March 17, 2017
• Opening: TBA
• Playwright: John Leguizamo
• Director: Tony Taccone
• Cast: John LeguizamoJohn Leguizamo in an outrageous one-man show about Latin History at the Public.  Enough said.  I’m there.

90-4J/ Animal
• Atlantic Theater Company Stage 2
• First Preview: May 2017
• Opening: TBA
• Playwright: Clare Lizzimore
• Director: Gaye Taylor Upchurch
• Cast: Rebecca Hall

Rebecca Hall in a dark comedy about insanity, survival, and what is in those walls.  Sounds super creepy and intriguing. And I just love her.  And the rest of the season sounds interesting as well: Marie and Rosetta, a new musical based on a critically acclaimed movie, The Band’s Visit directed by David Cromer, and Tell Hector I Miss Him by Paula Lavaro. Looking good there Atlantic Theatre Company. Looking good.
Now go buy yourself some tickets!

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