15 Shows You Should Already Have Tickets For. Broadway and Off Broadway.
• 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.
• 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.
• First Preview: September 20, 2016
• Opening: October 13, 2016
• Written by Simon Stephens
• Director: Mark Brokaw
• Cast: Denis Arndt, Mary-Louise Parker
• 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.
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:
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.
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. 🙂
• 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
• 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
I 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.
• 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.
• First Preview: October 4, 2016
• Target Opening: October 20, 2016
• by Jonathan Larsen
• Director: Jonathan Silverstein
• Cast: Nick Blaemire, Ciara Renee, George Salazar
• 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.
*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.
• 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.
15/ 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 Donuts, August: 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.
• 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?
• 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
• 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.
• 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.
• Theatre: August Wilson
• Previews: March 2017
• Target Opening: April 17, 2017
• Music and lyrics: Tim Minchin, book: Danny Rubin
• Director: Matthew Warchus
• Cast: TBA
• 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.
• Theatre: TBA
• Target Previews: Late February 2017
• Target Opening: Spring 2017
• Playwright: David Henry Hwang
• Director: Julie Taymor
• Cast: TBA
• Theatre: MTC-Samuel J. Friedman
• Previews: March 29, 2017
• Opens: April 19, 2017
• Playwright: Lillian Hellman
• Director: Daniel Sullivan
• Cast: Laura Linney, Cynthia Nixon
• 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.
• 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!