Broadway knows how to make an entrance. What better way to kick off the 2017–2018 season of Main Stem musicals than a celebration of musical theatre milestones of the last 60 years? Prince of Broadway at Manhattan Theatre Club marks the first musical opening of the season August 24. The retrospective of Broadway legend and 21-time Tony Award recipient Harold Prince celebrates the director and producer’s career through vignettes of scenes and songs from his shows across six decades of musical theatre history. Co-directed by Prince and Tony winner Susan Stroman with choreography by Stroman, the revue stars Chuck Cooper, Janet Dacal, Bryonha Marie Parham, Emily Skinner, Brandon Uranowitz, Kaley Ann Voorhees, Michael Xavier, Tony Yazbeck, and Karen Ziemba.
The critically acclaimed and award-winning musical The Band’s Visit makes its Broadway transfer from Off-Broadway’s Atlantic Theatre Company this fall, previewing October 7 and opening November 9 at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre. Based on the Israeli film of the same name, the musical from Itamar Moses and David Yazbek blends Middle Eastern music with American musical storytelling to tell the true story of an Egyptian Police Band that winds up in the wrong Israeli desert town. Winning the 2017 Drama Desk Awards for Outstanding Music and Outstanding Lyrics, the moving tale celebrates the power of music to connect the most distant of peoples.
Later this fall, Broadway welcomes the first musical revival of the season with Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty’s Once On This Island. Directed by Tony nominee Michael Arden and choreographed by Camille A. Brown, the show stars newcomer Hailey Kilgore as Ti Moune, after an international search. The cast will also include Tony winner Lea Salonga, Merle Dandridge, Quentin Earl Darrington, and Alex Newell. The original production earned eight 1991 Tony nominations, and this iteration is sure to break new ground as it plays in the round at Circle in the Square beginning November 9 and opening December 3.
Finally, SpongeBob SquarePants starts performances November 6 and opens December 4 after a successful out-of-town tryout in Chicago. With an original score composed by a roster of Grammy Award-winning songwriters—from Cyndi Lauper to Steven Tyler—the new musical brings the beloved animated character to life onstage as he attempts to save Bikini Bottom from destruction. Broadway favorites Gavin Lee (Mary Poppins) and Lilli Cooper (Spring Awakening) join first-timers Ethan Slater and Danny Skinner as Squidward, Sandy Cheeks, SpongeBob, and Patrick.
Come 2018, the spring season explodes with original and revival fare when it comes to musicals.
Remember to follow Playbill on Facebook to watch LIVE coverage from the opening night red carpets for every Broadway opening of the 2017–2018 season!