Two-time Tony Award-winning divas Patti LuPone and Christine Ebersole have set the bar for the Broadway spring season; they headline original musical War Paint (opening April 6) at the Nederlander Theatre. The two play dueling cosmetics entrepreneurs Helena Rubinstein and Elizabeth Arden with a score by Scott Frankel and Michael Korie (Grey Gardens).
But leading ladies abound this season. Glenn Close returns as Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard—for which she won a Tony 22 years ago—when previews begin February 2 at the Palace. And Bette Midler is Dolly Gallagher Levi beginning in previews March 15 at the Shubert in Hello, Dolly! revival, with Tony winners Jerry Zaks (director) and Warren Carlyle (choreographer) at the helm.
A new leading lady will excite audiences when Miss Saigon flies into the Broadway Theatre March 1 with an official opening March 23. Eva Noblezada, plucked straight from the 2013 National High School Musical Theatre Awards, transfers as the young lovelorn Kim with the production from London.
And Phillipa Soo, the Tony-nominated Hamilton star, takes center stage as the title role in Amélie, a New Musical, the stage adaptation of the 2001 romantic comedy that co-stars Adam Chanler-Berat and begins previews March 9 at the Walter Kerr.
Speaking of film adaptations: Anastasia (based on the 1956 historical drama and 1997 musical movie) is recreated for the stage by Lynn Ahrens, Stephen Flaherty, and Terrence McNally beginning previews March 23 at the Broadhurst with Christy Altomare as its leading lady; Groundhog Day begins previews March 16 at the August Wilson Theatre, starring Tony nominee Andy Karl as the Pittsburgh weatherman caught in a time loop, with a score by Matilda’s Tim Minchin.
Another film-to-stage musical direct from London is Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, starring Tony winner Christian Borle (fresh from Falsettos), which takes the Lunt-Fontanne March 28 with an official opening set for April 23. It features a new score by Hairspray duo Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman.
Also doing double duty this Broadway season is Jefferson Mays—seen earlier this season in The Front Page—who will star in Lincoln Center’s Oslo when it transfers to the Vivian Beaumont for a run beginning previews March 23. The political drama centers on the signing of the historic 1993 Oslo Accords.
Indecent, Sweat, and Significant Other will also transfer from Off-Broadway. Indecent marks the Broadway debut of Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Paula Vogel; inspired by the controversial 1923 debut of Sholem Asch’s The God of Vengeance, the play opens April 18 (previews from April 4) at the Cort Theatre. The political drama Sweat, exploring America’s industrial decline, marks the Broadway bow of Pulitzer Prize winner Lynn Nottage and begins March 4 (with a March 26 opening) at Studio 54. Joshua Harmon’s Significant Other, directed by Trip Cullman, is the story of a twentysomething gay man (Gideon Glick) searching for his other half while watching his best girlfriends tie the knot. Previews begin Valentine’s Day at the Booth with a March 2 opening.
Cullman will also direct John Guare’s Six Degrees of Separation, which returns to Broadway starring Allison Janney April 5 at the Ethel Barrymore, with an official opening April 25. The Pulitzer- and Tony-nominated work explores the premise that we’re all connected somehow, even if by six degrees.
Also returning to Broadway is Tennessee Williams’ The Glass Menagerie, beginning previews February 7 at the Belasco, starring Sally Field and Joe Mantello; Noël Coward’s Present Laughter, opening April 5 (previews from March 10) at the St. James with the stage return of Kevin Kline; Arthur Miller’s The Price—with Danny DeVito making his Main Stem debut—beginning previews February 16 at the American Airlines; and Lillian Hellman’s The Little Foxes, beginning previews March 29 at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre with Laura Linney and Cynthia Nixon alternating the roles of Regina and Birdie.
A Doll’s House, Part 2 picks up after Henrik Ibsen’s classic “Part 1” concludes. Starring Laurie Metcalf, Chris Cooper, Jayne Houdyshell, and Condola Rashad, performances begin April 1 at the Golden. The Play That Goes Wrong, which follows a drama society trying to stage a 1920s murder mystery, comes in from the West End with its original cast and creative team beginning previews March 9 at the Lyceum.
New on the musical front are Bandstand, which transports audiences to the 1940s world of swing with Laura Osnes and Corey Cott, with a March 31 first preview at the Bernard B. Jacobs; and Come From Away, about the travelers whose planes were diverted to a small Newfoundland town following the 9/11 attacks, beginning previews February 18 at the Schoenfeld.