Broadway Season Headlines at a Glance

Special Features   Broadway Season Headlines at a Glance The Tonys mark the end of one season and the beginning of another. Here's a timeline of the events that shaped the 2009-2010 Broadway season.
Douglas Hodge
Douglas Hodge Photo by Matt Crockett

*

June 7, 2009 The 63rd annual Tony Awards are given at Radio City Music Hall. Billy Elliot, The Musical is named Best Musical, God of Carnage is named Best Play, and Best Revival awards go to Hair and The Norman Conquests. Host Neil Patrick Harris helps deliver the highest-rated Tony Awards broadcast in three years.

June 14, 2009 With the closing of Joe Turner's Come and Gone, the Belasco Theatre is taken off the market for a planned year-long multi-million-dollar renovation by The Shubert Organization.

August 2, 2009 Broadway gets its first production of the new season, Burn the Floor, Jason Gilkison's dance revue that has been refining itself in various forms on international tours for past decade. The production features the team of Maksim Chmerkovskiy and Karina Smirnoff of the hit TV show "Dancing with the Stars."

August 7, 2009 Broadway producer Rocco Landesman is confirmed as chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, leaving his post as president of the theatre-owning company Jujamcyn. Among his many achievements in a long career: lead producer of The Producers and pitcher for that show's championship softball team in the Broadway Show League.

August 7, 2009 The Tony-winning revival of Hair, which had seemed like a financial long shot when the recession hit, announces that it has recouped its entire $5.76 million investment in a little over four months of performances, one of the quickest paybacks for a musical in modern Broadway history.


Buy this Limited Collector's Edition

September 9, 2009 Jordan Roth, the 33-year-old scion of the producing Roth family, is named president of Jujamcyn Theaters, the third-largest theatre owner on Broadway. Roth joined Jujamcyn in 2005 as resident producer and became vice president in 2006. September 9, 2009 Debut of the TV series "Glee," about life among high school theatre and music students. The series stars Lea Michele (Spring Awakening) and Matthew Morrison (The Light in the Piazza), and will go on to feature many Broadway stars as guests.

September 16, 2009 The Phantom of the Opera, already the longest-running show in Broadway history, notches its 9,000th performance.

September 22, 2009 The first Broadway Salutes celebration, held outdoors in Duffy Square, honors individuals who have worked on Broadway for 25, 35, and 50-plus years.

September 29, 2009 Hugh Jackman and Daniel Craig bow in Keith Huff's two-hander drama A Steady Rain, playing a pair of Chicago cops whose willingness to blink at corruption leads to disaster.

October 1, 2009 Michael McKean stars as a Vietnam draft evader who finally finds something worth fighting for in Superior Donuts, the latest drama from Tracy Letts, the Tony-winning author of 2007's August: Osage County.

October 4, 2009 "Star Wars" co-star Carrie Fisher shares the warts-and-all story of her train-wreck life as the child of Hollywood royalty Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher in a one-woman show titled Wishful Drinking.

October 5, 2009 The original cast recording of the Tony Award-winning musical Jersey Boys is certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America, meaning it has sold more than one million copies in the U.S.

October 6, 2009 Jude Law stars as Shakespeare's melancholy Dane in a revival of Hamlet memorable for its "To be or not to be" soliloquy delivered in a snowfall. The 400-year-old play goes on to sell out and ends its limited run in the black.

October 8, 2009 Rosemary Harris, Jan Maxwell, John Glover and Ana Gasteyer star in Manhattan Theatre Club's revival of Edna Ferber and George S. Kaufman's 1927 comedy classic, The Royal Family, about a family of over-the-top Broadway actors.

October 11, 2009 Oleanna, David Mamet's drama about a female college student who accuses her professor of sexual harassment, gets its Broadway premiere, starring Bill Pullman and Julia Stiles. It's the second opening in four days for director Doug Hughes, who also staged The Royal Family.

October 15, 2009 The 1918 vintage Henry Miller's Theatre reopens with Roundabout Theatre Company's production of Bye Bye Birdie. Gina Gershon, John Stamos, Bill Irwin and Nolan Gerard Funk star in the first Broadway revival of the 1960 musical about a rock singer whose manager plans one last publicity stunt before he's drafted into the army.

October 19, 2009 The new musical Memphis tells the story of an early-1950s white deejay (Chad Kimball) who tries to bring black rock 'n' roll to a wider audience in the city of the title. Along the way falls in love with a black singer (Montego Glover). The show has music by rocker David Bryan, a book by Joe DiPietro and lyrics by both.

October 22. 2009 Sienna Miller, Johnny Lee Miller and Marin Ireland star in After Miss Julie, Patrick Marber's new take on August Strindberg's 1888 play about sex and class, with the story relocated to 1945 England.

October 25, 2009 Opening night for a revival of Brighton Beach Memoirs, which is planned to run in alternating repertory with another Neil Simon play, Broadway Bound. The two plays share a setting and many characters. The production closes after a brief run, and the second show is scratched.

October 29, 2009 The first Broadway revival in half a century for Finian's Rainbow, the standard-packed 1947 musical about an Irishman and his daughter who come to America on a magical quest. The Burton Lane/Fred Saidy/E.Y. Harburg show stars past Tony Award-winners Jim Norton and Chuck Cooper, plus Kate Baldwin, Cheyenne Jackson, Christopher Fitzgerald and Terri White.

November 15, 2009 Transfer of a hit Kennedy Center revival of Ragtime, the Lynn Ahrens/Stephen Flaherty musical based on E.L. Doctorow's novel about blacks, whites and immigrants colliding in 1906 New York. The production stars Christiane Noll, Robert Petkoff and Quentin Earl Darrington.

November 19, 2009 Laura Benanti and Michael Cerveris are featured in Sarah Ruhl's drama In the Next Room, or the vibrator play, about a 19th-century doctor whose experiments with the latest electronic invention - the vibrator - revolutionizes his practice and transforms his marriage in an unexpected way.

November 22, 2009 Irving Berlin's White Christmas gets its second annual holiday production. This year's leads are Melissa Errico, Tony Yazbek, Mara Davi and James Clow.

November 23, 2009 Fela!, a biographical musical celebration of Nigerian musical pioneer and political activist Fela Anikulapo Kuti, transfers from an acclaimed run Off-Broadway. Sahr Ngaujah alternates in the leading role with Kevin Mambo. Also featured: Tony winner Lillias White and Saycon Sengbloh.

December 6, 2009 Playwright David Mamet confronts the issue of racial prejudice in America with his new drama, Race, about a law firm with one white partner and one black partner who take the case of a white man charged with a sex crime against a black woman. James Spader, David Alan Grier, Kerry Washington and Richard Thomas comprise the cast, directed by the author.

December 13, 2009 Catherine Zeta-Jones makes her Broadway debut as Desiree Armfeldt in a revival of the Stephen Sondheim/Hugh Wheeler musical A Little Night Music that co-stars Broadway icon Angela Lansbury as her disapproving mother.

December 25, 2009 Release date for the film version of the Tony-winning musical Nine, directed by Rob Marshall and starring Daniel Day Lewis, Penelope Cruz, Judi Dench, Nicole Kidman, Marion Cotillard and Sophia Loren.

Early January 2010 For the first time in decades a show-related album tops the Billboard chart. British singer Susan Boyle's rendition of "I Dreamed a Dream" from Les Misérables wowed the U.K. TV amateur show "Britain's Got Talent" in fall 2009. The resulting CD, also titled "I Dreamed a Dream," opens at No. 1 on the Billboard album chart, and stays there for five weeks, selling more than 3 million copies.

January 12, 2010 An earthquake devastates Haiti. Over the next several months, the Broadway community donates more than $500,000 to aid the reconstruction effort.

January 21, 2010 Victor Garber eases into the dressing gown of aging matinee idol Garry Essendine in Roundabout Theatre Company's revival of Nöel Coward's Present Laughter. Harriet Harris plays his tart-tongued secretary and Brooks Ashmanskas leaps across the stage as mad young playwright Roland Maul.

January 24, 2010 Liev Schreiber and Scarlett Johansson star in Gregory Mosher's revival of Arthur Miller's A View from the Bridge, about a Brooklyn longshoreman who is obsessed with his teen-aged niece.

January 25, 2010 Corbin Bleu becomes the first actor from the popular Disney "High School Musical" franchise to make a Broadway debut. He steps into the leading role of Usnavi in the long-running musical In The Heights.

January 28, 2010 Laura Linney, Eric Bogosian, Brian d'Arcy James and Alicia Silverstone star in Time Stands Still, the first new Broadway drama of the 2010s. Donald Margulies' play explores the challenges two American journalists face trying to sort out their lives after they are forced to return home from covering the Iraq War. January 31, 2010 The cast album of the 2009 West Side Story revival wins the Grammy Award for Best Musical Show Album.

March 3, 2010 Oscar nominee Abigail Breslin and Alison Pill play Helen Keller and teacher Anne Sullivan in a revival of William Gibson's The Miracle Worker, directed by Kate Whoriskey.

March 4, 2010 Christopher Walken returns to Broadway after ten years, playing a man searching for his lost hand in the world premiere of Martin McDonagh's macabre comedy A Behanding in Spokane, alongside Zoe Kazan, Anthony Mackie and Sam Rockwell.

March 11, 2010 A gay couple is split over a question of religion in Geoffrey Nauffts' drama Next Fall, which transfers from Off-Broadway. Patrick Breen and Patrick Heusinger play the couple, with Sheryl Keller directing.

March 14, 2010 Valerie Harper channels eccentric film icon Tallulah Bankhead in Matthew Lombardo's comedy Looped, reimagining a recording session at which Bankhead tried to re-record (or "loop") a line of dialogue for one of her last films.

March 18, 2010 Australian "gigastar" Dame Edna joins forces with cabaret singer Michael Feinstein for All About Me, an odd-couple semi-vaudeville/semi-musical about their lives and careers, with a script by Christopher Durang, Feinstein and Barry Humphries, and staging by Casey Nicholaw.

March 22, 2010 Roundabout Theatre Company announces Henry Miller's Theatre will be renamed the Stephen Sondheim Theatre. The announcement is made by his longtime writing partners James Lapine and John Weidman at a benefit marking the composer's 80th birthday.

March 25, 2010 Director/choreographer Twyla Tharp, who had a hit with Movin' Out, an all-dancing musical based on the Billy Joel songbook, gives a similar treatment to the Frank Sinatra songbook in Come Fly Away, about four lovelorn couples. The corps features John Selya, Keith Roberts, Karine Plantadit and Holley Farmer.

April 1, 2010 Alfred Molina and Eddie Redmayne star in the U.S. debut of Red, John Logan's hit London drama about abstract impressionist painter Mark Rothko.

April 4, 2010 Stanley Tucci directs a revival of Lend Me a Tenor, Ken Ludwig's farce about the backstage chaos that erupts at an Ohio opera house when the star tenor fails to show up for an all-important benefit gala. Among the cast: Anthony LaPaglia, Tony Shalhoub, Jan Maxwell, Mary Catherine Garrison, Justin Bartha and Jennifer Laura Thompson.

April 8, 2010 Nathan Lane and Bebe Neuwirth co-star as Gomez and Morticia Addams in the musical The Addams Family, based on the cheerfully macabre New Yorker drawings by Charles Addams. Andrew Lippa wrote the music, with book and lyrics by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice. Directed by Jerry Zaks, the cast also features Carolee Carmello, Kevin Chamberlin, Jackie Hoffman and Terrence Mann.

April 11, 2010 The musical Million Dollar Quartet recreates a legendary 1956 recording session at which a young Elvis Presley jammed with future stars Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins and Jerry Lee Lewis. Directed by Eric Schaeffer, the production moves to Broadway from a sold-out Chicago run.

April 12, 2010 Next to Normal wins the Pulitzer Prize for Drama.

April 18, 2010 The Menier Chocolate Factory's London revival of the Jerry Herman and Harvey Fierstein's musical La Cage aux Folles transfers to Broadway, starring Douglas Hodge and Kelsey Grammer.

April 20, 2010 Songs from the rock group Green Day tell the story of American Idiot, a new rock musical using songs from the album of the same name, along with "21st Century Breakdown." John Gallagher Jr. and Rebecca Naomi Jones are among those featured in the cast.

April 22, 2010 Celebrating the 80th birthday of composer/lyricist Stephen Sondheim, Roundabout Theatre Company stages Sondheim on Sondheim, a revue in which Sondheim discusses his work (on video) while the songs are performed by cast that includes Barbara Cook, Vanessa Williams and Tom Wopat.

April 25, 2010 Kristin Chenoweth, Sean Hayes, Tony Goldwyn and Katie Finneran are featured in a revival of the Burt Bacharach-Hal David-Neil Simon musical Promises Promises, based on the Oscar-winning film "The Apartment."

April 26, 2010 Denzel Washington and Viola Davis star in Kenny Leon's revival of August Wilson's 1987 Tony-winning Best Play, Fences, about a former Negro League baseball player who struggles now as a garbage man.

April 27, 2010 Norbert Leo Butz stars in the Broadway transfer of Lucy Prebble's hit London drama Enron, about the real-life collapse of the American energy company of the same name.

April 28, 2010 Linda Lavin and Sarah Paulson play two writers who help and challenge one another in the Broadway debut of Donald Margulies' Collected Stories. With Time Stands Still, it's Margulies' second Broadway opening in four months.

April 29, 2010 Sherie Rene Scott tells the story of her unlikely road from Kansas to Broadway in Everyday Rapture.

May 4, 2010 Nominations for the 64th Annual Tony Awards are announced.

Robert Viagas is production editor of Playbill and author or editor of more than a dozen theatre books including "I'm the Greatest Star!, the "Playbill Broadway Yearbook" series and the forthcoming 2010 edition of the classic "At This Theatre," with Louis Botto. This timeline appears in the Playbill for the 2010 Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall.

Michael Esper, Stark Sands and John Gallagher, Jr. in <i>American Idiot</i>.
Michael Esper, Stark Sands and John Gallagher, Jr. in American Idiot. Photo by Paul Kolnik
Today’s Most Popular News: