Broadway’s Dynamite New Season Takes Shape

News   Broadway’s Dynamite New Season Takes Shape
 
The summer is heating up as more Broadway shows make plans for the 2016-2017 season.
Season Preview HR
Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic

The 2015-2016 Broadway theatre season roared to a finale with the June 12 Tony Awards, but the 2016-2017 season has already gotten underway with the May 25 opening of Paramour and the June 6 revival of An Act of God—and they’re only the beginning.

The new season already looks busy. Two shows have already opened and 27 more are firmly booked, with an additional 14 announced but not yet confirmed. That's already more than the 39 that opened in 2015-16. Nine new musicals are confirmed so far.

Here are the shows that have set dates, booked theatres or both as of July 3. They are listed by announced opening date.

They are followed by some of the other intriguing titles announced for the season, but still assembling financing and production teams, and seeking a theatre.

The list is subject to change. Some of these could cancel; many more are likely to be announced as the season goes along.

MOTOWN THE MUSICAL
Return engagement of the Broadway musical that ran 738 performances 2013-2015 and told the story of the rise of the legendary R&B label Motown in 1960s Detroit. The show, which earned five Tony nominations in its original run, recreates performances by Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Marvin Gaye, Smokey Robinson and other period artists.
Performances begin July 12 at the Nederlander Theatre. There will be no formal opening night. Scheduled for a limited run through November 13.

CATS

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Cats Monica Simoes

Broadway revival of the feline musical that prowled Broadway for 7,485 performances 1982-2000, becoming, for a time, Broadway’s longest-running show. Composer Andrew Lloyd Webber set music to the T.S. Eliot poems from his book Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats, which tells the story of the curiously named Jellicle Cats and their quest to send one of their number to the mystical Heaviside Layer. The cast includes British pop star Leona Lewis as Grizabella, plus Quentin Earl Darrington, Jeremy Davis, Daniel Gaymon and Tyler Hanes.
Previews begin July 14. Opening night is July 31 at the Neil Simon Theatre.

BLACK TO THE FUTURE
Comedian Lewis Black brings his ranting style of comedy to Broadway for four Mondays at the Marquis Theatre, when regular tenant On Your Feet! is usually dark. Black plans to comment on the 2016 presidential election which will then be in its final weeks.
Begins performances September 12 at the Marquis Theatre. Limited run through October 10.

THE ENCOUNTER
Solo show written, directed and performed by Simon McBurney, based on the true story of a photographer who finds himself lost and amazed among the remote people of the Javiri Valley, on the border of Brazil and Peru, in 1959. The show was one of the hits of the 2015 Edinburgh International Theatre Festival.
Previews begin September 20 at the Golden Theatre. Opens September 29.

OH, HELLO
Stage adaptation of the Comedy Central and Off-Broadway sensation. A two-man comedy show in which actors/writers Nick Kroll and John Mulaney play alter-egos Gil Faizon and George St. Geegland, outrageously opinionated, 70-something, native New Yorkers. Much of the show is ad-libbed. Directed by Alex Timbers.
Previews September 23 and opens October 10 at the Lyceum Theatre.

HOLIDAY INN: THE NEW IRVING BERLIN MUSICAL

Holiday Inn HR

Roundabout Theatre Company’s stage adaptation of the 1942 film classic about former vaudevillians who run a showbiz-themed New England hotel that’s open only on holidays. The new libretto by Gordon Greenberg and Chad Hodge augments Irving Berlin’s screen score (including “White Christmas”) with several extra classics from his songbook. Greenberg directs a cast that stars Bryce Pinkham, Megan Lawrence and Corbin Bleu. This adaptation was produced previously at Goodspeed Musicals and the St. Louis Muny.
Previews begin September 1 at Studio 54. Opens October 13.

HEISENBERG
Broadway transfer of the 2015 Off-Broadway hit two-hander by Simon Stephens, the author of the Tony Award-winning Best Play, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. Here is how it’s described: “Amidst the bustle of a crowded London train station, Georgie spots Alex, a much older man, and plants a kiss on his neck. This electric encounter thrusts these two strangers into a fascinating and life-changing game.” Mark Brokaw directs the cast, consisting of Mary-Louise Parker and Denis Arndt.
Previews begin September 20 at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre. Opens October 13.

THE CHERRY ORCHARD
Diane Lane as the majestic but doomed matriarch, Ranevskaya, in Simon Godwin’s staging of Anton Chekhov’s masterpiece, in a new translation by Stephen Karam (The Humans) presented by Roundabout Theatre Company. An aristocratic old family lacks the ability to manage their estate, so it’s slipping through their fingers into the hands of an energetic former servant.
Previews begin September 15 at the American Airlines Theatre. Opens October 16.

THE FRONT PAGE
An all-star revival of the classic 1928 Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur comedy about tough Chicago newspaper reporters trying to beat each other for the big scoop. Jack O’Brien directs a cast that includes Nathan Lane, Robert Morse, John Slattery, John Goodman, Jefferson Mays, Rosemary Harris, Holland Taylor, David Pittu and Sherie Rene Scott.
Previews begin September 20 at the Broadhurst Theatre. Opens October 20.

FALSETTOS
Two-time Tony Award winner Christian Borle and Stephanie J. Block and Andrew Rannells in a revival of the 1992 musical written by William Finn (music & lyrics) and James Lapine (book), and directed by Lapine. Marvin (Borle) struggles to create a “tight-knit family” out of his eclectic array of core relationships (including his ex-wife, his new boyfriend, his adolescent son, his psychiatrist and his neighbors). Amidst a series of monumental life changes, he is forced to reckon with his own views on love, responsibility and what it means to be a man.
Previews begin September 29 at the Walter Kerr Theatre. Opens October 27.

LES LIAISONS DANGEREUSES
Transfer of the hit 2015 production from Donmar Warehouse in London. Janet McTeer and Liev Schreiber star in a revival of Christopher Hampton’s 1985 play about sexual intrigue in 18th century France, directed by Josie Rourke.
Previews begin October 8 at the Booth Theatre. Opens October 30.

DEAR EVAN HANSEN

Dear Evan Hansen HR04.jpg
Ben Platt and Rachel Bay Jones Matthew Murphy

Broadway transfer of the Off-Broadway musical by the songwriting team of Benj Pasek and Justin Paul (Dogfight, A Christmas Story). Steven Levenson wrote the libretto, an original story about a high school’s reaction to the death of one of its students. Michael Greif (Rent, Next to Normal) directs. The show was seen previously in 2015 at Arena Stage in Washington, D.C. and in spring 2016 at Off-Broadway's Second Stage, where it had a sold-out run. It won the Obie Award and Outer Critics Circle Award as Best New Off-Broadway Musical.
Previews November 14 and opens December 4 at the Belasco Theatre.

NATASHA, PIERRE AND THE GREAT COMET OF 1812
Broadway transfer of the 2013 Off-Broadway sensation. Singer Josh Groban makes his Broadway debut alongside Denée Benton in this unusual musical that takes a chapter from Leo Tolstoy’s epic novel, War and Peace, and tells the story of an aristocratic young woman who turns her back on a “proper” society marriage and falls madly in love with a handsome, but worthless, playboy. The show ran more than a year Off-Broadway starting in 2013 in a specially designed tent. Broadway’s Imperial Theatre will be reconfigured to accommodate the environmental staging by Rachel Chavkin. Music, lyrics and book by Dave Malloy.
Previews begin October 18 at the Imperial Theatre. Opens November 14.

THE ILLUSIONISTS—TURN OF THE CENTURY
Return engagement of the multi-star magic revue that played Broadway in 2014 and 2015. this year's lineup features Dana Daniels (“The Charlatan”), Charlie Frye (“The Eccentric”), Mark Kalin (“The Showman”), Jinger Leigh (“The Conjuress”), Thommy Ten and Amélie van Tass (“The Clairvoyants”), Justo Thaus Jin (“The Grand Carlini”), Rick Thomas (“The Immortal”) and Jonathan Goodwin (“The Daredevil”).
Previews begin November 24 at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre. Opening TBA. Limited engagement through January 1, 2017.

IN TRANSIT

<i>In Transit</i>
In Transit

An a capella (sung without instrumental accompaniment) musical about life in New York City, presented previously in a limited run Off-Broadway. Written by Kristen Anderson-Lopez (Frozen), James-Allen Ford, Russ Kaplan and Sara Wordsworth, and directed by Kathleen Marshall.
Previews and opening date TBA in fall 2016 at the Circle in the Square Theatre.

A BRONX TALE
New musical based on Chazz Palminteri's solo show and film, which tell the story of Calogero Anello, a young boy from a working-class family who gets involved in the world of organized crime. Music by Tony and Oscar winner Alan Menken with book and lyrics by Palminteri and Glenn Slater. The show was developed in late winter 2016 at Paper Mill Playhouse with Jerry Zaks and Robert De Niro as co-directors.
Cast TBA. Begins previews November 3 at the Longacre Theatre. Opens December 1.

THE PRESENT
Cate Blanchett and Richard Roxburgh in Andrew Upton’s new play, based on Anton Chekhov's Platonov, about a disillusioned schoolteacher and the woman who loves him, with the action transposed to the 1990s. John Crowley recreates his staging, seen previously at the Sydney Theatre Company of Australia, where the play debuted in 2015.
Begins previews December 17 at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre. Opens January 8, 2017.

JITNEY
Manhattan Theatre Club’s Broadway premiere of master playwright August Wilson's first play, the only work from his The American Century Cycle (which includes Fences and Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom), about black life in America during the 20th century, never previously seen on Broadway. Set in the early 1970s, the drama follows a group of men who drive unlicensed cabs or “jitneys.” Directed by Ruben Santiago-Hudson. Cast TBA.
Begins previews December 28 at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre. Opens January 19, 2017.

SIGNIFICANT OTHER

Lindsay Mendez and Gideon Glick
Lindsay Mendez and Gideon Glick Joan Marcus

Broadway transfer of Joshua Harmon's hit 2015 Off-Broadway play about a young gay man who is looking for love in the big city.
Producer Jeffrey Richards said he hopes to reassemble the 2015 cast, which included Gideon Glick, Barbara Barrie and Lindsay Mendez.
Begins previews in February 2017 and opens March 2017 at a theatre TBA.

THE PRICE
Roundabout Theatre Company revival of Arthur Miller's 1968 drama about two estranged brothers who reunite to sell the remainder of their parents’ estate. Directed by Terry Kinney. Cast TBA.
Previews February 16, 2017 and opens March 16 at the American Airlines Theatre.

THE GLASS MENAGERIE
Sally Field and Joe Mantello star in a revival of Tennessee Williams’ classic 1947 “memory play” about a restless young man and his relationship with his fading Southern belle mother and his painfully shy sister, for whom he is asked to bring home a “gentleman caller.” Directed by Sam Gold.
Previews February 14, 2017 and opens March 23 at the Golden Theatre.

CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY

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Stage adaptation of Roald Dahl’s children’s classic, also the basis for the film Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, about a poor boy who wins a golden ticket that allows him to spend a day at the magical chocolate factory run by the mysterious and eccentric confectionary genius Willy Wonka. Two-time Tony Award winner Christian Borle plays Wonka in the Broadway transfer of this 2013 West End hit, which has a book by David Greig and a score by the Hairspray team of Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman. Jack O’Brien directs.
Previews and opening in March 2017 at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre.

AMÉLIE
Tony-nominated Hamilton leading lady Phillipa Soo plays a shy Parisian waitress with a wild imagination who sets out to better the lives of the people around her. A musical based on the award-winning 2001 film, adapted by Dan Messé (music), Nathan Tyson (lyrics) and Craig Lucas (book). Directed by Pam MacKinnon. The show had its world premiere at Berkeley Rep in August 2015.
Broadway previews, opening date and theatre TBA in spring 2017.

MISS SAIGON
Eva Noblezada and Jon Jon Briones star in a revival of the musical based on the play and opera Madame Butterfly, but with the action transposed to the Vietnam War. Written by Claude-Michel Schönberg (music), Alain Boublil and Schönberg (lyrics), Boublil and Schönberg (book). Directed by Laurence Connor; produced previously in London by Cameron Mackintosh.
Previews and opening in spring 2017 at a theatre TBA.

THE LITTLE FOXES
Three-time Tony nominee Laura Linney and Tony winner Cynthia Nixon in Manhattan Theatre Club’s revival of Lillian Hellman’s drama. The story follows Southern belle Regina Giddens and her scheme to outwit her husband, who stands in the way of her profit-making dreams. Daniel Sullivan will direct.
Previews begin March 29, 2017 at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre. Opens April 19.

HELLO, DOLLY!

<i>Hello Dolly!</i>
Hello Dolly!

Bette Midler and David Hyde Pierce in a revival of the blockbuster 1964 musical about a Yonkers, NY, matchmaker who journeys to New York City to find matches for three young couples—as well as one for herself. Jerry Zaks will direct and Warren Carlyle will choreograph the show, which has music and lyrics by Jerry Herman and a book by Michael Stewart.
Previews begin March 13, 2017 at the Shubert Theatre. Opens April 20.

ANASTASIA

Anastasia Hartford HR
Christy Altomare Joan Marcus

New musical adapted by Terrence McNally from the 1997 animated film about a young woman who may be the last surviving member of the Russian royal family. The Lynn Ahrens/Stephen Flaherty score uses songs from the movie, including the Oscar- nominated “Journey to the Past,” plus an entirely new score from the Tony Award-winning Ragtime and Seussical team.
Tony winner Darko Tresnjak (Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder) directs the musical, which is had its world premiere at Hartford Stage in spring 2016.
Spring 2017 previews. Opens April 24, 2017 at the Broadhurst Theatre.


The following productions have been announced for the 2016-17 season but do not yet have a theatre or confirmed dates. Listed alphabetically:

THE BANDSTAND
Set in 1945, the final year of World War II, the self-described “big-band musical” chronicling a mismatched band of WWII veterans who join forces to compete in a radio contest with dreams of stardom. The show has music by Cirque du Soleil’s Richard Oberacker and book and lyrics by Robert Taylor and Oberacker. The director/choreographer is Andy Blankenbuhler and the cast will feature Laura Osnes and Corey Cott. This original musical had a hit first production in summer/fall 2015 at Paper Mill Playhouse in New Jersey.
Announced for 2016-17 season. Opening date and theatre TBA.

CAMP DAVID
Lawrence Wright’s new American drama about President Jimmy Carter's Nobel Prize-winning efforts to bring the leaders of Israel and Egypt to sign a peace agreement after years of war. Directed by Molly Smith, Camp David had its world premiere at Washington, D.C.’s Arena Stage in 2014. It is playing a pre-Broadway engagement at The Old Globe in San Diego through June 19. It will be produced on Broadway by Steve Traxler and Gerald Rafshoon.
Announced for 2016-17 season. Cast, opening date and theatre TBA.

CHASING RAINBOWS
New musical that traces the early life of Judy Garland, from her small-town birth to her starring role in the film classic The Wizard of Oz. The show has book by Marc Acito and a score of period hits associated with Garland. The show had a developmental world-premiere production in Flat Rock, NC, in November 2015, and is planning a full production at Goodspeed Musicals in September before a potential Broadway transfer.
Announced for 2017. Cast, opening date and theatre TBA.

COME FROM AWAY
New musical that explores the lasting connection forged between a group of travelers whose planes were diverted to a small Newfoundland town on September 11, 2001. Book, music and lyrics by the Canadian husband-and-wife team Irene Sankoff and David Hein. Directed by Christopher Ashley. The show had its world premiere at the La Jolla Playhouse in summer 2015, prior to a fall 2015 run at Seattle Repertory Theatre, where it broke box-office records. A tryout tour will play Washington, D.C.'s Ford's Theatre September 2-October 9, followed by a November 15-January 1, 2017, run at Toronto's Mirvish Theatre.
Announced for Broadway in spring 2017. Cast, opening date and theatre TBA.

GOTTA DANCE
New musical based on the 2008 documentary film of the same title, about the first-ever all senior hip-hip dance team. Lillias White, Andre De Shields, Georgia Engel, Haven Burton, Lori Tan Chinn and Stefanie Powers starred in the December 2015 tryout in Chicago. Jerry Mitchell is directing the show, which has a score that was begun by the late Marvin Hamlisch (A Chorus Line) and finished by Matthew Sklar (The Wedding Singer, Elf), with lyrics by Nell Benjamin (Legally Blonde) and a book by Chad Beguelin (Aladdin) and Bob Martin (Drowsy Chaperone).
Announced for 2016-17 season. Cast, opening date and theatre TBA.

THE HONEYMOONERS
A new musical based on the iconic 1950s sitcom about a blustery bus driver, his wife and their neighbors who get involved in a get-rich-quick scheme. The show stars Michael McGrath, Hank Azaria, Laura Bell Bundy and Leslie Kritzer, and was written by Stephen A. Weiner (music), Peter Mills (lyrics), Dusty Kay and Bill Nuss (book). Directed by John Rando.
Announced for 2016-17 season. Opening date and theatre TBA.

JOSEPHINE

Deborah Cox as Josephine Baker
Deborah Cox as Josephine Baker Mike Ruiz. © Deco Recording Group, LLC.

Deborah Cox stars in a new musical based on the life of Jazz Age singer and dancer Josephine Baker. The show has a book by Ellen Weston and Mark Hampton, music by Stephen Dorff and lyrics by John Bettis. Directed and choreographed by Joey McKneely. Played a spring 2016 tryout at Asolo Rep in Florida.
Announced for 2016-17 season. Opening date and theatre TBA.

MAGIC MIKE
A stage adaptation of Steven Soderbergh’s film about male strippers. Written by Tom Kitt (music), Brian Yorkey (lyrics), Roberto Aguire-Sacasa (book). A private workshop was held April 2015 featuring Derek Klena and Taylor Louderman.
Announced for 2016-17 season. Cast, opening date and theatre TBA.

THE MASTER BUILDER
Ralph Fiennes, Linda Emond and Sarah Snook in David Hare’s translation of Henrik Ibsen’s 1892 drama about an architect whose creativity is rejuvenated by a young woman. Matthew Warchus directs the Broadway transfer of the 2015 London production.
Opens in fall 2016 at a theatre TBA.

PIECE OF MY HEART: THE BERT BERNS STORY
A musical that showcases the songbook of 1960s hitmaker Bert Berns (“Under the Boardwalk,” “Twist and Shout,” “Brown-Eyed Girl”), with a book by Daniel Goldfarb. The show was first presented Off-Broadway in 2014, and is planned for Broadway by a producing team that includes Merged Work Productions, Jack Thomas, Steven Van Zandt, Paul Shaffer, Maureen Van Zandt and Joe Grano.
Announced for 2016-17 season. Cast, opening date and theatre TBA.

SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE
Stage adaptation of the 1998 Oscar-winning Best Picture about young playwright Will Shakespeare who is tormented by writer’s block until he finds his muse in the form of passionate noblewoman, Viola De Lesseps. Written by Lee Hall (adaptation), Tom Stoppard and Marc Norman, and directed by Declan Donnellan. Co-produced by Disney and Sonia Friedman. A Canadian production is planned for this summer, followed by a U.S. premiere in Oregon.
Broadway cast, theatre and opening date TBA.

SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN
Dancing With the Stars favorite Derek Hough as song and dance man Don Lockwood in a new stage adaptation of the classic MGM film musical, about the early days of sound films in Hollywood. The show will debut way out of town—at the Paris venue Théâtre du Châtelet, where Broadway’s current An American In Paris also had its pre-Broadway world premiere. Harvey Weinstein is producing. Singin’ in the Rain is directed by Robert Carsen and features choreography by Stephen Mear and costumes by Tony winner Anthony Powell.
Announced for 2016-17 season. Opening date and theatre TBA.

THE SPONGEBOB MUSICAL

<i>SpongeBob Musical</i>
SpongeBob Musical

Stage musical adaptation of the hit Nickelodeon cartoon series about the bubble-headed undersea residents of Bikini Bottom. The show has a book by Kyle Jarrow and a score by a remarkable collection of pop writers, including Steven Tyler, Cyndi Lauper, They Might Be Giants, Jonathan Coulton, Dirty Projectors, The Flaming Lips, Sara Bareilles, John Legend, Lady Antebellum, Panic! At the Disco, Plain White T’s, T.I. and David Bowie. Tina Landau directs a cast that includes Ethan Slater, Lilli Cooper, Danny Skinner, Gavin Lee, Carlos Lopez and Nick Blaemire. The show is currently trying out in Chicago.
Target opening in 2017 at a theatre TBA.

WHEN GOD LOOKED AWAY
Al Pacino and Judith Light star in Dotson Rader’s drama about playwright Tennessee Williams who calls a friend to his side in the twilight of his life. Directed by Robert Allan Ackerman.
Announced for 2016-17 season. Opening date and theatre TBA.

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