Theatres Open Up as New Shows Circle Broadway

News   Theatres Open Up as New Shows Circle Broadway
 
As several Broadway shows announce their final performances, producers are swooping in on Broadway’s in-demand real-estate market to secure theatres for next season’s new shows.
Dear Evan Hansen HR01.jpg
Ben Platt Matthew Murphy

One show’s closing, whether planned or premature, ushers in an opening night for a new production. With a limited amount of available theatres, all eyes are on several Broadway-bound shows circling The Great White Way.

Several new plays and musicals are being groomed to bow on Broadway during the 2016-2017 season. We take a look at a handful of shows slated to arrive this season and the Broadway theatres they could call home.

(Note that production schedules often change and shift due to various circumstances. The following is based on the most-recent reports and production timelines.)

SHOWS SLATED TO ARRIVE THIS FALL:

Dear Evan Hansen
Having recently concluded its sold-out run at Second Stage Theatre Off-Broadway, the new musical features a score by the Tony and Emmy-nominated songwriting team of Benj Pasek and Justin Paul (Dogfight, A Christmas Story) and a book by Steven Levenson (Masters of Sex). Pitch Perfect actor Ben Platt earned accolades for his performance as an anxiety-ridden high schooler who finds himself caught up in a lie that sends shockwaves through his community both online and in real life. Michael Greif (Rent, Next to Normal) directs the musical that will begin performances on Broadway in November at a Shubert Organization theatre-to-be-announced.

The Front Page
Nathan Lane, John Slattery, John Goodman, Jefferson Mays, Rosemary Harris and Sherie Rene Scott are slated to star in a revival of the 1928 comedy The Front Page, about tough reporters trying to beat each other for the big scoop. Directed by Jack O’Brien, previews are scheduled to begin September 20 at a theatre-to-be-announced.

A Bronx Tale
Inspired by Chazz Palminteri’s own life story, and the original solo play he created, the new musical had its premiere at New Jersey’s Paper Mill Playhouse in February. It features a book by Palminteri, music by Alan Menken and book and lyrics by Glenn Slater. The stage production is co-directed by two-time Oscar winner Robert De Niro and four-time Tony Award winner Jerry Zaks, with choreography by Tony Award nominee Sergio Trujillo. According to a recent Equity casting notice, rehearsals will begin in September/October toward a late fall Broadway opening. Tommy Mottola and the Dodgers with Tribeca Productions will produce the Broadway run.

Singin’ in the Rain
Last fall producer Harvey Weinstein announced plans to bring the Théâtre du Châtelet production of the classic MGM film musical to Broadway in 2016. The Paris theatre is also where the Tony-winning musical An American in Paris had its pre-Broadway premiere. Dancing With the Stars favorite Derek Hough has been tapped to star as song-and-dance man Don Lockwood. Singin’ in the Rain is directed by Robert Carsen and features choreography by Stephen Mear and costumes by Tony winner Anthony Powell.

Gotta Dance
The new musical based on the acclaimed 2008 documentary of the same name about professional basketball’s first-ever, aged 60-and-older dance team premiered in Chicago last December. A cadre of songwriters contributed to the show, including composer Matthew Sklar (Elf), lyricist Nell Benjamin (Legally Blonde) and late composer Marvin Hamlisch. The show’s book is by Chad Beguelin (Aladdin) and Tony Award winner Bob Martin (The Drowsy Chaperone). Among the show’s stars are Stefanie Powers, André De Shields, Georgia Engel and Lillias White. Jerry Mitchell directs and choreographs the production that has been announced for a fall 2016 Broadway arrival.

The Master Builder
Producer Scott Rudin is planning a Broadway transfer of the recent London revival of Ibsen’s classic starring Ralph Fiennes, Linda Emond and Sarah Snook. Under the direction of Matthew Warchus, the drama concluded its run at the Old Vic last winter and could arrive on Broadway this fall.

SHOWS SLATED FOR THE 2016-2017 SEASON:

Anastasia
One of this season’s most-anticipated new musicals is the stage adaptation of the 1997 animated musical Anastasia. Lyricist Lynn Ahrens and composer Stephen Flaherty, who were Oscar-nominated for their work on the film, reunite with playwright-librettist Terrence McNally for this all-new incarnation of the Russian legend that has been expanded and deepened for the stage. The trio won Tony Awards for their previous Broadway collaboration, Ragtime. Darko Tresnjak, the Tony-winning director of A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder (which also nabbed the 2014 Tony for Best Musical), is at the helm of Anastasia, which has announced Broadway plans for a Shubert theatre-to-be-announced following the June 19 conclusion of its world-premiere run at Hartford Stage. Stage Entertainment USA and Tom Kirdahy (It’s Only A Play, The Visit) are producing the production.

The Bandstand
The self-described “big-band musical” chronicles the story of a mismatched band of WWII veterans who join together 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 musical played a successful run at the Paper Mill Playhouse last fall. Laura Osnes and Corey Cott are slated to repeat their performances under the direction of Hamilton’s Andy Blankenbuehler, who will direct and choreograph. A target date during the 2016-2017 season has not been revealed.

(For a complete list of shows in the Broadway pipeline, check out Playbill.com’s Schedule of Upcoming Broadway Shows)

AVAILABLE THEATRES AS OF JUNE 2:

Theatres up for grabs in the coming months include The Longacre, which has been dark since the February 14 closing of the new musical Allegiance. The story of a Japanese-American family who endured being sent to U.S. internment camps during World War II closed after 37 previews and 111 regular performances.

The Broadhust Theatre was recently vacated by the short-lived musical Tuck Everlasting, which ended its run May 29 after a total of 67 performances. The musical based on the popular children’s novel earned a single Tony nomination for Best Costumes.

The Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre will be available after the June 5 closing of the new Duncan Sheik-Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa musical American Psycho. Starring Benjamin Walker as Wall Street serial killer Patrick Bateman, the musical earned two Tony nominations, for Lighting and Set Design. It will close after 27 previews and 54 regular performances.

David Harrower's acclaimed two-hander Blackbird, starring Jeff Daniels and Michelle Williams, will end its limited run at the Belasco Theatre June 12 as scheduled.

Also ending its run as scheduled will be the one-man comedy Fully Committed starring Jesse Tyler Ferguson. The play by Becky Mode concludes its extended run July 31 at the Lyceum Theatre.

Several theatres already have their next tenant set, including The Nederlander (former home of Disaster!), which will welcome the Broadway return of the jukebox musical Motown beginning July 12. The 18-week engagement is built into the schedule of the current national touring production, which has been updated and streamlined since its 2013 premiere.

Also booked: Studio 54 (The Tony-nominated revival of She Loves Me ends as scheduled July 10 with the stage premiere of Irving Berlin’s Holiday Inn set to check in September 1); The Neil Simon Theatre (Andrew Lloyd Webber’s long-running hit Cats makes a return July 14 for an open-ended run); The Barrymore Theatre (The Tony-winning Brit import The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time closes September 4 with the Cate Blanchett-led The Present beginning December 7); The American Airlines Theatre (Long Day’s Journey ends its limited run June 26, with The Cherry Orchard, starring Dianne Lane, arriving September 15); The Lunt-Fontanne Theatre (the pop-infused musical Finding Neverland will close August 21 after a 17-month run, with London’s revamped Charlie and the Chocolate Factory targeted to start in spring 2017); The Booth (An Act of God starring Sean Hayes plays a limited run through September 4, with Les Liaisons Dangereuses starring Janet McTeer and Liev Schreiber beginning October 8); MTC’s Friedman Theatre (Frank Langella ends his Tony-nominated run in The Father June 19 with Heisenberg, starring Mary-Louise Parker beginning September 20); The Walter Kerr Theatre (The Crucible concludes July 17 with the Broadway revival of the William Finn-James Lapine musical Falsettos previewing September 29); The Imperial Theatre (the revival of Les Misérables closes September 4 to make way for the Broadway transfer of the immersive musical Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812 set to begin October 18); The Shubert Theatre (the Tony-winning musical Matilda ends its hit run January 1, 2017, to make way for the hotly anticipated Broadway revival of Hello, Dolly! starring Bette Midler that arrives March 13).

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