A TONY TIMELINE: The Broadway Shows and Milestones, On Stage and Off, Between June 2011 and June 2012

By Robert Viagas
09 Jun 2012

Megan Hilty on "Smash."
Photo by Will Hart/NBC

February 6, 2012 Network premiere of "Smash," the scripted NBC series that tracks the creation of a new Broadway musical. The show features Broadway stars Christian Borle, Megan Hilty, Brian d'Arcy James and others (with new songs by Tony winners Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman), and becomes a Monday evening ritual for many theatre fans. Ratings dip over the next 15 weeks, but the series is renewed for a second season — minus the input of creator Theresa Rebeck, who is dropped as the "show runner" in charge of story.

February 11, 2012 The Phantom of the Opera becomes the first Broadway show to play 10,000 performances. The historic matinee is presented as a benefit for The Actors Fund.

February 12, 2012 The Book of Mormon wins the Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album.

February 16, 2012 William Shatner, who made his Broadway debut in the 1956 historical epic Tamburlaine and who went on to fame as the two-fisted Captain Kirk in TV's "Star Trek," returns to the stage with Shatner's World: We Just Live in It, a tongue-in-cheek solo show about his eventful life.

March 14, 2012 The 2010 Tony-winning musical Memphis plays its 1,000th performance.

March 15, 2012 Philip Seymour Hoffman plays Arthur Miller's iconic antihero, trying to make it in America on a smile and shoeshine in a revival of Death of a Salesman, co-starring Linda Emond and Andrew Garfield, directed by Mike Nichols.

March 18, 2012 Once, a musical based on the bittersweet film about a romance between an Irish street musician and an enigmatic Czech immigrant woman, comes to Broadway with a full score by Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová, the original stars/writers of the film.

March 20, 2012 A study commissioned by the Times Square Alliance found that the Broadway theatre district‚ "the area bounded roughly by Sixth and Eighth Avenues from 40th to 53rd Streets‚" generates $1 of every $9 of economic activity in New York City, about $110 billion overall. That includes not just the theatre industry (just over $1 billion in ticket sales on its own) but the hotels, restaurants, shops, transportation and other economic activities that support the theatre, plus the financial services and media companies that have relocated or expanded there in recent years. The district covers less than 1 percent of the city's land.

Josh Young in Jesus Christ Superstar.
photo by Joan Marcus

March 22, 2012 Jesus Christ Superstar, Stratford Shakespeare Festival's production of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice's rock musical about Jesus' final days, transfers to Broadway, with direction by Des McAnuff.

March 29, 2012 The new Disney musical Newsies officially opens at the Nederlander Theatre following an acclaimed engagement at New Jersey's Paper Mill Playhouse in the fall. Originally a limited engagement, response has been so great that the musical is now playing an open-ended run.

April 1, 2012 Just in time to capitalize on this year's presidential election season comes a revival of Gore Vidal's 1960 play The Best Man, about a hard-fought campaign between a ruthless conservative and an idealistic but determined liberal, and the effect the process has on their morals and marriages. The all-star cast includes James Earl Jones, Angela Lansbury, Candice Bergen, John Larroquette, Michael McKean, Eric McCormack and Kerry Butler.


April 2, 2012 The final weeks in the life of pop diva Judy Garland are traced in End Of The Rainbow, Peter Quilter's biographical drama with music, starring Tracie Bennett, which comes to Broadway from the West End.

April 3, 2012 Jeff Goldblum replaces Alan Rickman in Seminar.

April 5, 2012 The Broadway revival of Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber's Evita officially opens at the Marquis Theatre. This is the first new Broadway production of the seven-time Tony Award-winning musical since it debuted at the Broadway Theatre over 30 years ago. The Michael Grandage-directed cast is headed by Grammy winner Ricky Martin as Che, Olivier Award winner Elena Roger (repeating her London work) in her Broadway debut as Eva Perón, Tony Award winner Michael Cerveris as Juan Perón, Max von Essen as Magaldi and Rachel Potter as the Mistress.

April 11, 2012 Lombardi author Eric Simonson returns to Broadway with another sports-themed drama, Magic/Bird, about the friendship and rivalry between Hall of Fame basketball players Larry Bird and Earvin "Magic" Johnson.