|Photo by Joan Marcus|
A version of this timeline will appear in the forthcoming Playbill Broadway Yearbook (Playbill Books/Applause Books), now available for pre-order. Want past Playbill Yearbooks? Check out PlaybillStore.com.
Unless otherwise noted, dates related to Broadway shows below represent the official opening night dates.
June 12, 2011 Million Dollar Quartet ends its Broadway run after 489 performances, but six weeks later it transfers to Off-Broadway's New World Stages ten blocks away and continues its run alongside other expatriate Broadway shows, Avenue Q and Rent.
June 14, 2011 The new season begins with the six-months-delayed opening of the extravaganza musical Spider-Man Turn Off the Dark, following 182 problem-plagued previews — the most in Broadway history. During that period, producers took artistic control away from original director/librettist/designer Julie Taymor. The final book is credited to Taymor, Glen Berger and Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, with Philip William McKinley serving as "creative consultant." The show marks the Broadway debut of songwriters Bono and The Edge from the Irish rock band U2. Reeve Carney stars as the superhero with the powers of a spider in the show which cost a reported $75 million, by far the most expensive in Broadway history.
June 15, 2011 The original cast album of The Book of Mormon hits number three on the Billboard album chart, right behind CDs by Adele and Lady Gaga. It marks the first time a cast album has been in the Top 10 since 1969, when the cast recording of Hair was number one for 13 weeks.
June 24, 2011 Gay marriage is legalized in New York. Among the first same-sex pairs to say "I do" on the stage of the St. James Theatre when the law goes into effect July 24 are three Broadway couples: actress Terri White and jewelry designer Donna Barnett, actor Ryan Dietz and playwright Josh Levine, and stage doorman John Raymond and usher Jared Pike.
|photo by Joan Marcus|
July 13, 2011 Just a year after closing, the Tony-winning revival of Hair caps a national tour by returning to Broadway for a two-month engagement.
August 10, 2011 The New York Times publishes a letter from composer-lyricist Stephen Sondheim excoriating director Diane Paulus and playwright Suzan-Lori Parks for emendations planned for their upcoming revival of Porgy and Bess. Among the things he objects to: changing the official title to The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess, rewriting DuBose Heyward's libretto to alter the characters, and creating a new ending. Sondheim wrote that the alterations were unnecessary because, "These characters are as vivid as any ever created for the musical theatre, as has been proved over and over in productions that may have cut some dialogue and musical passages but didn't rewrite and distort them." Some portions of the original material will be restored prior to the January 2013 opening on Broadway.
August 23, 2011 Tremors from an early afternoon 5.8 magnitude earthquake centered in Virginia shake Times Square and much of the Eastern Seaboard of the U.S. It's the biggest to hit New York since 1944. No significant damage to theatres is reported.
August 27-28, 2011 Just days after the earthquake, Hurricane Irene targets New York City. Public transportation is suspended and all Broadway performances are cancelled on Saturday and Sunday.
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