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

By Robert Viagas
09 Jun 2012

Ron Raines and Bernadette Peters in Follies.
Photo by Joan Marcus

August 29, 2011 The 1996 revival of Chicago becomes the longest-running American musical in Broadway history when it plays its 6,138th performance, surpassing the original run of A Chorus Line. The Kander & Ebb show is still exceeded by British-originated musicals Les Miserables, Cats, and the still-running The Phantom of the Opera.

September 4, 2011 The stage adaptation of the musical Mary Poppins notches its 2,000th performance at the New Amsterdam Theatre.

September 9, 2011 In lieu of the annual "Broadway on Broadway" concert, the casts of Broadway shows gather in Times Square to mark the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks by singing Kander & Ebb's "New York, New York." The event recreates a similar performance held as a morale booster two weeks after the original attacks.

September 12, 2011 A revival of the Stephen Sondheim/James Goldman musical Follies moves to Broadway from a hit engagement at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. The production stars Bernadette Peters, Ron Raines, Jan Maxwell and Danny Burstein with supporting roles filled by the likes of Elaine Paige, Jane Houdyshell and Susan Watson. (Following Broadway, the production resurfaces in spring 2013 in Los Angeles, with some recasting — including Tony winner Victoria Clark as Sally.)

October 2, 2011 Disney hosts the first "autism-friendly" performance of The Lion King, with sound and light effects dulled, part of a Theatre Development Fund initiative to help those who live with the malady.

October 9, 2011 Frank Langella plays a crooked financier whose fall eerily presages that of 21st century ponzi schemer Bernard Madoff, in a revival of Terence Rattigan's 1963 drama Man and Boy.

October 13, 2011 Civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. entertains a supernatural visitor on the night before his assassination in The Mountaintop, Katori Hall's drama starring Samuel L. Jackson and Angela Bassett.

Samuel L. Jackson in The Mountaintop.
photo by Joan Marcus

October 15, 2011 The "Occupy Wall Street" movement moves uptown to "Occupy Times Square" with a rally to protest income inequity and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Forty-two people are arrested when the crowd, reported by the Wall Street Journal as "thousands," refuses to disperse after a three-hour demonstration.

October 18, 2011 Studio 54, the legendary disco that has operated as a Broadway theatre for more than a decade, reopens for "One Night Only" as a dance hall, reuniting members of the team that worked behind the scenes at the club during its 1977-1981 heyday, along with iconic names chosen from its original guest list.

October 20, 2011 Comedy masters Woody Allen, Ethan Coen and Elaine May each contribute a one-act play to the triple-bill Relatively Speaking, which features a cast led by Marlo Thomas, Steve Guttenberg, Danny Hoch, Julie Kavner, Ari Graynor and Mark Linn-Baker.

October 27, 2011 Playwright David Henry Hwang looks at the clash of cultures when an American businessman tries to penetrate the traditional ways behind the booming Chinese economy in Chinglish, featuring Gary Wilmes and Jennifer Lim.

November 3, 2011 A right-wing Hollywood couple with decidedly left-wing grown children reveals a family secret — but not the one everyone expects — in Jon Robin Baitz's drama Other Desert Cities, with a starry cast that includes Stockard Channing, Rachel Griffiths, Judith Light, Stacy Keach and Thomas Sadoski.

November 3, 2011 Funny Girl, one of the few golden-age classic musicals never to have had a Broadway reprise, continues that pristine record when an announced revival is cancelled after four investors pull out their money. The planned April 2012 production was to have starred Lauren Ambrose as Fanny Brice and Bobby Cannavale as Nick Arnstein.