Broadway Play Preview: Fall 2017

Special Features   Broadway Play Preview: Fall 2017
Your guide to the straight plays kicking off the first half of the 2017–2018 season.
Graphic by Hannah Vine

As has become the new normal, Broadway didn’t take a breath before kicking off the 2017–2018 season—let alone wait for the fall months. The stage adaptation of George Orwell’s 1984, starring Olivia Wilde and Tom Sturridge, opened June 22, just 11 days after the Tony Awards; Roundabout Theatre Company’s production of Marvin’s Room opened June 29; and Michael Moore’s solo show The Terms of My Surrender bowed August 10.

Still, the fall marks the gaining momentum of openings on the Rialto, and we’ve put together guides of what to expect from now through the end of the calendar year in straight plays.


While the August 24 opening of Prince of Broadway signals the first musical opening of the season, the fall is busy with new straight plays.

Elizabeth McGovern (Downton Abbey) makes her long-awaited Main Stem return in the Roundabout Theatre Company’s revival of Time and the Conways; previews begin September 14 with an opening night October 10 at the American Airlines Theatre. Having last appeared on Broadway in 1992, McGovern will star alongside Steven Boyer, Anna Camp, Gabriel Ebert, Charlotte Parry, and Matthew James Thomas in the play directed by Indecent Tony winner Rebecca Taichman.

Playwright David Henry Hwang’s Tony-winning opus M. Butterfly sees its first Broadway revival since the 1988 original. The play begins previews October 7 and opens October 26 at the Cort Theatre starring Oscar nominee and Golden Globe winner Clive Owens as the married French diplomat who carries on an affair with a mysterious Chinese opera singer, played by newcomer Jin Ha. Tony winner Julie Taymor will direct.

To purchase M. Butterfly tickets, click here.

Come November, Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Ayad Akhtar (Disgraced) brings his latest work, Junk, to Lincoln Center Theater. Steven Pasquale (The Bridges of Madison County, reasons to be pretty) plays Robert Merkin, the financial mastermind who has made millions on his theory “debt is an asset.” In this Wall Street thriller, directed by Doug Hughes, questions of morality, wealth, status, and identity pack a wallop and will leave audiences questioning what the American Dream truly means. Previews begin October 5 with an official opening November 2 at the Vivian Beaumont Theater.

Just announced, John Leguizamo brings his solo comedy Latin History for Morons to Broadway. After an acclaimed Off-Broadway run at the Public Theater, the Emmy winner brings 500 years of Latin history to audiences at Broadway’s Studio 54 in this satire beginning October 19 with an opening night scheduled for November 15.

In addition to the return of stars to the stage, this season will see numerous Broadway debuts. Steve Martin makes his Broadway playwriting debut with Meteor Shower, starring Tony winner Laura Benanti and comedian Amy Schumer in her Broadway debut. Directed by Jerry Zaks, the show chronicles two couples in marital freefall during a meteor shower in Ojai. The cast also features Keegan-Michael Key and Alan Tudyk in the production that previews November 1 and opens November 29 at Broadway’s Booth Theatre.

Oscar nominee Uma Thurman (Pulp Fiction) makes her Broadway bow in The Parisian Woman. Written by House of Cards creator Beau Willimon and directed by Tony winner Pam MacKinnon (Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?), Thurman plays Chloe, a socialite coming to terms with politics, her past, her marriage, and an uncertain future after the 2016 election.

Following Prince of Broadway, Manhattan Theatre Club opens The Children, the American premiere of the Royal Court Theatre production. Beginning previews November 28 and opening December 12, the original London cast will transfer to Broadway in the new play by Lucy Kirkwood that tells the story of an unexpected visit by an old friend with ulterior motives to the remote cottage of a couple of retirees.

And just before the year closes out, three-time Tony winner and Oscar winner Mark Rylance returns to Broadway for the first time since winning his 2014 Tony statue for Twelfth Night. The limited engagement of Farinelli and the King begins December 5 with an opening December 17 at the Belasco Theatre. After sold-out runs at Shakespeare’s Globe and on London’s West End, the modern work plays like a Shakespearean classic as it follows the true story of Phillippe V of Spain on the precipice of madness.

To purchase Farinelli and the King tickets, click here.

Remember to follow Playbill on Facebook to watch LIVE coverage from the opening night red carpets for every Broadway opening of the 2017–2018 season!

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