Headlines at a Glance

Special Features   Headlines at a Glance
A look at milestones in the 2006-07 Broadway season.
Grammy winner Usher brought sold out houses to Chicago during his limited run.
Usher in Chicago


Broadway broke some records and said some significant hellos and goodbyes in the 2006-2007 season. Here are the headlines, day by day.

May 31, 2006 - Broadway closes its books on its most bountiful season ever. A record 12 million seats were occupied and arecord $861.6 million worth of tickets were sold, 12 percent more than in 2004-05.

June 11, 2006 - The 2006 Tony Awards ceremony is broadcast from Radio City Music Hall on CBS. It's Boys' night out as Jersey Boys wins Best Musical and The History Boys is named Best Play.

June 13, 2006 - After more than eight years at the New Amsterdam Theatre, Tony-winning musical The Lion King moves to the Minskoff Theatre to make way for Disney’s latest musical, Mary Poppins, which will open later in the year. June 2006 - The north half of Times Square becomes a construction zone as the building at the corner of 46th Street and Seventh Avenue, which for decades housed a Howard Johnson’s restaurant and the Off-Broadway Duffy Theatre, is torn down and the 1974-vintage TKTS discount ticket booth in Father Duffy Square is dismantled. TKTS moves to temporary space in the ground floor of the Marriott Marquis Hotel.

July 6, 2006 - The 2005 Tony Awards broadcast is nominated for two Primetime Emmy Awards. Host Hugh Jackman is nominated for Individual Performance in a Variety or Music Program. Elliot Lawrence is nominated for Outstanding Music Direction.

July 2006 - Charlotte St. Martin is named executive director of The League of American Theatres and Producers.

August 15, 2006 - Kiki & Herb: Alive On Broadway features downtown cabaret performers Justin Bond and Kenny Mellman and their patented mixture of pop tunes and political barbs.

August 17, 2006 - Comedian Martin Short spoofs autobiographical solo shows with Martin Short: Fame Becomes Me, a pseudo-autobiographical musical that makes fun of his own celebrity.

August 22, 2006 - Pop star Usher takes over the role of lawyer Billy Flynn in Chicago and quickly returns the long-running revival to sellout status.

September 28, 2006 - Ventriloquist Jay Johnson narrates his lifelong passion for puppetry, and shares the stage with his wood-and-cloth collaborators, in the not-quite-solo show Jay Johnson: The Two And Only.

October 5, 2006 - The Tony- and Pulitzer-winning musical A Chorus Line gets its first Broadway revival, directed by original co-director Bob Avian and choreographed by original cast member Baayork Lee, recreating much of Michael Bennett’s original production.

October 11, 2006 - Swoosie Kurtz plays Hesione Hushabye and Philip Bosco plays Captain Shotover in the Roundabout Theatre Company revival of George Bernard Shaw's Heartbreak House, directed by Robin Lefevre.

October 12, 2006 - Matthew Arkin and Mark Linn-Baker star as estranged half-brothers who are forced to confront their past and reveal long-hidden family secrets in Losing Louie, a comedy import from London, directed by Jerry Zaks.

October 24, 2006 - The annual audience survey by The League of American Theatres and Producers, "The Demographics of the Broadway Audience 2005-2006," reveals that the number of international visitors to Broadway continued to rebound to pre-September 11, 2001 levels. Attendance by international visitors climbed to 1.32 million for 2005-2006, more than doubling the post-9/11 fallout when admissions hit an all time low of 525,834 (2001-2002).

October 24, 2006 - Cynthia Nixon, the 2006 Tony winner as Best Leading Actress in a Play, hosts the annual ceremony for Tony Honors for Excellence in the Theatre. Honors go to the BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop; Forbidden Broadway and its creator, Gerard Alessandrini; Samuel ("Biff") Liff, senior vice president of the William Morris Agency; and Ellen Stewart, founder/director of La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club.

October 25, 2006 - In a revival of Simon Gray's Butley, Nathan Lane plays an embittered middle-aged college professor who uses angry humor to confront the facts that his ex-wife is remarrying, his male lover is abandoning him and his job is on the line.

October 26, 2006 - In The Times They Are A-Changin', director/choreographer Twyla Tharp follows up her Billy Joel hit Movin' Out by weaving the songbook of folksinger Bob Dylan into an allegorical story about a young man coming of age in a traveling circus ruled with an iron hand by the tyrannical ringmaster, his father. Stars Michael Arden, Thom Sesma and Lisa Brescia.

November 2, 2006 - The oddball and sad story of real-life Hamptons cat ladies Edith and Edie Beale makes a hit musical, Grey Gardens, which transfers to the Walter Kerr Theatre from a sold-out Off-Broadway run at Playwrights Horizons. Christine Ebersole gives a bittersweet performance as the mother in Act I and the grown-up daughter in Act II, with Mary Louise Wilson taking over as her now-elderly mom.

November 8, 2006 - A classic children's book is turned into a holiday musical with the season's longest title: Dr. Seuss' How The Grinch Stole Christmas! - The Musical. Patrick Page stars as the greedy green title character, and Tony-winner John Cullum plays his faithful pooch.

November 9, 2006 - Trevor Nunn and John Caird recreate one of the longest-running musicals in Broadway history, Les Misérables, for a revival starring Alexander Gemignani, Norm Lewis, Daphne Rubin-Vega and Gary Beach.

November 13, 2006 - Julie White draws a scathing portrait of a stop-at-nothing talent agent in Douglas Carter Beane's comedy, The Little Dog Laughed.

November 14, 2006 - The Tony-winning revival of Chicago celebrates its tenth anniversary on Broadway with a special benefit performance that reunites some three dozen stars who appeared in the show over the years playing each scene with multiple actors.

November 16, 2006 - Producing powerhouses Cameron Mackintosh and Disney team up for Mary Poppins, a musical adaptation of P.L. Travers' story of a magical nanny. Starring Ashley Brown, Gavin Lee and Rebecca Luker, the show closely tracks the 1964 Disney film classic, including most of the score by Richard M. and Robert B. Sherman, with new material from George Stiles and Anthony Drewe.

November 27, 2006 - Lincoln Center Theater presents the U.S. premiere of The Coast of Utopia, Tom Stoppard's sprawling trilogy of plays following Alexander Herzen, a real-life 19th century Russian revolutionary who suffers the tragedy of being born a half century too soon. In the course of three plays lasting a total of nine hours, Stoppard charts Herzen's youthful resolve (Voyage), the increasing obstacles he encounters in mid life (Shipwreck), and the later-life usurpation of his dream by younger, more radical revolutionaries like Karl Marx (Salvage). Jack O'Brien directs a cast that includes Brían F. O'Byrne, Billy Crudup, Ethan Hawke and Amy Irving. Voyage opens today, with the other two parts joining it in December and February when all three are performed in rotating repertory.

November 29, 2006 - Tony-winning director John Doyle brings his innovative staging of Stephen Sondheim and George Furth's Company to Broadway, starring Raúl Esparza as Bobby. Like Doyle's Tony-nominated 2005 revival of Sweeney Todd, the cast doubles as musicians.

November 30, 2006 - Julianne Moore and Bill Nighy star in The Vertical Hour, David Hare's London drama about a former American war correspondent, now teaching Political Studies at Yale, who is transformed by her visit to her incipient father-in-law in Britain.

December 7, 2006 - Walter Bobbie directs High Fidelity, a musical based on the film and novel of the same title, about the owner of an esoteric record shop and how he decides which of his Top Five loves will be his Number One. Will Chase and Jenn Colella star in the show with a book by David Lindsay-Abaire and an eclectic pop score by Tom Kitt and Amanda Green.

December 10, 2006 - Transfer of the Atlantic Theater Company's Duncan Sheik/Steven Sater rock musical Spring Awakening, based on the 1891 troubled teen drama by Frank Wedekind. Jonathan Groff, Lea Michele and Stephen Spinella star in the innovative show.

December 14, 2006 - Brian d'Arcy James and Kristin Chenoweth play the first couple on Earth to Marc Kudisch's Snake in The Diary of Adam and Eve segment of the Roundabout Theatre Company revival of Bock & Harnick's The Apple Tree. Gary Griffin directs the triptych of one-act musicals that also includes The Lady or the Tiger? and Passionella.

December 21, 2006 - Opening night for Shipwreck, part two of The Coast of Utopia.

January 7, 2007 - An estimated 11.6 million viewers tune in for the debut of "You're the One That I Want," an NBC program along the lines of "American Idol," but designed to cast the leads in a planned summer 2007 Broadway revival of Grease. On-air judges, director Kathleen Marshall, producer David Ian and Grease co-creator Jim Jacobs, narrow down the field and then viewers vote on their favorites. Over the next few months, another would-be "Sandy" and "Danny" will be voted off the show weekly. In the first two days of sale, $1.3 million worth of tickets for the revival are sold.

January 25, 2007 - A star-crossed love between an Irish girl and a British surveyor come to map (and Anglicize) Irish place-names in the early 19th century forms the basis of Brian Friel's drama, Translations. Directed by Garry Hynes, the revival features Niall Buggy, David Costabile and Geraldine Hughes.

February 11, 2007 - The Grammy Award for Best Musical Show Album goes to the original cast CD of Jersey Boys.

February 18, 2007 - Opening night for Salvage, part three of The Coast of Utopia.

February 22, 2007 - Revival of Journey's End, R.C. Sherriff's drama about life in the trenches of World War I. David Grindley recreates his London staging, with a cast that features Hugh Dancy and U.S. stars Boyd Gaines and Jefferson Mays.

February 25, 2007 - The film version of "Dreamgirls" wins two Oscars, Best Featured Actress (Jennifer Hudson) and Best Achievement in Sound Mixing.

March 8, 2007 - In a revival of Craig Lucas's Prelude to a Kiss, Annie Parisse and Alan Tudyk play a young couple full of joy on their wedding day - until a mysterious old man (John Mahoney) asks to kiss the bride, and their lives slip into "Twilight Zone" territory.

March 11, 2007 - Liev Schreiber stars as a late-night talk-show shock jock in Eric Bogosian's Talk Radio, which makes its Broadway debut. Robert Falls directs the drama, which originated Off-Broadway with its author as star in the 1980s.

March 22, 2007 - David Hyde Pierce plays a detective trying to solve a murder backstage at a musical trying out in Boston in Curtains, with a score by John Kander, Fred Ebb and Rupert Holmes. Scott Ellis directs a cast that also includes Debra Monk, Edward Hibbert and Karen Ziemba.

March 29, 2007 - Vanessa Redgrave stars in The Year of Magical Thinking based on Joan Didion's first-person book about the deaths of her husband and daughter.

April 5, 2007 - The producers of Riverdance team up with the composers of Les Misérables to present a swashbuckling musical slice of Irish history in The Pirate Queen, starring Stephanie J. Block, Hadley Fraser and Linda Balgord.

April 8, 2007 - Kevin Spacey and Eve Best star in a transfer of London's Old Vic revival of Eugene O'Neill's A Moon for the Misbegotten.

April 10, 2007 - "American Idol" winner Fantasia Barrino takes over the leading role of Celie in The Color Purple.

April 12, 2007 - Tony winners Christopher Plummer, Brian Dennehy and Denis O'Hare show that the debate between Creationism versus Evolution is still a timely one in a revival of Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee's 1955 courtroom drama Inherit the Wind, based on the famous Scopes "Monkey" trial of 1925.

April 16, 2007 - The Pulitzer Prize for Drama goes to David Lindsay-Abaire's Rabbit Hole, which was nominated for a Tony Award as Best Play last season.

April 22, 2007 - With the historical record and his reputation on the line, former President Richard Nixon (Frank Langella) agrees to an interview with British celebrity reporter David Frost (Michael Sheen) in Peter Morgan's post-Watergate drama, Frost/Nixon.

April 29, 2007 - Laura Bell Bundy stars in Legally Blonde, a new musical by Nell Benjamin, Laurence O'Keefe and Heather Hach, based on the Amanda Brown novel and MGM film about a seemingly ditzy sorority girl who is determined to get into Harvard Law School. Also starring Christian Borle, Orfeh and Michael Rupert.

May 2, 2007 - Two young men from very different social worlds are united by their love of music, and a horrifying secret, in Coram Boy, an epic drama that boasts a cast of 40 and a chamber orchestra.

May 3, 2007 - Twenty-one-time Tony winner Harold Prince directs Manhattan Theatre Club's debut of LoveMusik, a new musical by Alfred Uhry using the songs of Kurt Weill, based on the composer's letters and life with his wife/muse Lotte Lenya, with Michael Cerveris as Weill and Donna Murphy as Lenya.

May 6, 2007 - Two of the grande dames of American theatre, Tony winners Angela Lansbury and Marian Seldes, return to Broadway in Terrence McNally's new play, Deuce, about the relationship between two retired tennis stars.

May 8, 2007 - Kenny Leon directs Radio Golf, the final chapter in August Wilson's epic cycle of ten plays about African-American life in the 20th century. Completed just before Wilson's death, the drama tells the story of a rising black politician and his involvement with real estate developers who are seeking to tear down the home once owned by recurring Wilson character, Aunt Esther.

May 9, 2007 - Audra McDonald plays Lizzie, a lonely woman in a drought-stricken Texas town in the Roundabout Theatre Company revival of 110 in the Shade. Her life is turned upside down with the arrival of Starbuck, a man who promises that he can make it rain again. Lonny Price directs this Harvey Schmidt, Tom Jones and N. Richard Nash musical based on Nash's play The Rainmaker.

June 10, 2007 - The 61st Annual Antoinette Perry Awards are given at Radio City Music Hall and broadcast on CBS television.

This timeline appeared in the 2007 Tony Awards Playbill at Radio City Music Hall.

John Slattery, Cynthia Nixon, Tyne Daly and Catherine Garrison in the Broadway production of the Pulitzer Prize winning play Rabbit Hole.
John Slattery, Cynthia Nixon, Tyne Daly and Catherine Garrison in the Broadway production of the Pulitzer Prize winning play Rabbit Hole. Photo by Joan Marcus
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