Broadway wraps up another season with the conclusion 2018 Tony Awards. But a crop of new shows is already on the horizon, ready to light up the marquees of the Great White Way.
The 2018–2019 season officially kicked off with the May 31 opening of The Boys in the Band; 17 more shows have dates lined up, and several more are inching closer to the boards.
Take a look at the list of productions to keep an eye on—which is, of course, subject to change—below.
MARK YOUR CALENDAR
STRAIGHT WHITE MEN
Playwright Young Jean Lee will make history this summer as the first Asian-American woman produced on Broadway. Set in a middle-class family home during the holidays, the play is about a father and his three adult sons who come together to celebrate Christmas over board games and takeout. Sound familiar? Except it’s not. Straight White Men subverts the traditional family drama by becoming an exploration of American values, of capitalist belief systems versus social justice systems, and of identity and privilege. The play was originally produced Off-Broadway at the Public Theater (directed by Lee) in 2014; the Broadway premiere will be directed by Tony winner Anna D. Shapiro and feature a cast made up of Armie Hammer, Kate Bornstein, Tom Skerritt, Paul Schneider, Josh Charles, and Ty Defoe.
Straight White Men will begin performances June 29 at Second Stage’s Hayes Theatre, where it will officially open July 23.
HEAD OVER HEELS
The music of the all-female rock band The Go-Go’s, the 1980s hit makers behind “We Got the Beat” and “Our Lips Our Sealed,” serves as the score to this heady comic romp inspired by Philip Sidney’s prose poem Arcadia. Head Over Heels is making history with the casting of Peppermint, the runner-up of RuPaul’s Drag Race’s ninth season; when the musical opens this summer, she’ll become the first performer who openly identifies as a trans woman to originate a principal role on Broadway.
The musical played an out-of-town engagement at San Francisco’s Curran Theatre this spring prior to a July 26 Broadway opening at the Hudson Theatre. Previews begin June 23.
GETTIN’ THE BAND BACK TOGETHER
Following a 2013 world premiere at George Street Playhouse, the rock valentine to the Garden State follows 40-year-old Mitch Shapiro (played by Rock of Ages’ Mitch Jarvis), who suddenly finds himself living in his mother’s house after losing his job on Wall Street during the financial crisis. When his high school nemesis turns up to foreclose on his home, Mitch convinces his former high school band mates to reunite to rock out one last time in the local Battle of the Bands competition, and win back his house. Directed by John Rando, the musical was developed by producer Ken Davenport and the performance group Grundleshotz, who helped develop the show through a series of improv rehearsals. Mark Allen penned the score, and Sarah Saltzberg (a member of Grundleshotz) provided additional material.
Gettin’ the Band Back Together, also featuring Marilu Henner, begins previews July 19 ahead of an August 13 opening at the Belasco Theatre.
Based on the 1990 romantic comedy co-starring Julia Roberts and Richard Gere, the new musical features a book co-written by the late Garry Marshall (the film's director) and screenwriter J.F. Lawton, with music by Grammy winner Bryan Adams and Jim Vallance. Following a Chicago tryout, it was announced that three-time Tony nominee and Olivier winner Andy Karl will step into the role of wealthy businessman Edward Lewis— the part created in the Windy City by Steve Kazee. Joining Karl from the Chicago cast will be Samantha Barks as Vivian, Tony nominee Orfeh (Karl's wife) as Kit, Eric Anderson as Mr. Thompson, Kingsley Leggs as James Morse, and Jason Danieley as Philip Stuckey.
Directed and choreographed by Jerry Mitchell, Pretty Woman will open at Broadway's Nederlander Theatre August 16 after beginning previews July 20.
Oscar nominee and Tony and Olivier Award winner Janet McTeer will return to Broadway as Sarah Bernhardt in the world premiere of Theresa Rebeck’s Bernhardt/Hamlet. The new play is set against the lavish, late-19th-century production of Hamlet that starred Bernhardt in her make-or-break role. Tony nominee Moritz von Stuelpnagel will direct the Roundabout Theatre Company production.
Bernhardt/Hamlet will begin performances September 1 ahead of a September 25 opening. The limited engagement is scheduled through November 18 at the American Airlines Theatre.
Manhattan Theatre Club will kick off its 2018–2019 Broadway season with the American premiere of Richard Bean’s The Nap, directed by Daniel Sullivan. The fast-paced comedy thriller from the One Man, Two Guvnors playwright offers a look at the world of snooker, the British version of pool.
The Nap will begin previews September 4 ahead of a September 27 opening at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre.
THE LIFESPAN OF A FACT
Daniel Radcliffe, Cherry Jones, and Bobby Cannavale will return to Broadway in the world premiere of a new play by Jeremy Kareken, David Murrell, and Gordon Farrell. Based on the essay-book hybrid by John D’Agata and Jim Fingal, the play explores the line between truth and fiction through the lens of a fact checker assigned to an essay about the Las Vegas suicide of teenager Levi Presley. Leigh Silverman will direct.
The production will start September 20 at Studio 54 before opening officially October 18. Though Studio 54 is owned by Roundabout Theatre Company, the staging is not a Roundabout production.
Following a record-breaking debut at London's Royal Court Theatre, The Ferryman transferred to the Gielgud, winning three 2018 Olivier Awards: Best New Play, Best Director, and Best Actress. Much of the London cast, including Olivier winner Laura Donnelly, will reprise their roles for the Broadway mounting of the play, which is set in Northern Ireland in the early 1980s when an unexpected visitor arrives during the annual harvest celebration and feast.
Directed by Sam Mendes, the production will begin at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre October 2 prior to an official opening October 21.
THE WAVERLY GALLERY
Following the Broadway revival of his play Lobby Hero, playwright and screenwriter Kenneth Lonergan is back on Broadway with another of his earlier plays: The Waverly Gallery, a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 2001. The Wolves’ director Lila Neugebauer will make her Broadway debut helming the all-new production, starring Elaine May and Lonergan alums Michael Cera (Lobby Hero, This Is Our Youth) and Lucas Hedges (Manchester by the Sea). May, in her first Broadway role since 1960, will play a strong-willed Greenwich Village art dealer facing the onset of Alzheimers.
Performances will begin performances September 25 at the John Golden Theatre ahead of an October 25 opening.
Harvey Fierstein’s Tony Award-winning trilogy returns to Broadway 35 years after it caused a sensation downtown at LaMaMa etc. This new, streamlined version—now titled Torch Song—transfers to Broadway following a fall 2017 run at Second Stage Theatre. Michael Urie and Mercedes Ruehl co-star in the landmark play about a nice Jewish boy who just happens to be gay (and a drag performer) and the lifelong struggle to find common ground with his mother.
Torch Song begins previews October 9 at the Helen Hayes Theatre, where it will officially open November 1.
Overhauled and refocused since its 2013 Melbourne premiere, the Australian stage spectacle King Kong is set to climb its way to the Broadway Theatre with Christiani Pitts and Eric William Morris starring as Ann Darrow and film director Carl Denham, respectively. But beyond its human cast, King Kong’s main attraction is a one-ton, six-meter-tall silverback gorilla—a high tech animatronic puppet controlled by a group of puppeteers and aerialists who bring the massive creature to life on stage. The musical features a book by Jack Thorne (Harry Potter and the Cursed Child), a score by Marius de Vries (La La Land and Moulin Rouge!), and songs by Eddie Perfect (the Broadway-aimed Beetlejuice musical).
King Kong begins previews October 5 ahead of a November 8 Broadway opening.
The musical comedy from Bob Martin, Chad Beguelin, and Matthew Sklar tells the story of a group of eccentric Broadway professionals who travel to a small Indiana town to (perhaps misguidedly) help a high school student banned from her prom for wanting to bring her girlfriend. The cast boasts an assortment of stage favorites, including Tony winner Beth Leavel (playing a Tony winner herself), Christopher Sieber, and Brooks Ashmanskas.
The musical, directed and choreographed by Mean Girls’ Casey Nicholaw, will begin previews October 21 at the Cort Theatre, where it is set to officially open November 15.
THE CHER SHOW
The new musical about the pop culture icon will begin its pre-Broadway out-of-town tryout at Chicago’s Oriental Theatre June 12, with a tune stack featuring her biggest hits—from “Gypsies, Tramps, and Thieves,” to “If I Could Turn Back Time,” and the Sonny Bono duet “I’ve Got You Babe.” It will take three actors to portray a star as big as Cher, and Tony Award-winning Jersey Boys book writer Rick Elice has divided the pop star’s life into three distinct sections: Babe, Star, and Lady—portrayed by Micaela Diamond, Teal Wicks, and Tony nominee Stephanie J. Block. Legendary costume designer Bob Mackie, who has collaborated with Cher over the years on myriad iconic looks—including her head-turning 1973 Oscars gown and the infamous look for her “Turn Back Time” video—is on board as part of the creative team (and is himself a character in the show).
The Cher Show will begin previews November 1 at the Neil Simon Theatre where it will officially open December 3.
TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD
Aaron Sorkin’s adaptation of the Harper Lee novel will premiere on Broadway this fall. My Fair Lady’s Bartlett Sher will direct a cast that includes Jeff Daniels as Atticus Finch and Celia Keenan-Bolger as his daughter Scout. The script explores the story as a memory play, with many of the performers resembling older variations of their respective characters.
The play will open at the Shubert Theatre December 13, following previews beginning November 1.
Oscar-winning playwright and MacArthur fellow Tarell Alvin McCraney makes his Broadway debut with his 2013 music-filled play Choir Boy. The play follows the lives of the young singers at the Charles R. Drew Prep School for Boys, an institution dedicated to the education of strong, ethical black men. Reprising their roles from the Off-Broadway staging will be Jeremy Pope, Tony winner Chuck Cooper, and Broadway and Off-Broadway vet Austin Pendleton; Trip Cullman will direct for Manhattan Theatre Club.
Choir Boy will begin performances December 27 at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre ahead of a January 22, 2019, opening night.
Tony and Oscar nominee Ethan Hawke will pay homage to his longtime friend and collaborator, the late Sam Shepard, in a new Broadway production of his Pulitzer Prize-nominated drama. In the 1980 play, two brothers—one, a moderately successful screenwriter to be played by Golden Globe nominee Paul Dano, the other, a drifter (Hawke)—reunite to discuss their mother's recently abandoned house, leading to the airing of old resentments and some unexpected twists in the relationship. James Macdonald will direct.
True West will begin performances December 27 at the American Airlines Theatre ahead of a January 24 opening night.
Ink, Olivier Award winner James Graham’s West End play about the rise of a brash, young Rupert Murdoch and the U.K.’s most influential newspaper, makes its debut on Broadway next year following acclaimed runs in London. Directed by two-time Olivier Award winner and Almeida Artistic Director Rupert Goold, the production will receive its American premiere in a co-production from Manhattan Theatre Club. Casting will be announced at a later date.
Ink will begin previews April 2 at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre ahead of an April 24 opening.
KISS ME, KATE
Roundabout Theatre Company's Broadway revival of Kiss Me, Kate will star Tony Award winner Kelli O’Hara (The King and I) in the role of Lilli Vanessi, with further casting to be announced. O'Hara is reprising her leading role performance in the musical comedy from Cole Porter and Sam and Bella Spewack from Roundabout’s 2016 benefit concert. Scott Ellis, who helmed the concert presentation, will again direct, and Tony winner Warren Carlyle will return to choreograph.
Kiss Me, Kate will begin performances February14 , 2019 ahead of a March 14 opening, and is scheduled to play through June 2.
WATCH THIS SPACE
The beloved Baz Luhrmann film heads to the stage with the vision of director Alex Timbers. The musical adaptation, featuring songs from the 2001 film and pop staples that have been released since, makes its world premiere at the newly remodeled Emerson Colonial Theatre with a cast led by Aaron Tveit and Tony winner Karen Olivo. Though the Boston staging is billed as a pre-Broadway engagement, no official word yet on when and where the show will make its Main Stem bow.
Anaïs Mitchell’s acclaimed folk opera, which debuted Off-Broadway at New York Theatre Workshop last spring, is planning to move uptown to Broadway next year following an upcoming run at London’s National Theatre. Tony-nominated Great Comet director Rachel Chavkin directs the show, which follows Orpheus’ mythical quest to overcome Hades and regain his one true love, Eurydice. Revised since its NYTW run, the show is inspired by traditions of classic American folk music and vintage New Orleans jazz. Lead producers Mara Isaacs, Dale Franzen, Hunter Arnold, and Tom Kirdahy plan to usher the musical to Broadway in 2019.
THE SECRET GARDEN
Marsha Norman and Lucy Simon’s 1991 musical adaptation of Frances Hodgson Burnett's beloved children’s book returns to Broadway for the first time since its original run. Norman and Simon have made revisions and cuts to the book and score, which were seen in a recent regional tour of the musical. During that time, producers Gerald Goehring and Michael F. Mitri optioned the show for Broadway, though a timeline has not been set. Tony-winning director-choreographer Warren Carlyle has signed on to direct the Broadway revival.
After a lengthy development process, the ghost with the most is Broadway bound. Alex Timbers (also at work on Moulin Rouge!) directs the musical adaptation of the Tim Burton cult classic, which will receive its world premiere at Washington, D.C.’s National Theatre in October (a Broadway transfer likely to follow). The show, which is expected to focus largely on the iconic morbid teen Lydia Deetz, will feature a score by Eddie Perfect (Broadway’s aforementioned King Kong) and a book by Anthony King and Scott Brown.
The musical adaptation of the Dustin Hoffman film Tootsie will make its world premiere September 11–October 14 at Chicago’s Cadillac Palace Theatre, with a Broadway transfer scheduled for spring 2019. Tony nominee Santino Fontana, most recently seen in a limited run in the Broadway revival of Hello, Dolly!, will star as Michael Dorsey, the struggling actor who lands a job under the female persona “Dorothy Michaels.” David Yazbek, currently represented on Broadway with The Band’s Visit, penned the score, with a book by Robert Horn. Scott Ellis directs.
CRAZY FOR YOU
Following a New York presentation through Manhattan Concert Productions, the 1992 Gershwin musical has been eyeing a return to Broadway with Susan Stroman at the helm. A pre-Broadway engagement was slated to play Los Angeles' Ahmanson Theatre in February before being postponed. A lab took place earlier this year with members of the concert production, including Laura Osnes and Tony Yazbeck.
KEEP AN EYE OUT
JAGGED LITTLE PILL
Director Diane Paulus joins forces with Grammy winner Alanis Morissette and Oscar winner Diablo Cody to tell a new story that grapples with several issues and hot topics of today. The score includes several of Morissette’s well-known hits (including those from her 1995 album), as well as new songs penned specifically for the show. The world premiere engagement at the American Repertory Theater boasts a cast that includes Elizabeth Stanley and Derek Klena.
AIN’T TOO PROUD
The musical exploring the career of The Temptations premiered at Berkeley Repertory Theatre, and a Broadway transfer was initially speculated for the 2017–2018 season. However, the musical instead lined up additional out-of-town engagements in Washington, D.C. (June 19–July 22), Los Angeles (August 21–September 30), and Toronto (October 10–November 17), meaning a potential New York bow would not happen until the spring.
THE FLAMINGO KID
A new musical adaptation of Garry Marshall’s 1984 comedy will make its world premiere during the upcoming season at Connecticut's Hartford Stage. Penned by Robert L. Freedman and Scott Frankel, the musical is set in the summer of ’63 and follows Brooklyn teenager Jeffrey Winnick as he leaves behind his blue-collar roots for work as a cabana boy at the colorful El Flamingo—a posh private club in Long Island. Hartford Stage’s Tony-winning Artistic Director Darko Tresnjak will helm the production. Producers Bob Israel and Larry Hirschhorn previously announced they were aiming for a spring 2018 Broadway bow, but no New York plans have been announced for the musical.
THE UNSINKABLE MOLLY BROWN
Tony nominee Beth Malone (currently on Broadway in Angels in America) has played the historical Titanic survivor in various regional productions, and led an industry reading presented by Roundabout Theatre Company in November. Director-choreographer Kathleen Marshall and Dick Scanlan have been at work on revising the Meredith Willson musical. “[The original book by Richard Morris book] didn’t pay as close attention to the realities of her life. We want to concentrate on that a little more,” Marshall says.
Tony winner Ian McKellen returns to the West End this summer as King Lear, reprising his work from Jonathan Munby’s 2017 Chichester Festival Theatre production, alongside Sinéad Cusack, who will return to the role of Kent. The production will play a 16-week London engagement at the Duke of York’s Theatre beginning July 12 with a Broadway transfer a possibility. McKellen was last seen as Lear in New York City just over a decade ago in a Trevor Nunn-helmed production from the Royal Shakespeare Company.
The U.K. premiere of Tom Eyen and Henry Krieger’s Dreamgirls opened in December 2016 at the Savoy Theatre starring Glee's Amber Riley as Effie White, the part originated on Broadway to Tony-winning effect by Jennifer Holliday. Tony winner Casey Nicholaw directed and choreographed the still-running London production, which won Olivier Awards for Riley and actor Adam J. Bernard. London performances will continue through January 12, 2019, followed by a U.K. tour. The Eyen-Krieger musical had also been eyeing a Broadway bow for later this year.
Matthew Lopez's two-part play, exploring the lives of gay men in New York a generation after the HIV/AIDS crisis, is West End-bound following a world premiere at the Young Vic. A majority of cast members from the original run, including John Benjamin Hickey and Vanessa Redgrave, will reprise their performances at the Noel Coward Theatre come September. With the critical and audience reception the play has already received, and considering the closeness of the subject matter, a New York bow (Broadway or elsewhere) feels inevitable.
Imelda Staunton won the Best Actress in a Musical Olivier Award for her work as Rose in the most recent London revival of the classic American musical, which played the Savoy Theatre March 28–November 28, 2015. Jonathan Kent directed the revival, which earned three additional Oliviers: Best Musical Revival, the White Light Award for Best Lighting Design, and Best Actress in a Supporting Role in a Musical for Lara Pulver. The production was filmed by BBC and subsequently broadcast on PBS (it is currently available on Blu-ray). There had been previous speculation that Roundabout Theatre Company would present the revival, but no official announcement has been made.
Following a sold-out, twice-extended Off-Broadway run at Atlantic Theater Company, Martin McDonagh’s Hangmen was rumored to transfer to Broadway (though no official announcement has yet been made). The play takes place in various locations in rural England throughout the ‘60s—a pub, a cell, a mysterious cafe—kicking off on the day that hanging has been abolished. In the wake of the historic decision, a string of events lead to both comic and tragic consequences. The Olivier Award-winning production from London’s Royal Court opened to rave reviews in New York in February.
EVERYBODY’S TALKING ABOUT JAMIE
After making a splash in the U.K., the musical about a teenage aspiring drag queen is heading to the big screen—and possibly the New York stage. Original creators Tom MacRae and Dan Gillespie Sells are at work on a film adaptation, and the buzzy musical has caught the eyes of Broadway producers. “A lot of people are speculating about New York,” London theatre owner Nica Burns has said. “Fingers crossed, Broadway.”
The world premiere of the new musical, based on the Oscar-nominated comedy starring Kevin Kline, is set for July 13–August 19 in Arena Stage's Kreeger Theater in Washington, D.C. Drew Gehling, who originated the role of Dr. Pomatter in the Broadway musical Waitress, will play both President Bill Mitchell and the title role. The new musical features a book by three-time Tony winner Thomas Meehan (Annie, Hairspray, The Producers) and Nell Benjamin (Mean Girls, Legally Blonde), music by Pulitzer Prize and two-time Tony winner Tom Kitt (Next to Normal, If/Then), and lyrics by Benjamin. Tina Landau, currently represented on Broadway with SpongeBob SquarePants, directs.
BAT OUT OF HELL
Jim Steinman’s 1977 rock album serves as the score to this dark, dystopian musical about teenage love that ran last year in Manchester before a West End transfer, where it continues to run at the Dominion Theatre. Bat Out of Hell had its North American premiere in Toronto last year and will play Washington, D.C.’s National Theatre May 7–26, 2019. It is expected to announce a national tour, including an October launch in Detroit, in the coming weeks.