2022 Fall Preview
2022 Fall Preview

The 2022 Broadway Fall Preview

The “Fabulous Invalid,” as Kauffman and Hart once dubbed Broadway, has survived the past two years. And we have a robust new season of theatergoing ahead. You’ll find many staples of seasons past: classic revivals, musicals adapted from movies, a prestige play from London, Off-Broadway transfers, a jukebox bio-musical, and Broadway and movie-star names to light up the marquees. But there’s also a glimpse of what could herald a new Broadway as well. Holding to the promise of the last season, which was marked by the debuts of a record number of African American writers, the current season continues the Great Bright Way’s commitment to diversity and inclusion. In the first half of the season, we’ll see a new play with lead roles written specifically for and performed by actors with disabilities; a musical classic where women, non-binary, and transgender performers take on the roles written originally for men; and a landmark classic interpreted for the first time on Broadway by Black actors. And, remarkably, a 27-year-old first-time playwright and a 91-year-old distinguished theater veteran both making their Broadway debuts this season. Read on to find out what’s in store.

Into the Woods, St. James Theatre
Ends January 8

Technically the first Broadway show of the new season, Into the Woods also marks the first Stephen Sondheim musical to open on Broadway since the beloved composer-lyricist passed away last November. The New York City Center Encores! revival of the Tony Award–winning musical by James Lapine and Sondheim, directed by Lear deBessonet, transferred to Broadway in July. A mash-up of well-known fairy tales with delightful and emotionally powerful results, the musical is clearly an audience favorite; this engagement has been extended twice and will now play into the fall. The cast beginning on September 6 includes Stephanie J. Block (Baker’s Wife), Sebastian Arcelus (Baker), and Krysta Rodriguez (Cinderella); Andy Karl will join the cast in the role of Wolf/Cinderella’s Prince while Gavin Creel fulfills a prior commitment; Montego Glover will share the role of the Witch with Patina Miller; Ann Harada will reprise her role of Jack’s Mother from the City Center production, taking over from Aymee Garcia; and Joshua Henry continues as Rapunzel’s Prince.

The Kite Runner, Hayes Theater
Ends October 30

An emotionally wrenching drama of cowardice and redemption, based on the best-selling novel by Khaled Hosseini about a boy in Afghanistan whose friendship with the son of his father’s servant bridges a social and economic divide. But the friendship has devastating consequences that will haunt the boy, now a grown-up living in America, for over a period of two decades. Amir Arison and Faran Tahir make their Broadway debuts in the production adapted for the stage by Matthew Spangler and directed by Giles Croft.

Cost of Living, Samuel J. Friedman Theatre
Previews start September 13, opens October 3

Two parallel stories explore the emotional and physical dependence between two mismatched pairs in Martyna Majok’s bracing play, winner of the 2018 Pulitzer Prize. As the author has noted, the play is as much about class and loneliness as it is about people with disabilities. In one story, a haughty young graduate student with cerebral palsy is played by Gregg Mozgala, an actor with a similar disability. In the other, Paralympic Games track-and-field star Katy Sullivan plays the role of a fiery-tempered woman who has lost both her legs in a car accident. Both actors played the same roles in previous incarnations of the play at the Williamstown Theatre Festival and Off-Broadway. Kara Young and David Zayas, respectively, play the caretakers of the two disabled characters. The Manhattan Theatre Club production is directed by Jo Bonney.

Leopoldstadt, Longacre Theatre
Previews start September 14, opens October 2

A new work by one of Britain’s most preeminent playwrights is a genuine theater event. One of the most anticipated new plays of this Broadway season is Tom Stoppard’s Leopoldstadt. Stoppard won a Tony for his very first play, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, which became the toast of the town in 1968. With three more Best Play Tony awards under his belt, he now has the distinction of being the most Tony-honored playwright in Broadway history. Stoppard’s latest is an expansive family drama that chronicles the fortunes of a wealthy Jewish Viennese family over more than half a century, from 1899 to the mid-1950s. Acclaimed in London, where it won the 2020 Olivier Award for Best Play, the poignant Chekhovian piece is a capstone in the 85-year-old playwright’s long and illustrious career. A departure of sorts from the playfully witty and erudite work most associated with Stoppard, Leopoldstadt is his most overtly emotional and personal play. It is directly inspired by his late-in-life discovery of the devastating fate that befell every one of his grandparents at the hands of the Nazis in Eastern Europe. The epic play is directed by Patrick Marber, who was nominated for Tony awards for his direction of the 2018 revival of Stoppard’s Travesties and for his own play Closer in 1999. The cast of nearly 40 includes Betsy Aidem, David Krumholtz, Caissie Levy, Seth Numrich, and Brandon Uranowitz.

1776, American Airlines Theatre
Previews start September 16, opens October 6

Sherman Edwards and Peter Stone’s tuneful musical about the events leading up to the signing of the Declaration of Independence captivated Broadway audiences when it premiered in 1969, winning the Tony for Best Musical that year. This new revival for the 21st century revisits that defining moment for America, replacing the bewigged white dudes who determined this country’s future with a multiracial cast made up of performers who identify as female, nonbinary, or transgender — among them, Crystal Lucas-Perry, who plays John Adams, Patrena Murray (Benjamin Franklin), Elizabeth A. Davis (Thomas Jefferson), and Liz Mikel (John Hancock). Choreographed by Jeffrey L. Page (Violet) who codirects the Roundabout Theatre production with Diane Paulus (Tony Award winner for Pippin).

Death of a Salesman, Hudson Theatre
Previews start September 17, opens October 9

In the fifth Broadway revival of Arthur Miller’s seminal 1949 work, Wendell Pierce (HBO’s The Wire) plays Willy Loman, the traveling salesman who falls apart when his belief in the American Dream is shattered. Pierce reprises his Olivier-nominated performance from London along with his costar Sharon D Clarke (2022 Tony nominee for Caroline, or Change) in the first Broadway presentation of the Pulitzer Prize­–winning classic told from the perspective of an African American family. The Loman sons, Biff and Happy, are played by Khris Davis (Sweat) and McKinley Belcher III (A Soldier’s Play), and 2019 Tony Award winner André De Shields (Hadestown) plays Uncle Ben. This production is directed by Miranda Cromwell, who received an Olivier Award for the original Young Vic London production, which she codirected with Marianne Elliott.

The Piano Lesson, Ethel Barrymore Theatre
Previews start September 19, opens October 13

Ghosts from a horrific and shameful past haunt a family dispute in August Wilson’s powerful and poetic Pulitzer Prize–winning drama, which received the Tony for Best Play when it was first produced on Broadway in 1990. The fourth in Wilson’s monumental 10-play cycle about the African American experience in this country, The Piano Lesson, set in 1936 Pittsburgh, centers on a brother and sister’s tussle over whether a precious family heirloom — the piano they have inherited from their slave ancestors — should be sold or remain in the family. LaTanya Richardson Jackson (Tony nominee for her performance in the 2014 revival of A Raisin in the Sun) makes her Broadway directorial debut with the revival that stars her husband, Samuel L. Jackson (2022 recipient of an Honorary Academy Award). Jackson was part of the original cast (in a different role) in the premiere production of the play at Yale Repertory Theatre in 1987. The cast also includes Danielle Brooks (2016 Tony nominee for The Color Purple) and John David Washington, son of Denzel Washington.

Topdog/Underdog, Golden Theatre
Previews start September 27, opens October 20

Named by their father as a joke, the two African American brothers Lincoln and Booth are destined to be linked tragically. In Suzan-Lori Parks’s dark comedy, the two men are now the only family they have left; each a mark in their never-ending game of three-card monte, they grapple with sibling resentment and rivalry as well as the heavy baggage of American history. Topdog/Underdog debuted on Broadway in 2002, the same year Parks became the first Black woman recipient of the Pulitzer Prize for Drama for the play. The current 20th anniversary revival, directed by 2014 Tony Award winner Kenny Leon (A Raisin in the Sun) stars Corey Hawkins (2017 Tony nominee for Six Degrees of Separation and the recent movie version of In the Heights) as elder brother Lincoln; Yahya Abdul-Mateen II (Emmy Award winner for the HBO series Watchmen) makes his Broadway debut playing the young brother, Booth.

Almost Famous, Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre
Previews start October 3, opens November 3

A new musical based on Cameron Crowe’s semiautobiographical coming-of-age story about an aspiring teenage journalist who goes on tour with an up-and-coming 1970s rock band in the hopes of landing a cover story for Rolling Stone magazine. The young writer, with his unique backstage pass, experiences the thrills of rock ’n’ roll and romance while also learning some valuable lessons in integrity. Crowe adapted his own 2000 Academy Award–winning movie for the libretto and cowrote the lyrics with Tony Award winner Tom Kitt (Next to Normal), who has composed an original 1970s-style score. The production, directed by Jeremy Herrin, stars Chris Wood, Tony Award nominee Anika Larson (Beautiful), Solea Pfeiffer, Drew Gehling, and Rob Colletti, and introduces Casey Likes.

Kimberly Akimbo, Booth Theatre
Previews start October 12, opens November 10

The fearless Victoria Clark (2005 Tony and Drama Desk Award winner for The Light in the Piazza) plays a 16-year-old trapped in the body of a 70-year-old. The teenage misfit has a rare genetic disease that ages her so rapidly that it drastically reduces her life expectancy and makes her look like she might be her own grandmother. Steven Boyer (Tony nominee for Hand of God) and Alli Mauzey play the parents who have much to learn from their much wiser adolescent daughter; Bonnie Milligan is the aunt who is a questionable influence in her life; and Justin Cooley makes his Broadway debut as Kimberly’s only friend. David Lindsay-Abaire (Tony Award nominee for Shrek: The Musical and Pulitzer Prize winner for Rabbit Hole) wrote the book and lyrics for the poignant musical based on his Off-Broadway play; music is by Jeanine Tesori (2015 Tony Award winner for Fun Home and 2004 nominee for Caroline, or Change). The Atlantic Theater Company production, which originated Off-Broadway last year, is choreographed by Danny Mefford and directed by Jessica Stone.

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KPOP, Circle in the Square Theatre
Previews start October 13, opens November 20

Broadway takes a plunge into the world of Korean pop – the sounds and vibes made internationally famous by groups such as BTS and Blackpink. The new musical, originally produced Off-Broadway in 2017, was conceived by the innovative immersive theater group Woodshed Collective and Jason Kim. The audience is taken behind the scenes as a group of international superstars prepares to perform a special one-night concert for the launch of a new Korean music label. With a book by Kim and original music and lyrics written by Helen Park and Max Vernon, the multimedia musical entertainment captures the high-stakes competition, raw ambition, and an artist’s struggle with personal demons as the mega-industry sets its sights on the American market. The infectious high-energy production is directed by Teddy Bergman, with choreography by Jennifer Weber. A multitalented cast, 18 of whom make their Broadway debuts, is led by Korean superstar Luna, who began her career as a member of the K-pop group f(x) and has since become a chart-topping solo artist while also appearing in several musicals, including the Korean productions of In the Heights and Mamma Mia.

Walking with Ghosts, Music Box Theatre
Previews start October 18, Opens October 27

Two-time Tony Award nominee Gabriel Byrne (Long Day’s Journey Into Night and A Moon for the Misbegotten) performs his critically acclaimed solo show, based on the heartfelt memoir he published two years ago. In his theatrical adaptation, which debuted earlier this year in Ireland and the UK, the Irish actor recalls his working-class childhood, growing up on the outskirts of Dublin, through to his success as an adult actor on stage and in Hollywood. The production is directed by three-time Emmy Award-winner Lonny Price.

Take Me Out, Schoenfeld Theatre
Resumes October 27

After winning the Tony for Best Revival of a Play in June this year, the Second Stage Theater production of Richard Greenberg’s valentine to baseball, directed by Scott Ellis, returns for a 14-week run. Tony nominee Jesse Williams reprises his role of the biracial superstar player who unwittingly sets off a violently racist and homophobic chain of events when he announces to his team and the world that he is gay. Jesse Tyler Ferguson, who won the 2022 Tony Award for best featured actor for his performance, reprises his role as the star ballplayer’s gay accountant who is smitten by the sport.

& Juliet, Stephen Sondheim Theatre
Previews start October 28, opens November 17

Romeo is missing from this version of Shakespeare’s tale about the world-famous star-crossed lovers. That’s because Anne Hathaway (played by Betsy Wolfe) has taken her husband, William Shakespeare (Stark Sands), to task and forced him to rewrite the tragic story: Instead of killing herself, Juliet sets off on a rowdy road trip to Paris with some pals. The feminist makeover of Romeo & Juliet is held aloft with a hit parade of pop music from Max Martin, the songwriter and record producer who has written for some of the most popular performers of the last three decades. Book writer David West Read (Emmy Award winner for Schitt’s Creek) weaves nearly 30 of Martin’s chart-toppers into his fanciful confection. You’ll no doubt recognize his work when you hear the hits: “Break Free,” “Problem” (Ariana Grande); “Teenage Dream” (Katy Perry); “… Baby One More Time” and “Oops! … I Did It Again” (Britney Spears); “Blow” (Kesha); “That’s the Way It Is” (Céline Dion); and “I Want It That Way” (Backstreet Boys), to name just a few. The production is directed by Luke Sheppard and choreographed by Jennifer Weber (also represented this season with KPOP).

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Some Like it Hot, Shubert Theatre
Previews start November 1, opens December 11

The sublime Billy Wilder comedy classic, about two musicians in Prohibition-era Chicago who masquerade as members of an all-female band to escape the Mob after they witness a gangland murder, was turned into a Broadway musical titled Sugar in the 1970s. But with a gem like this, a new creative team obviously couldn’t resist taking a new look at the source material. This time around, Matthew López (winner of the 2020 Best Play Tony Award for The Inheritance) and Amber Ruffin (The Amber Ruffin Show) offer their reinterpretation of the 1959 movie with a new original score by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman (2003 Tony Award winners for Hairspray). Two-time Tony Award winner Christian Borle (Something Rotten!, Peter and the Starcatcher), J. Harrison Ghee (Kinky Boots), and Adrianna Hicks (SIX) play the leads in the production, directed and choreographed by Casey Nicholaw (Tony-winning director of The Book of Mormon).

Ain’t No Mo’, Belasco Theatre
Previews start November 3, opens December 1

You would do well to fasten your seat belt for this ride. Broadway novice playwright Jordan E. Cooper (cocreator of the BET series The Ms. Pat Show) has a take-no-prisoners approach to satirical comedy. The 27-year-old also plays Peaches, a fierce airline stewardess you do not want to cross in this rambunctious and thought-provoking odyssey that imagines nothing less than the mass exodus of all Black Americans from the country that still refuses to accept them with equality. Originally presented at the Public Theater in 2019, the Broadway production, presented by Oscar-nominated filmmaker Lee Daniels (The Butler, Precious) is directed by Broadway newcomer Stevie Walker-Webb. Scenic design is by three-time Tony Award winner Scott Pask (The Book of Mormon, The Coast of Utopia, The Pillowman), costumes are by Emilio Sosa (On Your Feet, Motown: The Musical), and lighting is by Adam Honoré.

A Beautiful Noise, Broadhurst Theatre
Previews start November 2, opens December 4

One of the best-selling artists of all time, Neil Diamond reached the height of superstardom in the 1970s; he received a Lifetime Achievement Grammy Award and a place in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Will Swenson (Tony nominee for Hair) gives a virtuosic performance as the soft-rock crooner, mining a treasure trove of Diamond’s greatest hits, including “You Don’t Bring Me Flowers,” “America,” “Cracklin’ Rosie,” and “Sweet Caroline” in the new bio-musical that spans 60 years of Diamond’s songwriting. A second actor will portray the older Diamond of today as the songwriter explores the artistic impetus behind some of the great hits in a fictional therapy session. Based on a libretto written by Anthony McCarten (Academy Award nominee for Bohemian Rhapsody), the buoyant production is directed by Michael Mayer (Tony Award winner for Spring Awakening, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, American Idiot) with choreography by Olivier Award winner and four-time Tony Award nominee Steven Hoggett (Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Once, Black Watch).

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A Christmas Carol, Nederlander Theatre
Previews start November 8, opens November 21

It is no secret that Jefferson Mays can hold a Broadway stage on his own (he won a Tony Award for his solo performance in I Am My Own Wife), or that he can morph into multiple characters in the same show (who can forget his Tony-nominated portrayal of all eight members of an ill-fated family in A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder). This time he outdoes himself. In A Christmas Carol, Mays takes on 50 roles, including a potato. The solo tour-de-force, adapted from the beloved Dickens novel, by Mays, his wife Susan Lyons, and Michael Arden, who also directs the production, was first seen in 2018 at the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles. This haunting re-telling of the story which Dickens subtitled “…a Ghost Story for Christmas,” was conceived by director Arden and Dane Laffrey, who also designed the sets and costumes. The design team also includes Ben Stanton (lighting), Lucy Mackinnon (projection), and Joshua D. Reid (sound).

Ohio State Murders, James Earl Jones Theatre
Previews start November 11, opens December 8

Record-breaking six-time Tony Award winner Audra McDonald returns to Broadway in a searing drama by Adrienne Kennedy. McDonald plays Suzanne Alexander, a writer who has been invited back to her alma mater to speak about her time in the school and to address the violent imagery in her work. Suzanne looks back on her life at Ohio State University some 50 years earlier, revealing private moments from her personal life, recounting a disturbing tale of murder and scandal, and, speaking about the racial discrimination she experienced, which continues to reverberate into her present. Ohio State Murders marks the Broadway debut of a 91-year-old playwright whose innovative and experimentalist theater work has been critically acclaimed over a career that spans more than six decades — a shocking but perhaps not-so-surprising oversight of the African American female artist who has received a Lifetime Achievement Obie Award and is the recipient of the 2022 Gold Medal from the American Academy of Arts and Letters (one of just five playwrights to have been so honored thus far). Broadway’s long overdue recognition of Kennedy takes place at the renovated 110-year-old theatre formerly known as the Cort, now newly renamed for the revered Black actor James Earl Jones. The new production is directed by Kenny Leon (Tony Award winner for Fences, and A Soldier’s Play), who also directs Topdog/Underdog this season.

The Collaboration, Samuel J. Friedman Theatre
Previews start November 29, opens December 20

The new play by Anthony McCarten (screenwriter for The Theory of Everything and The Two Popes, and librettist for this season’s Neil Diamond musical, A Beautiful Noise) explores the turbulent friendship between Andy Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat. The unlikely collaboration between these two celebrated artistic talents for a joint exhibition in 1984 is highly anticipated by the New York art world; it will also contribute to their eventual falling-out. Paul Bettany (Vision in a slew of Marvel movies) plays Warhol, now a 56-year-old pop-art celebrity whose star is on the decline, and Jeremy Pope (Tony nominee for Choir Boy and Ain’t Too Proud) plays Basquiat, the New York art world’s latest discovery, a wunderkind neo-Expressionist. The two actors reprise their roles from the original London Young Vic production from earlier this year, which is once again directed by Young Vic artistic director Kwame Kwei-Armah.

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Between Riverside and Crazy, Helen Hayes Theater
Previews start November 30, opens December 19

A provocative dark comedy from Stephen Adly Guirgis, who received a 2011 Best Play Tony Award nomination for The Motherf**cker in the Hat. Riverside debuted Off-Broadway in 2014 and received the Pulitzer Prize and a raft of other drama awards the following year. It arrives on Broadway with a new painful relevance in the wake of Black Lives Matter. In the play, “Pops” Washington, a Black retired New York City cop, who years earlier was shot several times by a rookie white cop, is defiantly going to seed in a rent-stabilized apartment on Manhattan’s Upper West Side while still waiting on a settlement for his lawsuit against the NYPD. Pops presides over a quirky surrogate family — a motley collection of hangers-on, including his own son, an ex-con on parole who may still be pursuing a criminal bent; the son’s girlfriend, who may just be a sex worker on the side; and a recovering addict who is also an ex-felon. And just when you think you have met all of Guirgis’s eccentric characters, you will meet the Church Lady, who brings a whole new dimension to his play. Austin Pendleton (seen last season on Broadway in The Minutes) will remount his original production, which was recognized with a 2015 Drama Desk nomination for his finely balanced direction.

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