Spring Broadway Season
Spring Broadway Season

The 2023 Broadway Spring Preview

A refreshing influx of new and diverse talent distinguished the Broadway season that launched this past fall. Some productions hit box office gold and a few folded too soon, but there’s much to look forward to for the second half of the season. You can expect three new musicals and six new plays, including a Pulitzer Prize winner, and new revivals of four iconic Broadway musicals. Stephen Sondheim and Andrew Lloyd Webber will once again dominate the season with a well-loved classic and brand-new work, respectively. The season’s climax, of course, is the 76th Annual Tony Awards ceremony on June 11. This year, the season finale fittingly takes place at a new venue uptown. The spotlight will shine on the United Palace Theater — a historic former vaudeville and movie palace located in the now culturally and ethnically diverse neighborhood of Washington Heights.

Here’s what to expect on Broadway this spring.

Pictures from Home, Studio 54
Previews start January 13, opens February 9

A new play by Sharr White, adapted from the acclaimed 1992 book by the late photographer Larry Sultan, who spent a decade documenting his parents’ lives as they grew older. His autobiographical memoir incorporates photographs, staged portraits, and interviews with the not-always-cooperative elderly couple. The production, directed by Tony Award winner (and eight-time Tony nominee) Bartlett Sher, features a notable Tony-honored triumvirate of stars: Danny Burstein (Tony winner for Moulin Rouge!) plays the photographer Sultan, three-time Tony winner Nathan Lane (and 2022 Emmy Award winner for Only Murders in the Building) plays the father, and four-time Tony nominee Zoë Wanamaker (also a two-time Olivier Award winner) plays the mother.

A Doll’s House, Hudson Theater
Previews start February 13, opens March 9

Jessica Chastain, winner of the 2022 Oscar for Best Actress (The Eyes of Tammy Faye) and a 2023 Golden Globe nominee for Tammy and George, is a big marquee name for this new season. Last seen on Broadway in the 2012 revival of The Heiress, Chastain returns to play Nora, the iconic lead in Henrik Ibsen’s groundbreaking drama about a woman who emancipates herself from society’s expectations. A Doll’s House shocked the world in 1879 when its heroine slammed the door on her family and walked out unconstrained into a new world. We can expect anything but a traditional or conventional interpretation of the nearly century-and-a-half-old classic. This current revival (the 14th production of the Ibsen play on Broadway) is directed by Jamie Lloyd and the script is adapted by playwright Amy Herzog. Lloyd (2020 Tony nominee for Betrayal) most recently helmed an invigorating new production of Cyrano de Bergerac at the Brooklyn Academy of Music and Herzog (2013 Pulitzer Prize nominee for her play 4000 Miles) was scriptwriter for the contemporary adaptation of Ingmar Bergman’s Scenes From a Marriage for HBO, which also starred Chastain. The cast for this revival includes Jesmille Darbouze, Tasha Lawrence, Michael Patrick Thornton, Grammy Award winner Okieriete Onaodowan, and Tony and Emmy Award nominee Arian Moayed as Nora’s husband, Torvald.

Andrew Lloyd Webber and Linedy Genao of Bad Cinderella. Photo courtesy of NBC.
Andrew Lloyd Webber and Linedy Genao of Bad Cinderella. Photo courtesy of NBC.

Bad Cinderella, Imperial Theatre
Previews start February 17, opens March 23

Andrew Lloyd Webber fans may mourn the imminent closing of The Phantom of the Opera, a Broadway fixture for the past 35 years, but they can celebrate the arrival of the latest from the phenomenally successful composer: a modern twist on the classic fairy tale. In this version, Cinderella, played by Linedy Genao, is a rebellious goth girl who is nobody’s doormat. This retelling of the story, set in the picture-perfect kingdom of Belleville, takes on racism and body-shaming, and embraces same-sex romance. Three-time Tony nominee Carolee Carmello (seen earlier this season in 1776) plays the Stepmother, who gets to sharpen her claws at the expense of the very demanding Queen, played by Grace McLean; Christina Acosta Robinson plays the Godmother, whose specialty is plastic surgery. Lyrics are by David Zippel (Tony winner for City of Angels) and the book is by Emerald Fennell (Oscar winner for Promising Young Woman). The production is directed by Laurence Connor (School of Rock: The Musical) with choreography by JoAnn M. Hunter (Disaster! and School of Rock). This production will include new songs written by Webber since the musical’s staging in London’s West End in 2021.

Parade, Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre
Previews start February 21, opens March 16

Tony Award winner Ben Platt (Dear Evan Hansen) and Micaela Diamond (The Cher Show) play a newlywed Jewish couple struggling to make a life in the old red hills of Georgia. When Leo is accused of an unspeakable crime, it propels them into an unimaginable test of faith, humanity, justice, and devotion. Written by three-time Tony-winning composer/lyricist Jason Robert Brown (The Bridges of Madison County) and two-time Tony Award-winning playwright Alfred Uhry (who won a Pulitzer Prize for Driving Miss Daisy), the devastating musical is inspired by the real-life sensationalized trial that vividly exposed the anti-semitism and racism that runs deep in our culture. The musical was co-conceived by Atlanta-born writer Uhry and Broadway legend Harold Prince. This revival, which was staged last year as part of the New York City Center Encores! Series, is directed by Tony nominee Michael Arden (Once on this Island) and was highly acclaimed for its rich and stirring score, superlative performances, and searing impact.

Learn More About Parade

Annaleigh Ashford and Josh Groban of Sweeney Todd. Photo by Franz Szony.
Annaleigh Ashford and Josh Groban of Sweeney Todd. Photo by Franz Szony.

Sweeney Todd, Lunt-Fontanne Theatre
Previews start February 26, opens March 26

Tony and Grammy Award nominee Josh Groban, who made his Broadway debut in Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812, returns as the Demon Barber of Fleet Street in Stephen Sondheim’s acclaimed musical thriller. Tony winner Annaleigh Ashford, last seen on Broadway in the recent revival of Sondheim’s Sunday in the Park with George, will play Mrs. Lovett, notorious for making the “best pies in London.” This third Broadway revival of the gothic tale, with music and lyrics by Sondheim and a book by Hugh Wheeler, is directed by Thomas Kail (Tony Award winner for Hamilton) with choreography by Steven Hoggett (also represented currently on Broadway with A Beautiful Noise, and Harry Potter and the Cursed Child). The cast includes Tony Award winner Ruthie Ann Miles (The King and I) as the Beggar Woman, Jordan Fisher as Anthony, and Gaten Matarazzo as Tobias. Fans will be particularly thrilled to know that this revival of the Sondheim classic (the third since its debut in 1979) will be a full-scale production featuring a 26-person orchestra playing Jonathan Tunick’s original orchestrations.

Bob Fosse’s DANCIN’, Music Box Theatre
Previews start March 2, opens March 19

There’s no question that Bob Fosse left an indelible mark on Broadway, bringing a sexually charged, jazz-infused, inimical style to choreography and the musical genre itself. Two shows currently running are a testament to the lasting impact of this one-of-a-kind choreographer and director: his own Chicago, soon to become the longest-running show open on Broadway, and MJ, which acknowledges Fosse’s influence on the King of Pop. Fosse himself described his creation, which dispenses with a traditional book and text, as being about “the sheer joy of dancing.” This first revival of Fosse’s unique tribute to dance as an art form, created four decades ago, is directed by Tony Award winner Wayne Cilento, who starred in the original production of Dancin’ in 1978. This will be a reimagined production, which stays faithful to the original Fosse choreography, reproduced by Christine Colby Jacques, who made her Broadway debut in the original. Colby Jacques and Cilento say their task is to ensure that Fosse’s work remains as edgy as it was in the 1970s. They aim to steward Fosse’s legacy — keeping the steps but, just as Fosse himself did in later works for Broadway and the movies, speaking to a new generation. A diverse troupe of versatile dancers will embody the eclectic dance styles and musical tastes of the master choreographer to, once again, celebrate a vibrant component of musical theater.

John Behlmann, Alex Newell, Caroline Innerbichler, and Andrew Durand of Shucked. Photo by Emilio Madrid.
John Behlmann, Alex Newell, Caroline Innerbichler, and Andrew Durand of Shucked. Photo by Emilio Madrid.

Shucked, Nederlander Theatre
Previews start March 8, opens April 4

Expect corn at least as high as an elephant’s eye in this new country-flavored musical comedy, written by Robert Horn (Tony Award winner for Tootsie). Music and lyrics are by Brandy Clark and Shane McAnally, the Grammy Award–winning Nashville songwriting team who’ve written hits for the likes of Reba McEntire, Jennifer Nettles, Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, and Keith Urban. The plot revolves around a self-contained, isolated farming community forced to turn to a con man from the city when the survival of their corn is threatened. The raucous cornfest, touted as a “farm-to-fable musical,” received its world premiere at Utah’s Pioneer Theater Company. Three-time Tony Award–winning director Jack O’Brien (Hairspray) helms the production, which features John Behlmann, Kevin Cahoon, Andrew Durand, Caroline Innerbichler, Ashley D. Kelley, and Alex Newell in the cast.

Camelot, Vivian Beaumont Theatre
Previews start March 9, opens April 13

Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe’s 1960 musical about King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table is the latest in a string of deluxe Lincoln Center Theater revivals of musicals from the golden age. Camelot is cherished for Loewe’s lush music and Lerner’s evergreen songs, even though the show itself never quite achieved the hit status of My Fair Lady, the musical duo’s masterpiece that preceded it. The original production ended a two-year run at the beginning of 1963, and then attained a kind of mythic status by becoming a potent symbol of a certain political moment in the 1960s when, shortly after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, Jacqueline Kennedy mentioned that her late husband was smitten by the idealistic, romantic musical. She quoted one of its best-known lyrics — “Don’t let it be forgot that once there was a spot” — and remarked, “There will never be another Camelot again.” The LCT revival features a new book by Aaron Sorkin. The writer best known for The West Wing promises a Camelot reimagined for the 21st century: a powerful version of the story “in a real place at a real time” that could “give us a glimpse — ‘for one brief shining moment’ — of who we could be at our best.” The production, which is directed by Bartlett Sher (Tony Award winner for LCT’s revival of South Pacific and Tony nominee for LCT’s revivals of The King and I and 2018’s My Fair Lady), will star Tony Award winner Andrew Burnap (The Inheritance) as Arthur, Tony nominee Phillipa Soo (Hamilton) as Guenevere, and Jordan Donica (last seen as Freddie Eynsford-Hill in Sher’s production of My Fair Lady) as Lancelot.

Adi Dixit, Rowan Magee, Celia Mei Rubin, and Nikki Calonge in Life of Pi. Photo by Matthew Murphy and Evan Zimmerman for MurphyMade.
Adi Dixit, Rowan Magee, Celia Mei Rubin, and Nikki Calonge in Life of Pi. Photo by Matthew Murphy and Evan Zimmerman for MurphyMade.

Life of Pi, Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre
Previews start March 9, opens March 30

A theatrically spectacular stage adaptation of the best-selling novel by Yann Mantel about the fantastical adventures of the teenage son of a zookeeper in Pondicherry, India (also turned into an Oscar-winning movie in 2012). The boy, Pi, is stranded on a lifeboat in the middle of the ocean with only a hyena, a zebra, an orangutan, and a Royal Bengal Tiger for companions. The mystical and magical survival saga, which received last year’s Olivier Award for Best Play, is written by Lola Chakrabarti and directed by Max Webster; sets and costumes are by Tony Award winner Tim Hatley (Shrek: The Musical). London audiences and critics were wowed by the production’s captivating puppetry, which conjures an unforgettable menagerie, including the 450-pound tiger known as Richard Parker; in a historic first for the Olivier Awards, the actors who animated the tiger collectively received the award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role. Puppet and movement direction is by Finn Caldwell; puppet design by Olivier Award winners Nick Barnes and Finn Caldwell.

Peter Pan Goes Wrong, Ethel Barrymore Theatre
Previews start March 17, opens April 19

This time it’s going to be a very bumpy ride to Neverland. J.M. Barrie’s beloved children’s classic gets the Mischief Theatre treatment with the new slapstick comedy cowritten by Henry Lewis, Jonathan Sayer, and Henry Shields, performing members of the cheeky company whose last manic venture, the 2017 Tony Award–winning The Play That Goes Wrong, ran for over a year on Broadway and continues its run currently Off-Broadway. In their new venture, the fictional comic troupe, The Cornley Drama Society, wreaks havoc as they attempt to stage a production of Peter Pan. What could possibly go wrong when you have actors who must fly, some very clumsy performers, a crocodile on the rampage, a revolving stage, and a fairy who could be an electric hazard? The gleeful mayhem is directed by Adam Meggido.

The cast of Fat Ham at The Public Theater. Photo by Joan Marcus.
The cast of Fat Ham at The Public Theater. Photo by Joan Marcus.

Fat Ham, American Airlines Theatre
Previews start March 21, opens April 12

If you thought Hamlet had daddy issues, you don’t know the half of it. Playwright James IJames (his last name is pronounced “Imes”) reinvents the Shakespeare tragedy in his 2022 Pulitzer Prize–winning subversive comedy, which unfolds during a boisterous barbecue in a family backyard somewhere in the American South. The very articulate and conflicted protagonist is Juicy (Marcel Spears), a queer Black college kid who is charged with avenging the death of his father, who was murdered by his mother’s new lover (both roles played by Billy Eugene Jones). Complicating everything are his close ties with his diva mother, Tedra (Nikki Crawford), his friendship with his porn-obsessed bestie, Tio (Chris Herbie Holland), and his relationships with family friends, the fierce Opal (Adrianna Mitchell), her closeted brother, Larry (Calvin Leon Smith), and their churchgoing mother, Rabby (Benja Kay Thomas). According to IJames, the play is about how Juicy tries to meet and undermine his family’s “cycles of trauma and violence” and come to the realization that he and the rest of the family “can do something completely different with their lives.” The coproduction from the National Black Theatre and The Public Theater is directed by Saheem Ali, who also helmed the critically acclaimed Off-Broadway production at the Public last year.

The Thanksgiving Play, Hayes Theater
Previews start March 23, opens April 20

For the company’s spring season, Second Stage Theater will present Larissa FastHorse’s The Thanksgiving Play, with FastHorse becoming the first female Native American playwright produced on Broadway. A member of the Sicanyu Lakota nation of South Dakota and 2020 McArthur “Genius” Fellow, FastHorse takes swipes at how the best intentions could go awry in her hilarious satirical comedy about a group of well-meaning white theater artists who attempt to create a Thanksgiving school pageant that tries to stay culturally sensitive and remain inoffensive to Native Americans. Originally staged Off-Broadway at Playwrights Horizons in 2018, the Broadway production is directed by Tony Award winner Rachel Chavkin (Hadestown).

Learn More About The Thanksgiving Play

New York, New York, St. James Theatre
Previews start March 24, opens April 26

First came the theme song written for Liza Minelli to sing in Martin Scorsese’s 1977 movie, composed by John Kander and Fred Ebb, the Tony Award–winning duo best known for Cabaret and Chicago. Popularized the following year by Frank Sinatra, it also became Minelli’s signature song. And over the past four and half decades, it has remained potent in the popular culture as a rousing anthem that affirms the resilience and continual resurgence of this city. Now we have a brand-new Broadway musical inspired by the movie, directed and choreographed by five-time Tony Award winner Susan Stroman (The Producers, The Scottsboro Boys). Along with a handful of other songs written for the movie, the score for New York, New York includes several new numbers Kander completed after Ebb’s death in 2004, in collaboration with Hamilton Tony Award winner Lin-Manuel Miranda. The libretto for the Broadway musical is cowritten by David Thompson (Tony-nominated book writer for Kander and Ebb’s The Scottsboro Boys and Steel Pier) and Sharon Washington, recently seen on stage in her solo work Feeding the Dragon. Describing their new story for the musical, which is set in 1946 in the aftermath of World War II, Thompson explains that the characters are driven by “the opportunities — and the obstacles — that create an incredible alchemy that can only happen in New York.” Washington says their story is “a valentine to New York, where the city itself becomes another character.” Kander, who is now in his nineties, recalls New York at the end of the war as “a tough, gritty, beautiful dream palace, filled with youthful energy and optimism.”

Learn More About New York, New York

Room, James Earl Jones Theatre
Previews start April 3, opens April 17

A powerful tale of survival about a young mother and her five-year-old son who have been kept locked in a single dark room for seven years. The play is written by Emma Donoghue, who adapted her own award-winning novel, and directed by Cora Bissett, with songs by Bissett and Kathryn Joseph. Donoghue previously adapted her novel for a movie which was nominated for four Oscars in 2015. In the stage version, primarily told from the young boy’s perspective, his mother, who was abducted as a teenager, finds ways to bring up her child, who was born in captivity, by relying on her inventiveness and the child’s vivid imagination. But when freedom becomes possible, the kid must contend with a world he never knew existed. The play will also mark the Broadway return of Tony Award winner Adrienne Warren, who will take on the role of Ma when the play opens this spring at the James Earl Jones Theatre.

Learn More About Room

Summer, 1976, Samuel J. Friedman Theatre
Previews start April 4, opens April 25

Five-time Tony Award nominee Laura Linney (My Name Is Lucy Barton, The Little Foxes) and Jessica Hecht (Tony Award nominee for A View From the Bridge) star in a new two-character play by David Auburn (winner of the Best Play Tony Award and the Pulitzer Prize for Proof). Linney (also a four-time Emmy winner and three-time Oscar nominee) plays an iconoclastic artist and single mother in Ohio who develops an unlikely friendship with a free-spirited and unsophisticated housewife (played by Hecht) over the summer of the bicentennial. The play is described as a “deeply moving, insightful piece … about connection, memories, and the small moments that can change the course of our lives.” The Manhattan Theatre Club production is directed by Daniel Sullivan (seven-time Tony Award nominee and winner for directing Proof).

Learn More About Summer, 1976

Sean Hayes in Good Night, Oscar. Photo by Liz Lauren.
Sean Hayes in Good Night, Oscar. Photo by Liz Lauren.

Good Night, Oscar, Belasco Theatre
Previews start April 7, opens April 24

Will and Grace star Sean Hayes, Tony nominee for Promises, Promises and last seen on Broadway in An Act of God, gives a bravura performance as Oscar Levant in a new play by Doug Wright (Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize winner for I Am My Own Wife). Levant was a movie actor and concert pianist, a famed interpreter of his friend George Gershwin’s music, but he is best known as a droll and subversive radio and television talk-show guest. Wright describes Levant as a “brilliant, often searing raconteur” and notes that “he was the first celebrity to offer up his personal demons for the sake of entertainment.” The action of the play takes place on a night in 1958 during a fictional taping of the popular television staple The Tonight Show With Jack Paar. Unpredictable at the best of times, Levant was also battling drug addiction and mental anguish at this time. During the play’s premiere run at Chicago’s Goodman Theatre last year, Hayes wowed audiences with the emotional and comic breadth of his performance, as well as with his virtuoso piano playing; he received a Jefferson, the city’s top theater award, for his accomplishment. The production, directed by Lisa Peterson, also features Ben Rappaport as Jack Paar, Emily Bergl as Levant’s wife, and Peter Grosz as the head of NBC-TV.

Jodie Comer in Prima Facie. Photo Helen Murray.
Jodie Comer in Prima Facie. Photo Helen Murray.

Prima Facie, Golden Theatre
Previews start April 11, opens April 23

Jodie Comer will make a highly anticipated Broadway debut this season as Tessa, an ambitious and ruthlessly competitive young barrister whose specialty is defending men accused of sexual assault. The Emmy Award winner, who enthralled television audiences globally as Villanelle, the irrepressible assassin in the Killing Eve series, received many accolades, including the Evening Standard Award for Best Actress, when she made an astonishing West End debut in this play last year with almost no prior experience on the professional stage. In Prima Facie, the audience takes a riveting journey with Tessa when the tables turn on the self-confident lawyer and she must personally confront the perils and biases of the system in which she has so triumphantly thrived. Written by Anglo Australian playwright Suzie Miller, a former human rights and children’s rights lawyer, the solo drama, directed by Justin Martin, is as timely as it is incendiary.