There’s nothing like summer in New York City. Whether you’re soaking up the sunshine at Coney Island or strolling through Central Park, energy is buzzing all around during the warmer months. The Theatre District is no exception! While fall and spring are typically the busiest seasons for Broadway, there are quite a few productions that will be heating things up on the Main Stem this summer. With three toe-tapping musicals, a sidesplitting comedy, a spine-tingling thriller, a thought-provoking solo show, and a jaw-dropping illusionist, there is something for everyone to enjoy.
Prepare for thrills and chills in the haunting new play written by Levi Holloway in his Broadway debut. The story follows “a couple whose car crashes on a mountain and they subsequently seek shelter in an isolated cabin with somewhat unusual inhabitants.” After its world premiere at Chicago’s A Red Orchid Theatre in 2019, the thriller’s Broadway run is directed by two-time Tony Award winner Joe Mantello and stars fellow two-time Tony Award winner Laurie Metcalf, Emmy Award winner Tatiana Maslany, Emmy nominee Paul Sparks, Beetlejuice’s Sophia Anne Caruso, and A Quiet Place’s Millicent Simmonds. The play has plenty of jump scares and eerie pauses to keep audiences on the edge of their seats. Eagle-eyed horror fans may spot similarities to the production of Misery that ran on Broadway in 2015, also starring Metcalf.
“Happily ever after” is getting a modern makeover in Once Upon A One More Time. Beloved fairy-tale characters, including Cinderella, Rapunzel, Sleeping Beauty, and Snow White, flip the script on their stories thanks to “a rogue fairy godmother” bestowing Betty Friedan’s The Feminine Mystique to their book club. With a score comprised of hits from Grammy Award winner Britney Spears, audience members can look forward to hearing songs such as “Circus,” “Oops! … I Did it Again,” and “(You Drive Me) Crazy.” Book writer Jon Hartmere, who wrote the lyrics and book for the 2012 Off-Broadway production of Bare: The Musical, makes his Broadway debut along with the director-choreographer team Keone and Mari Madrid. The husband-and-wife duo have worked with popular recording artists such as Justin Bieber, BTS, and Billie Eilish, and are bringing their high-energy commercial choreography background to the world of musical theater. The jukebox musical was supposed to have its world premiere at Chicago’s James M. Nederlander Theatre in April 2020, but was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead, it premiered at Washington, D.C.’s Shakespeare Theatre Company in 2021 as theatres began to reopen. A host of Broadway favorites will be bringing the storybook pages to the stage, including American Idol’s Justin Guarini, Aisha Jackson, Ryann Redmond, and Tony Award nominee Jennifer Simard.
This summer, New York City’s hottest club will be Here Lies Love. Thanks to Tony Award–nominated scenic designer David Korins and direction by Tony Award winner Alex Timbers, the Broadway Theatre will be transformed into a dazzling disco, where the audience will be put in the middle of the story’s action with a standing-room-only dance floor in addition to traditional theatre seating. From the musical minds of David Byrne and Fatboy Slim, Here Lies Love follows “former Filipina First Lady Imelda Marcos’s astonishing rise to power and subsequent fall at the hands of the Philippine People Power Revolution,” with Arielle Jacobs starring as Marcos and Tony Award winner Lea Salonga as Aurora Aquino in a limited engagement July 11 to August 13. Originally created as a concept album, the musical version premiered Off-Broadway at The Public Theater in 2013. A decade later, Jose Llana and Conrad Ricamora will reprise their roles as Ferdinand Marcos and Ninoy Aquino, respectively. The Broadway premiere marks the first all-Filipino cast on the Main Stem.
After extending six times Off-Broadway, Alex Edelman’s Obie Award–winning Just for Us arrives on Broadway. The stand-up comedian makes his Broadway debut as he shares how his experiences with anti-Semitism online led to him crashing a gathering of White Nationalists in Queens. Originally premiering in 2018 at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, Just for Us played across the globe, including London’s Soho Theater and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. It was extended six times during its Off-Broadway engagement, playing at Cherry Lane Theatre, SoHo Playhouse, and the Greenwich House Theater. The limited engagement is set to close August 19, so Broadway audiences only have nine weeks to catch this highly anticipated solo show.
Great Scott! The musical stage adaptation of the 1985 blockbuster film is heading to Broadway after its West End production won the Olivier Award for Best New Musical in 2022. Tony Award–winning director John Rando returns to the production, along with the entire London creative team. With a book written by Bob Gale, one of the cowriters of the film, the sci-fi adventure musical will feature original music and lyrics by Emmy and Grammy winner Alan Silvestri and six-time Grammy winner Glen Ballard, as well as beloved songs from the film, including “The Power of Love” and “Johnny B. Goode.” Casey Likes — who was seen on Broadway last year in Almost Famous, another film-to-stage adaptation — stars as the story’s protagonist, Marty McFly. The teenager finds himself in an entanglement with the teenage version of his parents when he time-travels from 1985 to 1955. During his adventures, McFly is guided by his scientist friend, Doc Brown, played by Tony Award winner Roger Bart, reprising his role from the London run.
If you need a Noël Coward–inspired farce this summer, look no further than The Cottage, written by Sandy Rustin, making her Broadway debut. The actress and award-winning playwright is known for her film-to-stage adaptations of Mystic Pizza and Clue, which was just named one of the most produced plays of 2022–2023 by American Theater. Helmed by Seinfeld’s Jason Alexander in his Broadway directorial debut, The Cottage’s cast is made up of comedy all-stars: Will and Grace Emmy Award winner Eric McCormack, Tony Award nominee Laura Bell Bundy, Tony Award nominee Lilli Cooper, The Phantom of the Opera’s Nehal Joshi, Saturday Night Live’s Alex Moffat, and Beetlejuice’s Dana Steingold. Set in the English countryside in 1923, the romantic comedy is “an outrageous tale of sex, betrayal, and desire as one woman decides to expose her latest affair to both her husband — and to her lover’s wife.” First produced at the Astoria Performing Arts Center in 2013, the play makes its Broadway premiere after a decade of regional productions across the country, from Colorado to Massachusetts.
“Da-dun.” One of film history’s most ominous villains was established through two notes from Academy Award–winning composer John Williams, and now it’s heading to Broadway — sort of. Written by Ian Shaw and Joseph Nixon, The Shark Is Broken tells a fictionalized account of the behind-the-scenes drama during the filming of the 1975 thriller Jaws. The play’s world premiere began with a three-day run at the Rialto Theatre in Brighton, England, in 2019, before quickly transferring to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe the next month. Its West End premiere was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and eventually opened in October 2021, later receiving an Olivier Award nomination for Best Entertainment or Comedy Play. Guy Masterson returns as director, making his Broadway debut alongside Shaw, who will reprise his role as his father, Robert Shaw, the actor who played Quint in the movie. Grab your life jackets and prepare for choppy waters!
Illusionist Antonio “El Mago Pop” Díaz makes his Broadway debut with his eponymously named show. For a limited two-week engagement, Díaz will perform “close-up magic and his most unusual and spectacular illusions … inspired by the idea of challenging the limits of the impossible.” At 37 years old, Díaz will be the youngest illusionist to perform his own show on Broadway. He is the highest grossing European illusionist in the world, and has two Netflix shows, La Gran Ilusión and Magic for Humans.
Last updated and effective as of January 14, 2019
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