It’s a hopeful sign that Broadway is rebounding strongly despite economic setbacks in recent years: A remarkable lineup of eight new musicals (so far) is scheduled to open between now and the Tony Awards cutoff date of April 25. These productions will join a crowded field that includes How to Dance in Ohio and Harmony which opened during the earlier part of the season. This second half of the season also brings us three new revivals of hits from past decades which join the highly successful revivals of Sondheim’s Merrily We Roll Along and Monty Python’s Spamalot, which opened in the fall. Add these to the recently opened Appropriate, Prayer for the French Republic, and an array of new plays and play revivals illuminating Broadway marquees, and dedicated theatergoers will undoubtedly find themselves fully occupied in the coming months.
Here’s a glimpse of what’s in store:
Tony Award winner Kelli O’Hara (The King and I) and Tony nominee Brian d’Arcy James (Into the Woods) deliver riveting performances as a 1950s couple grappling with alcohol addiction while struggling to keep their marriage together. The musical adaptation of the moving 1958 teleplay (later a 1962 movie) is by Adam Guettel and Craig Lucas (authors of the 2005 Best Musical nominee The Light in the Piazza). The Atlantic Theater Company production, directed by Tony nominee Michael Grief (Dear Evan Hansen, Next to Normal), arrives on Broadway following its highly acclaimed Off-Broadway premiere last summer.
This is the first Broadway revival of John Patrick Shanley’s compelling drama about an indomitable, conservative nun whose moral certitude is shaken when she is confronts a new parish priest assigned to her school. Tony Award winners Tyne Daly (Gypsy) and Liev Schreiber (Glengarry Glen Ross) star in the 2005 Tony-, Drama Desk–, and Pulitzer Prize–winning play, which was also adapted into a multi–Oscar-nominated movie in 2008. The current Roundabout Theater Company production, directed by Scott Ellis, also features Quincy Tyler Bernstine and Zoe Kazan.
An enduring love story spanning six decades in North Carolina comes to life in a new romantic musical drama, adapted from the best-selling novel by Nicholas Sparks (which also inspired a popular 2004 movie). Tony Award winner Maryann Plunkett (Me and My Girl) and Dorian Harewood portray the couple in old age, while Joy Woods and Ryan Vasquez depict their middle-aged counterparts. Jordan Tyson and John Cardoza take on the roles of their younger selves. Music and lyrics are written by Ingrid Michaelson and the book is by Bekah Brunstetter (This Is Us). The production, which premiered to high praise in Chicago in 2022, is directed by Michael Grief and Schele Williams.
A musical-theater spectacle, adapted from Sara Gruen’s novel, is about a young man thrust into the beguiling world of a traveling circus after he leaps aboard a moving train. It’s written by Rick Elice (Tony nominee for Peter and the Starcatcher and Jersey Boys), with music and lyrics by The Pig Pen Theater Company, the innovative team known for their distinctive fusion of music, puppetry, and movement. The cast includes four-time Tony nominee Greg Edelman, Drama Desk and Outer Critic Circle Award nominee Paul Alexander Nolan, Stan Brown, Joe De Paul, Sara Gettelfinger, and Wade McCollum. The production is directed by Jessica Stone (2023 Tony nominee for Kimberly Akimbo), with circus design by Shana Carroll, who also co-choreographs with Jesse Robb. Puppetry design is by Camille Labarre (Into the Woods).
A new revival of Henrik Ibsen’s 1882 drama adapted by Amy Herzog, whose version of Ibsen’s A Doll’s House riveted Broadway last season. Emmy and Golden Globe winner Jeremy Strong (the middle son in Succession) plays a medical officer who stands up against the most powerful forces in his community. He refuses to suppress the truth about an imminent catastrophe that could devastate their spa town. The cast includes Michael Imperioli (The White Lotus, The Sopranos) and Victoria Pedretti (The Haunting of Bly Manor) in the production directed by Tony Award winner Sam Gold (Fun Home).
Making a Broadway debut after successful runs in London’s West End and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, writer and actor Rob Madge presents a hilarious and poignant autobiographical solo play. Madge vividly re-creates a seminal moment from their childhood when, at the age of 9, they rallied their entire family to stage a Disney parade for their grandmother. There were mishaps, but Granny loved it — and Madge received all the love and support every theater-obsessed queer kid deserves. The production, directed by Luke Sheppard (& Juliet), features songs by Pippa Cleary (The Great British Bake-Off Musical).
Three decades after the rock opera’s Broadway premiere, director Des McAnuff revisits the multiple Tony Award–winning musical by Pete Townsend, which was inspired by The Who’s groundbreaking 1969 album. Making his Broadway debut, Ali Louis Bourzgui takes on the role of the traumatized youth who rises to fame as a pinball wizard, ultimately emerging as the messianic figurehead for a new generation. For his reimagined production, tailored for our contemporary culture, director and coauthor of the book, McAnuff (a Tony Award winner for the 1993 production), collaborates with a fresh team, which includes choreographer Lorin Latarro (Into the Woods), scenic designer David Korins (Hamilton), and projection designer Peter Nigrini (Here Lies Love). The production transfers to New York following an acclaimed run at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago last summer.
A musical adaptation of the popular 1983 Francis Ford Coppola movie, based on the 1967 novel by S.E. Hinton. The coming-of-age story, written by Hinton when she was 16, follows three orphaned teenagers and their friends in Tulsa, Oklahoma. They belong to the Greasers, a scruffy working-class gang that rumbles with the rival upper-middle-class Socs from the other side of town. The new musical — with a book by Tony nominee Adam Rapp (The Sound Inside) and Justin Levine, and music and lyrics written by Jamestown Revival (folk duo Jonathan Clay and Zach Chance) and Levine — premiered at San Diego’s La Jolla Playhouse. The production is directed by Danya Taymor and choreographed by Rick Kuperman and Jeff Kuperman.
Lempicka heads to the…
An epic musical, written by Carson Kreitzer (book and lyrics) and Matt Gould (book and music), it celebrates the nonconformist life of Tamara de Lempicka. The famed Polish art deco portraitist is portrayed by Eden Espinosa (recently seen Off-Broadway in The Gardens of Anuncia). After fleeing Russia during the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution, Lempicka cultivates a glamorous and sometimes scandalous existence in Parisian high society during the 1920s. Her life is disrupted by the arrival of the Nazis in 1939 and a passionate affair with her muse and model Rafaela. The production was previously developed at San Diego’s La Jolla Playhouse and the Williamstown Theatre Festival. It is directed by Tony Award winner Rachel Chavkin (Hadestown) and choreographed by Raja Feather Kelly (A Strange Loop). Check out the exhibition showcasing prints of the artist’s most famous work that adorn the façade of the Longacre Theatre.
An inspiring new musical centered on the American women’s suffrage movement features book, music, and lyrics by Shaina Taub. Tony nominee Leigh Silverman (Violet) directs the production, with choreography by Mayte Natlio (also choreographer for this season’s How to Dance in Ohio) and set design by Tony nominee Ricardo Hernandez, who designed this season’s Lempicka as well. The narrative follows a group of trailblazing women demanding the right to vote, tracing their intricate and often contentious historical journey during the seven years leading to the eventual ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment in 1920. After its Off-Broadway premiere at the Public Theater in 2022, the musical has garnered support from former first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton and Pakistani activist and Nobel Prize winner Malala Yousafzai, both of whom have joined the musical’s production team.
Multiple Grammy Award–winning singer and songwriter Alicia Keys reflects on her teenage years, growing up in 1990s Midtown Manhattan. The vibrant, loosely autobiographical musical features a string of the R&B queen’s iconic hits (“If I Ain’t Got You,” “Empire State of Mind”) alongside new original songs. The coming-of-age story, penned by Kristoffer Diaz, follows the emotional journey of a gifted 17-year-old as she rebels against her protective single mother, discovers romance, and explores her exceptional musical talents. An instant hit upon its initial Off-Broadway production at the Public Theater last fall, the musical is directed by Tony nominee Michael Greif (Dear Evan Hansen, Next to Normal) and choreographed by Tony nominee Camille A. Brown (for colored girls …).
The rom-com musical, featuring hits such as “The Power of Love” and “Hip to be Square” from Huey Lewis and the News’s 1980s repertoire, revolves around two millennials. Each harbors distinct aspirations — one aiming for rock ’n’ roll fame, the other pursuing the zenith of the corporate ladder — until their paths unexpectedly intersect. Originally premiered at the Old Globe in San Diego, the musical production credits music by Huey Lewis, a book by Jonathan A. Abrams, and a story coauthored by Abrams and Tyler Mitchell. Directed by Gordon Greenberg (Holiday Inn) and choreographed by Lorin Latarro (also The Who’s Tommy), the cast of the new musical will be led by Corey Cott (Bandstand, Newsies) and McKenzie Kurtz (Wicked).
A revival of the acclaimed 1975 Tony Award–winning musical. A contemporary retelling of L. Frank Baum’s beloved classic The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by an all-Black cast, the book is adapted by William F. Brown with music and lyrics by Tony Award winner Charlie Smalls. The newly reimagined production, enhanced with additional material by Amber Ruffin (2023 Drama Desk winner and Tony nominee for Some Like It Hot), is directed by Schele Williams (who also directs The Notebook this season) and choreographed by Jaquel Knight (Beyoncé’s “Single Ladies.”) Scenic design is by Academy Award winner Hannah Beachler (Black Panther, Beyoncé’s Black Is King and Lemonade) and costume design is by Emmy Award winner and two-time Academy Award nominee Sharen Davis (Ray, Dreamgirls). The cast features Nichelle Lewis as Dorothy, Deborah Cox as Glinda, Melody A. Betts as Aunt Em and Evillene, Kyle Ramar Freeman as the Lion, Phillip Johnson Richardson as the Tin Man, Avery Wilson as the Scarecrow, and Wayne Brady as The Wiz.
A new musical adaptation of the popular Jazz Age classic by F. Scott Fitzgerald, about a mysterious millionaire’s tragic romantic obsession with a beautiful socialite. The musical, written by Nathan Tysen and Jason Howland (music and lyrics) and Kait Kerrigan (book) received its world premiere last fall at New Jersey’s Paper Mill Playhouse, directed by Marc Bruni (Beautiful: The Carole King Musical). The lead roles of Jay Gatsby and Daisy Buchanan will be played by Tony nominees Jeremy Jordan (Newsies) and Eva Noblezada (Hadestown, Miss Saigon), respectively, reprising their performances from the Paper Mill Playhouse production. Fun Fact: The Great Gatsby has been on Broadway before as a play (written by Owen Davis) in a short-lived 1926 production, directed by George Cukor (way before he left for Hollywood to become the Oscar-winning director of My Fair Lady.)
A timely political drama from playwright and screenwriter Peter Morgan (best known for plays Frost/Nixon and The Audience, and the popular television series The Crown), which charts the rise of the Russian oligarchs in the wake of the collapse of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s. Tony nominee Michael Stuhlbarg (The Pillowman) plays Boris Berezovsky, the billionaire who propelled his one-time friend Vladimir Putin (Will Keen reprising his 2023 Olivier Award-winning performance) to the heights of power, only to discover the true sinister nature of the force he has unleashed. The play, which is directed by Tony nominee Rupert Gould (Ink, King Charles III), received the London Critics Circle Award for Best Play in 2023.
The latest revival of the 1967 Tony Award–winning musical introduces an immersive in-the-round production, transforming the August Wilson Theatre into the decadent Kit Kat Club. Amid an atmosphere where hedonism thrives and shadows of impending political change loom, Academy Award and Tony Award winner Eddie Redmayne (Red) reprises his critically acclaimed portrayal of the demonically seductive Emcee, which earned him an Olivier Award and stirred London audiences in 2022. The musical, written by John Kander (music), Fred Ebb (lyrics), and Joe Masteroff (book), is helmed by director Rebecca Frecknall. The production also stars Gayle Rankin as the vulnerable chanteuse Sally Bowles. Tony Award nominee Ato Blankson-Wood (Slave Play) plays Cliff Bradshaw, the writer who befriends Sally. Two-time Tony Award winner Bebe Neuwirth (Chicago, Sweet Charity) takes on the role of Fraulein Schneider, and Obie Award winner and Drama Desk nominee Steven Skybell portrays Herr Schultz. Club, scenic, and costume design are by Tom Scutt, and choreography is by Julia Cheng.
Movie and TV star Rachel McAdams (best known for starring in Mean Girls and The Notebook, before they became musicals) makes her Broadway debut in a delicately sensitive and humorous drama by Amy Herzog (a 2023 Tony nominee for her adaptation of A Doll’s House and adapter of this season’s An Enemy of the People). McAdams portrays the eponymous single mother caring for her chronically ill young son. She relies on her determined optimism, navigating varying degrees of support from a diverse group of women who enter her world, to stay resilient. The play, previously produced Off-Broadway by New York Theater Workshop 2017, is now brought to Broadway by the Manhattan Theater Club, directed once again by Anne Kauffman (The Sign in Sidney Brustein’s Window).
The new Lincoln Center Theater star-studded revival of Anton Chekhov’s 1899 tragicomedy — the 11th production of the Russian classic on Broadway — promises to be an invigorating experience. The play is directed by Lila Neugebauer, who also directed Appropriate earlier this season. Steve Carell, star of the hit television comedy series The Office, will make his Broadway debut in the title role. Vanya, who feels life has passed him by, and his perennially unhappy niece Sonya, portrayed by Tony Award nominee Alison Pill (The Lieutenant of Inishmore), manage a family estate in rural Russia. Their routine and somewhat dull lives are carelessly disrupted by the arrival of Sonya’s father, The Professor, played by Tony Award nominee Alfred Molina (Red, Fiddler on the Roof), and his captivating new young wife, Yelena, portrayed by Tony Award winner Anika Noni Rose (Caroline, or Change). The Chekhovian ensemble also includes William Jackson Harper as the visionary philosopher Astrov, Tony Award winner Jayne Houdyshell (The Humans) in the role of Vanya’s mother, Maria Vasilyevna, and Drama Desk and Obie Award winner Mia Katigbak as Maryina, the Nanny. The play is newly translated by Russian speaker Heidi Schreck, who was nominated for a Tony Award for What the Constitution Means to Me (the most produced play in US theaters in 2023).
Jessica Lange has always been cherished for her luminous turns on Broadway. She received a Tony Award for her last appearance, in 2016 (Long Day’s Journey Into Night), and previously appeared in The Glass Menagerie and A Streetcar Named Desire. She is set to return in a new play, the latest from Pulitzer Prize winner Paula Vogel, whose devastating tragicomedy How I Learned to Drive was revived on Broadway in 2022. Described as a surreal farce and a theatrical roller coaster ride, Vogel’s new family drama revolves around a steely matriarch who is overseeing her teenage children’s move into a new apartment in 1960s Washington, D.C. Lange portrays the exacting mother while Tony Award winner Celia Keenan-Bolger (To Kill a Mockingbird) and Jim Parsons (The Boys in the Band, An Act of God) portray her children. The Second Stage production is directed by Tina Landau (Tony nominee for SpongeBob SquarePants).
In David Adjmi’s absorbing new play with songs, written by Arcade Fire’s former band member Will Butler, a mid-1970s rock band on the brink of making the big time assembles in a recording studio in California to record their new follow-up album. Their interpersonal relationships reach near breaking point as they strive for creative excellence over the next 12 months. The production, originally presented Off-Broadway last fall by Playwrights Horizons, featured innovative sound design by Ryan Rumery and direction by Daniel Aukin.