With Hamilton already burning up the box offices, is there a lot to still be excited about this season on Broadway?
You bet there is!
This season will feature some pretty spectacular revivals as well as some interesting premiers both in musicals and plays. Here are some we're particularly excited about.
Shuffle Along, Or, The Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed
Opening: April 21, 2016
Story: A backstage musical about the events that led to the creation of the groundbreaking Eubie Blake-Noble Sissle musical Shuffle Along.
On paper, this is going to be quite the show. With an all-star cast which includes Audra McDonald, Billy Porter, Brian Stokes-Mitchell and Joshua Henry, director George C. Wolfe and choreographer Savion Glover, this is surely going to get some Tony attention. Enough to give Hamilton a run? Maybe.
Opening: November 19, 2015
Story: A two-character play about a billionaire, Mickey Ross (Pacino), who has just bought a new airplane for his young fiance as he prepares to go into semi retirement. Ross in the process of leaving his office, and is giving last minute instructions to his young assistant. He takes one last phone call…
One of the greatest actors of our time, with one of the greatest American playwrights and one of the best directors working today? With those three names attached, what theatre-aficionado isn't excited about seeing this?
Opening: September 27, 2015
Cast: Austin McKenzie, Sandra Mae Frank, Patrick Page, Marlee Matlin and Camryn Manheim
Based on Frank Wedekind's 1891 German expressionist drama about adolescent unease, rebellion and sexuality. The limited engagement at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre —performed simultaneously in American Sign Language and spoken English by a cast of 27, including both hearing and non-hearing actors.
Since this opened in CA, we've been crossing our fingers for a New York opening and now we're just two weeks away from previews! Deaf West have blown NY audiences away before with Big River, so we cannot wait to see this re-imagining of one of the best pieces of work of the 21st Century.
Opening: October 6, 2015
Cast: Clive Owen, Eve Best, Kelly Reilly
Deeley is quite looking forward to meeting Anna, his wife Kate’s friend from long ago. But as the night goes on, Anna’s visit quickly shifts from an ordinary sharing of memories to a quiet battle for power. Original music by Tom Yorke.
While the plot of the play is certainly intriguing enough, it's the original music my Radiohead's Tom Yorke that's caught our interest.
Dames At Sea
Opening: October 22, 2015
John Bolton, Mara Davi, Danny Gardner, Eloise Kropp, Lesli Margherita and Cary Tedde
Story: Ruby steps off a bus from Utah and into her first Broadway show, but hours before the opening night curtain is to rise, the cast learns their theater is being demolished. So Ruby and the cast, with the help of some adoring sailors, set a plan in motion to perform the show on a naval battleship.
After years of being a staple of community, regional and educational theatre, Dames at Sea will finally hit a Broadway stage. I've seen the show a couple of times and I'm hoping that they take another look at the material and beef it up a bit. If they've done that, then you can expect a fun time.
The Gin Game
Opening: Oct. 14, 2015
Cast: James Earl Jones, Cicely Tyson
Story: An elderly couple at a nursing home play an increasingly tense series of gin rummy games as they expose truths about their failures, disappointments and insecurities.
The Gin Game is a wonderful piece of theatre, with James Earl Jones and Cicely Tyson, it could be even better. With three Tony awards between them, these two are living theatrical legends and the chance to see them together on stage for the first time in 50 years is something that shouldn't be missed.
On Your Feet!
Opening: November 5, 2015
Cast: Ana Villafañe, Josh Segarra
The story of two people who — through an unwavering dedication to one another and their pursuit of the American dream — showcased their talent, their music and their heritage to the world in a remarkable rise to global super-stardom.
With the soon to be absence of Mamma Mia there is definitely room for an upbeat jukebox musical and On Your Feet! looks to be the perfect fit. I don't know how much Estefan's music will interest Broadway audiences, but it will certainly bring a new flavor to the genre.
Opening: April 7, 2016
Cast: Ben Whishaw, Saoirse Ronan, Ciaran Hinds. Sophie Okonedo
Story: Arthur Miller's political allegory framed as a story about a man falsely charged with witchcraft in colonial, Salem, MA.
In celebration of Miller's 100th Birthday, I'm personally thrilled to see this one make its way back to New York. It features a strong cast and I love the choice of Tony Winner Sophie Okonedo as Elizabeth Proctor.
Fiddler on the Roof
Opening: December 17, 2015
Cast: Danny Burstein, Jessica Hecht and Adam Kantor
The story of Fiddler - inspired by the stories of Sholom Aleichem - concerns Tevye and his daughters, who are yearning for something new even as great changes are happening in the world outside their village of Anatevka.
Fiddler on the Roof has an incredible and devoted following. Beyond the fantastic music and dance, there are wonderful themes of family, love and of course, tradition. The announced cast is exceptional with Broadway Icon, Danny Burstein leading the way as Tevye, the cast also features vets such as Jessica Hecht and Adam Kantor with Bartlett Sher directing.
Opening: October 29, 2015
Cast: Keira Knightley, Gabriel Ebert, Judith Light and Matt Ryan
Story: A quiet young woman with a restless spirit, Thérèse (Keira Knightley) submits to a loveless life at the side of her weak and selfish husband (Tony Award® winner Gabriel Ebert, Matilda), and her controlling mother-in-law (two-time Tony Award winner Judith Light, The Assembled Parties) … until she meets his childhood friend, Laurent (Matt Ryan, “Constantine”). When their overwhelming passion spins violently out of control, they realize that love can be a dangerous game, and sometimes there is no winner.
Roundabout Theatre Company is bringing Emile Zola's classic novel to Broadway with a star studded cast that is surely going to get some attention. While Knightley is known for her blockbuster and period films, she does have some West End credits to her name an a Olivier Award Nomination as well. Matched with a cast of Gabriel Ebert, Judith Light and Matt Ryan, the one will certainly be one to see.
Opening: November 8, 2015
Cast: George Takei, Lea Salonga, Telly Leung, Katie Rose Clarke, Michael K. Lee, Christopheren Nomura, Greg Watanabe
An epic story of love, war and heroism set during the Japanese American internment of World War II, following the story of the Kimura family in the weeks and years following Pearl Harbor, as they are relocated from their farm in Salinas, California to the Heart Mountain internment camp in the rural plains of Wyoming.
There's a lot to be excited about this one. Whether it's the Broadway return of Lea Solonga, or the chance to see George Takei, there are plenty of reasons to see this. But for me, it's the chance to see a powerful story of a Japanese family going through the internment during World War II, a period in American history that isn't covered nearly enough.
As you can see, there is plenty to be excited about this coming season. We'll be there, will you?