Around The Town

2019-20 Broadway Update: Creative Casting

By: David Sheward

September 15, 2019: Creative casting distinguishes two new Broadway productions. Matthew Broderick and Sarah Jessica Parker are not the first two stars that come to mind when thinking of leads for Neil Simon’s 1968 three-part comedy Plaza Suite. The real-life couple are comedic talents but they’re not exactly versatile.

Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick will star in a revival of Neil Simon’s “Plaza Suite”

By: David Sheward

September 15, 2019: Creative casting distinguishes two new Broadway productions. Matthew Broderick and Sarah Jessica Parker are not the first two stars that come to mind when thinking of leads for Neil Simon’s 1968 three-part comedy Plaza Suite. The real-life couple are comedic talents but they’re not exactly versatile. The play, consisting of three one-acts set in the same suite in NYC’s swankiest hotel, features six very different people. I can see the Brodericks as the second set of visitors–a shallow Hollywood producer and his high-school sweetheart–and maybe even the third–the crazed parents of a bride who refuses to leave the bathroom on her wedding day. But that’s a stretch. I’m having trouble envisioning them as the first couple, an estranged middled-aged pair on the brink of splitting up. It’s not that they couldn’t play these roles. It’s just hard for me to imagine them as late middle-aged (even though they really are) and sad. I also wonder if they will be updating the script since it is chock full of late 1960s references modern audiences might not get (Anybody remember Metracal? It was a diet drink and got a laugh back then.) When I directed a production for an Equity showcase in Brooklyn, we changed all the movie stars’ names in the second piece and increased all the prices of the wedding expenses the father constantly spouts in the third. John Benjamin Hickey makes his Broadway directorial debut of this revival which opens at the Hudson Theatre on April 13.

Patti LuPone in “Company” Credit: Brinkhoff/Moegenburg

Company will definitely be going through some changes in the re-imagined version set for March 22 at the Bernard Jacobs Theatre. This Sondheim revival from London staged by Tony winner Marianne Elliot (The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, War Horse) reverses the genders of several roles, including the lead, unmarried Bobbie (here she is Bobbi). The three girlfriends become male and the about-to-married couple who sing “Getting Married Today” are two gay men. Katrina Lenk (The Band’s Visit) is Bobbi and Patti LuPone will repeat her triumphant London performance as the caustic Joanne who stops the show with “The Ladies Who Lunch.”

Also coming from London is the massive Lehman Trilogy, the hit history of the banking family, which played the Park Avenue Amory last season. Simon Russell Beale, Adam Godley and Ben Miles will repeat their performances as all the characters when the huge production moves to the Nederlander for a limited run opening March 26.

Angela Lansbury and Rupert Everett in the 2009 revival of “Blithe Spirit“.

The highly-anticipated revival of Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? has gone through some changes. Eddie Izzard had to drop out due to scheduling conflicts. The role of the harassed professor George will be taken by Rupert Everett, last seen on Broadway in a revival of Blithe Spirit opposite Angela Lansbury. Laurie Metcalf, Russell Tovey, and Patsy Ferran are still in the cast, directed by Joe Mantello who helmed Lucas Hnath’s Hillary and Clinton and Albee’s Three Tall Women, both with Metcalf. An official opening of April 2 has been set at a Shubert theater to be announced.

Speaking of Angela Lansbury, she will also be returning to Broadway, but only for one performance as Lady Bracknell–an ideal role–in The Importance of Being Earnest. The event is a staged reading on Nov. 18 at the American Airlines Theater to benefit the Roundabout Theater Company.

Here is an updated list of upcoming Broadway and Off-Broadway productions through 2019-20 and beyond.

Sept. 15–Derren Brown: Secret (Cort)

Sept. 16–Wives (Playwrights Horizons)

Sept. 19–Novenas for a Lost Hospital (Rattlestick)

Sept. 19–Fern Hill (59E59)

Sept. 23–Sunday (Atlantic Theater Company)

Sept. 23–Runboyrun & In Old Age (NYTW)

Sept. 24–The Height of the Storm (MTC/Samuel J. Friedman)

Sept. 24–Our Dear Dead Drug Lord (Second Stage/McGinn/Cazale)

Sept. 26–Why? (TFANA)

Oct. 1–The Great Society (LCT/Vivian Beaumont)

Oct. 2–Freestyle Love Supreme (Booth)

Oct. 2–The New Englanders (MTC/City Center Stage II)

Oct. 6–Slave Play (Golden)

Oct. 7–The Wrong Man (MCC)

Oct. 7–Heroes of the Fourth Turning (Playwrights Horizons)

Oct. 10–Linda Vista (Second Stage/Helen Hayes)

Oct. 15–Scotland, PA (Roundabout/Laura Pels)

Oct. 15–The Rose Tattoo (Roundabout/American Airlines)

Oct. 15–Soft Power (Public Theater)

Oct. 16–Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical (Longacre)

Oct. 17–The Sound Inside (Studio 54)

Oct. 17–Little Shop of Horrors (Westside Theater)

Oct. 18–Forbidden Broadway: The Next Generation (Triad)

Oct. 20–American Utopia (Hudson)

Oct. 21–Only Human (Theater at St. Clements)

Oct. 22–Bella Bella (MTC/City Center)

Oct. 22–for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf (Public Theater)

Oct. 22–Is This a Room? (Vineyard)

Oct. 27–Macbeth (CSC)

Oct. 27–The Michaels (Public Theater)

Oct. 28–Seared (MCC)

Nov. 7–Tina: The Tina Turner Musical (Lunt-Fontanne)

Nov. 7–Cyrano (The New Group/Daryl Roth)

Nov. 11–Fires in the Mirror (Signature Theater)

Nov. 13–Slava’s Snowshow (Sondheim)

Nov. 14–Halfway Bitches Go Straight to Heaven (Atlantic Theater Company; previews begin)

Nov. 16–Fefu and Her Friends (TFANA; previews begin)

Nov. 17–The Inheritance (Barrymore)

Nov. 18–The Importance of Being Earnest (American Airlines, one-night benefit reading)

Nov. 19–The Illusionists: Magic of the Season (Neil Simon)

Nov. 19–A Bright Room Called Day (Public Theater)

Nov. 20–A Christmas Carol (Lyceum)

Nov. 22–The Thin Place (Playwright Horizons; previews begin)

Nov. 23–The Underlying Chris (Second Stage/Terry Kiser)

Nov. 24–The Young Man from Atlanta (Signature Theatre)

Dec. 4–Harry Townsend’s Last Stand (NYC City Center Stage II)

Dec. 5–Jagged Little Pill (Broadhurst)

Dec. 9–Great Clements (LCT/Mitzi Newhouse)

December–Harry Connick Jr.–A Celebration of Cole Porter (Nederlander)

Jan. 2020–Medea (BAM/Harvey Theater); Dracula and Frankenstein (CSC)

Jan. 8–Paris (Atlantic Theater Company; previews begin)

Jan. 11–Timon of Athens (TFANA; previews begin)

Jan. 15–My Name Is Lucy Barton (MTC/Friedman)

Jan. 21–A Soldier’s Play (Roundabout/AA)

Jan. 23–Grand Horizons (Second Stage/Helen Hayes)

Jan. 30–Anatomy of a Suicide (Atlantic Theatre Company; previews begin)

February–The Minutes

Feb. 4–Cambodian Rock Band (Signature Theater; previews begin)

Feb. 6–West Side Story (Broadway)

Feb. 6–All the Natalie Portmans (MCC; previews begin)

Feb. 11–The Hot Wing King (Signature Theater; previews begin)

Feb. 11–Harmony (Folksbiene/Jewish Heritage Museum; previews begin)

Feb. 14–Unknown Soldier (Playwrights Horizons; previews begin)

Feb. 18–Coal Country (Public Theater; previews begin)

March 3–The Perplexed (MTC/City Center Stage I)

March 5–Girl from the North Country (Belasco)

March 7–Gnit (TFANA; previews begin)

March 12–Six (Brooks Atkinson)

March 17–Vagrant Trilogy (Public Theater; previews begin)

March 19–Nollywood Dreams (MCC; previews begin)

March 22–Company (Jacobs)

March 23–Intimate Apparel (LCT/Mitzi Newhouse)

March 24–The Visitor (Public Theater; previews begin)

March 26–The Lehman Trilogy (Nederlander)

March 27–Selling Kabul (Playwrights Horizons; previews begin)

March 31–Diana (Longacre)

April–Assassins (CSC)

April 2–Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (Theater TBA)

April 7–Caroline or Change (Roundabout/Studio 54)

April 13–Plaza Suite (Hudson)

April 16–Flying Over Sunset (LCT/Vivian Beaumont)

April 21–Birthday Candles (Roundabout/AA)

April 22–How I Learned to Drive (MTC/Friedman)

April 23–Take Me Out (Second Stage/Helen Hayes)

April 25–Waiting for Godot (TFANA; previews begin)

April 28–Twilight: Los Angeles (Signature Theatre; previews begin)

Spring 2020–Blue

2019-20 (dates unspecified)–New York Theater Workshop–Sing Street; Endlings; Sanctuary City; Three Sisters.

The New Group–The One in Two; Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice; The Seagull/Woodstock, NY

Vineyard Theater–Dana H; Tuvalu or The Saddest Song

May 9–The Bedwetter (Atlantic Theatre Company; previews begin)

May 12–Confederates (Signature Theatre; previews begin)

May 15–A Boy’s Company Presents: “Tell Me If I’m Hurting You”

May 19–The Best We Could Do (MTC/City Center Stage II)

May 20–A Play Is a Poem (Atlantic Theater Company; previews begin)

June 2–Poor Yella Rednecks (MTC/City Center Stage I)

June 4–Perry Street (MCC; previews begin)

July 7–Cullud Wattah (Public Theater; previews begin)

Summer 2020–Don’t Stop Til You Get Enough

Oct. 20, 2020–The Music Man

Spring 2021–1776

2021–Soul Train

Future–Cinderella (Andrew Lloyd Webber version), Cagney, Dave, Death Becomes Her, Mrs. Doubtfire, Mighty Real: A Fabulous Sylvester Musical, The Devil Wears Prada, Working Girl, Half-Time, Roman Holiday, The Wiz, Camp David, Photograph 51, An Enemy of the People, Sherlock Holmes, Singin’ in the Rain, Pat Benatar Musical, Chasing Rainbows, Magic Mike, Some Like It Hot, Ever After, The Flamingo Kid

2019-20 Broadway Season

New Plays

Birthday Candles

A Christmas Carol

Grand Horizons

The Great Society

The Height of the Storm

The Inheritance

The Lehman Trilogy (previously seen Off-Broadway)

Linda Vista

The Minutes

My Name Is Lucy Barton

Sea Wall/A Life (Off-Broadway transfer)

Slave Play (Off-Broadway transfer)

The Sound Inside

New Musicals

American Utopia


Flying Over Sunset

Girl from the North Country (transfer from Off-Broadway)

Jagged Little Pill

Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical (previously presented Off-Broadway)

Moulin Rouge


Tina: The Tina Turner Musical

Play Revivals



Frankie and Johnny in the Clare de Lune

How I Learned to Drive

Plaza Suite

The Rose Tattoo

A Soldier’s Play

Take Me Out

Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

Musical Revivals

Caroline or Change


West Side Story


Barry Manilow

Derren Brown: Secret

Harry Connick Jr.–A Celebration of Cole Porter

The Illusionists: Magic of the Holidays

Slava’s Snowshow (revival)


New Musicals

Soul Train

Musical Revivals


The Music Man

Originally Posted on The David Desk 2 on September 14, 2019