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Broadway Update

Broadway Update: London Death of a Salesman Transfers

By: David Sheward

May 3, 2022: Willy Loman will soon be returning to Broadway for the sixth time. A 2019 London production of Arthur Miller’s great American play Death of a Salesman with a mostly black cast will be opening on Broadway during the 2022-23 season. Wendell Pierce (The Wire, Serious Money, The Piano Lesson) and Sharon D. Clarke (Caroline, or Change, Doctor Who) will repeat their roles as Willy and Linda. Pierce was nominated for an Olivier Award and Clarke won for this production when it transferred from the Young Vic to the West End. Clarke recently made her Broadway debut in a well-received revival of Caroline, or Change and is a front runner for this season’s Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical. She is well-known to Doctor Who fans for her recurring role as Grace who was killed by a nasty alien and made occasional re-appearances from the dead on Season 11 and 12.

Wendell Pierce and Sharon D. Clarke in “Death of a Salesman”.

Broadway Update: London Death of a Salesman Transfers

By: David Sheward

May 3, 2022: Willy Loman will soon be returning to Broadway for the sixth time. A 2019 London production of Arthur Miller’s great American play Death of a Salesman with a mostly black cast will be opening on Broadway during the 2022-23 season. Wendell Pierce (The Wire, Serious Money, The Piano Lesson) and Sharon D. Clarke (Caroline, or Change, Doctor Who) will repeat their roles as Willy and Linda. Pierce was nominated for an Olivier Award and Clarke won for this production when it transferred from the Young Vic to the West End. Clarke recently made her Broadway debut in a well-received revival of Caroline, or Change and is a front runner for this season’s Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical. She is well-known to Doctor Who fans for her recurring role as Grace who was killed by a nasty alien and made occasional re-appearances from the dead on Season 11 and 12.

Tony winner Andre de Shields (Hadestown) joins the cast as Willy’s brother Ben and Khris Davis (Judas and the Black Messiah) will play the Lomans’ wayward son Biff. Dates and a theater are to be announced. Miranda Cromwell will direct this NYC production after co-directing the London staging with Marianne Elliott (Angels in America). Together they won the Olivier Award for Best Direction. 

“Looking at Death of a Salesman from the perspective of a Black family living in a predominantly White capitalist world changes the way that you hear this text,” says Cromwell in a statement. “Wendell and Sharon illuminate the heart of this play in a new way that is both universal and entirely specific.”

“I have always been fascinated by the Loman family’s wrestle with assimilation, and the cost of that struggle on one’s mental health, on your family and on your community,” adds Kwame Kwei-Armah, one of the co-producers along with Cindy Tolan and Elliott Harper Productions. “This production breathes new life into a show that people think they know.”

Previous Broadway productions have starred Lee J. Cobb and Mildred Dunnock (original, 1949), George C. Scott and Teresa Wright (1975), Dustin Hoffman and Kate Reid (1984), Brian Dennehy and Elizabeth Franz (1999), and Philip Seymour Hoffman and Linda Emond (2012).

Before the COVID pandemic, there had been reports of another production of the play starring Nathan Lane and Laurie Metcalf, but apparently those plans were postponed indefinitely when all the theaters shut down.

2022-23 Broadway/Off-Broadway/Award Season Schedule

May 5–Chita Rivera Award Nominations Announced

May 9–Tony Nominations Announced

May 9–Pulitzer Prize for Drama Announced

May 16–Drama Desk Nominations Announced

May 16–Outer Critics winners Announced

May 17–Golden Shield (MTC/City Center)

May 20–Drama League Awards (Ziegfeld Ballroom)

May 23–The Bedwetter (Atlantic Theater Company)

May 26–OCC ceremony (Bruno Walter Auditorium/Lincoln Center)

June 1–To Kill a Mockingbird re-opens (Belasco) (???)

June 2–what the end will be (Roundabout/Laura Pels)

June 6–Theater World Awards 

June 6–Voting for Drama Desk Awards ends

June 12–Tony Awards (Radio City Music Hall)

June 16–Epiphany (LCT/Mitzi Newhouse)

June 20–Chita Rivera Awards (NYU Skirball)

July 21–The Kite Runner (Hayes)

Aug. 25–Kinky Boots (Stage 42)

Summer 2022–Richard III; As You Like It (Delacorte)

Sept. 19–The Piano Lesson (St. James) (previews begin; opening TBA)

Nov. 10–Kimberly Akimbo (theater TBA)

Nov. 20–KPOP (Circle in the Square)

Dec. 8–Camelot (Lincoln Center/Vivian Beaumont)

Dec. 11–Some Like It Hot (Shubert)

Fall 2022 (no dates yet)

1776 (Roundabout/AA)

Between Riverside and Crazy (Second Stage/Hayes)

the bandaged place (Roundabout/Underground)

Cost of Living (MTC/Friedman)

Summer, 1976 (MTC/City Center Stage II)

Where the Mountain Meets the Sea (MTC/City Center Stage I)

2022-23 (no dates or theaters yet)

Ain’t Supposed to Die a Natural Death, A Beautiful Noise: The Neil Diamond Musical, Black Orpheus, Cinderella, Dancin’, Death of a Salesman, The Ohio State Murders, Pal Joey, Square One

Winter 2022-23

The Wanderers (Roundabout/Laura Pels)

Spring 2023

Poor Yella Rednecks (MTC/City Center Stage II)

2023 and Beyond

Game of Thrones, The Great Gatsby

Future–Leopoldstadt; Our Town; The Nanny; The Normal Heart/The Destiny of Me; Smash; Soul Train; The Who’s Tommy

Wendell Pierce and Sharon D. Clarke  in Death of a Salesman.
Credit: Brinkhoff Mogenburg