Broadway Update: Beautiful Noise, Kimberly, Mask Mandates, Etc.
By: David Sheward
May 22, 2022: As the 2021-22 Broadway season comes to a close, 2022-23 is taking shape. A Beautiful Noise: The Neil Diamond Musical joins the handful of shows with firm dates and a theater. The bio musical about the 81-year-old singer-songwriter will play Boston’s Emerson Colonial Theater for a six-week run starting June 21 and then start previews at Broadway’s Broadhurst Theater on Nov. 2 prior to a Dec. 4 opening. The score will be composed of Diamond’s hits including “Sweet Caroline,” “Forever in Blue Jeans,” “Song Sung Blues,” and “Cracklin’ Rose.” The book will be by Anthony McCarten, Oscar-nominated screenwriter for The Two Popes and The Theory of Everything. Tony winner Michael Mayer (Spring Awakening) directs. Mayer has also staged such jukebox musicals as Swept Away, Head Over Heels, and American Idiot. Diamond will be played in Boston by Will Swenson, seen most recently in the CSC revival of Assassins. Casting for Broadway will be announced.
Kimberly Akimbo, which has already won top prizes from the New York Drama Critics Circle, Outer Critics Circle and Lortel Awards for its Off-Broadway run at the Atlantic Theater Company, has announced its Broadway venue. The bittersweet tuner about a teenager living an older woman’s body due to a rare aging disease, will begin previews at the Booth Theater Oct. 12 with an opening set for Nov. 10.
Meanwhile COVID continues to wrack the New York theater community. Due to a new surge in cases, the Broadway League has extended its mask mandate through the end of June. Proof of vaccination has been made optional. (I think this is not a good move. We should still be made to show our vax cards when entering the theater.) Last weekend, Moulin Rogue, The Skin of Teeth, and Suffs had to cancel performances due to outbreaks among the casts. With a summer surge predicted, who knows how long these necessary restrictions will be in place.
Recent audience experience: At Mr. Saturday Night, the person in front of me whipped out their phone and began videotaping the performance. It was in my eyeline and interfered with my enjoyment of the show. I leaned forward and politely said, “That’s very distracting. Please turn it off.” The guy turned around and said “Really?” as if I were some elitist snob interfering with HIS enjoyment of the show. But without another word, he turned it off and put it away. There was no trouble for the rest of the show.
2022-23 Broadway/Off-Broadway Schedule
May 23–The Bedwetter (Atlantic Theater Company)
May 26–OCC ceremony (Bruno Walter Auditorium/Lincoln Center)
May 26–Fat Ham (Public Theater)
June 2–what the end will be (Roundabout/Laura Pels)
June 6–Theater World Awards (Circle in the Square)
June 6–Voting for Drama Desk Awards ends
June 12–Tony Awards (Radio City Music Hall)
June 14–Drama Desk Awards (Sardi’s)
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 (Booth)
Nov. 20–KPOP (Circle in the Square)
Dec. 4–A Beautiful Noise: The Neil Diamond Musical (Broadhurst)
Dec. 8–Camelot (Lincoln Center/Vivian Beaumont)
Dec. 11–Some Like It Hot (Shubert)
Fall 2022 (no dates yet)
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, Black Orpheus, Cinderella, Dancin’, Death of a Salesman, The Ohio State Murders, Pal Joey, Square One
The Wanderers (Roundabout/Laura Pels)
Poor Yella Rednecks (MTC/City Center Stage II)
2023 and Beyond
Game of Thrones, The Great Gatsby
Future–Leopoldstadt; The Karate Kid; Back to the Future; Our Town; The Nanny; The Normal Heart/The Destiny of Me; Smash; Soul Train; The Who’s Tommy