Broadway Update: Stoppard, Sesame Street, Good Night Oscar, Lena Horne, etc.
By: David Sheward
June 11, 2022: Lots of theater news to report: Tom Stoppard’s latest play Leopoldstadt has announced a theater and dates for its Broadway transfer after a critically acclaimed London production in 2020. The decade-spanning epic work about multiple generations of a Jewish-Catholic family in Vienna will begin previews at the Longacre Theatre on Sept. 14 in advance of an Oct. 2 opening. This will be Stoppard’s 19th play on Broadway since Rosencrantz and Guilderstern Are Dead opened in 1967. He has won four Best Play Tony Awards (for R & G Are Dead, Travesties, The Real Thing, and The Coast of Utopia.) Leopoldstadt won the Olivier Award for its London run but was stopped short by the COVID shutdown. It’s the first play in which the playwright uses his Jewish background as a source.
Also from London: Killing Eve star Jodie Comer will star in Suzie Miller’s one-person play Prime Facie, now in the West End, on Broadway in Spring 2023 at a Shubert theater to be announced. Previously presented in Sydney, Australia, Prime Facie focuses on a brilliant barrister coping with patriarchal power, burden of proof and morality.
It’s not confirmed, but Emmy winner Sean Hayes has stated on his podcast that Good Night Oscar by Tony winner Doug Wright (I Am My Own Wife, War Paint) will be arriving on Broadway. Hayes starred in the title role, pianist-actor-humorist Oscar Levant, during a smash hit run at Chicago’s Goodman Theater. The play is set during an appearance by Levant on Jack Paar’s talk show and features Hayes brilliantly playing George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue. Levant was a dry-witted comic, gifted composer and musician. He often played the sarcastic, deadpan best friend of the hero in such classic movie musicals as An American in Paris, The Barkleys of Broadway, Romance on the High Seas, and The Band Wagon.
Meanwhile, Off-Broadway, a new musical version of the beloved PBS children’s series Sesame Street will begin preview performances on Sept. 8 at Theater Row in advance of a Sept. 22 opening for a limited run through Nov. 27. Elmo, Cookie Monster, The Count, Bert, Ernie, Oscar the Grouch and all the favorite muppets will be there along with special Broadway guests.
After all these openings, there have also been some closings. Dear Evan Hansen, Tina: The Tina Turner Musical, and Come from Away have all announced their final Broadway performances. There will probably be many more after the Tonys. If any show loses all their categories, a shuttering usually follows.
One show that will still be going strong win or lose at the Tonys is Six: The Musical at the Brooks Atkinson. The mock rock concert featuring the six wives of King Henry VIII is one of the big hits of the season. And its home will be getting a new name. The Atkinson will be rechristened the Lena Horne Theater. This will be the first time a Broadway theater will be named for an African-American woman. Horne won a special Tony in 1981 for her solo show Lena Horne: The Lady and Her Music, and starred in the 1957 hit Jamaica.
2022-23 Broadway/Off-Broadway Schedule
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)
June 22–Coriscana (Playwrights Horizons)
July 10–Into the Woods (St. James)
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)
Sept. 19–Death of a Salesman (Hudson) (previews begin; opening TBA)
Sept. 22–Sesame Street: The Musical (Theater Row)
Oct. 2–Leopoldstadt (Longacre)
Oct. 11–Almost Famous (a Shubert theater 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)
Camp Siegfried (Second Stage/Tony Kiser)
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’, The Ohio State Murders, Pal Joey, Square One
The Wanderers (Roundabout/Laura Pels)
Prime Facie (a Shubert theater TBA)
The Thanksgiving Play (Second Stage/Hayes)
Poor Yella Rednecks (MTC/City Center Stage II)
2023 and Beyond
Game of Thrones, The Great Gatsby
Future–Good Night, Oscar; The Devil Wears Prada; 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