Around The Town

Broadway Update

Broadway Update: Ohio to Play Jones, Devil in Trouble, Linda Lavin, etc.

By: David Sheward

August 9, 2022: The Ohio State Murders by Obie-winning playwright Adrienne Kennedy and starring six-time Tony winner Audra McDonald, will be the first show to play the renamed James Earl Jones Theater (formerly the Cort). This will mark the Broadway debut of 91-year-old Kennedy whose Off-Broadway works have included Funnyhouse of a Negro, June and Jean in Concert, Sleep Deprivation Chamber and A Movie Star Has to Star in Black and White. Previews begin Nov. 11 with an opening set for Dec. 8 for a limited engagement. Tony winner Kenny Leon (A Raisin in the Sun, A Soldier’s Play) will direct. Leon will also be directing Suzan-Lori Parks’ Topdog/Underdog on Broadway this season. McDonald and Leon previously collaborated on a digital reading of Ohio State for Broadway’s Best Shows Spotlight on Plays series. McDonald will play Suzanne Alexander, a writer invited to speak at her alma mater about the violence in her work and a mystery unravels.

Audra McDonald Photo: Barry Gordin

Broadway Update: Ohio to Play Jones, Devil in Trouble, Linda Lavin, etc.

By: David Sheward

August 9, 2022: The Ohio State Murders by Obie-winning playwright Adrienne Kennedy and starring six-time Tony winner Audra McDonald, will be the first show to play the renamed James Earl Jones Theater (formerly the Cort). This will mark the Broadway debut of 91-year-old Kennedy whose Off-Broadway works have included Funnyhouse of a Negro, June and Jean in Concert, Sleep Deprivation Chamber and A Movie Star Has to Star in Black and White. Previews begin Nov. 11 with an opening set for Dec. 8 for a limited engagement. Tony winner Kenny Leon (A Raisin in the Sun, A Soldier’s Play) will direct. Leon will also be directing Suzan-Lori Parks’ Topdog/Underdog on Broadway this season. McDonald and Leon previously collaborated on a digital reading of Ohio State for Broadway’s Best Shows Spotlight on Plays series. McDonald will play Suzanne Alexander, a writer invited to speak at her alma mater about the violence in her work and a mystery unravels.

“I am so thrilled. It’s only taken me 65 years to make it to Broadway!” said Kennedy.

“I’m honored and humbled to be part of Adrienne Kennedy’s long-overdue Broadway debut in the newly dedicated James Earl Jones Theatre with Kenny Leon,” said McDonald. “This timeless play has a powerful resonance and relevance today, and we can’t wait to share it with the world.”

The cast of The Devil Wears Prada in Chicago.
Credit: Joan Marcus

Chicago ‘Devil’ Out of Fashion

The Chicago pre-Broadway run of the musical version of The Devil Wears Prada, just opened at the Nederlander Theater in the Windy City, has received decidedly mixed notices from the critics. Alexis Soloski of the New York Times called it “a show that has tried on everything in its closet. Nothing fits.” Chris Jones of the Chicago Tribune continued the fashion metaphors, stating in the headline the production was “Not Ready for Its Runway Spotlight.” Johnny Oleksinski of the New York Post bluntly labelled it a “haute mess.” Catey Sullivan of the Chicago Sun-Times found it “more J.C. Penny clearance catalogue than couture” and “a poor knock-off, a cheap flea market bag with a designer label glue-gunned to the lining. Back to the sketchbook!” The show based on the 2006 film and roman a clef by Lauren Weisberger about her year working at Vogue magazine for the exacting editor Anna Wintour, features music by pop-rock legend Elton John, lyrics by Shaina Taub (Suffs, the musical As You Like It now at the Delacorte) and a book by Kate Wetherhead. Tony winner Anna D. Shapiro (August: Osage County) directs. There were never any firm plans for a Broadway opening and it looks the show needs work before it’s ready for the New York runway.

Linda Lavin on the CBS series B Positive.
Credit: Warner Brothers

Linda Lavin in ‘You Will Get Sick’

Tony-Drama Desk-Obie winner Linda Lavin will return to the New York stage in You Will Get Sick, a new play by Noah Diaz beginning previews Oct. 14 at Roundabout Theater Company’s Laura Pels Theater with an opening set for Nov. 6. The play focuses on a young man hiring an older woman to tell his family and friends about his life-changing diagnosis. Lavin won a Tony for Neil Simon’s Broadway Bound and was nominated for The Last of the Red Hot Lovers, The Diary of Anne Frank, The Tale of the Allergist’s Wife, Collected Stories and The Lyons. She won Obies for Death-Defying Acts and the Off-Broadway run of The Lyons and Drama Desk Awards for Little Murders, Broadway Bound and The New Century. She is probably best known for playing the title role on the long-running sitcom Alice (1976-85) and most recently starred on TV in CBS’ B Positive.

Stephen McKinley Henderson,  Ray Anthony Thomas and  Victor Almanzar in Between Riverside and Crazy  at Atlantic Theater Company in 2014.
Credit: Kevin Thomas Garcia

‘Riverside,’ ‘Merrily’ Set Dates, Cast for ‘No Importance’

Between Riverside and Crazy, the Pulitzer Prize-winning drama by Stephen Adly Guirgis, has confirmed dates for its Broadway run at Second Stage’s Hayes Theater–Previews Nov. 30 and opens Dec. 19. The play has had a circuitous route to the Main Stem with Off-Broadway engagements at the Atlantic Theater Company in 2014 and then Second Stage in 2015 before winning the Pulitzer. The plot focuses on an ex-cop and his recently paroled son struggling to maintain their rent-controlled apartment.

New York Theater Workshop’s revival of Stephen Sondheim and George Furth’s Merrily We Roll Along starring Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter films, How to Succeed, Equus) has also set dates: previews Nov. 21, opens Dec. 11 for a limited run through Jan. 21, 2023.

Additional cast members for CSC’s revival of A Man of No Importance (joining previously announced Jim Parsons) include Emmy winner and Tony nominee Mare Winningham (Girl from the North Country, Casa Valentina), William Youmans (To Kill a Mockingbird, Big River), Obie winner Alma Cuervo (Uncommon Women and Others, On Your Feet), Tony nominee Mary Beth Piel (The King and I, Anastasia, Netflix’s Halston), Kara Mikula (The Cradle Will Rock), Lortel nominee Thom Sesma (Letters of Suresh, Pacific Overtures), Tony nominee A.J. Shively (Paradise Square), Nathaniel Stampley (Paradise Square), Jessica Tyler Wright (Allegro), and Joel Waggoner (School of Rock). Previews Oct. 11, opens Oct. 30.

2022-23 Broadway/Off-Broadway Schedule

Aug. 11–That Day in Amsterdam (59E59)

Aug. 25–Kinky Boots (Stage 42)

Aug. 28–Two Jews, Talking (Theater at St. Clement’s)

Aug. 30–As You Like It (Delacorte)

Sept. 22–Sesame Street: The Musical (Theater Row)

Sept. 24–Baldwin and Buckley at Cambridge (Public Theater) (previews begin; opening TBA)

Sept. 27–A Raisin in the Sun (Public Theater) (previews begin; opening TBA)

Sept. 29–american (tele)visions (New York Theatre Workshop)

Oct. 2–Leopoldstadt (Longacre)

Oct. 3–Cost of Living (MTC/Friedman)

Oct. 6–1776 (Roundabout/AA)

Oct. 6–Peerless (Primary Stages/59E59)

Oct. 9–Death of a Salesman (Hudson) 

Oct. 13–The Piano Lesson (Barrymore)

Oct. 20–Topdog/Underdog (Golden)

Oct. 26–Straight Line Crazy (The Shed/Griffin)

Oct. 28–Where We Belong (Public Theater) (previews begin; opening TBA)

Oct. 30–A Man of No Importance (CSC)

October–Catch as Catch Can (Playwrights Horizons); Downstate (Playwrights Horizons); Only Gold (MCC Theater)

Nov. 2–Where the Mountain Meets the Sea (MTC/City Center Stage I)

Nov. 2–Camp Siegfried (Second Stage/Tony Kiser) (previews begin; opening TBA)

Nov. 3–Almost Famous (Bernard Jacobs)

Nov. 4–Plays for the Plague Year (Public Theater) (previews begin; opening TBA)

Nov. 6–You Will Get Sick (Roundabout/Laura Pels)

Nov. 10–Kimberly Akimbo (Booth)

Nov. 13–Fiddler on the Roof (New World Stages)

Nov. 15–the bandaged place (Roundabout/Underground)

Nov. 17–& Juliet (Sondheim)

Nov. 20–KPOP (Circle in the Square)

Nov. 21–Becky Nurse of Salem (LCT/Mitzi Newhouse)

Dec. 1–Ain’t No Mo (Belasco)

Dec. 4–A Beautiful Noise: The Neil Diamond Musical (Broadhurst)

Dec. 8–The Ohio State Murders (James Earl Jones)

Dec. 11–Some Like It Hot (Shubert)

Dec. 11–Merrily We Roll Along (New York Theatre Workshop)

Dec. 19–Between Riverside and Crazy (Second Stage/Hayes)

Dec. 20–The Collaboration (MTC/Freidman)

February–The Trees (Playwrights Horizons)

March–Regretfully So the Birds Are (Playwrights Horizons)

April 13–Camelot (Lincoln Center/Vivian Beaumont)

May–Wet Brain (Playwrights Horizons)

Fall 2022 (no dates yet)

Summer, 1976 (MTC/City Center Stage II)

2022-23 (no dates or theaters yet)

Ain’t Supposed to Die a Natural Death, Black Orpheus, Cinderella, Come Fall in Love–The DDLJ Musical, Dancin’, Pal Joey, Square One

Winter 2022-23

Dark Disabled Stories (Public)

The Wanderers (Roundabout/Laura Pels)

Spring 2023 

Prime Facie (a Shubert theater TBA)

The Thanksgiving Play (Second Stage/Hayes)

Good Bones (Public)

Poor Yella Rednecks (MTC/City Center Stage II)

Shadow/Land (Public)

2023, 2024 and Beyond

Game of Thrones, The Great Gatsby, Frida, the Musical, High Noon

Future–Good Night, Oscar; The Devil Wears Prada; The Griswolds’ Family Vacation; The Karate Kid; Back to the Future; Our Town; The Nanny; The Normal Heart/The Destiny of Me; Sing Street; Smash; Soul Train; The Who’s Tommy