Around The Town

Broadway Update

Broadway Update: Sweeney Todd, Merrily, Take Me Out, Raisin

By: David Sheward

August 24, 2022: Philip Boroff reports in Broadway Journal that pop superstar Josh Groban and Tony winner Annaleigh Ashford will headline a revival of Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler’s Sweeney Todd, aiming for a Broadway opening next April. Boroff reports that Rent and Hamilton producer Jeffrey Seller is raising $14.5 million for the production which will be directed by Hamilton helmer Thomas Kail and possibly play the Lunt-Fontanne next April in time for the 2023 Tony Awards. No information about the show has been conformed as of yet. (Sidenote: Before he hit the big time, Jeffrey Seller directed me in a Brooklyn community theater production of The Fantasticks. Andrew Lippa, who later wrote the music for the Off-Broadway Wild Party and The Addams Family, was the music director and played El Gallo).

Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Jesse Williams in “Take Me Out”. Credit: Joan Marcus

Broadway Update: Sweeney Todd, Merrily, Take Me Out, Raisin

By: David Sheward

August 24, 2022: Philip Boroff reports in Broadway Journal that pop superstar Josh Groban and Tony winner Annaleigh Ashford will headline a revival of Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler’s Sweeney Todd, aiming for a Broadway opening next April. Boroff reports that Rent and Hamilton producer Jeffrey Seller is raising $14.5 million for the production which will be directed by Hamilton helmer Thomas Kail and possibly play the Lunt-Fontanne next April in time for the 2023 Tony Awards. No information about the show has been conformed as of yet. (Sidenote: Before he hit the big time, Jeffrey Seller directed me in a Brooklyn community theater production of The Fantasticks. Andrew Lippa, who later wrote the music for the Off-Broadway Wild Party and The Addams Family, was the music director and played El Gallo).

Josh Groban in Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812.
Credit: Chad Batka

Groban last appeared on Broadway in Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812. (He co-hosted the 2017 Tony Awards with Sara Bareilles) Ashford won a Best Featured Actress in a Play Tony for You Can’t Take It With You and starred opposite Jake Gyllenhaal in Sondheim’s Sunday in the Park with George. On TV, her prominent roles include Masters of Sex, B Positive, and Impeachment: American Crime Story.

Jake Gyllenhaal and Annaleigh Ashford in Sunday in the Park with George.
Credit: Matthew Murphy

Sweeney Todd opened on Broadway in 1979 and ran for 557 performances, winning eight Tony Awards including Best Musical and Actor and Actress for Len Cariou and Angela Lansbury. There have been two previous Broadway revivals–in 1989 (with Bob Gunton and Beth Fowler) and 2005 (with Michael Cerveris and Patti LuPone). A 2017 Off-Broadway production transformed the Barrow Street Theater into a recreation of a Victorian pie shop with audience members seated like customers. (Another side note: Groban was in the audience the night I saw this production.)

This could potentially mean three Sondheim musicals in one season, maybe simultaneously. Into the Woods is playing through Oct. 16 at the St. James, but could extend given its strong box office and Merrily We Roll Along might transfer from its Off-Broadway run at New York Theater Workshop.

Lindsay Mendez, Daniel Radcliffe and Jonathan Groff will headline the latest revival of Merrily We Roll Along.

Casting has been announced for that Merrily revival. Previously announced Daniel Radcliffe will be joined by Jonathan Groff (Spring Awakening) and Tony winner Lindsay Mendez (Carousel). This show begins previews on Nov. 21 with an opening set for Dec. 12 for a run through Jan. 8, 2023.

Take Me Out Returns

The Tony-winning revival of Take Me Out will return to Broadway this fall. The 2002 Richard Greenberg play about a gay baseball player coming out is reopening at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theater on Oct. 27 for a limited run of 14 weeks. Jesse Tyler Ferguson who won a Tony for his performance as Mason Marzac, the gay business manager, and Jesse Williams who was nominated for his role as Darren Lemming, the out gay player, will reprise their roles but the remainder of the cast has not been announced. The Second Stage revival opened at the Hayes Theater on April 4 and ran for 79 performances. Because of extensive nude scenes, audiences were required to secure their phones in locked containers during the performance. Controversy erupted when a nude video of Jesse Williams was shared online.

Tonya Pinkins

Raisin Casting

Tony winner Tonya Pinkins (Jelly’s Last Jam) and Obie winner Francois Battiste (The Good Negro) will headline the Public Theater’s revival of Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun. Pinkins plays Lena Younger, the domineering but loving matriarch of a family struggling with poverty and racism in 1959 Chicago. Battiste is her son Walter who dreams of opening a liquor store with the family’s insurance money. Obie winner and Tony nominee Robert O’Hara (direction of Slave Play, author of Bootycandy, Barbecue) stages the production which begins previews Sept. 27 with an opening set for Oct. 19. A press release states the production will be “innovative.” Should be interesting. Raisin has been revived twice on Broadway–in 2004 and 2014. A 1973 musical version won the Tony for Best Musical.

2022-23 Broadway/Off-Broadway Schedule

Aug. 25–Kinky Boots (Stage 42)

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

Aug. 30–As You Like It (Delacorte)

Sept. 10–Remember This: The Lesson of Jan Karski (TFANA/Polonsky Shakespeare Center)

Sept. 13–Cheek to Cheek: Irving Berlin in Hollywood (York Theater Company)

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

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

Oct. 2–Leopoldstadt (Longacre)

Oct. 2–Baldwin and Buckley at Cambridge (Public Theater)

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. 19–A Raisin in the Sun (Public Theater)

Oct. 19–The Year of Magical Thinking (Keen Company/location TBA) (previews begin; opening TBA)

Oct. 20–Topdog/Underdog (Golden)

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

Oct. 27–Take Me Out (return engagement) (Schoenfeld)

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

Nov. 9–Where We Belong (Public Theater) 

Nov. 10–Kimberly Akimbo (Booth)

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

Nov. 16–Plays for the Plague Year (Public Theater) 

Nov. 17–& Juliet (Sondheim)

Nov. 20–KPOP (Circle in the Square)

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

Nov. 21–Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish (New World Stages)

Nov. 29–Des Moines (TFANA/Polonsky Shakespeare Center)

Dec. 1–Ain’t No Mo (Belasco)

Dec. 1–Hoagy Carmichael’s Stardust Land (York Theater Company)

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. 12–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 1–the best we could (a family tragedy) (MTC/City Center Stage I)

March 8–Crumbs from the Table of Joy (Keen Company/Theater Row)

March–Regretfully So the Birds Are (Playwrights Horizons)

April 13–Camelot (Lincoln Center/Vivian Beaumont)

April 29–Fuenta Ovejuna (TFANA/Polonsky Shakespeare Center)

May 16–King James (MTC/City Center Stage I)

May–Wet Brain (Playwrights Horizons)

July 9–Orpheus Descending (TFANA/Polonsky Shakespeare Center)

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)

Shadow/Land (Public)

Sweeney Todd (Lunt-Fontanne) (possible)

Fall 2023

Poor Yella Rednecks (MTC/City Center Stage II)

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; Working Girl