Around The Town

Broadway Update

Broadway Update: Cabaret, Purlie, Second Stage, Cats

By: David Sheward

June 16, 2023: It’s not official, but according to a report by Philip Boroff in Broadway Journal, the hit London revival of Cabaret will transfer to Broadway with previews beginning in March of 2024 ahead of an April opening. According to Boroff, Oscar, Tony and Olivier winner Eddie Redmayne is slated to repeat his award-winning performance as the Emcee in this immersive staging. Rebecca Franknell will repeat her staging which included an immersive experience in the world of the Kit Kat Klub in 1930s Berlin. This will be the fifth Broadway production of the musical based on John Van Druten’s I Am a Camera which was in turn derived from Christopher Isherwood’s Berlin Stories about the reckless Sally Bowles in the decadent German capital before the rise of the Third Reich. Harold Prince’s original 1966 production starred Jill Haworth, Joel Grey, Jack Gilford, Lotte Lenya and ran for 1,165 performances. The 1972 movie version directed by Bob Fosse won 8 Oscars including Best Actress for Liza Minnelli and Best Supporting Actor for Grey. Grey returned to the Emcee role for a 1987 revival. Alan Cumming and Natasha Richardson headlined a 1998 revival which also originated in London and ran for 2,377 performances. This staging was revived in 2014 also with Cumming and ran for 388 performances.

Eddie Redmayne in the London revival of Cabaret which may be transferring to Broadway in 2024.

Broadway Update: Cabaret, Purlie, Second Stage, Cats

By: David Sheward

June 16, 2023: It’s not official, but according to a report by Philip Boroff in Broadway Journal, the hit London revival of Cabaret will transfer to Broadway with previews beginning in March of 2024 ahead of an April opening. According to Boroff, Oscar, Tony and Olivier winner Eddie Redmayne is slated to repeat his award-winning performance as the Emcee in this immersive staging. Rebecca Franknell will repeat her staging which included an immersive experience in the world of the Kit Kat Klub in 1930s Berlin. This will be the fifth Broadway production of the musical based on John Van Druten’s I Am a Camera which was in turn derived from Christopher Isherwood’s Berlin Stories about the reckless Sally Bowles in the decadent German capital before the rise of the Third Reich. Harold Prince’s original 1966 production starred Jill Haworth, Joel Grey, Jack Gilford, Lotte Lenya and ran for 1,165 performances. The 1972 movie version directed by Bob Fosse won 8 Oscars including Best Actress for Liza Minnelli and Best Supporting Actor for Grey. Grey returned to the Emcee role for a 1987 revival. Alan Cumming and Natasha Richardson headlined a 1998 revival which also originated in London and ran for 2,377 performances. This staging was revived in 2014 also with Cumming and ran for 388 performances.

Leslie Odom, Jr.

Purlie Announces Dates, Theater: The revival of Ossie Davis’ Purlie Victorious starring Leslie Odom, Jr. and directed by Tony winner Kenny Leon (A Raisin in the Sun) has firm dates and a theater. Subtitled A Non-Confederate Romp Through the Cotton Patch, the 1961 comedy satirizing race relations in the Jim Crow South will begin previews on Sept. 7 at the Music Box Theater. An opening date is to be announced at a later date. Tony and Grammy winner Odom (Hamilton) plays the title role, a preacher returning to his hometown to reclaim his church. He will be joined by Vanessa Bell Calloway (Dreamgirls) as Idella Landy, Billy Eugene Jones (Fat Ham) as Gitlow Judson, Noah Pyzik (Addy & Uno) as Deputy, Noah Robbins (To Kill a Mockingbird) as Charlie Cotchipee, Jay O. Sanders (Primary Trust) as Ol’ Cap’n Cotchipee, Obie winner Heather Alicia Simms (Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike) as Missy Judson,  Bill Timoney (Network) as Sheriff and Tony Award nominee Kara Young (Cost of Living, Clyde’s) as Lutiebelle Gussie Mae Jenkins.

Johanna Day, Michael Laurence, Patch Darragh, and Maddie Corman
in the 2014 Off-Broadway production of Appropriate.
Credit: Joan Marcus

Second Stage Season: Second Stage has announced productions for its new season on and Off-Broadway. Beginning in November at the Off-Broadway Tony Kiser Theater, the company will present Jen Silverman’s Spain, about two filmmakers embarking on an epic on the Spanish Civil War which happens to be financed by the KGB. On Broadway at the Hayes Theater in the same month, Obie-winning playwright Branden Jacobs-Jenkins (An Octoroon, The Comeuppance) will make his Main Stem debut with a new production of Appropriate which won him the Obie for an Off-Broadway production in 2014 at the Signature Theater. The play centers on a white family discovering uncomfortable secrets as they sort through the debris of their late father’s belongings. (Jacobs-Jenkins contributed new material to last season’s Lincoln Center revival of The Skin of Our Teeth, but this is his Broadway debut with a play of his own.) The season continues in the spring at the Hayes with as-yet-untitled new play by Pulitzer Prize winner Paula Vogel (How I Learned to Drive). Set in 1962 Washington, D.C., the play follows Phyllis as she supervising her teenage children as they move into a new apartment and attempt to establish their own identity.

Cats Goes Strictly Ballroom: A production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s long-running hit Cats, inspired by drag ballroom culture, will play a new World Trade Center site space, the Perelman Performing Arts Center, in June of 2024. Zhailon Levingston (Chicken & Biscuits) and Bill Rauch (All the Way) co-direct Arturo Lyons (Legendary Season Two winner) and vogue dancer Omari Wiles choreographs. Though Andy Blankenbuehler provided additional choreography for a 2016 Broadway revival, this will the first production of the feline smash to depart significantly from the original Trevor Nunn-Gillian Lynne original.

Wayne Brady

Wayne Is the Wiz: Wayne Brady, best-known for his TV gigs on Let’s Make a Deal and Whose Line Is It Anyway? will play the title role in the upcoming revival of The Wiz, set to open on Broadway in the spring following a national tour.

2023-24 Broadway/Off-Broadway Calendar

June 21–Rock and Roll Man (New World Stages)

June 22–Once Upon a One More Time (Marquis)

June 25–The Great Gatsby (The Gatsby Mansion at the Park Central Hotel)

June 26–Just for Us (Hudson)

June 28–Hamlet (Delacorte/Shakespeare in the Park) 

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

July 20–Here Lies Love (Broadway)

July 20–Flex (Mitzi Newhouse/LCT)

July 24–The Cottage (Hayes)

Aug. 3–Back to the Future (Marquis)

Aug. 10–The Shark Is Broken (Golden)

Aug. 20–El Mago Pop (Barrymore)

Aug. 27–The Tempest (Delacorte/Shakespeare in the Park)

Sept. 7–Purlie Victorious (begins previews; opening TBA) (Music Box)

Sept. 19–Merrily We Roll Along (begins previews; opening TBA) (Hudson)

Sept. 28–Melissa Ehteridge: My Window (Circle in the Square)

September–Here We Are (The Shed Griffin Theater)

September–The Refuge Plays (Roundabout/NYTW/Laura Pels)

October–I Need That (Roundabout/AA)

Oct. 4–DruidO’Casey (Public/NYU Skirball Center)

Nov. 13–Harmony (Barrymore)

Nov. 19–Hell’s Kitchen (Public)

Nov.–Appropriate (Second Stage/Hayes)

Nov.–Spain (Second Stage/Terry Kiser)

Dec. 5–Manhatta (Public)

Jan. 9–Prayer for the French Republic (MTC/Friedman)

Feb.–Doubt: A Parable (Roundabout/AA)

Feb.–The Ally (Public)

March–Sally and Tom (Public)

April–Cabaret

April–Jordans (Public)

June–Cats (Perelman Performing Arts Center)

Fall 2023

Jaja’s African Hair Braiding (MTC/Friedman)

I Can Get It for You Wholesale (CSC)

Poor Yella Rednecks (MTC/City Center Stage I)

Winter 2023-24

An Enemy of the People

I Love You So Much I Could Die (NYTW)

Pericles (CSC)

Spring 2024

Here There Are Blueberries (NYTW)

Home (Roundabout/AA)

Jonah (Roundabout/Laura Pels)

Paula Vogel Play (Second Stage/Hayes)

Wine in the Wilderness (CSC)

The Wiz

Fall 2024

King Lear (Kenneth Branagh Theater Company/The Shed)

2024-25

Smash

Future–Ain’t Supposed to Die a Natural Death; Black Orpheus; BOOP! The Betty Boop Musical; Come Fall in Love–The DDLJ Musical; The Devil Wears Prada; Ella: An American Miracle; Everybody’s Talking About Jamie; Frida, the Musical; Game of Thrones; The Great Gatsby; The Griswolds’ Broadway Vacation; High Noon; Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat; The Karate Kid; La La Land; Lempicka; Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil; The Mousetrap; Nancy Drew and the Mystery at Spotlight Manor; Our Town; Pal Joey; The Nanny; The Normal Heart/The Destiny of Me; The Secret Garden; Sing Street; Soul Train; Water for Elephants; What a Wonderful World; The Who’s Tommy; Working Girl

Eddie Redmayne, Credit: Marc Brenner
Johanna Day, Michael Laurence, 
Patch Darragh, and Maddie Corman – Credit: Joan Marcus