Around The Town

Broadway Update

By: David Sheward

July 21, 2023: IATSE, the union representing backstage technicians and craftspeople, and the Broadway League and Disney have reached a tentative agreement, awaiting ratification of the rank and file union members, thereby averting a possible strike and shutdown of Broadway and touring shows. After heaving a sigh of relief, let’s catch up on all the Broadway and Off-Broadway news that perked up while I was on vacation in Greece and Turkey:

The cast of “How to Dance in Ohio”. Credit: Curtis Brown

Sondheim Show, Ohio Musical, Etc.

By: David Sheward

July 21, 2023: IATSE, the union representing backstage technicians and craftspeople, and the Broadway League and Disney have reached a tentative agreement, awaiting ratification of the rank and file union members, thereby averting a possible strike and shutdown of Broadway and touring shows. After heaving a sigh of relief, let’s catch up on all the Broadway and Off-Broadway news that perked up while I was on vacation in Greece and Turkey:

David Hyde Pierce will star in Here We Are, the last Sondheim musical coming to Off-B’way this fall. Credit: Joan Marcus

Sondheim Show Announces Cast and Dates: Here We Are, the final show to boast a score by the late Stephen Sondheim, will begin previews at the Shed’s Griffin Theater on Sept. 28 with an opening set for Oct. 22. Derived from two Luis Bunuel classic films, The Exterminating Angel and The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie, the show features a book by David Ives (All in the Timing) and direction by two-time Tony winner Joe Mantello. The all-star cast includes Obie winner Francois Battiste (The Good Negro, A Raisin in the Sun), Drama Desk winner Tracie Bennett (End of the Rainbow), Drama Desk and Emmy winner Bobby Cannavale (The Motherf**ker with the Hat, Boardwalk Empire, Will and Grace), Michaela Diamond (Parade), Amber Gray (Hadestown), Ja Hin (M. Butterfly), Tony winner Rachel Bay Jones (Dear Evan Hansen, Pippin), Tony and Drama Desk winner Denis O’Hare (Take Me Out, Sweet Charity), Drama Desk winner Steven Pasquale (Reasons to Be Pretty, The Bridges of Madison County), Tony and Emmy winner David Hyde Pierce (Curtains, Frasier), and Tony nominee Jeremy Shamos (Clybourne Park).

Ohio Musical to Open on Broadway: Seven autistic actors will be making their Broadway debuts in the new musical How to Dance in Ohio, set to begin previews Nov. 15 at the Belasco Theater in advance of a Dec. 10 opening. Based on Alexandra Shiva’s 2015 HBO documentary, the musical focuses on a group of autistic young adults at an Ohio counseling center as they prepare for a formal dance. The show premiered at Syracuse Stage in 2022 and features music by Jacob Yandura and book and lyrics by Rebekah Greer Melocik, who are also making their Broadway debuts. Director Sammi Cannold is also a first-timer for the Main Stem.

Graciela Daniele Bio-Musical at LCT: Lincoln Center Theater will present a new musical, The Gardens of Anuncia, based on the early life of Broadway director-choreographer Graciela Daniele in the Mitzi Newhouse Theater, beginning previews Oct. 19 and opening Nov. 20. Daniele directs and co-choreographs with Alex Sanchez, Michael-John LaChuisa (The Wild Party, Hello Again, Marie Christine) writes the book, music and lyrics. The musical opens with Anuncia (Tony winner Priscilla Lopez) in her garden, reflecting on her girlhood in Juan Peron’s Argentina and the family members who inspired her to be a stage artist. The cast also includes Enrique Acevedo, Andrea Burns (In the Heights), Eden Espinosa (Rent, Wicked), Tally Sessions, Tony nominee and Obie and Drama Desk winner Mary Testa (First Lady Suite, On the Town, 42nd Street), and Kalyn West. The musical premiered at the Old Globe Theater in San Diego in 2021 just before Daniele received a Lifetime Achievement Tony Award.

A scene from The Gardens of Anuncia at the Old Globe Theater.
Credit: Jim Cox

Roth’s Sabbath’s Theater to the Stage: A stage version of Philip Roth’s novel Sabbath’s Theater by Emmy winner John Turturro and New Yorker staff writer Ariel Levy from The New Group will play Signature Theater’s Romulus Linney Courtyard Theater with previews commencing Oct. 2 and opening Nov. 2. Turturro will also be in the cast along with Obie winner Elizabeth Marvel (House of Cards, Other Desert Cities) and Jason Kravitz. 

Philip Roth

The plot concerns disgraced puppeteer Mickey Sabbath who must evaluate his life choices as he encounters numerous people from his past. Co-adapters Levy and Turturro stated, “What drew us to adapting the filthiest of Philip Roth’s novels? Its morality. Its tenderness. Its comic intensity. The deep exploration of our human frailties, our repulsiveness, our vulnerability, our grief, our contradictions, and our capacity for love.”

Sabbath’s Theater was published in 1995, was a Pulitzer Prize finalist and won the National Book Award. While there have been several film and TV adaptations of Roth’s work including Portnoy’s Complaint, Goodbye, Columbus, The Human Stain, The Ghost Writer, American Pastoral, and The Plot Against America, the only previous stage version of his works was 1971’s Unlikely Heroes, based on three of his short stories, which ran for only 23 performances at the Plymouth Theater. 

Here and There: The Olivier Award-winning revival of Cabaret is confirmed for the August Wilson Theater for next spring, but there are no specific dates as of yet….Grey House, the spooky horror play and the first Broadway production of the 2023-24 season will close earlier than expected on July 30 instead of the previously announced Sept. 3….Target Margin Theater and NYU Skirball will collaborate on a revised and reimagined version of the Jerome Kern-Oscar Hammerstein II musical Show Boat, set for Spring of 2025. Target Margin’s Founding Artistic Director David Herskovitz will direct. The classic tuner of life on a floating theater in the early 20th century has been seen on Broadway a total of seven times with two different film versions. 

2023-24 Broadway/Off-Broadway Calendar

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

Sept. 27–Purlie Victorious (Music Box)

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

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

October–I Need That (Roundabout/AA)

Oct. 3–Jaja’s African Hair Braiding (MTC/Friedman)

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

Oct. 12–Gutenberg! The Musical (James Earl Jones)

Oct. 22–Here We Are (The Shed Griffin Theater)

Nov. 2–Sabbath’s Theater (New Group/Signature Theater)

Nov. 13–Harmony (Barrymore)

Nov. 19–Hell’s Kitchen (Public)

Nov. 20–The Gardens of Anuncia (LCT/Mitzi Newhouse)

Nov.–Appropriate (Second Stage/Hayes)

Nov.–Spain (Second Stage/Terry Kiser)

Dec. 5–Manhatta (Public)

Dec. 10–How To Dance in Ohio (Belasco)

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–Jordans (Public)

June–Cats (Perelman Performing Arts Center)

Fall 2023

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

Cabaret (August Wilson)

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

Spring 2025

Show Boat (Target Margin/NYU Skirball)

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; Imitation of Life; 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.