Around The Town

Broadway Update

MTC Season: Sondheim, Eureka, Vladimir

By: David Sheward

April 9 , 2024: Manhattan Theater Club has announced plans for its 2024-25 season on and Off-Broadway, which will include the Broadway premieres of Eureka Day and the Stephen Sondheim revue, Old Friends starring Bernadette Peters and Lea Salonga who will repeat their London performances. The Sondheim tribute ran in London’s West End in 2023 and will begin previews at MTC’s Samuel J. Friedman Theater on March 25, 2025 with an opening date TBA. The show will have a pre-Broadway run at Los Angeles’ Ahmanson Theater from Feb. 8-March 9. The production was devised by Cameron Mackintosh and directed by Matthew Bourne, side by side with Julia McKenzie. Additional cast members will be announced. 

Lea Salonga and Bernadette Peters in “Old Friends”, transferring to Broadway in 2025. Credit: Danny Kaan

MTC Season: Sondheim, Eureka, Vladimir

By: David Sheward

April 9 , 2024: Manhattan Theater Club has announced plans for its 2024-25 season on and Off-Broadway, which will include the Broadway premieres of Eureka Day and the Stephen Sondheim revue, Old Friends starring Bernadette Peters and Lea Salonga who will repeat their London performances. The Sondheim tribute ran in London’s West End in 2023 and will begin previews at MTC’s Samuel J. Friedman Theater on March 25, 2025 with an opening date TBA. The show will have a pre-Broadway run at Los Angeles’ Ahmanson Theater from Feb. 8-March 9. The production was devised by Cameron Mackintosh and directed by Matthew Bourne, side by side with Julia McKenzie. Additional cast members will be announced. 

Ben Schnetzer, Susan Kelechi Watson, Mark McKinney, Helen Hunt and Kirsten Foster 
in Eureka Day at London’s Old Vic. Credit: Manuel Harlan

During this summer, the Samuel J. Friedman will be closed for renovations and will reopen in the fall with the Broadway debut of Jonathan Spector’s Eureka Day after a successful London engagement directed by Tony winner Anna D. Shapiro (August: Osage County). Previews begin Sept. 25 with an opening date TBA. An previous Off-Broadway production played in 2019 at the Walkerspace. Eureka Day is a private California elementary school with a Board of Directors that values inclusion above all else – that is, until an outbreak of the mumps forces everyone in the community to reconsider the school’s liberal vaccine policy. As cases rise, the board realizes with horror that they’ve got to do what they swore they never would: make a choice that won’t please absolutely everybody. Oscar winner Helen Hunt starred in the London production, but there is no word yet on casting for the Broadway transfer.

MTC’s Off-Broadway season opens with Vladimir by Erika Sheffer, beginning preview performances at City Center Stage I, Sept. 24, directed by Tony winner Daniel Sullivan (Proof). Set in Moscow, the play focuses on an independent journalist covering Putin’s first term in office. 

Lynne Meadow said, “I’m proud that this first part of MTC’s 2024-2025 season lineup celebrates our longstanding commitment to both presenting plays by new voices and welcoming back longtime treasured colleagues and artists on and off-Broadway. We’re thrilled to give playwrights Erika Sheffer and Jonathan Spector, actress Lea Salonga, and director Matthew Bourne their MTC debuts, and to welcome back to MTC actress Bernadette Peters, directors Anna Shapiro and Daniel Sullivan, producer Cameron Mackintosh, and the work of Stephen Sondheim.”

Bradley Jaden and Bernadette Peters recreate a scene from Into the Woods in
the London production of Old Friends. Credit: Danny Kaan

Cameron Mackintosh said, “Old Friends was Steve’s idea, born during lockdown, when he suggested it was time (and we had plenty of it!) we put together a third review of his work, to follow from the worldwide hit Side by Side By Sondheim in 1976 (my first!) and Putting It Together (which Julia McKenzie directed at the Manhattan Theatre Club starring Julie Andrews in 1993). Though we had started work, very sadly on Thanksgiving 2021 Steve moved on. So, a few weeks later over the Christmas holidays I collated all our notes and, drawing on material from all the other shows Steve, Julia and I had worked on over the years, completed ‘our farewell show.’ In May 2022, we staged a star-studded Gala in London’s West End at the Sondheim Theatre (which I had rebuilt and renamed after him) to celebrate Steve’s work and raise funds for his new Foundation. It was a sensational success that sold out within hours, screened simultaneously at the nearby Prince Edward Theatre, and was subsequently broadcast on TV on the BBC. The material held together so brilliantly that I decided to press ahead and give Old Friends the full stage life Steve and I had always planned. The show opened in September 2023 at London’s Gielgud Theatre, directed by Matthew Bourne, side by side with Julia McKenzie, and choreographed by Stephen Mear. Starring Bernadette Peters (making her West End debut at long last!) and Lea Salonga, it received rave reviews and nightly standing ovations during its 16-week run. It is a tremendous joy to now be bringing Old Friends to the Ahmanson in Los Angeles and to be back side by side with Lynne Meadow at the Manhattan Theatre Club in New York thanks to Daryl Roth’s support, with a terrific company headed again by my old friends Bernadette and Lea with many other stars to be announced shortly. Audiences are in for a joyous and unforgettable evening featuring some of the greatest songs ever written for the musical theatre in ‘a great big Broadway show’ – just as Steve wanted.”

In addition to Side by Side by Sondheim and Putting It Together, a third Sondheim revue Sondheim on Sondheim played Studio 54 in 2010. Additional productions in MTC’s season will be announced.

2023-24 Broadway/Off-Broadway/Awards Calendar (and Beyond)

Spring 2024

April 11–The Outsiders (Jacobs)

April 11–Jordans (Public) (previews begin; opening TBA)

April 12–Staff Meal (previews begin; opening TBA) (Playwrights Horizons)

April 14–Lempicka (Longacre)

April 15–MAC Awards (Peter Norton Symphony Space)

April 16–Sally & Tom (Public Theater)

April 17–The Wiz (Marquis)

April 18–Suffs (Music Box)

April 19–Stereophonic (Golden)

April 20–Hell’s Kitchen (Shubert)

April 20/21–Cabaret (August Wilson)

April 22–The Heart of Rock and Roll (James Earl Jones)

April 22–Patriots (Barrymore)

April 22–Drama League nominations announced (NY Library for the Performing Arts)

April 23–Outer Critics Circle nominations announced (Museum of Broadway)

April 23–Mary Jane (MTC/Friedman) 

April 24–Illinoise (St. James)

April 24–Uncle Vanya (LCT/Vivian Beaumont)

April 25–Mother Play (Second Stage/Hayes)

April 25–The Great Gatsby (Broadway)

April 26–Chita Rivera Award nominations announced

April 29–Drama Desk Award nominations announced

April 30–Tony Nominations Announced

April 30–Three Houses (previews begin; opening TBA) (Signature Theatre)

May 5–Lortel Awards (NYU Skirball)

May 13–Here There Are Blueberries (NYTW)

May 13–Outer Critics Circle winners announced

May 17–Drama League Awards (Ziegfeld Ballroom)

May 20–Chita Rivera Awards Ceremony (NYU Skirball)

May 23–Outer Critics Circle Awards ceremony (Bruno Walter Auditorium/NY Public Library for the Performing Arts)

May 28–Ben Platt at the Palace

Summer 2024

June 5–Home (Roundabout/Todd Haimes)

June 10–Drama Desk Awards

June 10–Theater World Awards

June 12–The Welkin (Atlantic Theater Company)

June 12–Titanic (Encores/City Center)

June 16–Tony Awards (David Koch Theater/Lincoln Center)

June 20–Cats (Perelman Performing Arts Center)

TBA–All of Me (The New Group/Signature Center)

Aug. 15–Forbidden Broadway on Broadway: Merrily We Stole a Song (Hayes)

Fall 2024

Sept. 24–Vladimir (MTC/City Center Stage I) (previews begin; opening TBA)

Oct. 10–Our Town (Barrymore Theatre)

Oct. 20–Sunset Boulevard (St. James)

Nov. 11–What a Wonderful World: The Louis Armstrong Musical (Studio 54)

Nov. 14–Tammy Faye (Palace)

Nov. 25–Eureka Day (MTC/Samuel J. Friedman) (previews begin; opening TBA)

The Counter (Roundabout/Laura Pels)

King Lear (Kenneth Branagh Theater Company/The Shed)

Left on Tenth

Yellowface (Roundabout/Todd Haimes Theater)

Winter 2024-25

English (Roundabout/Todd Haimes Theater)

Liberation (Roundabout/Laura Pels)

2024-25

My Son’s a Queer (But What Can You Do?)

Smash

Wine in the Wilderness (CSC)

Spring 2025

March 25–Old Friends (MTC/Samuel J. Friedman) (previews begins opening TBA)

Othello

The Pirates of Penzance (Roundabout/Todd Haimes Theater)

Show Boat (Target Margin/NYU Skirball)

Future–Ain’t Supposed to Die a Natural Death; Beaches the Musical; Black Orpheus; BOOP! The Betty Boop Musical; Come Fall in Love–The DDLJ Musical; Death Becomes Her; The Devil Wears Prada; Ella: An American Miracle; Everybody’s Talking About Jamie; Frida, the Musical; Game of Thrones; The Griswolds’ Broadway Vacation; High Noon; Imitation of Life; The Interestings; Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat; The Karate Kid; La La Land; Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil; The Mousetrap; Nancy Drew and the Mystery at Spotlight Manor; Pal Joey; Purple Rain; The Queen’s Gambit; Rear Window; The Nanny; The Normal Heart/The Destiny of Me; The Queen of Versailles; The Secret Garden; Sing Street; Soul Train; Stranger Things: The First Shadow; Working Girl.

2023-24 Broadway Season Breakdown:

New Plays:

The Cottage

Grey House

I Need That

Jaja’s African Hair Braiding

Mother Play

Patriots

Prayer for the French Republic

The Shark Is Broken

Stereophonic

New Musicals:

Back to the Future

Days of Wine and Roses

The Great Gatsby

Harmony

The Heart of Rock and Roll

Hell’s Kitchen

How to Dance in Ohio

Illinoise

Lempicka

The Notebook

Once Upon a One More Time

The Outsiders

Suffs

Water for Elephants

Play Revivals:

Appropriate

Doubt: A Parable

An Enemy of the People

Mary Jane

Purlie Victorious

Uncle Vanya

Musical Revivals:

Cabaret

Gutenberg! The Musical

Here Lies Love

Merrily We Roll Along

Monty Python’s Spamalot

The Who’s Tommy

The Wiz

Solos/Specialties:

Alex Edelman: Just for Us

Melissa Etheridge: My Window