Around The Town

Broadway Update

Drama Desk, Pre-Tonys, Hills of California, Etc.

By: David Sheward

June 5, 2024: The 68th Drama Desk Awards, held on Mon. June 10 at 6:15 pm at NYU’s Skirball Hall and hosted by Sutton Foster and Aaron Tveit of Sweeney Todd, have announced presenters: Brooke Shields, Laura Benanti, Matthew Brodereick, Andrew Rannells, Nikki M. James, Debra Messing, Brian d’Arcy James, Montego Glover, Lena Hall and Ruthie Ann Miles. Kelli O’Hara (nominated for Days of Wine and Roses) will perform a musical tribute to William Wolf Award recipient Andre Bishop. Nathan Lane will receive the Harold S. Prince Award for Lifetime Achievement. Lane has previously won six Drama Desk Awards, three Tonys, six Outer Critics Circle Awards, the Drama League Award, a Lortel and two Obies. 

Aaron Tviet and Sutton Foster will host the 2024 Drama Desk Awards on June 10. Drawing by Justin “Squiggles” Robertson

Drama Desk, Pre-Tonys, Hills of California, Etc.

By: David Sheward

June 5, 2024: The 68th Drama Desk Awards, held on Mon. June 10 at 6:15 pm at NYU’s Skirball Hall and hosted by Sutton Foster and Aaron Tveit of Sweeney Todd, have announced presenters: Brooke Shields, Laura Benanti, Matthew Brodereick, Andrew Rannells, Nikki M. James, Debra Messing, Brian d’Arcy James, Montego Glover, Lena Hall and Ruthie Ann Miles. Kelli O’Hara (nominated for Days of Wine and Roses) will perform a musical tribute to William Wolf Award recipient Andre Bishop. Nathan Lane will receive the Harold S. Prince Award for Lifetime Achievement. Lane has previously won six Drama Desk Awards, three Tonys, six Outer Critics Circle Awards, the Drama League Award, a Lortel and two Obies. 

There are balcony seats available for the general public and may be purchased at https://tickets.nyu.edu/dramadesk2024/15422

Julianne Hough and Utkarsh Ambudkar will host the Tonys’ pre-show on Pluto.

Tony Pre-Show: Emmy Award winner Julianne Hough and star of CBS’ Ghosts Utkarsh Ambudkar will host The Tony Awards: Act One, a live pre-show with exclusive content that is available to viewers for free on Pluto TV beginning Sunday, June 16 at 6:30-8:00 PM, ET/3:30-5:00 PM, PT. Hough, who starred in the hit Broadway play POTUS, and Ambudkar, who made his Broadway debut in Lin-Manuel Miranda’s improvisational hip-hop show Freestyle Love Supreme, will kick off Broadway’s biggest night with the presentation of the first round of Tony Awards during the exciting pre-show telecast. 

Immediately following, the 77th Annual Tony Awards, with Academy Award winner and Tony Award nominee Ariana DeBose, will air live from the David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, from 8:00-11:00 PM, live ET/5:00-8:00 PM, Live PT on the CBS Television Network, and streaming on Paramount+ in the U.S. (live and on-demand for Paramount+ with Showtime subscribers, or on-demand for Paramount+ Essential subscribers the day after the special airs).

No word yet on which awards will be presented on Pluto and which on CBS.

Jez Butterworth’s The Hills of California. in London Credit: Mark Douet

Hills of California: The Hills of California, the latest play from Jez Butterworth (Tony winner for The Ferryman), will transfer from London’s West End to Broadway this fall. Previews begin Sept. 11 at the Broadhurst Theater prior to a Sept. 29 opening. Oscar winner Sam Mendes who staged The Ferryman will reunite with Butterworth, repeating his London staging. Broadway casting will be announced at a later date.

The synopsis reads: “In the sweltering heat of a 1970s summer, the Webb sisters return to their childhood home in Blackpool, an English seaside town, where their mother Veronica lies dying upstairs. Gloria and Ruby now have families of their own. Jill never left. And Joan? No one’s heard from her in twenty years… but Jill insists that their mother’s favorite won’t let them down this time.

“The run-down Sea View Guest House is haunted by bittersweet memories of amusement park rides and overdue bills. Back in the 1950s, each night the girls rehearse their singing act, managed by their fiercely loving single mom. But when a record producer offers a shot at fame and a chance to escape, it will cost them all dearly.”

Chris Collins Pisano (left) and Jenny Lee Stern (right) will be featured in Gerard Alessandrini’s new “Forbidden Broadway: Merrily We Stole A Song” at Theater555 Credit: Carole Rosegg

Forbidden B’way Is Back: Forbidden Broadway is back on the boards. The latest edition of Gerard Alessandrini’s long-running satirical revue, subtitled Merrily We Stole a Song had been announced as playing Broadway’s Hayes Theater this summer, but the engagement was postponed indefinitely. Now, the production will open Off-Broadway at Theater 555 on W. 42nd St. on Sept. 12 with previews beginning Aug. 23.

Created, written and directed by Gerard Alessandrini, with musical staging by Gerry McIntyre, Forbidden Broadway: Merrily We Stole a Song skewers the latest deluge of Broadway offerings including Hell’s Kitchen, Stereophonic, The Outsiders, The Great Gatsby, Back to the Future, The Wiz, and of course, Merrily We Roll Along. In addition, there will be sendups of Roger Bart, Patti LuPone, Daniel Radcliffe, Ariana DeBose and Jeremy Jordan, among others. This up-to-the-minute version will also poke fun at the 2024 Tony Awards, and will include some of the most popular numbers from Alessandrini’s recent Forbidden Sondheim.

Gerard Alessandrini says “I am thrilled that this latest incarnation of the show that I had been preparing for more than a year, can now open Off-Broadway, where Forbidden Broadway has felt at home for over 40 years. The exciting new Broadway season has inspired me to create a barrage of theatrical zingers, and I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to present this edition in New York after all.”

The company will be headed by Chris Collins-Pisano and Jenny Lee Stern with musical director Fred Barton on piano.  The remainder of the cast and creative team will be announced. 

Michael Urie. Credit: Jenny Anderson

Urie Confirmed for Mattress: In other news, Michael Urie will repeat his role of Prince Dauntless the Drab opposite Sutton Foster as Winifred the Woebegone in the revival of Once Upon a Mattress, opening at the Hudson Theater on Aug. 12. Direct from its record-breaking, sold-out run at New York City Center’s Encores! earlier this year, the show returns to Broadway in a new adaptation by Emmy Award winner Amy Sherman-Palladino (“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”, “Gilmore Girls”), directed by Tony Award nominee and Drama League Award winner Lear deBessonet (Into The Woods). 

2024-25 Broadway/Off-Broadway/Awards Calendar 

Summer 2024

June 5–Home (Roundabout/Todd Haimes)

June 6–The World According to Micki Grant (New Federal Theater/WP Theater)

June 10–Drama Desk Awards (NYU Skirball)

June 10–Theater World Awards (Marquis Theater)

June 12–The Welkin (Atlantic Theater Company)

June 12–Titanic (Encores/City Center)

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

June 18–Pre-Existing Condition (Connelly Upstairs)

June 20–Cats (Perelman Performing Arts Center)

June 23–N/A (Mitzi Newhouse)

July 11–Oh, Mary! (Lyceum)

July 30–Job (Hayes)

Aug. 12–Once Upon a Mattress (Hudson)

Fall 2024

Sept. 12–The Roommate (Booth)

Sept. 12–Counting and Cracking (Public Theater/NYU Skirball)

Spet. 12–Forbidden Broadway: Merrily We Stole a Song (Theater555)

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

Sept. 29–The Hills of California (Broadhurst)

Sept. 30–MCNEAL (Vivian Beaumont/LCT)

Oct. 1–Yellowface (Roundabout/Todd Haimes)

Oct. 1–Good Bones (Public)

Oct. 9–The Counter (Roundabout/Laura Pels)

Oct. 10–Our Town (Barrymore)

Oct. 10–Deep History (Public)

Oct. 17–Maybe Happy Ending (Belasco)

Oct. 20–Sunset Boulevard (St. James)

Oct. 24–Romeo and Juliet (Circle in the Square)

Nov. 8–Gatz (Elevator Repair Service/Public)

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

Nov. 14–Tammy Faye (Palace)

Nov. 14–King Lear (Kenneth Branagh Theater Company/The Shed)

Nov. 21–Death Becomes Her (Lunt-Fontanne)

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

Left on Tenth

Swept Away

We Live in Cairo (NYTW)

Winter 2024-25

Dec. 19–Gypsy (Majestic)

Jan. 23–English (Roundabout/Todd Haimes Theater)

Feb. 20–Liberation (Roundabout/Laura Pels)

The Antiquities (Playwrights Horizons/Vineyard Theater)

A Knock on the Roof (NYTW)

Sumo (Ma-Yi Theater/Public)

2024-25

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

Romeo and Juliet w.Tom Holland/Francesca Amewudah-Rivers (?)

Smash

Wine in the Wilderness (CSC)

Spring 2025

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

April 24–The Pirates of Penzance (Roundabout/Todd Haimes Theater)

Bowl EP (Vineyard Theater/National Black Theater)

Glass. Kill. What If If Only. Imp. (Public)

Good Night and Good Luck

Lights Out: Nat “King” Cole (NYTW)

Othello

The Picture of Dorian Gray (???)

Show Boat (Target Margin/NYU Skirball)

Summer 2025

Twelfth Night (Public Theater/Delacorte)

Fall 2025

Initiative (Public)

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; Crazy Rich Asians; 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.

2024-25 Broadway Season Breakdown

New Plays

Good Night and Good Luck

The Hills of California

Job 

Left on Tenth

MCNEAL

Oh, Mary!

The Roommate

New Musicals

Death Becomes Her

Maybe Happy Ending

Old Friends

Smash

Swept Away

Tammy Faye

What a Wonderful World: The Louis Armstrong Musical

Play Revivals

English

Eureka Day

Home

Othello

Our Town

Romeo and Juliet

Yellowface

Musical Revivals

Gypsy

Once Upon a Mattress

The Pirates of Penzance

Sunset Boulevard