By Gianluca Russo
The Tony Awards are only a mere seven months away, and the competition has already begun. Though last year brought us Lin Manuel Miranda’s “Hamilton,” the 2016-2017 Broadway season is turning out to be one of the hottest yet. From Ben Platt to Josh Groban to Bette Midler and Patti LuPone, we certainly have many must-see shows this winter and spring.
The Jellicle Ball is back on Broadway this season with Andrew Lloyd Webber’s award winning musical “Cats.” Based on a group of cats that gather once a year to decide who will go to the Heaviside Layer and return to a new life, the original production opened in 1982 running until 2000, making it the fourth longest running Broadway show. While many find the plot confusing, the choreography by Andy Blankenbuehler is sure to impress and stun all theatre lovers.
“Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812”
Josh Groban makes his Broadway debut in this inventive musical adaptation of Leo Tolstoy’s “War and Peace.” The production officially opened on November 14 to rave reviews with Charles Isherwood of the New York Times calling it a “vibrant, transporting new musical.”
If you’re looking for a heart wrenching, tear jerking evening, “Falsettos” may be the perfect show for you. The musical, originally produced on Broadway in 1992, follows Marvin, an intelligent and charming man, who leaves his wife and son after coming out as gay. “Falsettos” is a touching telling of this modern family who find their way through a situation that seems impossible. Among the cast are Christian Borle as Marvin, Stephanie J. Block as his wife and Andrew Rannells as his lover. The production closes January 8, 2017.
“A Bronx Tale”
Based off the 1990 play and 1993 film of the same name, “A Bronx Tale” follows a teenage boy who finds himself trapped between following his father or becoming a mob boss. Starring Nick Cordero and Richard H. Blake, the show began previews November 3 and officially opened on December 1.
“Dear Evan Hansen”
“Pitch Perfect’s” Ben Platt is blowing audiences away in this new musical by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul. Platt steps into the leading role of Evan himself, an awkward and invisible teen who finds himself trying to help a family whose son committed suicide. Things get out of hand, however, and while he soon is the talk of the town, his web of lies is rapidly growing. “Dear Evan Hansen” will officially open on December 4 following an extremely successful off-Broadway run at the Second Stage Theatre this past May.
Bette Midler stars as the famed Dolly Levi in this revival of the 1964 classic musical. Opening in April 2017, the production will be directed by Jerry Zaks with choreography by Warren Carlyle. Also joining the cast are Kate Baldwin as Irene Molloy, Gavin Creel as Cornelius Hackl, Jennifer Simard as Ernestina Money and Donna Murphy as the Dolly Levi alternate.
From “Frozen’s” Kristin Anderson-Lopez, “In Transit” is Broadway’s first a cappella musical. The musical follows eleven New Yorkers who lives all become intertwined. The cast features many Broadway favorites including David Abeles, Justin Guarini, Telly Leung, Erin Mackey, Gerianne Perez, Margo Seibert, and James Snyder.
Based on the 1950 movie, “Sunset Boulevard” returns to Broadway this February starring Glenn Close. The original production opened on Broadway in 1994, also starring Close as Norma Desmond, winning seven Tony Awards. The production is scheduled to run for sixteen weeks.
“Come From Away”
Currently playing in Toronto, “Come From Away” tells the story of a group of travelers whose planes were diverted to Newfoundland during the attacks of September 11, 2001. Directed by Christopher Ashley, the musical features a book, music, and lyrics by Irene Sankoff and David Hein. “Come From Away” will open on March 12 at the Schoenfeld Theatre.
Opening March 23, this 1991 Broadway classic will feature Jon Jon Briones and Eva Noblezada. Based on Giacomo Puccini’s “Madame Butterfly,” “Miss Saigon” takes place during the Vietnam War and centers on the romance of an American GI and Vietnam bargirl. The musical is Broadway’s thirteenth longest running show.
“Hamilton’s” Phillipa Soo returns to Broadway this April in this new musical by Dan Messe, Nathan Tyson and Craig Lucas. Based on the 2001 film of the same name, the musical tells the story of a introverted waitress who decided to help change the lives of those around her. “Amelie” will play a pre-Broadway run in Los Angeles this December before transferring to Broadway.
Broadway legends Patti LuPone and Christine Ebersole return to the Great White Way in this new musical following a successful Chicago run. “War Paint,” based on the 2004 book of the same name and the 2007 film “The Powder & The Glory,” follows a rivalry between two 20th century entrepreneurs. The musical will open on Broadway on April 6.
This musical adaptation of 1993 movie will star Andy Karl as Phil Connors. With music and lyrics by Tim Minchin and a book by Danny Rubin, the show played a successful run in London this past summer and will open on Broadway on April 17.
“Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”
Grab your golden ticket and head over to the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre this April to catch this musical adaptation Roald Dahl’s classic novel. Christian Borle, currently in “Falsettos,” will star as Willy Wonka. The musical is directed by Jack O’Brien and choreography by Josh Bergasse.
Based on the 1997 movie of the same name, “Anastasia” will open on Broadway on April 24. Directed by Darko Tresnjack, the show will feature Derek Klena, Christy Altomare, Ramin Karimloo, and John Bolton.
“Newsies” favorite Corey Cott stars alongside “Cinderella’s” Laura Osnes in this new 1940s musical. The show centers on a group of WWII veterans who join forces to compete in a radio contest. “Bandstand” will also be choreographed by Andy Blankenbuhler and will open on April 26.