Broadway had its best season ever this year (May 2016–May 2017) with more than $1.4 billion in ticket sales. Record-breaking shows like Hamilton and Dear Evan Hansen continue to lead the way, but a whole slew of newcomers are waiting in the wings to take their bows in 2018 and try to make history as well.
Easily the most anticipated musical is the debut of Disney’s Frozen, a stage version of the megahit 2013 movie. There’s also a new drama from Tracy Letts (August: Osage County), big-budget revivals of two Rodgers & Hammerstein musicals and the London transfer of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. A total of 15 shows will hit the boards this winter and spring, warming up the season with new songs and red-hot drama. Read on for details.
Note: Get two-for-one tickets to great Broadway shows during NYC Broadway Week, running January 16–February 4. Tickets go on sale January 5.
American Airlines Theater, 227 W. 42nd St. Performances begin December 21, through March 4, 2018.
After a successful run at Lincoln Center in 2008, John Lithgow brings this unique one-man show to Broadway for a limited run. Inspired by great literature and stories from Lithgow’s own life, this deeply personal performance celebrates the importance of storytelling and family.
The buzz: Lithgow vividly brings to life nine characters in an acting tour de force.
Buy tickets if…you like telling and listening to family stories and/or you’re a fan of 3rd Rock from the Sun.
Theater TBD, Performances begin February 6.
Chicago-based playwright Tracy Letts’ August: Osage County was the rare Broadway drama that was both a critical and commercial success. His latest show, which debuted at Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theater this fall, takes on the minutiae of a local community’s city council meeting and the unexpected drama that comes from the details of democracy.
The buzz: William Petersen (CSI) returns to Broadway for the first time in more than 20 years.
Buy tickets if…you’re a fan of Robert’s Rules of Order.
Marquis Theater, 210 W. 46th St. Performances begin February 16.
The tequila will be flowing freely at the lobby bar for this new Jimmy Buffett musical, which is set—where else?—in paradise. At the titular tropical hotel, love blossoms amid more than a dozen Buffett musical classics, plus a couple of new tunes thrown into the margarita-soaked mix.
The buzz: Broadway vet Christopher Ashley’s direction brings some heart to this jukebox-style show.
Buy tickets if…you’re a Parrothead (or suspect you might be, given the right circumstances).
St. James Theatre, 246 W. 44th St. Performances begin February 22.
An expanded adaptation of Disney’s animated smash, this highly anticipated show follows the strained relationship of two royal sisters, Elsa and Anna. You can expect dazzling effects (bring on the ice castle!) and a flurry of new songs from the movie’s husband-and-wife songwriting team, Robert Lopez (Avenue Q, The Book of Mormon) and Kristen Anderson-Lopez.
The buzz: The Denver tryout got positive notices for the new tunes and stunning stage effects.
Buy tickets if…you can’t let it go.
Neil Simon Theatre, 250 W. 52nd St. Performances begin February 23, through June 30.
This two-part production is the first Broadway revival of Tony Kushner’s epic Pulitzer-prize winning play about AIDS, Roy Cohn, Mormonism, Ethel Rosenberg, Antarctica and, of course, winged messengers. This production was well-received in London earlier this year, starring Nathan Lane as Cohn and Andrew Garfield as a gay man with AIDS.
The buzz: Nathan Lane stunned audiences with his performance in London.
Buy tickets if…you want to see the best play of the last 25 years, according to New York Times critic Ben Brantley.
Golden Theatre, 252 W. 45th St. Performances begin February 27.
In 1991, this intimate three-hander from Edward Albee (Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf) debuted Off-Broadway, beginning a reevaluation of the playwright and a full-scale revival of his career. Now, a little more than a year after his passing, the show that remade Albee’s reputation finally makes it to Broadway with an all-star cast of Glenda Jackson, Laurie Metcalf and Alison Pill.
The buzz: Jackson returns to the New York stage after a 25-year absence.
Buy tickets if…you’re intrigued by shows that may not be what they seem. No spoilers!
Imperial Theatre, 249 W 45th St. Performances begin February 28.
Billy Bigelow is back on Broadway in this revival of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s beloved musical about love and loss in a small New England town. Jack O’Brien directs, bringing a modern spin to this American classic with a cast lead by Tony-winner Jessie Mueller (Beautiful) as Julie Jordan and Joshua Henry (Hamilton) as Billy.
The buzz: Opera singer Renée Fleming will play Nettie Fowler, delivering the show’s big number, “June Is Busting Out All Over.”
Buy tickets if…you love American songbook favorites like “You’ll Never Walk Alone” and “If I Loved You.”
August Wilson Theatre, 245 W. 52nd St. Performances begin March 12.
Brace yourselves for lots of pink and an abundance of cheese fries. Tina Fey’s extremely quotable 2004 teen flick is bringing the Plastics to Broadway, with a score composed by her husband, Jeff Richmond.
The buzz: Tina Fey, who wrote the original screenplay, is deeply involved in the production and has written the book for the show.
Buy tickets if…you’re still trying to make “fetch” happen.
Vivian Beaumont Theatre, 150 W. 65th St. Performances begin March 15.
Six Feet Under’s Lauren Ambrose takes on the famed role of the coarse Cockney flower girl who gets what may be the world’s first makeover. This musical adaptation of George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion, directed by Bartlett Scher, has a cast that features two-time Tony winner Norbert Leo Butz and, from across the pond, Dame Diana Rigg.
The buzz: As Lincoln Center Theater’s resident director, Scher has done wonders with recent productions of other musical classics like The King and I and South Pacific.
Buy tickets if…you want to dance all night, or at least watch.
Lyric Theatre, 213 W. 42nd St. Performances begin March 16.
The wonderful young wizard of Hogwarts Academy is all grown up with a child of his own in this stage sequel to the blockbuster book series. Expectations are high for this two-part production—it's been a sellout smash in London—which looks at Harry and his new family of five nearly 20 years after the events of the novels.
The buzz: Harry swept the 2017 Olivier Awards in London with a record number of nominations and nine wins.
Buy tickets if…you can wield some magic of your own. This is a hot ticket.
Broadway Theatre, 1681 Broadway. Performances begin March 20, through April 29.
What happens when you mash up classical music and rock ’n’ roll? This unusual live concert provides the incredibly loud answer, with a 20-piece orchestra, a 40-person choir and, of course, a rock band. And yes, it goes to 11. Look for arrangements from the likes of Beethoven, U2, Mozart, Pink Floyd, Handel, Journey and, of course, Rachmaninoff (what, you were expecting Chopin?).
The buzz: Rocktopia has been touring the world for years and has developed a devoted fan base.
Buy tickets if…you want to rock out during spring break; it has a limited run of just six weeks.
Studio 54 Theatre, 254 W. 54th St. Performances begin March 22, through September 9.
Joshua Jackson (Dawson’s Creek, The Affair) makes his Broadway debut with this revival of the 1980 Tony-winner about a deaf woman and her teacher. This intense drama also stars former Miss Deaf America Lauren Ridloff in the role that made Marlee Matlin a star.
The buzz: After becoming a surprise hit at Berkshire Theatre Group this summer, the show transfers to New York for its first revival in almost 40 years.
Buy tickets if…you want to see how Pacey has grown up.
Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre, 242 W. 45th St. Performances begin March 22, through July 1.
At five hours long, Eugene O’Neill’s dramatic marathon comes to Broadway yet again, this time with Denzel Washington in the lead. The show is set in a Greenwich Village dive bar over the course of one long night in which drinks are downed, revelations are made and a diverse cast of true New York characters comes to life.
The buzz: With the pairing of Broadway veteran George C. Wolfe (Shuffle Along, The Normal Heart) directing and Washington acting, awards expectations for this revival are very high.
Buy tickets if…you are into binge drinking and/or watching.
American Airlines Theatre, 227 W. 42nd St. Performances begin March 29, through June 17.
Tom Stoppard (Arcadia, The Real Thing) is considered one of the greatest contemporary British playwrights, and this is considered by many his greatest play. Set in Switzerland in 1917, the show takes a sideways look at life in wartime and the Zelig-like encounters of its main character with famous figures like James Joyce and Vladimir Lenin.
The buzz: Another London transfer, it sold out its original run before previews even began.
Buy tickets if…you like a little wordplay.
Samuel J. Friedman Theatre, 261 W. 47th St. Performances begin April 3, through June 10.
This George Bernard Shaw–penned homage to the famed French heroine gets a leading lady who is quickly making a name for herself as well. Thirty-year-old Condola Rashad has racked up three Tony nominations in less than five years, most recently for her supporting role in the acclaimed 2017 play A Dolls’ House, Part 2.
The buzz: Rashad is in good company. The role has been played in the past by such stars as Uta Hagen, Joan Plowright and Lynn Redgrave.
Buy tickets if…you like a classic told with a contemporary twist.