NYC - The Official Guide

Winter/Spring 2020 Broadway Guide

Brian Sloan
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Two of Broadway’s new shows owe much to the British monarchy: Diana tells the tale of the Princess of Wales, while a lively sextet of power-pop performers sings the story of Henry the VIII’s wives in Six. On the subject of merry old England, a number of major productions come to NYC direct from hit runs in the London’s West End: Stephen Sondheim’s Company gets a reboot with a female lead; Girl from the North Country dramatizes Bob Dylan’s music; Laura Linney goes solo in My Name Is Lucy Barton; and a new version of Caroline, or Change features a remarkable performance from Britain’s Sharon D. Clarke.

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Big names taking the stage include Darren Criss in American Buffalo, Laurie Metcalf in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Debra Messing in Birthday Cake and Matthew Broderick and Sarah Jessica Parker in Neil Simon’s Plaza Suite. There are also plenty of returning Broadway regulars, such as Harry Hadden-Paton (My Fair Lady) in the LSD-fueled Flying Over Sunset, Patti LuPone (War Paint) as the boozy Joanne in Company and Rob McClure (Beetlejuice) taking on the cross-dressing lead in Mrs. Doubtfire.

For details on these and many more new shows this coming season, read on.

Grand Horizons. Courtesy, RPM/ Second Stage Theater

Grand Horizons

Hayes Theater, 240 W. 44th St., December 23–March 1

Jane Alexander and James Cromwell return for their first Broadway performances in over 20 years with this production of Bess Wohl’s new play. They portray a couple, married for half a century, who move into a new home and then abruptly decide to call it quits.

The buzz: Cromwell and Alexander make a true Broadway power couple.
Buy tickets if…you want to see two powerhouse performances.

A Soldier’s Play

American Airlines Theatre, 227 W. 42nd St., December 27–March 15

David Alan Grier and Blair Underwood star in the first Broadway production of Charles Fuller’s award-winning 1981 drama. Set in 1944, the play revolves around a murder in the racially segregated ranks of a US Army base in the Deep South and the dangerous repercussions of the ensuing investigation.

The buzz: Years after its premiere, the play remains fresh and relevant.
Buy tickets if…you like a military drama with a twist.

My Name is Lucy Barton. Photo: Jason Bell

My Name Is Lucy Barton

Samuel J. Friedman Theatre, 261 W. 47th St., January 6–February 29

Adapted from a novel by Pulitzer Prize winner Elizabeth Strout, this solo show is about a woman who wakes up from an operation and finds her estranged mother at the foot of her bed. Academy Award nominee Laura Linney brings the play to Broadway after an acclaimed run in London’s West End.

The buzz: Linney’s performance in London got universal raves.
Buy tickets if…you have a complicated relationship with your mom.

Girl From the North Country Girl From the North Country. Courtesy, AKA NYC

Girl from the North Country

Belasco Theatre, 111 W. 44th St., February 7–ongoing

Bob Dylan’s songs are at the center of this new musical from Irish playwright and director Conor McPherson (The Weir). This show comes to Broadway after successful runs in the UK and at NYC’s Public Theater, where it garnered high praise for combining Dylan’s music with a Depression-era story set in the singer-songwriter’s native Minnesota.

The buzz: Its Off-Broadway run at the Public earlier this year was a sold-out hit.
Buy tickets if…you’re looking for an unusual take on the jukebox musical.

Six

Brooks Atkinson Theatre, 256 W. 47th St., February 13–ongoing

England’s Henry the VIII famously had six wives. In this original rock musical, they take center stage to sing their side of the story. With a girl-power message and an all-female cast (including Beautiful’s Abby Mueller), the show is an entertaining mix of contemporary music and women’s history.

The buzz: The show is already a viral sensation due to thousands of TikTok videos.
Buy tickets if…you loved Hamilton.

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The Minutes

The Cort Theatre, 138 W. 48th St., February 25–June 14

Tony-winning playwright Tracey Letts returns to the New York stage with his latest drama about a small town's city council meeting that takes some surprising turns. The production reunites Letts with the Tony-winning director of his 2007 breakout Broadway hit August: Osage County

The buzz: Letts' mix of intense drama and comedy was a hit in its Chicago tryout last year.
Buy tickets if....you find the humor in unsettling situations.

Diana Diana. Courtesy, Serino Coyne

Diana

Longacre Theatre, 220 W. 48th St., March 2–ongoing

The Princess of Wales is the subject of this new musical from writers Joe DiPietro and David Bryan. Directed by Christopher Ashley (Come From Away), the show starts with Diana Spencer’s wedding to Prince Charles. The plot follows their tumultuous public relationship and ends with Diana’s untimely death in 1997.

The buzz: An 1980s-esque score is inspired in part by composer David Bryan’s role as the keyboardist in Bon Jovi.
Buy tickets if…you want to revisit one of the most impactful cultural figures of the 20th century.

Company

Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre, 242 W. 45th St., March 2–September 27

Stephen Sondheim’s seminal 1970 musical about single life gets a contemporary update with a big twist: the lead character, Bobby, has been cast as a woman rather than a man. Tony winner Katrina Lenk (The Band’s Visit) plays that role in this West End import, which has drawn praise for its new feminist take on the show. Marianne Elliott (Angels in America) directs.

The buzz: Patti LuPone’s turn as the caustic Joanne was a showstopper in London.
Buy tickets if…you want to feel alive

Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Courtesy, Spotco

Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

Booth Theatre, 222 W. 45th St., March 3–August 2

Edward Albee’s classic 1962 drama about a dysfunctional married couple gets a new staging with an all-star cast, featuring Laurie Metcalf and Rupert Everett as Martha and George. Two-time Tony winner Joe Mantello directs.

The buzz: Metcalf’s rendition of this iconic role is role is highly anticipated, as is Everett’s first Broadway appearance in over a decade.
Buy tickets if…you like parties that go seriously awry.

The Lehman Trilogy The Lehman Trilogy. Courtesy, Spotco

The Lehman Trilogy

Nederlander Theater, 208 W. 41st St., March 7–June 28

Three actors depict the 150-year-plus history of Lehman Brothers in this three-act epic. British thespians Simon Russell Beale, Adam Godley and Ben Miles reprise their multiple roles from the London and Off-Broadway productions, which earned great reviews.

The buzz: The trio of actors work wonders bringing history to vivid life on a simple revolving office set.
Buy tickets if…you like the American Dream dramatized.

Mrs. Doubtfire

Stephen Sondheim Theatre, 124 W. 43rd St., March 9–ongoing

The title character bellowing “Hellloooooo!” will surely be a memorable moment in this tune-filled adaptation of the beloved 1993 film comedy, which starred Robin Williams. Rob McClure (Beetlejuice) takes on the title role, under the direction of Broadway vet Jerry Zaks (Hello, Dolly!). Other Broadway regulars, including Brad Oscar and Peter Bartlett, round out the cast.

The buzz: McClure certainly has some big heels to fill, but insiders feel he’s up to the task.
Buy tickets if…you love the ’90s.

Flying Over Sunset

Vivian Beaumont Theater, Lincoln Center, Broadway and 63rd Street, March 12–ongoing

With a story centered on a shared (but fictional) LSD trip by Cary Grant, Aldous Huxley and Clare Booth Luce, this new musical is definitely not your average show. But creator James Lapine has previously found Broadway magic in unexpected places—like spelling bees.

The buzz: With a cast featuring the likes of Harry Hadden-Paton, Tony Yazbeck and Carmen Cusack, you probably can’t go wrong.
Buy tickets if…you’re ready for a mind-expanding performance.

Caroline, or Change

Studio 54, 254 W. 54th Street, March 13–ongoing

Tony Kushner’s intimate 2003 musical gets a big Broadway revival with this new production from across the pond. Sharon D. Clarke, known for her London stage work and smart turns on Doctor Who, plays the title role of a housekeeper in the Deep South during the 1960s.

The buzz: Clarke’s work in the UK production earned her the 2018 Olivier Award for Best Actress in a Musical.
Buy tickets if…you want to see the performance of a lifetime.

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Plaza Suite

Hudson Theatre, 141 W. 44th St., March 13–July 12

Real-life couple Matthew Broderick and Sarah Jessica Parker play three different fictional pairs in Neil Simon’s 1960s play about relationships and married life. This is the first Broadway production of Simon’s work since he passed away in 2018.

The buzz: Broderick and Parker’s first onstage pairing (as a married couple) brought a unique spark to the 2003 revival of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.
Buy tickets if…you can see beyond Carrie Bradshaw and Ferris Bueller.

American Buffalo

Circle in the Square Theatre, 235 W. 50th St., March 24–ongoing

The acting sparks are sure to fly in this new version of David Mamet’s fast-talking tale of small-time criminals in Chicago. Originally written in the 1970s, the play’s famously profane dialogue will get a new spin from a trio of notable film and TV stars: Darren Criss, Laurence Fishburne and Sam Rockwell.

The buzz: We’re looking forward to seeing Criss, known for Broadway musicals and Glee, make his dramatic stage debut.
Buy tickets if…you’re a Glee fan who’s ready to grow up.

How I Learned to Drive

Samuel J. Friedman Theatre, 261 W. 47th St. , March 27–June 7

It’s incredibly rare that an award-winning show’s original cast members return to play the same characters for a revival 20 years later. But that’s the case here as both Mary-Louise Parker and David Morse reprise their roles in Paula Vogel’s drama about a surprising relationship between a teenage driver and her uncle.

The buzz: These two actors had a compelling chemistry the first time around that will surely deepen with this production.
Buy tickets if…you want to see the acting rematch of the season.

Take Me Out

Hayes Theater, 240 W. 44th St., April 2–June 14

In 2003, Richard Greenberg’s play about a Major League Baseball player who comes out as gay took home multiple Tony Awards, including Best Play. Fifteen-plus years later, this show returns with Jesse Williams (Grey’s Anatomy) as an outfielder for the New York Empires and Jesse Tyler Ferguson (Modern Family) as his financial consultant.

The buzz: This show’s original run shocked audiences with its daring subject matter, not to mention its locker-room scenes.
Buy tickets if…you want a new perspective on the American pastime.

Birthday Candles

American Airlines Theatre, 250 W. 42nd St., April 2–June 21

Will & Grace’s Debra Messing returns to the stage for this unusual new play about a girl celebrating her birthday over and over again, from 17 to 101, while preparing the same cake every year. Playwright Noah Haidle makes his Broadway debut with a quirky piece that was commissioned by the Detroit Public Theatre, where it premiered in 2018.

The buzz: The writer describes his own work as “laugh, laugh, cry, cry.”
Buy tickets if…you like comedy and baking.


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