Spring Broadway Preview


Angela Tricarico, Staff Writer

From February until May each year, the Broadway community gears up for a full calendar of spring openings. In the spring half of this season, Broadway will welcome 13 new plays and musicals, and nine revival works. Of the 22 shows slated to open in the next few months, 11 are musicals.

7 new musicals are slated to make their Broadway debuts in the coming weeks. They range from adaptations of well-loved films and novels, to inspiring real-life stories.

Come From Away, opening on March 12 at the Schoenfeld Theater, tells the real-life stories of planes that were diverted to Canada on September 11, 2001. The small Canadian community embraced and accepted the passengers on the diverted planes, forming unbreakable bonds. Chad Kimball and Jenn Colella headline a small ensemble cast.

On April 3, Amelie will open at the Walter Kerr Theater. Starring Phillipa Soo, known for her starring role as Elizabeth Schuyler in Hamilton, Amelie is based on the 2001 French film about a shy waitress with an imagination that runs wild. Broadway vet Adam Chandler-Berat will star opposite Soo.

Another musical based on a real-life story is War Paint. The Broadway premiere brings two stars back to the New York stage: Patti LuPone and Christine Ebersole. LuPone and Ebersole play Helena Rubenstein and Elizabeth Arden, respectively, and it explores the rivalry of these two cosmetic giants. War Paint will open at the Nederlander Theater on April 6.

Groundhog Day will make its American premiere as a musical on April 17 at the August Wilson Theater. It’s based on the 1993 film in which one man relives the same day of his life over and over; Andy Karl will fill the stage-favorite role originally played by Bill Murray. Barrett Doss returns to Broadway playing opposite Karl as Rita.

Based on the novel by Roald Dahl, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory will star Christian Borle (right off his acclaimed run in Falsettos) as Willy Wonka. Adults will play the children roles (minus Charlie, who will be played by alternating children) in this stage adaption, which originated on London’s West End in 2013. It will open on April 23 at the Lunt-Fontanne Theater.

One day later, one of the most highly anticipated shows of the season, Anastasia will open at the Broadhurst Theater. The show is adapted from the 1997 animated film about a young woman who thinks she may be the only surviving member of a Russian royal family. Christy Altomare makes a star turn as Anya, with Derek Klena opposite her as Dmitry. The musical will feature new songs by Ahrens and Flaherty and songs from the movie.

The last new musical to open in the 2016-2017 season is Bandstand, a new American musical. Starring Laura Osnes and Corey Cott, Bandstand is an original story about a group of WWII veterans returning from war and forming a band to enter a radio contest. It has been given a seal of approval by Got Your 6, an advocacy group for veterans.

In addition to the 7 new musicals, 4 musicals will return to the New York stage.

Opening first is a transfer of Sunset Boulevard starring Glenn Close. It opens this Thursday, February 9. The Andrew Lloyd Webber musical is about a faded Hollywood star, Norma Desmond, who tries to make one last comeback.

For the second time, Sunday In The Park With George will be revived, this time starring Jake Gyllenhaal. On February 23, it will officially open Broadway’s 41st theater, the Hudson Theater. It is a transfer of City Center’s Fall Gala concert that will run for 10 weeks only.

The first revival of Miss Saigon will hit Broadway on March 23, playing its original home at the Broadway Theater. Jon Jon Briones, Eva Noblezada and Allistair Brammer are all transferring from London with the production, which will add Katie Rose Clarke and a few other Broadway actors.

Bette Midler will be the next iconic actress to step into the role of Dolly Gallagher Levi when Hello, Dolly! opens at the Shubert Theater on April 20, 2017. She’s joined with a cast of Broadway all-stars including David Hyde Pierce, Gavin Creel and Kate Baldwin.

With the 2016-2017 Broadway season only half complete at this time, the race to the Tony Awards is still wide open, and these new openings are sure to deliver some competition to some of the larger categories.