Broadway Spring 2014 Season Guide

BroadwaySpring2014logosActOnelogo“Theater is not so much a profession as a disease, and my first look at Broadway was the beginning of a lifelong infection,” Moss Hart wrote in his memoir Act One, which has been adapted for the Broadway stage 55 years after it was published, 52 years after Hart’s death. He is only one of the theatrical luminaries making a return engagement on Broadway in the Spring of 2014.

 NeilPatrickHarrisasTonyhostIt has been about decade since Neil Patrick Harris — Mr. Broadway to millions because of his hosting duties for the Tony Awards — has actually starred in a Broadway show, 11 years for Idina Menzel, and 30 for Diahann Carroll. All three return in Spring 2014 — along with Denzel Washington and Alan Cumming, Sutton Foster and Estelle Parsons.

All The Way

There are also many familiar names making their Broadway debuts, from Bryan Cranston of “Breaking Bad” fame to pop star Carly Lee Jepson of “Call Me, Maybe,” as well as  Fran Drescher, James Franco, Zach Braff, Michelle Williams, and Debra Messing, who, thanks to her role in Smash, many already consider a Broadway baby.

Familiar names making their Broadway debuts are not limited to people:  the films Aladdin, Rocky, The Bridges of Madison County, and Bullets

Adam Jacobs

Over Broadway are all being adapted for Broadway this season, and several favorites are returning, including Les Miserables and Cabaret. Act One will star Tony Shalhoub and Santino Fontana.

Below are details about the 20 plays and musicals that have opening dates and theaters in Spring, 2014, listed chronologically by their opening dates.  You know the drill: There is no guarantee that any of these will actually happen. Indeed, the only guarantee is that the schedule will change — many additions, some subtractions. I  will update periodically. 



Stephen Sondheim Theater


First Preview: November 21, 2013

Opening: January 12, 2014

Music and Lyrics by: Carole King, Gerry Goffin, Barry Mann, Cynthia Weil

Book by: Douglas McGrath

Director: Marc Bruni

Cast: Jessie Mueller, Jake Epstein, Anika Larsen, Jarrod Spector

Beautiful tells the true story of Carole King’s stellar songwriting career, beginning as a teenage hitmaker, her partnership with her first husband Gerry Goffin, her relationship with Cynthia Weil and Barry Mann, her rise as a singer/songwriter.

My review of Beautiful


American Airlines Theatre


First Preview: December 20, 2013

Opening: January 16, 2014

Written by Sophie Treadwell

Director: Lyndsey Turner

Cast: Rebecca Hall

“Inspired by the infamous 1927 murder trial of Ruth Snyder, Machinal is a gripping drama by American journalist and playwright Sophie Treadwell. For Young Woman (Hall), a stenographer in the industrial, male-dominated world of the 1920s, life is nothing like she hoped it would be. Restless and unfulfilled in a passionless marriage and unwanted motherhood, she finds her only joy in the form of an illicit love affair. But when reality sets in and she must return to her routine existence, she’ll go to any lengths to regain her freedom.”

My review of Machinal

outsidemullingarlogoOUTSIDE MULLINGAR

Samuel J. Friedman Theatre


First preview: January 2, 2014

Opening: January 23, 2014

Closing: March 16, 2014

Cast: Debra Messing, Brian F. O’Byrne

Debra Messing plays an eccentric Irishwoman who is trying to make a romantic connection with her shy neighbor (Brían F. O’Byrne). Written by John Patrick Shanley (Doubt, Moonstruck).


bronxbomberslogoBRONX BOMBERS

Circle in the Square


First Preview: January 10, 2014

Opening: February 6, 2014

Written and directed by Eric Simonson

Cast: Peter Scolari, Tracy Shayne, C.J. Wilson, Christopher Jackson, Francois Battiste, Chris Henry Coffey, Bill Dawes, Keith Nobbs, John Wernke

The third in a series of sports plays, this one is about the Yankees. My review of The Bronx Bombers, with a slightly different cast, when it was Off Broadway.

My review of Bronx Bombers on Broadway


BridgesofMadisonCountylogoGerald Schoenfeld Theatre


First preview: January 13, 2014

Opening: February 20

Director: Bartlett Sher

Cast: Kelli O’Hara, Steven Pasquale

Twitter: @BridgesBroadway

Francesca Johnson, a small-town 1960s Iowa housewife who has a brief but intense affair with Robert Kincaid, a photographer from National Geographic. Meryl Streep and Clint Eastwood played the lead roles in the 1995 film.

My review of the Bridges of Madison County

MARCH, 2014

allthewaylogoALL THE WAY

Neil Simon Theater


First Preview: February 10, 2014

Opening: March 6, 2014

By Robert Schenkkan

Director: Bill Rauch

Cast: Bryan Cranston, Michael McKean, Brandon J. Dirden

Cranston (Breaking Bad) plays LBJ, from 1963, when an assassin’s bullet catapults him into the presidency through the his first year of office, handling civil rights legislation and the beginning of the Vietnam War. Playwright Schenkkan won the Pulitzer Prize for The Kentucky Cycle, a marathon set of plays which took a grim view of the violent founding of the American West.

My review of All The Way


rockylogoWinter Garden

Opening: March 13 2014

Written by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty (score), Thomas Meehan (book)

Director: Alex Timbers

Cast: Andy Karl and Margo Seibert

Twitter: @RockyonBroadway

The new stage production based on the Academy Award-winning film of the same name.

My review of Rocky


aladdinlogoNew Amsterdam

Twitter: @Aladdin

First Preview: February 26, 2014

Opening: March 20,2014

Based on the 1992 Disney animated movie, Aladdin tell the story of a poor street kid who falls in love with a princess, is imprisoned but discovers the secrets of a magic lamp.

My review of Aladdin


lesmislogoImperial Theater


First Preview: March 1, 2014

Opening: March 23, 2014

Written by Alain Boublil, Claude-Michel Schönberg and Herbert Kretzmer

Director: Laurence Connor and James Powell

Cast: Ramin Karimloo, Will Swenson, Nikki M. James, Caissie Levy, Andy Mientus

Cameron Mackintosh returns to Broadway with the 25th-anniversary production of Les Misérables, with new orchestrations.

My review of Les Miserables


MothersandSonslogoJohn Golden Theater

First Preview: February 23, 2014

Opening: March 24, 2014

Written by Terrence McNally

Director: Sheryl Kaller

Cast: Tyne Daly:

The play is about a mother who pays a surprise visit to the New York apartment of her late son’s ex-partner, who is now married to another man and has a young son.

My review of Mothers and Sons


IfThenlogoFirst Preview: March 4, 2014

Opening: March 27, 2014

Written by Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey

Director: Michael Greif

Cast: Idina Menzel

On the verge of turning 40, Elizabeth moves to New York City, the ultimate city of possibility, intent on a fresh start – new home, new friends, and hopes for a resurgent career.

My review of If/Then

APRIL, 2014


raisininthesunlogoEthel Barrymore Theatre

First preview: March 8, 2014

Opening: April 3, 2014

Closing: June 15, 2014

Director: Kenny Leon

Cast: Denzel Washington, Diahann Carroll, Anika Noni Rose

A revival of Lorraine Hansberry’s drama about the divergent dreams and conflicts within three generations of the African-American Younger family.

My review of A Raisin in the Sun


RealisticJoneseslogoLyceum Theater

Twitter: @RealisticBway

First Preview: March 13, 2014

Opening: April 6,2014

Director: Sam Gold

Cast: Toni Collette, Michael C. Hall, Marisa Tomei, Tracy Letts

Playwright Will Eno  (Middletown; Title and Deed; Thom Pain (based on nothing)) makes his Broadway debut in this comedy about two suburban couples who have become new neighbors and discover they share more than a surname.

 My review of The Realistic Joneses


bulletsoverBroadwaylogoSt. James Theater

Twitter: @bulletsoverbway

First Preview:March 11, 2014

Opening: April 10, 2014

Director: Susan Stroman

Cast: Zach Braff, Vincent Pastore, Helene Yorke, Betsy Wolfe

A musical adaptation of Woody Allen’s Academy Award-nominated film, about a playwright whose first taste of success comes with mobsters and a domineering diva attached.


ActOnelogoLincoln Center’s Vivian Beaumont Theater


First preview: March 20, 2014

Opening: April 17, 2014

James Lapine directs his own adaptation of Moss Hart’s classic autobiography that chronicles his struggle to escape poverty and forge a career in the theater, which led to his collaboration with George S. Kaufman and culminated in his first great success, Once in a Lifetime.


Theatre: Longacre Theatre


First Preview: March 22, 2014

Opening: April 17, 2014

Written by John Steinbeck

Director: Anna D. Shapiro

Cast: James Franco, Chris O’Dowd, Leighton Meester

A Broadway revival of John Steinbeck’s classic novel/play.


American Airlines Theatre


First Preview: March 28, 2014

Opening: April 20, 2014

Written by Jeanine Tesori and Brian Crawley

Director: Leigh Silverman

Cast: Sutton Foster

Violet tells the story of a young woman’s quest for beauty amidst the image-obsessed landscape of the 1960s.” This revival was part of the new Encores Off-Center series.


VelocityofAutumnlogoBooth Theater

First Preview: April 1, 2014

Opening: April 21, 2014

Written by Eric Coble

Director: Molly Smith

Cast: Estelle Parsons, Stephen Spinella

“The Velocity of Autumn swirls around Alexandra, a 79-year-old artist in a showdown with her family over where she’ll spend her remaining years. She’s barricaded herself in her Brooklyn brownstone with enough Molotov cocktails to take out the block. Her youngest son manages to work his way into the place.


hedwigandtheangryinchlogoBelasco Theatre


First preview: March 29, 2014

Opening: April 22, 2014

Neil Patrick Harris stars in this rock musical about a transgender singer’s quest to find her other half.


Samuel J. Friedman Theater


First preview: April 1, 2014

Opening: April 23, 2014

Written by Harvey Fierstein

Directed by Joe Montello

Based on actual events and set in 1962, Casa Valentina focuses on a Catskills resort which caters to a very special clientele—heterosexual men whose favorite pastime is dressing and living as women.


caberetlogoStudio 54


First preview: March 21, 2014

Opening April 24, 2014

Closing: August 31, 2014

Cast: Alan Cumming, Michelle Williams

Sam Mendes and Rob Marshall’s Tony Award-winning production (Best Revival, 1998) returns, starring Alan Cumming in his Tony-winning role as Emcee opposite Michelle Williams, making her Broadway debut as Sally Bowles, the clueless American singer in Berlin before World War II.

Author: New York Theater

Jonathan Mandell is a 3rd generation NYC journalist, who sees shows, reads plays, writes reviews and sometimes talks with people.

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