April 2016 Theater Openings Broadway, Off-Broadway, Off-Off Broadway

This month only seven shows will open on Broadway — “only” because April is usually the most intense of theater-going months. (Last April there were 14 Broadway openings.)

The Broadway offerings include three plays — one new, starring Frank Langella; two revivals (of a comedy and of a tragedy) — and four Broadway musicals. Three of the musicals are new — about a waitress, a serial killer, and a girl who discovers the fountain of immortality.  The fourth is both new and a revival — see “Shuffle Along,” opening April 28th, the final cut-off date for Tony Awards eligibility.

April is still the busiest month, with many shows opening Off-Broadway and Off-Off Broadway.

Below is a selective list, organized chronologically by opening date, with descriptions. Each title is linked to a relevant website.

Nothing, of course, is guaranteed about any of these shows, even those that seem the most promising. There are always surprises, some of them good.

Color key:

Broadway: Red.

Off Broadway: Purple or Blue.

Off Off Broadway: Green.
To look at the Spring season as a whole, check out my Broadway Spring 2016 Preview Guide and my Off Broadway Spring 2016 Preview Guide

April 3


Cagney (Westside Theater)

This musical about the movie star and song-and-dance-man James Cagney was well-received at York Theatre Company, and is being transferred for a commercial Off-Broadway run.

April 4


Antlia Pneumatica (Playwrights Horizons)

In a ranch house deep in Texas Hill Country, a once tight-knit group of friends reunites to bury one of their own. But as they look backward through their lives, it becomes clear they’ve lost more than just their old pal. A play by Anne Washburn (Mr. Burns.)


April 6

Primary (IRT Theater)

The allure of local politics has brainwashed Laura, into a misguided campaign for State Representative. Her nine-year-old daughter Sophie must bring her back from the dark side.


April 7


Daddy Issues (Davenport)

The only thing that will make Donald’s overbearing parents happy is for him to give them a grandchild, so he hired the ten-year-old kid from downstairs.


Vincent (Starry Night Theater Company at Theatre at St. Clements)

A play by the late Leonard Nimoy about the artist Vincent van Gogh, adapted from his letters to his brother


April 12

Exit Strategy (Primary Stages at Cherry Lane)

Written by Ike Holter, who wrote Hit The Wall, about the Stonewall Riots that started the modern gay rights movement in America. The press material says the play is “about the chaotic final days of a Chicago public school,


April 13

Set Design TONY STRAIGES Costume Design ANITA YAVICH Lighting Design JOE NOVAK Sound Design MATT STINE


Nathan The Wise (Classic Stage Company) 

In the Jerusalem of 1192, when Muslims, Christians and Jews live side by side thanks to a fragile truce that could collapse at any moment, a question arises from the ruling Sultan: “which religion is the one most beloved by God?” Nathan, a pious Jewish merchant, is charged with answering this question to help secure the continued safety of his people. F Murray Abraham portrays Nathan, Stark Sands a crusading Christian, in this 18th century play by Gotthold Ephraim Lessing adapted by Edward Kemp.

Two Rooms (Phoebe Productions At Theatre 54)

In this play by Lee Blessing, the wife of an American hostage held in Beirut faces the difficult decision of cooperating with cautious hostage negotiators from the State Department or taking a riskier path by speaking candidly and publicly with a journalist.


April 14

Frank Langella in TheFather


The Father (MTC’s Samuel J. Friedman Theatre)

Andre (Frank Langella) is a retired dancer living with his adult daughter Anne and her husband. Or is he a retired engineer receiving a visit from Anne who has moved away with her boyfriend? Why do strangers keep turning up in his room? A look inside the mind of someone suffering from dementia.


One Funny Mother (New World Stages)

Dena Blizzard riffs on motherhood


Like Money in the Bank (Theatre Row)

A “romantic comedy about the founding of the Federal Reserve Bank. In 1910 Chicago, a suffragist-social reformer woman asks an immigrant mechanic to build her a new steam boiler. But instead of central heating, the pair gets drawn into a political struggle over how money and labor will collide in the Progressive Era.”


April 18

When I was a Girl I used to Scream and Shout (Theatre Row)

A play by Sharman Macdonald about a mother and daughter sharing a Scottish beach holiday that brings back memories of betrayal.

The Dingdong (The Pearl)

“Vatelin is a faithful husband—mostly. Lucy is a faithful wife—kind of. And their “fidelity” is about to be put to the test when a series of importunate suitors and femme fatales invade their little world.” Mark Shanahan’s adaptation of Le Dindon by George Feydeau


April 19

Revolt. She Said. Revolt Again.
Revolt. She Said. Revolt Again

Revolt, She Said, Revolt Again (Soho Rep)

“A series of provocations overlap, intersect, and explode to create a wildly theatrical and irreverent new play about how we talk to, and about, each other.” A play by Alice Birch


April 21

American Psycho (Schoenfeld)


Benjamin Walker, Jennifer Damiano, Alice Ripley, Helene York star in a musical based on the novel by Bret Easton Ellis about a stylish serial killer. Music by Duncan Sheik.

In The Secret Sea (Theatre Row)

“A gut-wrenching decision confronts a newly-married couple, their parents, their consciences, and the rest of their lives.” A play by Cate Ryan.


April 24


The School For Scandal (Red Bull at The Lucille Lortel)

The 18th century farce by Richard Sheridan

Waitress (Brooks Atkinson Theatre)


Based on the 2007 movie written by Adrienne Shelly, the musical with a score by singer-songwriter Sara Bareilles, focuses on Jenna (Jessie Mueller), a waitress and expert pie maker, who is stuck in a small town and a loveless marriage… until a baking content in a nearby county and the town’s handsome new doctor .

April 25


Fully Committed (Lyceum)

Jesse Tyler Ferguson is said to portray 40 character involved with a high-class restaurant in this revival of the play by Becky Mode.


April 26

Tuck Everlasting (The Broadhurst)


Based on the novel by Natalie Babbitt, the musical tells the story of Winnie Foster, who embarks on a life-changing adventure after she discovers the secret of the Tuck family (hint of what it is in the title.


April 27

Long Days Journey Into NightAmerican Airlines Theatre
Gabriel Byrne and jessica Lange

Long Day’s Journey into Night (American Airlines)

The sixth production of O’Neill’s riveting play about the Tyrone family, undisguised as his own. Starring Gabriel Byrne, John Gallagher Jr., Jessica Lange, Michael Shannon


AllOverTheMapposterAll Over The Map (Theatre Row)

Bill Bowers’ one man show in which he “takes you places so unbelievable they could only be true’


April 28


Shuffle Along, Or, The Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed (Music Box)

In May 1921, the new musical Shuffle Along became a hit, significantly altering the face of the Broadway musical. This is both that musical and the story of that musical. Cast includes Audra McDonald, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Billy Porter, Brandon Victor Dixon, Joshua Henry


Thao's Library posterThao’s Library (Theatre Row)

A multi-media play written and performed by Elizabeth Van Meter, with footage drawn from her documentary of the same name about her discovery of a photograph that propels her to rural Vietnam to meet a woman whose spirit inspires her to build a library.

Exile Is My Home (Theatre for a New City Cabaret Theatre)

 A sci-fi, post-apocalyptic fairy tale about Mina and Lina, a refugee couple from the Balkans traveling through the galaxy in search of a planet to call home.



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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