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.
Off Broadway: Purple or Blue.
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.
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.)
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.
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.
A play by the late Leonard Nimoy about the artist Vincent van Gogh, adapted from his letters to his brother
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,“
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.
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.
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.
Dena Blizzard riffs on motherhood
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.”
A play by Sharman Macdonald about a mother and daughter sharing a Scottish beach holiday that brings back memories of betrayal.
“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
“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
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.
“A gut-wrenching decision confronts a newly-married couple, their parents, their consciences, and the rest of their lives.” A play by Cate Ryan.
The 18th century farce by Richard Sheridan
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 .
Jesse Tyler Ferguson is said to portray 40 character involved with a high-class restaurant in this revival of the play by Becky Mode.
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.
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
Bill Bowers’ one man show in which he “takes you places so unbelievable they could only be true’
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
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.
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.