The 14 shows opening on Broadway in April — one-third of all the shows for the entire Broadway season — include seven musicals and seven plays. There are two hit plays Off-Broadway transferring to the Great White Way, four revivals, four musicals based on movies. and a sequel to a play written 138 years ago. The stars on stage include Bette Midler, Allison Janney, Kevin Kline, Phillipa Soo and Adam Chaler-Berat, Laurie Metcalf, Christian Borle, Corey Cott and Laura Osnes, Patti LuPone and Christine Ebersole, Laura Linney and Cynthia Nixon.
And all that’s just on Broadway. There are almost a dozen more intriguing shows Off-Broadway and Off Off Broadway opening in the month of April.
Below is a list, organized chronologically by opening date, with descriptions. Each title is linked to a relevant website.
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 2017 Preview Guide and my Off Broadway Spring 2017 Preview Guide
The Play That Goes Wrong
Broadway Theater: Lyceum
Written by Henry Lewis, Jonathan Sayer and Henry Shields
Director: Mark Bell
Cast: Matthew Cavendish, Bryony Corrigan, Rob Falconer, Dave Hearn, Henry Lewis, Charlie Russell, Jonathan Sayer, Henry Shields, Greg Tannahill, and Nancy Zamit.
Olivier Award-winning comedy about an amateur university production that goes hopelessly awry
Buy tickets to The Play That Goes Wrong
Broadway Theater: Walter Kerr
Written by Dan Messé (music), Nathan Tyson (lyrics), Craig Lucas (book)
Director: Pam MacKinnon
Cast: Phillipa Soo and Adam Chanler-Berat
A musical adaptation of the 2001 film, which starred Audrey Tautou as a shy waitress with a wild imagination.
Daniel’s Husband (Primary Stages at Cherry Lane)
In this play by Michael McKeever, Daniel longs to be married and Mitchell does not. A turn of events forces both men to face the consequences of their opposing views, and they learn that they are living in a world where fundamental rights aren’t always so fundamental
The Lightning Thief (MCC at Lortel)
A stage adaptation of the best-selling novel by Rick Riordan. The Greek gods are real, and they’re ruining Percy Jackson’s life. As a son of Poseidon, Percy has newly discovered powers he can’t control, monsters on his trail, and he is on an epic quest to find Zeus’s lightning bolt and prevent a war between the gods
Broadway Theater: St. James
Playwright: Noël Coward
Director: Moritz von Suelpnagel
Cast: Kevin Kline
Revival of the 1940s comedy about the tribulations of a popular matinee idol.
Buy tickets to Present Laughter
Gently Down The Stream (Public Theater)
In this play by Martin Sherman (Bent, The Boy From Oz), Harvey Fierstein portray Beau, an expatriate pianist living in London, who meets the younger Rufus, an eccentric young lawyer, at the dawn of the Internet dating revolution.
Writers: Book by Doug Wright; music and lyrics by Scott Frankel and Michael Korie
Director: Michael Grief; choreographer: Christopher Gattelli
Cast: Patti LuPone and Christine Ebersole
Musical based on the rivalry of cosmetics titans Helena Rubenstein (LuPone) and Elizabeth Arden (Ebersole)
The Profane (Playwrights Horizons)
In this play by Zayd Dohrn, Raif Almedin is a first-generation immigrant who prides himself on his modern, enlightened views. But when his daughter falls for the son of a conservative Muslim family in White Plains, he discovers the threshold of his tolerance.
In and Of Itself (Daryl Roth Theater)
Created and performed by magician Derek DelGaudio: ” a modern allegory that explores new ways of seeing the unseeable, as memories from yesterday are blended with inexplicable events witnessed today and secrets imagined for tomorrow…”
Broadway Theater: Vivian Beaumont at Lincoln Center
Playwright: J.T. Rogers
Director: Bartlett Sher
Cast: Jennifer Ehle, Daniel Jenkins, Jefferson Mays and Daniel Oreskes
Transfer of Lincoln Center Theater’s Off-Broadway production of the play about the top-secret, high-level meetings between the State of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization that culminated in the signing of the historic 1993 Oslo Accords.
My review of “Oslo” Off-Broadway
Broadway Theater: August Wilson
Music and lyrics by Tim Minchin, book by Danny Rubin
Director: Matthew Warchus
Cast: Andy Karl
A musical adaptation of the 1993 Bill Murray film about a cynical Pittsburgh TV weatherman who is sent to cover the annual Groundhog Day event in Punxsutawney, PA, when he finds himself caught in a time loop, forced to repeat the same day again and again…and again. Will he ever unlock the secret and break the cycle?
Playwright: Paula Vogel
Director: Rebecca Taichman
A behind-the-scenes look at the true story of the controversial 1923 Broadway debut of Sholem Asch’s “God of Vengeance” — “a play seen by some as a seminal work of Jewish culture, and by others as an act of traitorous libel,” in part because of its lesbian lovers.
My review of Indecent Off-Broadway
Rebel in the Soul (Irish Rep)
Larry Kirwan’s play examines the opposition by the Irish party leader and the Archbishop of Dublin to Dr. Noel Browne, who was elected to the Irish Parliament in 1948 with the aim of ridding Ireland of tuberculosis. “The ensuing crisis brought down the government and changed Irish life forever.”
The Little Foxes
Theater: MTC’s Samuel J. Friedman
Playwright: Lillian Hellman
Director: Daniel Sullivan
Cast: Laura Linney and Cynthia Nixon
The fifth Broadway production of the 1930 drama about a ruthless Southern belle.
Buy tickets to The Little Foxes
Broadway Theater: Shubert
Music and lyrics by Jerry Herman, book by Michael Stewart
Director: Jerry Zaks, choreographer Warren Carlyle
Cast: Bette Midler and David Hyde Pierce
Tweeter feed: @HelloDollyBway
The fifth Broadway production of the 1964 musical about a matchmaker who sets out to find a match for herself at the turn of the 20th century.
Pressing Matters (Theatre Row)
Six quirky stories by Jennifer Jasper
The Assignment (ART/NY)
A play by Camilo Almonacid based on the friendship between a woman who founded a youth violence prevention program after her teenage son was murdered by street violence, and a man who found education and rehabilitation while serving 17 years in prison for manslaughter.
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Broadway Theater: Lunt-Fontanne
Written by David Greig (book), Marc Shaiman (music & lyrics), Scott Wittman (lyrics), Roald Dahl (novel)
Director: Jack O’Brien
Cast: Christian Borle as Willy Wonka
When Charlie wins a golden ticket to the weird and wonderful Wonka Chocolate Factory, it’s the chance of a lifetime to feast on the sweets he’s always dreamed of. But beyond the gates astonishment awaits, as the five lucky winners discover not everything is as sweet as it seems.
Buy tickets to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Broadway Theater: Broadhurst
Music by Stephen Flaherty, lyrics by Lynn Ahrens, book by Terrence McNally
Director: Darko Tresnjak
Cast: Christy Altomare, Derek Klana, Ramin Karimloo, Mary Beth Peil, John Bolton, and Caroline O’Connor
Inspired by the 1997 film about a young woman who may be the last surviving member of the Russian royal family. The score includes songs from the movie, including the Oscar- nominated “Journey to the Past,” plus an entirely new score from the Tony Award-winning team.
Six Degrees of Separation
Broadway Theater: Barrymore
Playwright: John Guare
Director: Trip Cullman
Cast: Allison Janney, John Benjamin Hickey, Corey Hawkins
Revival of the 1990 drama about a young con man who is embraced by wealthy New Yorkers after passing himself off as Sidney Poitier’s son.
Buy tickets to Six Degrees of Separation
Theater: Bernard Jacobs
Music by Richard Oberacker and book and lyrics by Robert Taylor and Richard Oberacker
Director/Choreographer: Andy Blankenbuhler
Cast: Laura Osnes and Corey Cott
This “big-band musical” chronicles a mismatched band of WWII veterans who join forces to compete in a radio contest.
Her Opponent (Jerry Orbach)
A re-staging of excerpts of the 2016 presidential
debates with gender-reversed casting.
A Doll’s House, Part 2
First Preview: April 1, 2017
Opening: April 27, 2017
Playwright: Lucas Hnath
Director: Sam Gold
Cast: Laurie Metcalf, Chris Cooper, Jayne Houdyshell, Condola Rashad.
Sequel to Henrik Ibsen’s play, following up after Nora has left her husband and children.
Buy tickets to A Doll’s House, Part 2