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Broadway Spring 2018 Preview Guide: A Season of Strong Women

Yes, there will be stars on Broadway in the Spring – Denzel Washington, Diana Rigg (after an absence from Broadway of 24 years), Glenda Jackson (after an absence of 30 years), Laurie Metcalf, Nathan Lane, Andrew Garfield,  Condola Rashad, Tina Fey making her Broadway playwriting debut, and more. But what distinguishes the 16 shows scheduled (so far) is how many are themselves the stars — the Harry Potter play and the “Frozen” musical hotly anticipated by legions of fans of J.K. Rowling’s novels and Disney’s animated movie respectively; the first Broadway revival of the landmark, two-part “Angels in America”; the fifth Broadway revival of Lerner and Loewe’s “My Fair Lady” and the sixth Broadway revival of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Carousel.”
There is even a suggestion of a timely theme emerging — the season of strong women: Albee’s “Three Tall Women” will open a little more than a week before “Mean Girls,” followed by “My Fair Lady” and “Saint Joan.”  Sarah, the deaf protagonist in “Children of a Lesser God” stands up for herself. And Elsa from “Frozen” is a pretty cool customer.

Below are the plays and musicals opening on Broadway from January through April, 2018, going chronologically by opening dates. Things are likely to change — additions, subtractions, rescheduling — in the weeks and months ahead. Check my Broadway 2017-2018 Guide for periodic updates.

JANUARY

John Lithgow: Stories by Heart

Theater: Roundabout’s American Airlines

Adapted and performed by John Lithgow

Director: Daniel Sullivan

First preview: December 21, 2017

Opening: January 11, 2018

Closing: March 4, 2018

The actor conjures a cast of characters from classic short stories by Ring Lardner and P. G. Wodehouse.

Website

MARCH

The Minutes

Theater: TBA

Author: Tracy Letts

Director: Anna D. Shapiro

First Preview: February 6, 2018

Opening: March 8, 2018

Cast:

Website

Twitter feed:

“A town’s proud history, the legend of a local hero, the coveted privilege of reserved parking: nothing is sacred during the town council meeting at the heart of Tracy Letts’ new play.”

Update December 22: The Minutes has been delayed, according to a spokesperson for Steppenwolf. No new dates have been announced

Escape to Margaritaville

Theater: Marquis

Authors: Greg Garcia and Mike O’Malley

Director: Christopher Ashley

First Preview: February 16

Opening: March 15

Cast: Paul Alexander Nolan, Alison Luff as Rachel and Lisa Howard

Website

Twitter feed: @buffettmusical 

Angels in America

Theater: Neil Simon

Author: Tony Kushner

Director: Marianne Elliott

First preview: February 23, 2018

Opening: March 21, 2018

Cast: Andrew Garfield, Nathan Lane et al.

A revival of Tony Kushner’s two-part Pulitzer Prize winning epic play about the age of AIDS. The production is a transfer from London’s National Theatre.

Frozen

Theater: St. James Theater

Author: Kristen Anderson-Lopez, Robert Lopez, Jennifer Lee

Director: Michael Grandage

First Preview: February 22, 2018

Opening: March 22, 2018

Cast:  Caissie Levy (Elsa), Patti Murin (Anna), Jelani Alladin (Kristoff), Greg Hildreth (Olaf), John Riddle (Hans) and Robert Creighton (Duke of Weselton)

Website

Twitter feed: @FrozenBroadway

Lobby Hero

Theater: Helen Hayes

Author: Kenneth Lonergan

Director: Trip Cullman

First Preview: March 1, 2018

Opening: March 26, 2018

Cast: Michael Cera, Chris Evans, Bryan Tyree Henry

An apartment lobby serves as a waiting area for four New Yorkers involved in a murder investigation.  “A young security guard with big ambitions clashes with his stern boss, an intense rookie cop and her unpredictable partner in a play from the 2017 Oscar-winning writer of Manchester by the Sea.” This is the first production by Second Stage Theater at its new Broadway venue.

website

@2STNYC 

Three Tall Women

Theater: John Golden

Author: Edward Albee
Director: Joe Mantello

First Preview: February 27, 2018

Opening: March 29, 2018

Cast: Glenda Jackson, Laurie Metcalf, Alison Pill

Albee’s Pulitzer-winning play about a woman in life’s final act. Glenda Jackson returns to Broadway after an absence of 30 years.

APRIL

Mean Girls

Mean Girls LogoTheater: August Wilson

Authors: Tina Fey (book), Jeff Richmond (music), Nell Benjamin (lyrics)

Director and choreographer: Casey Nicholas

First preview: March 12, 2018

Opening: April 8, 2018

Cast: Erika Henningsen,  Taylor Louderman, Ashley Park, and Kate Rockwell

Based on Tina Fey’s 2004 movie, this new musical (which will try out in Washington D.C.’s National Theatre in the Fall), pits a newcomer to high school against a triumvirate of classmates who are, well, mean girls, labeled the Plastics.

Children of a Lesser God

Theater: Studio 54

Author: Mark Medoff

Director: Kenny Leon

First Preview: March 22, 2018

Opening: April 11, 2018

Cast: Joshua Jackson, Lauren Ridloff

A revival of the Tony-winning play about the romance between a hearing man and deaf woman

website

@LesserGodBway

Carousel

Carousel logoTheater: Imperial

Author: Rodgers and Hammerstein

Director: Jack O’Brien

First Preview: March 23, 2018

Opening: April 12, 2018

Cast: Jessie Mueller, Joshua Henry, Renee Fleming,  Betsy Wolfe, Margaret Colin and Alexander Gemignani

@carouselbway

website

My Fair Lady

Theater: Vivian Beaumont

Authors: Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe

Director: Bartlett Sher.

First Preview: March 22

Opening: April 19

Cast:Lauren Ambrose, Harry Hadden-Paton, Norbert Leo Butz, and Diana Rigg lead a cast of 37.

Website

Twitter feed: @LCTheater

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Theater: Lyric

Author: Jack Thorne

Director: John Tiffany.

First Preview:

Opening: April 22

Cast: Noma Dumezweni as Hermione Granger, Jamie Parker
as Harry Potter, Paul Thornley as Ron Weasley, Anthony Boyle
as Scorpius Malfoy, Sam Clemmett
as Albus Potter, Poppy Miller
as Ginny Potter, Alex Price as Draco Malfoy

Website

Twitter feed: @HPPlayNYC

A play written by Jack Thorne based on an original story by him, directory John Tiffany and Harry Potter novelist J.K. Rowling “While an adult Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. “

Summer: The Donna Summer Musical

Theater: Lunt-Fontanne
First Preview: March 28, 2018
Opening: April 23, 2018
Director: Des McAnuff
Cast: TBA
Musical biography of the late disco diva, using the songs she made famous, including “Hot Stuff,” “On the Radio,” “Bad Girls,” and “MacArthur Park.”

@DonnaSummerBway

website

Travesties

Theater: American Airlines
Author: Tom Stoppard
Director: Patrick Marber
First Preview: Mar 29, 2018
Opening Date: Apr 24, 2018
Closing Date: Jun 17, 2018
Cast: Tom Hollander

A revival of Tom Stoppard’s play from Great Britain’s Chocolate Factory. “In 1917 Zurich, an artist, Tristan Tzara; a writer, James Joyce; and a revolutionary, Lenin, collide”

Closing Date:Jun 17, 2018

Website

Saint Joan

Theater: MTC’s Samuel J. Friedman

Author: George Bernard Shaw

Director: Daniel Sullivan

First preview: April 3, 2018

Opening: April 25, 2018

Cast: Condola Rashad

Revival of Shaw’s play about the 15th century martyr.

The Iceman Cometh

Author: Eugene O’Neill

Director: George C. Wolfe

First Preview: March 22

Opening: April 26

Cast: Denzel Washington + about 18 other cast members TBA.

The fifth Broadway production of Eugene O’Neill’s play about dead-end alcoholics and prostitutes hanging out in a saloon and rooming house in Greenwich Village in 1912.

Check out last season’s Broadway guide

Broadway 2016-2017

Also:

What Broadway Shows Should I See? Top 10 Suggestions.

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About 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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