I’ve offered a preview guide to the new shows of the coming Broadway season every year since this blog began in 2012, and I’m continuing the tradition below. It’s different this time around of course, more like wishful thinking. Broadway theaters have been shut since March 12, 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and it’s unclear when they will reopen. The Broadway League has now officially extended the cancelation of Broadway at least to January 3, 2021. . But some recently made announcements about rescheduled openings in 2021, a few with specific dates. All admit these are tentative, dependent on when Broadway is reopened and under what conditions. As I’ve written in past Broadway preview guides (and this is especially true now): More is to come; much will be changed. This list will be regularly updated, as other shows make announcements.
The list is organized chronologically by opening date, of which they are only a handful. Each title is linked to the shows’ websites when available.
First preview: March 1, 2021
Opening: March 15, 2021
Written by Tracy Letts
Cast: Tracy Letts, Armie Hammer, Jessie Mueller, etc.
Letts’ most political work to date is a dark comedy about a town council meeting in the fictional town of Big Cherry that turns ominous.
Circle in the Square Theater
First preview: week of March 22, 2021
Opening: April 14, 2021
Written by David Mamet
Directed by Neil Pepe
Cast: Laurence Fishburne, Sam Rockwell, Darren Criss
The fourth Broadway production of Mamet’s rat-a-tat play about three low-level crooks conjuring up a get-rich-quick scheme
MJ The Musical
Theater: Neil Simon
First Preview: March 08, 2021
Opening: April 15, 2021
Book by Lynn Nottage, music by Michael Jackson
Directed and choreographed by Christopher Wheeldon. Choreographed by Christopher Wheeldon.
Cast: Ephraim Sykes.
The story of Michael Jackson’s life, with a score made up of his songs, among the most popular in history.
Take Me Out
Theater: Second Stage’s Helen Hayes
First Preview: “week of March 22”
Opening: April 22, 2021
Written by Richard Greenberg
Director: Scott Ellis
Cast: Jessie Williams and Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Patrick J. Adams, with Julian Cihi, Hiram Delgado, Brandon J. Dirden, Carl Lundstedt, Ken Marks, Michael Oberholtzer, Eduardo Ramos andTyler Lansing Weaks
A revival of the Tony-winning play about the coming out of a gay baseball player.
First preview: March 19, 2021
Closing: July 18, 2021
Written by Neil Simon
Directed by John Benjamin Hickey
Cast: Matthew Broderick, Sarah Jessica Parker
In this first revival of Simon’s 1968 comedy, Broderick and Parker (married in real life) perform as three couples in three one-act plays all taking place in the same suite in the Plaza Hotel.
The Music Man
Theater: Winter Garden
First Preview Date: Apr 07, 2021
Opening Date: May 20, 2021
Written by Meredith Willson
Directed by Jerry Zaks, choreographed by Warren Carlyle
Cast: Sutton Foster, Hugh Jackman, Shuler Hensley, Jayne Houdyshell, Jefferson Mays, Marie Mullen.
The third Broadway revival of this 1957 musical about fast-talking traveling salesman Harold Hill who arrives in River City, Iowa, planning to con its citizens into buying instruments and uniforms for a boys’ band that he vows to organize, although he knows nothing about music. Plans change thanks to librarian Marian Paroo.
(Normally, a show opening in May would be considered part of the next season — 2021-2022 — but who knows what adjustments the Broadway honchos will make)
Theater: Roundabout’s American Airlines
Opening night: ?
Music and lyrics by Sherman Edwards. Book by Peter Stone
Director: Diane Paulus
Cast: Crystal Lucas-Perry as John Adams, Elizabeth A. Davis as Thomas Jefferson, Patrena Murray as Benjamin Franklin, etc.
This second revival of the musical about the decision to sign the Declaration of Independence features an all-female cast
Caroline, or Change
Roundabout’s Studio 54
Originally scheduled opening: April 7, 2020
Book and lyrics by Tony Kushner
Music by Jeanine Tesori
Directed by Michael Longhurst
Cast: Sharon D. Clarke
An import of a West End production of the 2003 musical about Caroline, an African-American maid whose world of 1963 Louisiana ripples with change both large and small
Flying Over Sunset
Lincoln Center’s Vivian Beaumont
Originally scheduled opening: April 16, 2021
Book by James Lapine, music by Tom Kitt, and lyrics by Michael Korie
Director: James Lapine
Cast:Carmen Cusack, Harry Hadden-Paton and Tony Yazbeck
Cary Grant, Clare Boothe Luce and Aldous Huxley all revealed during their lifetimes that they had taken LSD. This new musical imagines their gathering together to get high.
Theater: Roundabout’s American Airlines
Originally scheduled opening: April 21, 2020
Written by Noah Haidle
Director: Vivienne Benesch
Cast: Debra Messing, Andre Braugher, Enrico Colantoni
Messing portrays a woman whose birthdays we see her celebrate, from her age 17 to 101.