Broadway 2021-2022 Season Preview Guide

Below is my annual preview guide of Broadway openings chronological by opening date — a list with a twist this year: It’s also Broadway reopenings…of shows that have been on the Great Bright Way for as long as three decades, but were forced to close because of COVID-19.
This calendar of Broadway shows that have specific opening or reopening dates is a tentative list, in a couple of ways. One way it’s tentative is traditional: More shows will be added in the days, weeks and months ahead. (Below the calendar is a list of shows that have yet to reschedule.) The list is also tentative in an unprecedented way: The shows are all dependent on the guidance of the government concerning public health; if COVID-19 infection rates go up, the shows may be canceled. As of now, they are scheduled to open at 100 percent capacity but will require safety measures, including but not limited to wearing masks.

Each title is linked to the show’s website, where you can buy tickets (from most, not yet all.) This list is being updated with each new announcement.

September, 2021

Walter Kerr
Opened: Apr 17, 2019
Reopening: September 2, 2021
Author: Anais Mitchell
Director: Rachel Chavkin
Singer-songwriter Anaïs Mitchell’s musical, widely acclaimed at New York Theatre Workshop (my review), follows two intertwining love stories — that of young dreamers Orpheus and Eurydice, and that of king Hades and his wife Persephone — as it invites audiences on an epic journey to the underworld and back. My review on Broadway

Pass Over
August Wilson Theater
First preview: August 4
Opening: September 12
Author: Antoinette Chinonye Nwandu
Director: Danya Taymor 
Cast: Jon Michael Hill, Namir Smallwood, Gabriel Ebert
Inspired by Waiting for Godot, Moses and Kitch talk shit, pass the time, and hope that maybe today will be different. As they dream of their promised land, a stranger wanders into their space and disrupts their plans.

Ambassador Theater (219 West 49th Street)
Opened: November 14, 1996
Reopening: September 12, 2021
Twitter: @ChicagoMusical
A chorus girl in 1920′s Chicago murders her lover and becomes a star. This cynical, tuneful 1975 musical adaptation by John Kander and Fred Ebb (“Cabaret” team) of a 1926 play was revived to great acclaim by director Walter Bobbie and choreographer Ann Reinking in homage to original choreographer Bob Fosse. But it has gone through many, many cast changes since then. Some say this is the production that invented the modern Broadway practice of “stunt casting.”
Beginning in November, 2014, it became the second-longest running musical on Broadway.

Richard Rodgers Theater
Opened: August 6, 2015
Reopening: September 14, 2021
Twitter: @HamiltonMusical
The story of the first Secretary of the Treasury, told as a rap opera, is groundbreaking and breathtaking. It has become a phenomenon on Broadway — and elsewhere! I’ve seen it four times, and have written about it so many times that years ago I put together a post called Everything Hamilton, (now outdated; My review of the 2019 Broadway cast)

The Lion King
Minskoff Theater (200 West 45th Street)
Opened: November 13, 1997
Reopening: September 14, 2021
Twitter: @TheLionKing
Based on the 1994 Disney animated film about the coming-of-age of a young lion in the African jungle, this musical offers African-inflected music by Elton John, lyrics by Tim Rice and the visual magic of Julie Taymor. Taymor is the director, and composer and lyricist for some of the songs. But above all, she is the designer of the costumes, masks, and puppets — and it is these visuals that make this show a good first theatrical experience — and worthwhile for any theatergoer no matter how experienced.

Gershwin Theater (222 West 51st Street)
Opened: October 30, 2003
Reopening: September 14, 2021
Twitter: @WICKED_Musical
The musical tells the story of “The Wizard of Oz” from the witches’ perspective, more specifically from the Wicked Witch of the West, who was not, as a child, wicked at all, but just green-tinted, taunted, and misunderstood. There is so much to like about this musical, the clever twists on the familiar tale, the spectacular set, and music that is a lot more appealing in context (such as the song “Defying Gravity”) that I will forgive the contortions necessary to tack on a happy ending.

Brooks Atkinson
First preview: February 13, 2020
Opening: September 17, 2021
Written by Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss;
Pop-concert musical featuring the six wives of Henry VIII.

David Byrne’s American Utopia
Opened: October 20, 2019
Reopening: September 17, 2021
Director: Alex Timbers
A stage adaptation of David Byrne’s 2018 album. This show had closed before the pandemic, and was planning a second Broadway run. (My review of the show on HBO)

Come From Away
Theater: Schoenfeld
Twitter: wecomefromaway
Opened: March 12, 2017
Reopening: September 21, 2021
Book, music and lyrics by the Canadian husband-and-wife team Irene Sankoff and David Hein.
Director: Christopher Ashley
Cast: Chad Kimball, Jenn Colella, Joel Hatch, Rodney Hicks and Caesar Samayoa.
New musical that explores the lasting connection forged between a group of travelers whose planes were diverted to a small Newfoundland town on Sept. 11, 2001. (My review)

Moulin Rouge! The Musical
Theater: Al Hirschfeld
Opened: July 25, 2019
Reopening: September 24, 2021
Book by John Logan
Director: Alex Timbers
Cast: Aaron Tveit, Danny Burstein, Sahr Ngaujah,Tam Mutu, Ricky Rojas, Robyn Hurder
Stage adaptation of Baz Luhrman’s 2001 Oscar-nominated movie musical about a poet entranced by a cabaret singer. My review of Moulin Rouge

Lackawanna Blues
MTC’s Samuel J. Friedman Theater
First preview: September 14
Opening: September 28
Written, performed and directed by Ruben Santiago-Hudson
Santiago-Hudson performs more than 20 characters in his celebration of the big-hearted woman who raised him, Miss Rachel, in a 1950s boarding house outside Buffalo. The play is accompanied by live music written by  Bill Sims, Jr. and performed by Blues Hall of Fame guitarist Junior Mack.

New Amsterdam
Opened: March 20,2014
Reopening: September 28, 2021
Twitter: @Aladdin
Based on the 1992 Disney animated movie, Aladdin tell the story of a poor street kid who falls in love with a princess, is imprisoned but discovers the secrets of a magic lamp. My Review of Aladdin: A Genie Works His Magic on Broadway

October, 2021

To Kill a Mockingbird

Shubert Theater
Opened December 13, 2018
Reopening: October 5, 2021
Written by Aaron Sorkin
Director: Bartlett Sher
Cast: Jeff Daniels, Celia Keenan-Bolger,
Based on Harper Lee’s novel about a virtuous Southern lawyer at a time of racial bigotry. (My review of Aaron Sorkin’s “To Kill A Mockingbird.”)

Theater: Lunt-Fontanne
Opened: November 7, 2019
Reopening: October 8, 2021
Book by Katori Hall
Director: Phyllida Lloyd
Musical about the life of Tina Turner currently on the West End. My review of Tina

Girl From the North Country
Theater: Belasco
Opened: March 5, 2020
Reopening: October 13, 2021
Written and directed by Conor McPherson
Music and lyrics by Bob Dylan
Cast: Todd Almond, Jeannette Bayardelle, Jennifer Blood, Law Terrell Dunford, Matthew Frederick Harris, Caitlin Houlahan, Robert Joy, Marc Kudisch, Luba Mason, Ben Mayne, Matt McGrath, Tom Nelis, Jay O. Sanders, John Schiappa, Austin Scott, Kimber Elayne Sprawl, Rachel Stern, Chiara Trentalange, Bob Walton, Chelsea Lee Williams, and Mare Winningham. Colin Bates will replace Colton Ryan in the role of Gene Laine.
Set in 1934 at a guesthouse in the heartland of America, a group of travelers pass in and out of each other’s lives, and share stories that awaken each other with passion, fury and, beauty. This originated at the Public Theater. My review.
My review on Broadway

The Lehman Trilogy
First preview: September 25, 2021
Opening: October 14
Closing: January 2, 2022
Written by Stefano Massini
Directed by Sam Mendes
Cast: Simon Russell Beale, Adam Godley, Adrian Lester
The history of the rise and fall of the Lehman Brothers over 164 years, starting with the arrival of the three Lehman brothers from Bavaria in the mid nineteenth century. My review of The Lehman Trilogy when it was at the Park Avenue Armory in April, 2019.

Aint Too Proud
Imperial Theater
Opened: Mar 21, 2019
Reopening: Oct 16, 2021
Book by Dominique Morisseau
Music by The Temptations
Director: Des McAnuff
Cast: Jeremy Pope as Eddie Kendricks, Ephraim Sykes as David Ruffin, etc.
This new musical helmed by the director of “Jersey Boys” follows The Temptations’ journey from the streets of Detroit to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. My review

Jagged Little Pill
Theater: Broadhurst
Opened: December 5, 2019
Reopening: October 21, 2021
Written by Diablo Cody
Director: Diane Paulus
Cast: Elizabeth Stanley, Kathryn Gallagher, Celia Rose Gooding, Derek Klena, Sean Allan Krill, and Lauren Patten
Using the songs from the eponymous Alanis Morissette album (plus new material), this musical tells the story of a multi-generation, multiracial suburban family grappling with a series of distressing events. My review of A Jagged Little Pill

The Phantom of The Opera
Majestic Theater (247 West 44th Street)
Opened: January 26, 1988
Reopening: October 22, 2021
Twitter: @TheOperaGhosts
The Phantom of the Opera, based on a 1911 French novel by Gaston Leroux, is about a disfigured genius named Erik who lives in the catacombs of the Paris Opera House and falls in love with Christine, an aspiring singer whom he helps…until an old flame of Christine’s named Raoul steps back into the picture.
However, the story in the musical, written and composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber — with more than its share of 1980′s heavy power ballads — is starting to take second place to the story of the musical, which is the longest-running Broadway musical of all time, and probably the most profitable.
Webber wrote a “sequel,” entitled “Love Never Dies,” which was set for Broadway in the 2010-2011 season, but, after scathing reviews in London, may never appear here.

Caroline, or Change
Roundabout’s Studio 54
First preview: October 8, 2021
Opening: October 27, 2021
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.

Thoughts of a Colored Man
Golden Theater
Twitter: @coloredmanplay
First preview: October 1, 2021
Opening: October 31, 2021
Written by Keenan Scott II
Directed by Steve H. Broadnax III
Cast: Dyllón Burnside, Bryan Terrell Clark, Da’Vinchi, Luke James, Forrest McClendon, Tristan “Mack” Wilds and  Keith David
As the sun rises on a single day in the pulsing heart of Brooklyn, seven Black men are about to discover the extraordinary – together. The play blends spoken word, slam poetry, rhythm, and humor.

November, 2021

First preview: November 2, 2021
Opening: November 17, 2021
Book by Joe DiPietro; Music and lyrics by David Bryan
Directed by Christopher Ashley
Cast: Jeanna de Waal as Princess Diana, Roe Hartrampf as Prince Charles,
Erin Davie as Camilla Parker Bowles, Judy Kaye as Queen Elizabeth

Trouble in Mind
Roundabout’s American Airlines Theater
First preview: October 29, 2021
Opening: November 18, 2021
Alice Childress’s play, which premiered off-Broadway in 1955, follows a Black actress in rehearsals for a Broadway production and examines racism and ego in the theater world.

December, 2021

Mrs. Doubtfire
Stephen Sondheim Theatre
First Preview: October 21, 2021
Opening: December 5, 2021
Cast: Rob McClure
A new musical based on the Robin Williams 1993 movie. When out-of-work actor Daniel Hillard loses custody of his kids in a divorce, he disguises himself as Scottish nanny Euphegenia Doubtfire in a desperate attempt to stay in their lives

Flying Over Sunset
Lincoln Center’s Vivian Beaumont
First preview: November 4
Opening: December 6, 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.

Dear Evan Hansen
Theater: Music Box
Authors: Score by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, book by Steven Levenson
Director: Michael Greif
Opened: December 4, 2016
Reopening: December 11, 2021
Tweeter feed: @DearEvanHansen
A high school student pretends to have been best friends with a classmate who committed suicide in this musical by the songwriters of A Christmas Story: The Musical. This was nearly a cult favorite Off-Broaway. My review of Dear Evan Hansen on Broadway

January, 2022

Bernard B. Jacobs Theater
First Preview: December 20, 2021
Opening: January 9, 2022
Music by Stephen Sondheim, book by George Furth
Cast: Patti LuPone, Katrina Lenk
The fifth production of the musical about a single 35-year-old with married friends, this one is “re-gendered” so that the protagonist is now a woman, Bobbie.

Skeleton Crew
MTC’s Samuel J. Friedman Theatre
First preview: December 21
Opening: January 12
Written by Dominique Morisseau
Directed by Ruben Santiago-Hudson
Cast: Phylicia Rashad
Workers at “the last small factory standing” servicing the Big Three automakers —  in Detroit, Michigan around 2008. The plant is itself in danger of shutting down, and each of the people who work there is individually struggling with losses and disappointments. (My review of Skeleton Crew Off-Broadway)

February, 2022

MJ The Musical
Theater: Neil Simon
First Preview: December 6, 2021
Opening: February 1, 2022
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.

The Music Man
Winter Garden
First preview: December 20, 2021
Opening: February 10, 2022
Cast: Hugh Jackman, Sutton Foster
The fourth Broadway production of Meredith Wilson’s musical about “Professor” Harold Hill, the con man posing as a traveling salesman, 

March, 2022

Paradise Square
Theater: Barrymore
First preview: February 22, 2022
Opening: March 20
Book by Christina Anderson, Marcus Gardley , Craig Lucas and Larry Kirwan 
Score by: Jason Howland, Nathan Tysen, Masi Asare,Larry Kirwan, and the songs of Stephen Foster
Director Moisés Kaufman
Choreographer: Bill T. Jones
Cast: Joaquina Kalukango, Chilina Kennedy, John Dossett, Sidney DuPont, A.J. Shively
Nathaniel Stampley, Gabrielle McClinton, Jacob Fishel, Kevin Dennis
A musical about New York’s Draft Riots of 1863, which pitted Irish immigrants against Black Americans, who lived together in the slum neighborhood  Five Points ,where tap dancing was born, as Irish step dancing joyously competed with Black American Juba. 

April, 2022

Birthday Candles
Theater: Roundabout’s American Airlines
First Preview: March 18, 2022
Opening: April 10, 2022
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.

How I Learned to Drive
MTC’s Samuel J. Friedman Theater
First preview: March 29
Opening:April 19
Written by Paula Vogel
Directed by Mark Brokaw
Cast: David Morse and Mary-Louise Parker
The revival of playwright Paul Vogel’s Pulitzer-winning 1997 play about a charismatic child molester and the niece who recalls him with ambivalence. The play marks Vogel’s second show on Broadway (after Indecent), and features the original Off-Broadway stars.

Shows With No Specific Dates to Open/Reopen Yet

The Book of Mormon Eugene O’Neill Theatre

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Lyric Theatre

The Minutes 

To Kill a Mockingbird Shubert Theatre

West Side Story Broadway Theatre

Ain’t Supposed to Die a Natural Death 

American Buffalo Circle in the Square

Between Riverside and Crazy Fall 2022, Helen Hayes Theatre

Plaza Suite Hudson Theatre

Sing Street 

Take Me Out Spring 2022, Helen Hayes Theatre

1776 Spring 2022, American Airlines Theatre

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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