Below is a day-by-day calendar of the FIFTEEN Broadway shows opening (and three reopening) in April, including fan anticipated favorites “Funny Girl” and “A Strange Loop,” plus a selection of more than a dozen of this month’s scheduled Off and Off Off Broadway openings, organized by opening date.* There are enough opening nights in April to go to one nearly every day (although that would be physically and fiscally exhausting.) So…pick.
The shows are linked to their websites; those in red are on Broadway, those in blue are everywhere else, mostly Off or Off Off Broadway.
We must consider this calendar tentative because while the havoc wreaked by the Omicron variant has diminished in New York, and all theaters require proof of vaccination and the wearing of masks (and some are now requiring proof of booster shots and negative COVID tests), the pandemic is ongoing and unpredictable.
The Balkan Bordello (La MaMa)
A theatrical project between USA, Kosovo, and Serbia, based on Aeschylus’ trilogy The Oresteia.
The Fifth Annual Object Movement Puppetry Festival (The Center at West Park)
Short works of puppetry. Program A begins today (One of the three works: How I Disappeared, created by Chinese female artists, who reveal a new immigrant’s unnoticeable urban life.) There will be two more programs throughout the month.
Larry and Lucy (Theater for the New City)
A street muralist turned Uber driver tries to help a teenage runaway heroin addict in this new play by Peter Welch.
First preview: March 15, 2022
Opening: April 3
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.
Take Me Out
Theater: Second Stage’s Helen Hayes
First Preview: March 10, 2022
Opening: April 4, 2022
Written by Richard Greenberg
Director: Scott Ellis
Cast: Jesse Williams and Jesse Tyler Ferguson
A revival of the Tony-winning play about the coming out of a gay baseball player.
Cyrano de Bergerac (Brooklyn Academy of Music)
Direct from the West End, Movie actor James McAvoy stars in Martin Crimp’s radical new adaptation of Edmond Rostand’s play, directed by Jamie Lloyd.
Suffs (Public Theater)
A new musical by Shaina Taub that looks at the “Suffs” (suffragettes) who in the seven years leading up to the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment in 1920 took to the streets
Britney Nicole Simpson stars as Odysseus’s wife Penelope in this musical comedy music by Peter Kellogg and Stephen Weiner that has fun with Homer’s epic poem.
Opened: April 25, 2019
Reopening: April 8, 2022
Book by Scott Brown and Anthony King
Music and lyrics by Eddie Perfect
Director: Alex Timbers
Based on the Tim Burton movie, which tells the story of Lydia Deetz, a teenager obsessed with the whole “being dead thing.” Lucky for Lydia, her new house is haunted by a recently deceased couple and a degenerate demon who happens to have a thing for stripes. My review
Theater: Roundabout’s American Airlines
First Preview: March 18, 2022
Opening: April 10, 2022
Written by Noah Haidle
Director: Vivienne Benesch
Cast: Debra Messing, John Earl Jelks, Enrico Colantoni
Messing portrays a woman whose birthdays we see her celebrate, from age 17 to 101.
Songs About Trains (New Ohio Theater)
A concert of songs chronicling the building of the US rail system, “a celebration of labor through folk music.”
Queens Girl in the World (Abingdon at Theatre Row)
A solo show with the sounds of Motown about a Black girl who abruptly transfers from a protective, middle class upbringing in 1950s Queens to a progressive, predominantly-Jewish private school in Greenwich Village.
The Little Prince
First preview: March 29
Opening: April 11
Closing: August 14
Libretto Adaptation by Chris Mouron based on the Book by Antoine De Saint-Exupery
Original Music by Terry Truck
Directed by Anne Tournié and Chris Mouron
The play is an adaptation of the popular 1943 novella that follows a young prince who visits various planets in space, including Earth, and addresses themes of loneliness, friendship, love, and loss.
To My Girls (2nd Stage)
In this play by JC Lee,a tight group of gay men meet at a post-pandemic getaway in Palm Springs
A musical by Barry Manilow and Bruce Sussman that tells the true story of The Comedian Harmonists, a massively popular singing group in the 1920s formed by group of six talented young German men, Jewish and gentile.Directed and Choreographed by Warren Carlyle, with a large cast including Chip Zien and Sierra Boggess.
Circle in the Square Theater
First preview: March 22
Opening: April 14
Written by David Mamet
Directed by Neil Pepe
Cast: Darren Criss, Laurence Fishburne, and Sam Rockwell
A revival of the 1977 plays about three small time hustlers who want a bigger cut of the American dream
Opening: April 17, 2022
Closing: July 10
Written by Tracy Letts
Directed by Anna D. Shapiro
Cast: Noah Reid, Ian Barford, Blair Brown, Cliff Chamberlain, K. Todd Freeman, Tracy Letts, Danny McCarthy, Jessie Mueller, Sally Murphy, Austin Pendleton, Jeff Still
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.
How I Learned to Drive
MTC’s Samuel J. Friedman Theater
First preview: March 29
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.
for colored girls who have considered suicide/ when the rainbow is enuf
First preview: April 1, 2022
Opening: April 20, 2022
Written by Ntozake Shange
Directed and choreographed by Camille A. Brown
The first Broadway revival of the groundbreaking 1970s “choreopoem” in which seven women of color share their stories and find strength in each other’s humor and passion through a fusion of poetry, dance, music, and song.
First preview: April 1
Opening: April 21
Written by Martin McDonagh
Directed by Matthew Dunster
Cast: Alfie Allen, David Threlfall
A former British hangman, who retired after hanging was abolished, now owns a pub, which a mysterious stranger enters, turning the world upside down in this macabre farce. (My review of Hangmen, with a different cast, Off Broadway.)
Americano! (New World Stages)
With songs by Carrie Rodriguez, the musical is based on the true story of Tony Valdovinos, a DREAMer who discovered after September 11th that he was undocumented at age 18 when he tried to enlist in the US Marines Corps.
Islander (Playhouse 46 at St. Lukes)
a lonely girl living on a remote Scottish isle discovers a whale carcass and a mysterious stranger
This play by Tom Attea explores science and religion in the story of a distinguished chemist and his assistant, the son of a Fundamentalist Christian pastor.
Lucia di Lammermoor (Met Opera)
Soprano Nadine Sierra stars as an emotionally fragile woman manipulated by her abusive brother into marriage, madness, and murder, in this opera by Donizetti loosely based on a historical novel by Sir Walter Scott. The the Met’s new production directed by Simon Stone transposes the story to the present-day American Rust Belt.
August Wilson Theater
First preview: March 26
Opening: April 24
Book by Isobel Lennart; Revised Book by Harvey Fierstein; Music by Jule Styne; Lyrics by Bob Merrill
Directed by Michael Mayer
Cast: Beanie Feldstein, Ramin Karimloo, Jane Lynch, Jared Grimes
A revival of the musical based on incidents in the life of comedian Fanny Brice, which debuted on Broadway in 1964 starring Barbra Streisand.
The Skin of Our Teeth
First preview: March 31
Opening: April 25
Written by Thornton Wilder
Directed by Lileana Blain-Cruz
Wilder’s 1943 Pulitzer Prize winning drama follows the Antrobus family of Excelsior, New Jersey, as they persevere through an Ice Age, a Biblical flood, and war, a model of human endurance.
The Vagrant Trilogy (Public Theater)
Three plays written by Mona Mansour and directed by Mark Wing-Davey that delve into the Palestinian struggle for home and identity. Previews begin April 8.
A Strange Loop
First preview: April 6
Opening: April 26
Book, music and lyrics by Michael R. Jackson
Directed by Stephen Brackett
Cast: Jaquel Spivey (Usher) Antwayn Hopper (Thought 6), L Morgan Lee (Thought 1), John-Michael Lyles (Thought 3), James Jackson, Jr. (Thought 2), John-Andrew Morrison (Thought 4), and Jason Veasey (Thought 5).
The Pulitzer Prize-winning musical about a big, gay Black guy who is struggling to write a musical about a big, gay black guy who is struggling… (Read my review when it was Off-Broadway and my interview with Michael R. Jackson.)
Mr. Saturday Night
First preview: March 29
Opening: April 27
Book By Billy Crystal, Lowell Ganz & Babaloo Mandel
Music By Jason Robert Brown
Lyrics By Amanda Green
Choreography By Ellenore Scott
Directed By John Rando
Cast: Billy Crystal, Randy Graff, David Paymer,Chasten Harmon
Based on original 1992 Columbia Pictures film of the same name, Billy Crystal portrays Buddy Young Jr., an outrageous and outspoken comedian who found fame, if not fortune, in the early days of television. Now, some 40 years after his TV career flamed out, Buddy seeks one more shot at the spotlight, and fixing his family. (Crystal no longer has to play old.)
First preview: April 14
Opening: April 2
Closing: August 14
Written by Selina Fillinger
Directed by Susan Stroman
Cast: Lilli Cooper, Lea Delaria, Rachel Dratch, Julianne Hough, Suzy Nakamura, Vanessa Williams
Subtitled: “Or, Behind Every Great Dumbass are Seven Women Trying to Keep Him Alive,” the new play (unsurprisingly) features seven women who risk life, liberty, and the pursuit of sanity to keep the President out of trouble after he unwittingly spins a PR nightmare into a global crisis.
First preview: March 29
Opening: April 28
Closing: July 10, 2022
Written by William Shakespeare
Directed by Sam Gold
Cast: Daniel Craig, Ruth Negga
The Bard’s tragedy about the costs of political ambition
The reopening of Blue Man Group, three men with their skin painted blue mutely performing with props, which has been at the Astor Place Theater since 1991, and has become a worldwide enterprise.
*Opening night is usually not the same as the first performance on Broadway and frequently Off-Broadway. There is usually a preview period, where the creative team tries out the show before an audience, and opening night is when the reviews appear. (Off-Off Broadway shows often have no preview period or official opening night; they just start.) I organize this calendar by opening night (when such exists), rather than first preview, as an act of resistance against the effort by producers and publicists to make theater reviews irrelevant. Check out my essay: Broadway Opening Night. What It Means. How It’s Changed. 7 Facts to Clear Up The Confusion and Crystallize the Outrage.