While we await the remaining theater awards to top off the triumphant and traumatic 2020/21-2022 season, the next Broadway season is starting to take shape.
The latest announcement: The New York City Center Encores!
production of Sondheim & Lapine’s “Into the Woods” will transfer to Broadway’s St. James Theatre for eight weeks, officially opening July 10. It will star Sara Bareilles as the Baker’s Wife, and Gavin Creel as the Wolf/Cinderella’s Prince from the Encores production, with new cast members Brian D’Arcy James as the Baker, Patina Miller as the Witch, Phillipa Soo as Cinderella and Joshua Henry as Rapunzel’s Prince
Other scheduled shows so far
The Kite Runner, opening July 21
1776, opening October 6
The Piano Lesson, opening October 13
Kimberly Akimbo, opening November 10
KPOP, opening November 20
A Beautiful Noise, The Neil Diamond Musical, opening December 4
One show doesn’t have specific dates yet — Cost of Living — and many more are rumored: Presumably there will be enough announcements over the next few weeks for me to put together a 2022-2023 Broadway preview guide.
Meanwhile, the New York Times held an interesting discussion among critics and historians about the recent proliferation of musical theater about historical events: Paradise Square on Broadway this season, the revival of 1776 next season with an all-female, trans and non-binary cast portraying the (mostly white male) and Suffs Off-Broadway (which ended its run last week. But, in an interview with Elle, Shaina Taub said: “I’d love for it go to Broadway. I just feel it in my bones that we’re not done.”)
Comments from the two historians:
Clare Bond Potter: I think Americans are hungrier for historical explanations, in part because so many historically unprecedented things have occurred in the past 15 years….
Erica Armstrong Dunbar: It reminds me of the moment that [the television mini-series] “Roots” first aired, in 1977. The history wasn’t perfect, and it was overdramatized, but it was new and important and people, Black people in particular, were immediately invested in this new kind of storytelling. The same thing is happening with musical theater.
The Week in Theater Awards
At the traditional Tony Awards luncheon this week for the nominees in the Rainbow Room, one Tony nominee, Kara Young, nominated for her role in Lynn Nottage’s “Clyde’s,” had a special treat. Emilio Sosa, chairman of the American Theater Wing,introduced her father, Klay Young, who has worked as a server at the landmark Rainbow Room for 30 years. He got a standing ovation. (NY Times)
The Week in Theater Reviews
“Fat Ham,” this year’s Pulitzer Prize winning play… is inspired by “Hamlet,” but it parts ways with the Bard, and not just because of all the partying. Taking place during a Black family’s backyard barbecue in the American South, James Ijames’s play is a sometimes raunchy, sometimes pointed, largely freewheeling comedy, whose characters Karaoke to pop dance hits; watch porn and get high; come out of the closet…The staging by director Saheem Ali at the Public Theater, in a co-production with the National Black Theater, brings out both what’s most entertaining and most serious about the script, thanks to a great cast and a fine design, with just the right amount of magic — enough to make you want to overlook the play’s shortcomings. Full review
The Week in Theater News
Aya Ogawa’s sly, strange and ultimately rewarding autobiographical play “The Nosebleed,” which I saw last year at the Japan Society, is coming to Lincoln Center Theater, July 16 to August 28.
Patricia McGregor, a freelance director, has been named the new artistic director of the New York Theatre Workshop,succeeding James C. Nicola, who is retiring after 34 years.
On the second anniversary of George Floyd’s murder, and the day after the latest school shooting massacre, I looked at the history of theater’s response to violence in America
Rest in Peace
Ray Liotta, 67, an actor best known for memorable movie roles (Goofellas, Field of Dreams), did star on Broadway once, in 2004 in the Stephen Belber comedy “Match,” opposite Frank Langella and Jane Adams.