Broadway In Springtime

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Glenn Close in Sunset Boulevard Photo Credit: Nick Wall
Hello Dolly - Photo Credit: Julieta Cervantes
Dear Evan Hansen - Photo Credit: Matthew Murphy
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Photo Credit: Joan Marcus
Anastasia - Photo Credit: Matthew Murphy

 

ON BROADWAY

1984 is a new adaptation of George Orwell’s iconic novel 1984, published in 1949. The story of government employee Winston Smith, under the watchful eye of Big Brother, introduced to America ideas about government and power never before considered. The show opens June 22. At the Hudson Theatre. (212) 239-6200.

Anastasia, based on the 1956 and 1997 20th Century Fox films, features a new musical score. From the Russian Empire to Paris in the 1920s, a brave young woman attempts to discover the mystery of her past. Pursued by a ruthless Soviet officer, she enlists the aid of an endearing con man and together they embark on an adventure to find her home and family. Music and lyrics by Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens. Book by Terrance McNally. At the Broadhurst Theatre. (212) 239-6200.

Bandstand, a high-energy musical, features big-band rhythms of the 1940s. It tells the story about a group of soldiers returning home from World War II. They form a band and enter a national radio contest looking to find America’s next big swing band, hoping for a chance at instant fame. Sound design by Nevin Steinberg (Dear Evan Hanson, Hamilton, Bright Star). At the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre. (212) 239-6200.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory invites theatergoers to experience Willy Wonka’s magical semi-dark chocolate world. Little Charlie and four other kids win a contest and are given a tour of the chocolate factory led by Willy (played by Christian Borle). Based on the 1964 novel by Roald Dahl, it was a film in 1971 starring Gene Wilder, and a film in 2005 starring Johnny Depp. John Rubinstein (son of pianist Arthur Rubinstein) plays the grandfather. In this stage production, the book is by David Greig, music and lyrics by Marc Shaiman and lyrics also by Scott Wittman. At the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre. (800) 982-2787.

Come from Away, based on a true story, follows a group of travelers whose planes were diverted to Gander, Newfoundland, on Sept. 11, 2001. The townspeople of Gander open up their hearts and homes to accommodate the stranded travelers. One of the passengers is a rabbi who creates a kosher kitchen while they are there. This moving, terrific show has garnered seven Tony nominations. Twelve talented actors play multiple roles. Music and lyrics by the husband-and-wife team Irene Sankoff and David Hein. At the Schoenfeld Theatre. (212) 239-6200.

Dear Evan Hansen, a brilliant, contemporary, bittersweet musical, earned nine Tony nominations. A letter that was never meant to be seen, a lie that was never meant to be told, a life he never dreamed he could have — high-school student Evan Hansen finally fits in and is thrust into social media after a classmate’s suicide. Music and lyrics are by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, who both graduated the University of Michigan in 2006. Book by Steven Levenson and direction by Michael Greif. The show stars Tony-nominated Ben Platt, who gives one of the best performances on Broadway. At the Music Box Theatre. (212) 239-6200.

Groundhog Day, regarded as a contemporary classic, is a musical adaption of the 1993 Bill Murray film. A cynical Pittsburgh TV weatherman is sent to cover the annual Groundhog Day event in Punxsutawney, Pa., and finds himself caught in a time loop, forced to repeat the same day over and over again. Music and lyrics by Tim Minchin and book by Danny Rubin. It has seven Tony nominations. At the August Wilson Theatre. (877) 250-2929.

Hello, Dolly!, with 10 Tony nominations, makes a return to Broadway with Bette Midler in the lead role as Dolly Gallagher Levi. The show was based on Thornton Wilder’s farce The Matchmaker, and was a sensation when it opened on Broadway in 1964, starring Carol Channing (and a critical success as a movie starring Barbra Streisand). Music and lyrics are by Jerry Herman, book by Michael Stewart and direction by Jerry Zaks. At the Shubert Theatre. (212) 239-6200.

Indecent explores a controversial time in Jewish theater history. Written by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Paula Vogel and directed by Rebecca Taichman, Indecent tells the story of Sholem Ash’s controversial 1906 play God of Vengeance, about a Jewish family that runs a brothel in their basement and whose daughter falls in love with one of their prostitutes. But when the play opened on Broadway, the cast and producers were arrested and jailed for obscenity. Seven actors play multiple characters. Among the cast is Richard Topol, The show earned three Tony nominations. At the Cort Theatre. (212) 239-6200.

Marvin’s Room shows how laughter can help through life’s darkest times. Two estranged sisters reunite when one of them is diagnosed with leukemia. Directed by Anne Kauffman, it’s about the importance of unconditional love, hope, compassion and humor. Starring Janeane Garofalo, previews begin June 8, the show opens June 29 and closes Aug. 27. At the American Airlines Theatre. (212) 719-1300.

Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812, a rock-pop musical adapted from a portion of Tolstoy’s War and Peace, stars Josh Groban and Denee Benton. Directed by Rachel Chavkin, The show earned the most Tony nominations, 12. At the Imperial Theatre. (212) 239-6200.

Oslo tells the story of the top-secret meetings between the State of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization that culminated in the signing of the historic 1993 Oslo Accords. Earning seven Tony nominations, it’s directed by Barlett Sher and written by J.T. Rogers. The show is scheduled through June 18. At the Vivian Beaumont Theatre. (212) 239-6200.

Present Laughter stars Kevin Kline as a self-obsessed actor in the midst of a mid-life crisis in this Noel Coward revival. With a propensity for women, wine and an active nightlife, this matinee idol finds himself in awkward situations. (Kline’s father was Jewish but he was raised Catholic, his mother’s religion.) The show closes July 2. At the St. James Theatre. (877) 250-2929.

Prince of Broadway celebrates the career of legendary director and producer Harold Prince. This tribute to Prince includes highlights from his musicals West Side Story, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Fiddler on the Roof, Cabaret, Evita, Company, Follies, A Little Night Music, Sweeney Todd, The Phantom of the Opera and more. The show also features original songs. Among cast members are Tony Yazbeck and Brandon Uranowitz. Previews begin Aug. 3; the show opens Aug. 24. At the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre. (212) 239-6200.

Six Degrees of Separation, starring Allison Janney, is a revival of John Guare’s play. Inspired by a true story, Paul, a young black man, claims to be the son of actor Sidney Poitier and insinuates himself into the lives of a wealthy New York couple. He tells them he was mugged and has no money, and the couple invites him to spend the night. The show closes July 16. At the Barrymore Theatre. (212) 239-6200.

Sunset Boulevard, starring Glenn Close, is a revival based on the Billy Wilder film. Delusional fading film star Norma Desmond lives in seclusion in her mansion on Sunset Boulevard with her servant. She meets an impoverished Hollywood screenwriter and persuades him to work on her script that she hopes will put her back in the limelight. The show closes June 25. At the Palace Theatre. (800) 982-2787.

Sweat, written by Pulitzer Prize winner Lynn Nottage, tells the story of a group of friends who work together at a Pennsylvania factory. But when layoffs and picket lines begin, the friends find themselves pitted against each other. At Studio 54. (212) 239-6200.

Terms of My Surrender stars filmmaker Michael Moore in his theatrical debut. In his one-man show, Moore talks about current events and takes on Trump and how he got to be president. Directed by Michael Mayer, the show opens for previews July 28, opens Aug. 10 and is on sale through Oct. 22. At the Belasco Theatre. (212) 239-6200.

The Little Foxes, a revival written by Lillian Hellman, stars Laura Linney and Cynthia Nixon. This legendary play, set in 1900 Alabama, follows Regina Giddens and her ruthless family, including her sister-in-law, Birdie, as they clash in often cruel ways. Show closes July 2. At the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre. (212) 239-6200.

The Play That Goes Wrong introduces the Cornley Polytechnic Drama Society that’s attempting to put on a 1920s murder mystery. The accident-prone cast battles against all odds to make it to their final curtain call. The comedy is written by Henry Lewis, Jonathan Sayer and Henry Shields. At the Lyceum Theatre. (212) 239-6200.

War Paint tells the story of two innovative cosmetic giants, Helena Rubinstein and Elizabeth Arden. These powerful women were fierce competitors in the beauty industry the first half of the 20th century. Rubenstein, played by Tony nominee Patti LuPone, experienced anti-Semitism in both her personal life and business. Christine Ebersole, also Tony nominated, plays Arden. Music by Scott Frankel, lyrics by Michael Korie and directed by Tony Award nominee Michael Greif. Detroit-area-native Douglas Sills stars as Harry Fleming. At the Nederlander Theatre. (877) 250-2929.

OFF-BROADWAY

Napoli, Brooklyn, directed by Gordon Edelstein, is set in 1960s Brooklyn. The women of the Italian immigrant Muscolino family struggle to find happiness while living in fear of their bad-tempered father/husband. Runs through Sept. 3. At the Laura Pels Theatre at the Harold and Miriam Steinberg Center for Theatre. (212) 719-1300.

Pipeline, penned by Detroiter Dominique Morisseau, author of The Detroit Project, tells about an inner-city public high-school teacher. She’s committed to her students’ achievement while she sends her son, Omari, to a private boarding school. But when Omari is involved in a controversial incident at school, she rallies to save him. Previews begin June 15; opens July 10. At the Mitzi E. Newhouse Theatre. (212) 239-6200.

SOULPEPPER ON 42ND STREET

Spoon River

Toronto’s largest theater company, Soulpepper, will be traveling to Off-Broadway for the month of July. They will be showcasing original plays, musicals and concert performances. The U.S. premiere coincides with the 150th birthday of Canada as a nation. Soulpepper, whose executive director is Leslie Lester, features a cast and creative team of more than 65 artists.

Here’s a rundown of the plays and concerts. For a complete listing of performance times and dates, visit soulpepper.org.

Kim’s Convenience A comedy-drama about a Korean-Canadian family making a new life in a corner store in Toronto.

Of Human Bondage Based on the novel by W. Somerset Maugham.

Spoon River An original musical based on Spoon River Anthology by American poet Edgar Lee Masters.

Cage A theatrical experience inspired by composer John Cage.

Alligator Pie An adaptation of the whimsical children’s poems of Canada’s Father Goose.

Crash After the loss of a loved one, a woman faces memories of a past trauma.

A Brimful of Asha Artist Ravi Jain shares the stage with his mother — they each tell their side of an attempt to arrange Ravi’s marriage.

True North: A Concert of Canada An array of beloved Canadian songs.

The Secret Chord: A Leonard Cohen Experience Cohen, who is Jewish, is most known for writing the song Hallelujah. He passed away recently and his life and artistry are examined.

New York — The Melting Pot A concert that’s a love letter from Toronto’s artists to the city of New York.

All at the Pershing Square Signature Theatre. (888) 898-1188.

Alice Burdick Schweiger Special to the Jewish News

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