Saturday, January 26, 2019

B'way Update: McDonald and Shannon in Frankie and Johnny

Audra McDonald and Michael Shannon
January and February are traditionally slow months in the New York theater with few openings, especially on Broadway--only Choir Boy and True West during these first months. But there are a bunch of shows which have announced openings in March through April, that frantic period before the Tony Award cut-off date, and into May and the summer for the 2019-20 season. Six-time Tony winner Audra McDonald and Oscar nominee Michael Shannon (Revolutionary Road, Man of Steel) will star in a revival of Terrence McNally's two-character comedy-drama Frankie and Johnny in the Clare de Lune, set to open in May at a Shubert theatre to be announced. Making her Broadway debut will be director Arin Arbus (The Skin of Our Teeth). The play centering on a waitress and a short-order cook finding romance after lives of unhappiness first appeared Off-Broadway in 1988 with Kathy Bates and Kenneth Walsh. Al Pacino and Michelle Pfeiffer starred in the 1991 film version which expanded beyond the play's single apartment setting and included additional characters played by Nathan Lane, Kate Nelligan, and Hector Elizondo. Edie Falco and Stanley Tucci headlined a 2002 Broadway revival (I still remember Tucci yelling at an audience member to turn off their cell phone after it rang the second time and Falco taking a minute to get back into character.)

Also on tap are Faye Dunaway as Katharine Hepburn in the solo show Tea at Five, musicals based on the films Moulin Rogue and Magic Mike (plenty of male strippers) and the life of Michael Jackson. The latter may run into trouble because of Leaving Neverland, the new four-hour documentary on Jackson's alleged child sex abuse. Will the new graphically-depicted details about Jackson's behavior turn audiences off from seeing a musical on him? Most similar jukebox/bio tuners such as The Cher Show, Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, Jersey Boys and Summer, feature artists overcoming challenges and triumphing with late-career hits. A Jackson musical would have to address the scandal in some way and his early, tragic death at the age of 50. It would not be your typical feel-good show.

Here's a rundown of upcoming Broadway and Off-Broadway shows into 2020 and beyond.
Feb. 10--The Light (MCC/Robert Wilson)
Feb. 10--Miss Julie/Dance of Death (CSC)
Feb. 19--Merrily We Roll Along (Roundabout/Fiasco/Laura Pels)
Feb. 19--By the Way, Meet Vera Stark (Signature)
Feb. 21--Fiddler on the Roof (Stage 42/Folksbiene)
Feb. 24--Boesman and Lena (Signature)
Feb. 24--Hurricane Diane (NYTW)
Feb. 26--Alice by Heart (MCC/Robert Wilson)
Feb. 28--Superhero (Second Stage)
March 5--Daddy (Vineyard/Signature)
March 10--Be More Chill (Lyceum)
March 11--The Mother (Atlantic)
March 13--Surely Goodness and Mercy (Keen Company/Clurman)
March 14--Kiss Me, Kate (Roundabout/Studio 54)
March 18--Nantucket Sleigh Ride (Lincoln Center/Mitzi Newhouse)
March 20--White Noise (Public)
March 21--Ain't Too Proud: The Life and Times of the Temptations (Imperial)
March 23--Last Stop on Market Street (Atlantic)
March 27--Ain't No Mo' (Public)
March 31--What the Constitution Means to Me (Helen Hayes)
March 31--Do You Feel Anger? (Vineyard)
April 3--Oklahoma! (Circle in the Square)
April 3--The Cradle Will Rock (CSC)
April 4--King Lear (Golden)
April 11--Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus (Booth)
April 16--Burn This (Hudson)
April 16--Socrates (Public)
April 17--Hadestown (Walter Kerr)
April 19--Hillary and Clinton (Golden)
April 22--All My Sons (Roundabout/AA)
April 23--Tootsie (Marquis)
April 24--Ink (MTC/Friedman)
April 25-Beetlejuice (Winter Garden)
May 2019--Glengarry Glen Ross, Frankie and Johnny in the Clare de Lune
June 13--The Secret Life of Bees (Atlantic)
July 25--Moulin Rouge (Hirschfeld)
Summer 2019-- Tea at Five
Feb. 6, 2020--West Side Story
2020--Michael Jackson Musical

Future--Dave, Death Becomes Her, Mrs. Doubtfire, Mighty Real: A Fabulous Sylvester Musical, The Devil Wears Prada, Jagged Little Pill, Working Girl, Half-Time, Roman Holiday, The Wiz, Camp David, Photograph 51, An Enemy of the People, Sherlock Holmes, Singin' in the Rain, Pat Benatar Musical, Tina Turner Musical, Chasing Rainbows, Magic Mike

2018-19 Broadway Season

New Plays
American Son
The Ferryman
Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus
Hillary and Clinton
The Lifespan of a Fact
The Nap
To Kill a Mockingbird
What the Constitution Means to Me

New Musicals
Ain't Too Proud: The Life and Times of the Temptations
Be More Chill
The Cher Show
Gettin' the Band Back Together
Head Over Heels
Pretty Woman
The Prom

Play Revivals
All My Sons
The Boys in the Band
Burn This
Choir Boy
King Lear
Straight White Men
Torch Song
True West
The Waverly Gallery

Musical Revivals
Kiss Me, Kate

Special Attractions
Clay and Reuben's Christmas Show
The Illusionists: Magic of the Holidays
The New One

2019-20 Broadway Season
New Musicals
Moulin Rogue

Play Revivals
Frankie and Johnny in the Clare de Lune
Glengarry Glen Ross

Musical Revivals
West Side Story

Tea at Five

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