Friday, July 9, 2021

B'way Update: Company Opens Early; Waitress Returns; etc.

Terence Archie, Patti LuPone and Katrina Link
in Company
Credit: Brinkoff Moegenburg
The Broadway calendar keeps shifting in anticipation of the first full season since the COVID shutdown in March of 2020. The gender-reversed revival of Company, which was in previews when all the theaters closed, has pushed up its opening by one month. The show, directed by Tony winner Marianne Elliott, had previously announced a preview start date of Nov. 15 and an opening of Jan. 9, 2022. The show will now begin previews Nov. 15 and open on Dec. 9 at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theater. The cast will include the legendary Patti LuPone, Tony winner Katrina Lenk (The Band's Visit), Matt Doyle (War Horse), Tony nominee Christopher Fitzgerald (Finian's Rainbow, Waitress), Christopher Sieber (Shrek), Jennifer Simard (Disaster, Hello, Dolly!), Terence Archie (Kiss Me, Kate), Greg Hildreth (Frozen, Cinderella), Claybourne Elder (One Arm, Bonnie and Clyde) and Nikki Renee Daniels (Porgy and Bess).

Sara Bareilles will star in a 
return engagement of Waitress
for which she also wrote the score.
Credit: Jeremy Daniel

Speaking of Waitress, the feel-good tuner from Sara Bareilles will return to Broadway, starting a limited run at the Ethel Barrymore Theater on Sept. 2 through Jan. 9, 2022. Bareilles will play the lead through Oct. 17. The original production opened at the Brooks Atkinson Theater in 2016 and played 1,544 performances, closing in Jan. 2020 just before the pandemic hit.

Tony and Emmy winner LaChanze has been announced as the lead of Roundabout's revival of Alice Childress' Trouble in Mind. She'll play an experienced African-American actress dealing with subtle and overt racism on 1950s Broadway. Previews begin Oct. 29 in advance of a Nov. 18 opening.

With Company pushed up to a December opening, the Manhattan Theater Club production of Dominique Morriseau's Skeleton Crew will now be the first Broadway production of 2022. There has been much internet chatter about the play's headliner Phylicia Rashad since she tweeted in support of her former TV co-star Bill Cosby's release from prison on a sexual assault charge. Cosby was released on a legal

Alexander Mitchell, Audra McDonald
and Phylicia Rashad in
the 2004 revival of 
A Raisin in the Sun.
Credit: Joan Marcus

technicality after serving two and a half years and Rashad tweeted "FINALLY!! A terrible wrong is being righted--a miscarriage of justice is corrected!" After a backlash from advocates of the MeToo movement and others online, Rashad deleted the tweet and wrote a letter of apology to students of Howard University where she has been appointed as Dean of the College of Fine Arts. There were calls for her to resign from that position and on some theater chat boards, questions were raised if she will be kept on in Skeleton Crew. Cosby has since blasted Howard for criticizing Rashad and there has been no indication that Rashad will resign or be let go from either her academic position or her upcoming Broadway role. 

Rashad is a brilliant actress who has won a Tony Award for the 2004 revival of A Raisin in the Sun (she is the first African-American actress to win in the category of Leading Actress in a Play) and has delivered numerous heartfelt and stunning performances on and Off-Broadway. The public and Howard University have a right to express outrage over her tweet in support of Cosby--people can even protest outside the theater if they want--but she does not deserved to be "cancelled."  

2021-22 Broadway and Off-Broadway Schedule (opening dates listed for new shows):
June 26--Springsteen on Broadway (St. James)
July 27--Merry Wives (Shakespeare in the Park/Delacorte)
Sept. 2--Hadestown (Walter Kerr); Waitress (Barrymore)
Sept. 3--Blue Man Group (Astor Place)
Sept. 12--Pass Over (August Wilson)
Sept. 14--Chicago (Ambassador); Hamilton (Richard Rodgers); The Lion King (Minskoff); Wicked (Gershwin)
Sept. 17--David Byrne's American Utopia (St. James)
Sept. 21--Little Shop of Horrors (Westside)
Sept. 22--Come from Away (Gerald Schoenfeld)
Sept. 24--Moulin Rouge (Al Hirschfeld)
Sept. 26--Tony Awards (CBS/Paramount +)
Sept. 28--Lackawanna Blues (MTC/Samuel Friedman); Aladdin (New Amsterdam)
Oct. 1--Diana premieres on Netflix
Oct. 3--Six (Brooks Atkinson)
Oct. 4--Letters of Suresh (Second Stage/Kiser)
Oct. 5--To Kill a Mockingbird (Shubert)
Oct. 7--Freestyle Love Supreme (Booth)
Oct. 8--Tina: The Tina Turner Musical (Lunt-Fontanne)
Oct. 9--Gazillion Bubbles Show (New World Stages)
Oct. 10--Chicken and Biscuits (Circle In the Square)
Oct. 13--Girl from the North Country (Belasco)
Oct. 14--The Lehman Trilogy (Nederlaner)
Oct. 16--Ain't Too Proud: The Life and Times of the Temptations (Imperial)
Oct. 21--Jagged Little Pill (Broadhurst)
Oct. 22--Phantom of the Opera (Majestic)
Oct. 27--Caroline or Change (Roundabout/Studio 54)
Oct. 31--Thoughts of a Colored Man (Golden)
Nov. 3--Morning Sun (MTC/City Center)
Nov. 5--The Book of Mormon (Eugene O'Neill)
Nov. 15--Jersey Boys (New World Stages)
Nov. 16--Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (Lyric)
Nov. 17--Diana  (Longacre)
Nov. 22--Clyde's (Second Stage/Hayes)
Nov. 18--Trouble in Mind (Roundabout/AA)
Dec. 5--Mrs. Doubtfire (Stephen Sondheim)
Dec. 6--Flying Over Sunset (LCT/Vivian Beaumont)
Dec. 9--Company (Bernard B. Jacobs)
Dec. 11--Dear Evan Hansen (Music Box)
Jan. 12, 2022--Skeleton Crew (MTC/Samuel J. Friedman)
Jan. 27--Intimate Apparel (LCT/Mitzi Newhouse)
Feb. 1--MJ: The Michael Jackson Musical (Neil Simon)
Feb. 10--The Music Man (Winter Garden)
March 20--Paradise Square (Barrymore)
March 28--Plaza Suite (Hudson)
April 4--Take Me Out (Second Stage/Hayes)
April 7--The Minutes (Studio 54)
April 10--Birthday Candles (Roundabout/AA)
April 14--To My Girls (Second Stage/Kiser)
April 19--How I Learned to Drive (MTC/Samuel J. Friedman)
May 17--Golden Shield (MTC/City Center)

Spring 2022 (dates TBA)
Romeo and Bernadette: A Musical Tale of Verona and Brooklyn (possibly)

No Dates Yet
(New Shows)
American Buffalo (Circle in the Square)
Sing Street

(Old Shows)
West Side Story

Fall 2022
1776 (Roundabout/AA)
Between Riverside and Crazy (Second Stage/Hayes)

Ain't Supposed to Die a Natural Death, The Piano Lesson


2023 and Beyond
Game of Thrones, The Great Gatsby

Future--Our Town; Death of a Salesman; Funny Girl; K-pop the Broadway Musical; The Nanny; The Normal Heart/The Destiny of Me; Smash; Some Like It Hot; Soul Train; The Who's Tommy

2021-22 Broadway Season Breakdown:
New Plays
Birthday Candles
Chicken and Biscuits
The Lehman Trilogy (transfer from Off-Broadway)
The Minutes
Pass Over
Skeleton Crew (previously produced Off-Broadway)
Thoughts of a Colored Man

Play Revivals
American Buffalo
How I Learned to Drive
Lackawanna Blues (previously produced Off-Broadway)
Plaza Suite
Take Me Out
Trouble in Mind

New Musicals
Flying Over Sunset
Mrs. Doubtfire
Paradise Square
Romeo and Bernadette: A Musical Tale of Verona and Brooklyn (possibly)
Sing Street (transfer from Off-Broadway, possibly)

Musical Revivals
Caroline or Change
Waitress (return engagement)

Bruce Springsteen on Broadway (return engagement)
David Bryne's American Utopia (return engagement)
Freestyle Love Supreme (return engagement)

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