Wednesday, July 14, 2021

B'way Update: Dana and Room To Play in Rep, Etc.

The new post-shutdown Broadway season just got really interesting. In an unexpected and startlingly different move, two highly-praised, but bizarre Off-Broadway plays will transfer to Broadway to be performed in repertory. Tina Satter's Is This A Room and Lucas Hnath's Dana H. will alternate performances at the Lyceum Theater with the former beginning previews on Sept. 24 and opening Oct. 11 and the latter commencing previews on Oct. 1 and 

 Is This a Room? (top) and Dana H (bottom)
will alternate performances at 
Broadway's Lyceum Theatre
(Credits: Carol Rosegg; Craig Schwartz)
opening Oct. 17. The dual-show engagement will play until Jan. 16, 2022. Both plays were presented at Vineyard Theater as part of the foreshortened 2019-20 season.  

Each presentation is unique and not your typical Broadway fare. Is This A Room, directed and conceived by Satter, concerns the real-life Reality Winner (her actual name), an Air Force linguist who was imprisoned for leaking information that the Russians interfered in our 2016 Presidential election. The entire 70-minute play is composed of transcripts from her FBI interrogation and the search of her home. Emily Davis repeats her stunning performance as Reality. She won an Obie and was nominated for a Drama Desk Award and the production won a Drama Desk Award for Unique Theatrical Experience.

Dana H. is also based on actual events and transcripts. The playwright's mother Dana was abducted and held captive in a series of Florida motels for five months. Deirdre O'Connell lip-synchs to recordings of an interview conducted with the real-life Dana and directed by Obie winner Les Waters. The production was interrupted by the COVID shut-down and O'Connell won the Obie, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle and New York Drama Critics Circle awards. 

Vineyard Theater also announced its 2021-22 Off-Broadway season. Charley Evon Simpson's sandblasted (Feb. 3--March 13, 2022) follows Angela and Odessa as they encounter wellness guru Adah on a journey of self-discovery. David Cale's Sandra (Spring 2022) is a solo play about a woman investigating the disappearance of her friend in Mexico. Lessons in Survival, Part 2 (Spring 2022) is described as an exploration of a famous 1971 conversation between authors James Baldwin and Nikki Giovanni.

In other news, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child has pushed up its opening at date to Nov. 12 from Nov. 16 at the Lyric.

Mo Rocca
Moving Off-Broadway, Tony nominee Douglas Carter Beane (Xanadu, Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella) will direct his new comedy Fairycakes, running Oct. 14 through Jan. 2, 2022 at the Greenwich House Theater. The piece is described as a combination of A Midsummer Night's Dream and old-world fairy tales. The eclectic cast includes Mo Rocca (CBS Sunday Morning, NPR's Wait Wait Don't Tell Me), Emmy nominee Jackie Hoffman (currently starring in Fruma-Sarah), Alfie Fuller (BLKS), Ann Harada (Avenue Q), Lortel Award winner Kuhoo Vermer (Octet), Julie Halston (Tootsie, You Can't Take It With You), Jason Nanthkumar (The One Kill Race), Brooks Ashmanskas (The Prom), and Jason Tam (Be More Chill).

Updated 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); Sleep No More (McKittrick Hotel)
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. 11--Is This A Room (Lyceum)
Oct. 13--Girl from the North Country (Belasco)
Oct. 14--The Lehman Trilogy (Nederlaner)
Oct. 14--Fairycakes (previews begin; Greenwich House Theater)
Oct. 16--Ain't Too Proud: The Life and Times of the Temptations (Imperial)
Oct. 17--Dana H. (Lyceum)
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. 12--Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (Lyric)
Nov. 15--Jersey Boys (New World Stages)
Nov. 17--Diana (Longacre)
Nov. 18--Trouble in Mind (Roundabout/AA)
Nov. 22--Clyde's (Second Stage/Hayes)
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
Dana H. (transfer from Off-Broadway)
Is This A Room (transfer from Off-Broadway)
The Lehman Trilogy (transfer from Off-Broadway)
The Minutes
Pass Over
Skeleton Crew (previously presented Off-Broadway in a different production)
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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