Thursday, July 1, 2021

B'way Update: Second Stage Announces Dates

Dame Jasmine Hughes and Reza Salazar
in the Guthrie Theater’s production of “Floyd’s” 
which will open as "Clyde's" on Broadway
Credit: T. Charles Erickson
Second Stage has announced dates for its 2021-22 on and Off-Broadway season, bringing the NYC post-COVID theater schedule into sharper focus. The company will open with two-time Pulitzer Prize winner Lynn Nottage's Clyde's premiering at the Hayes Theater with previews beginning Nov. 3 and an opening set for Nov. 22. The play, previously titled Floyd's appeared at the Guthrie Theater in 2019 and is set in a truck stop diner where the tough-talking female owner hires ex-convicts. The title was changed, presumably to avoid confusion with George Floyd, the African-American man who was killed by former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin. Nottage will also be represented this season by MJ, the Michael Jackson bio musical for which she wrote the book, and an operatic adaptation of her New York Drama Critics Circle Award winning play Intimate Apparel. In related news, Tony nominee Ephraim Skyes will be replaced in the title role of MJ by newcomer Myles Frost. Skyes cited scheduling conflicts as the reason for departing the show which has been delayed many times, not just by the COVID pandemic. 

Patrick J. Adams, Jesse Williams, and 
Jesse Tyler Ferguson will star in
Take Me Out
Credit: Catherine Wessel

Second Stage's Broadway season continues with a revival of Richard Greenberg's Tony-winning Take Me Out, the 2002 drama about the first out gay major league baseball player. The play will be all the more relevant since the NFL has had its first out active player. Previews begin March 9, 2022 and the show opens April 4. Dates are yet to be announced for Stephen Aldy Gurgis' Between Riverside and Crazy, set to play the Hayes in the fall of 2022.

Off-Broadway at the Kiser Theater, there will be two new Second Stage productions. Rajiv Joseph's Letters of Suresh previews Sept. 14 and opens Oct. 4. The play, a companion piece to the author's Animals Out of Paper, following the interconnections of a group of strangers through a series of letters. J.C. Lee's To My Girls will then start previews March 22 and open April 14. This comedy-drama is centered on a group of gay friends gathering in Palm Springs after the pandemic. Sounds a bit like an updated version of Terrence McNally's Love! Valour! Compassion! which featured a gay group recovering from the AIDS crisis in an upstate New York weekend house. 

This Second Stage season is much smaller in scale then previous ones with only four productions total planned (two on Broadway and two Off.) This is indicative of the NYC theater in general in a post-COVID world. The pandemic has crippled the industry with tourism way down and box office response potentially soft. There are only 22 productions slated for the 2021-22 Broadway season. It may be years before we return to pre-pandemic levels of activity.

2021-22 Broadway/Off-Broadway Season Calendar:

June 26--Springsteen on Broadway (St. James)
July 27--Merry Wives (Shakespeare in the Park/Delacorte)
Sept. 2--Hadestown (Walter Kerr)
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. 11--Dear Evan Hansen (Music Box)
Jan. 9, 2022--Company (Bernard B. Jacobs)
Jan. 12--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
Sing Street (transfer from Off-Broadway, possibly)

Musical Revivals
Caroline or Change

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

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