Monday, December 20, 2021

B'way Update: Strange Loops Into the Lyceum; Pill Swallowed by COVID

The cast of A Strange Loop
at Woolly Mammoth Theater.
Credit: Marc A. Franklin
Yesterday I posted about the Lyceum becoming available because MacBeth was moving to the Longacre. I speculated about A Strange Loop or Kimberly Akimbo snapping it up. Well, today Strange Loop made the move. The Woolly Mammoth Theater's production of Michael R. Jackson's Pulitzer Prize-winning musical will begin performances at the Lyceum in the spring of 2022. Specific dates and casting are to be announced. The show had a limited Off-Broadway engagement in 2019 at Playwrights Horizons and went on to cop not only the Pulitzer but also the New York Drama Critics Circle and the Drama Desk awards for Best Musical. The autobiographical piece follows a gay, African-American musical theater writer putting together a show about a gay, African-American musical theater writer (hence the loop).

While new shows are being announced, there have been more COVID-related cancellations and one total closing. Jagged Little Pill which reopened at the Broadhurst will not be returning after a series of performances were cancelled. The musical based on Alanis Morrisette's Grammy-winning album played its final performance on Dec. 17. 
A statement from the producers Vivek J. Tiwary, Arvind Ethan David and Eva Price reads:

We are so proud of this extraordinary show, and this extraordinary company, who every night in difficult circumstances, have told the Jagged Little Pill story. This show about healing, human connection, and catharsis, has been a salve to audiences, and to all of us, throughout these trying times.

Yet, the drastic turn of events this week with the rapid spread of the Omicron variant has, once again, changed everything. We are dismayed by what appears to be another substantial public health crisis, and – due to the detection of multiple positive Covid-19 cases within the company – need to prioritize the health and safety of the cast, crew, and entire team working on Jagged Little Pill. In light of the extreme uncertainty ahead of us this winter, and forced to choose between continuing performances and protecting our company, we’ve made the difficult decision to close our doors.

Celia Rose Gooding and Lauren Patton in
Jagged Little Pill.
Credit: Matthew Murphy

We know that the Jagged Little Pill story will continue to be told – and in the new year, will be announcing plans for subsequent productions, building on the show’s triumphant launch in Australia earlier this month. We also hope and intend to find a way to bring this vibrant and vitalizing musical back to the Broadway stage, once the current crisis is past, but at this time we are in the unfortunate position to determine Friday, December 17, 2021 as the final Broadway performance of Jagged Little Pill.

There is nothing in the world like live theater. There is no community in the world like this great Broadway family of artists and audiences. We will make it through this, together.

This means the Broadhurst Theater is now available, but who knows if any new shows will be coming in to fill it. Skeleton Crew from Manhattan Theater Club has pushed back its preview period due to company members testing positive for COVID and will now open on Jan. 19 rather than Jan. 12. The Off-Broadway show Trevor has posted a closing notice after having to cancel several performances. Add Hadestown, Six, and Dear Evan Hansen to the productions deleting showings.

2021-22 Broadway/Off-Broadway Schedule
Jan. 19, 2022--Skeleton Crew (MTC/Samuel J. Friedman)
Jan. 23--Long Day's Journey Into Night (Audible Theater/Minetta Lane)
Jan. 27--Intimate Apparel (LCT/Mitzi Newhouse)
Jan. 31--Tambo and Bones (Playwrights Horizons)
Feb. 1--MJ: The Michael Jackson Musical (Neil Simon); Prayer for the French Republic (MTC/City Center)
Feb. 3--English (Atlantic Theater Company); Sandblasted (Vineyard)
Feb. 5--The Merchant of Venice (TFANA/Polonksy Shakespeare Center)
Feb. 10--The Music Man (Winter Garden)
Feb. 14--Sleep No More (McKittrick Hotel)
Feb. 22--Black No More (The New Group)
March 17--The Little Prince (Broadway)
March 20--Paradise Square (Barrymore)
March 24--for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf (Booth)
March 28--Plaza Suite (Hudson)
March 31--Mr. Saturday Night (Nederlander)
April 4--Take Me Out (Second Stage/Hayes)
April 6--Suffs (Public Theater)
April 7--The Minutes (Studio 54)
April 8--Beetlejuice (Marriott Marquis)
April 10--Birthday Candles (Roundabout/AA)
April 13--Harmony (Museum of Jewish Heritage)
April 14--American Buffalo (Circle In the Square); To My Girls (Second Stage/Kiser)
April 19--How I Learned to Drive (MTC/Samuel J. Friedman)
April 23--Wedding Band (TFANA/Polonsky Shakespeare Center)
April 24--Funny Girl (August Wilson)
April 25--The Skin of Our Teeth (LTC/Vivian Beaumont)
April 28--Macbeth (Longacre)
April 30--The Bedwetter (Atlantic Theater Company)
May 17--Golden Shield (MTC/City Center)

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

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

Dancin', Pal Joey, Square One

2023 and Beyond
Game of Thrones, The Great Gatsby

Future--Our Town; Death of a Salesman; K-pop the Broadway Musical; The Nanny; The Normal Heart/The Destiny of Me; Smash; Some Like It Hot; Soul Train; A Strange Loop; 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 (previously presented Off-Broadway)
Skeleton Crew (previously presented Off-Broadway in a different production)
Thoughts of a Colored Man

Play Revivals
American Buffalo
for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf
How I Learned to Drive
Lackawanna Blues (previously produced Off-Broadway)
Plaza Suite
The Skin of Our Teeth
Slave Play (return engagement)
Take Me Out
Trouble in Mind

New Musicals
Flying Over Sunset
The Little Prince
Mr. Saturday Night
Mrs. Doubtfire
Paradise Square

Musical Revivals
Beetlejuice (return engagement)
Caroline or Change
Funny Girl 
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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