Tuesday, January 4, 2022

B'way Update: Skeleton and Paradise Shift Dates, Joan Copeland Dies

COVID and Omicron are still necessitating changes on Broadway. Skeleton Crew, Dominique Morriseau's drama presented by Manhattan Theater Club starring Phylicia Rashad, has suspended all performances through Jan. 9 due to breakthrough COVID cases in the company. The opening, originally scheduled for Jan. 19 will be postponed to a later date to be announced.

Chilina Kennedy and Joaquina Kalukango
in Paradise Square during its Chicago run.
Credit: Kevin Berne

Paradise Square
, the new musical about the owner and multi-racial customers of a tavern in NYC's Five Points neighborhood during the Civil War, has also pushed back its opening dates. The show will now begin previews at the Barrymore Theater on March 15 in advance of an April 3 opening (The original opening was set for March 20).

“During Christmas week, when there were over 560,000 positive daily cases in the US, over 70,000 positive daily cases in NYC and scientists suggested that the virus had yet to peak, we grew deeply concerned for the ongoing safety of our cast, crew and creative team, who were scheduled to begin Broadway rehearsals this month,” commented producer Garth H. Drabinsky. “We hope that a later start date for rehearsals and performances after the current wave is predicted to subside will better protect our company, audience and theatre community.” 

Also, Flying Over Sunset will be closing three weeks earlier than its original limited engagement. The musical imagining Cary Grant, Clare Booth Luce and Aldous Huxley taking LSD together running at Lincoln Center's Vivian Beaumont, will end its run on Jan. 16 instead of Feb. 6.

Joan Copeland

In other news, Broadway veteran Joan Copeland, the sister of playwright Arthur Miller, has passed away at 99. Copeland played the ta-dancing mother in Wendy Wasserstein's long-running Off-Broadway comedy Isn't It Romantic? while I was ushering for the show at the Lucille Lortel Theater. She was a delightful presence, giving a consistently warm and generous performance with a revolving cast including Alma Cuervo and Robin Bartlett as her daughter, Janie. She was also magnificently maternal and loving in Joe DiPietro's Over the River and Through the Woods and won an Obie as the calculating mother of a conflicted daughter in Richard Greenberg's The American Plan. She also won a Drama Desk Award (over Elizabeth Taylor in The Little Foxes) playing a version of her own mother in her brother's play The American Clock. Joan will also be remembered as a stern judge on early episodes of Law & Order

2021-22 Broadway/Off-Broadway Schedule
TBA--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 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 3--Paradise Square (Barrymore)
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
MJ--The Michael Jackson Musical
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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