Monday, August 8, 2022

B'way Update: Ohio to Play Jones Theater; Devil in Trouble?

Audra McDonald
The Ohio State Murders by Obie-winning playwright Adrienne Kennedy and starring six-time Tony winner Audra McDonald, will be the first show to play the renamed James Earl Jones Theater (formerly the Cort). This will mark the Broadway debut of 91-year-old Kennedy whose Off-Broadway works have included Funnyhouse of a Negro, June and Jean in Concert, Sleep Deprivation Chamber and A Movie Star Has to Star in Black and White. Previews begin Nov. 11 with an opening set for Dec. 8 for a limited engagement. Tony winner Kenny Leon (A Raisin in the Sun, A Soldier's Play) will direct. Leon will also be directing Suzan-Lori Parks' Topdog/Underdog on Broadway this season. McDonald and Leon previously collaborated on a digital reading of Ohio State for Broadway's Best Shows Spotlight on Plays series. McDonald will play Suzanne Alexander, a writer invited to speak at her alma mater about the violence in her work and a mystery unravels.

“I am so thrilled. It’s only taken me 65 years to make it to Broadway!” said Kennedy.

“I’m honored and humbled to be part of Adrienne Kennedy’s long-overdue Broadway debut in the newly dedicated James Earl Jones Theatre with Kenny Leon,” said McDonald. “This timeless play has a powerful resonance and relevance today, and we can’t wait to share it with the world.”

The cast of The Devil Wears Prada in Chicago.
Credit: Joan Marcus
In other news: the Chicago pre-Broadway run of the musical version of The Devil Wears Prada, just opened at the Nederlander Theater in the Windy City, has received decidedly mixed notices from the critics. Alexis Soloski of the New York Times called it "a show that has tried on everything in its closet. Nothing fits." Chris Jones of the Chicago Tribune continued the fashion metaphors, stating in the headline the production was "Not Ready for Its Runway Spotlight." Johnny Oleksinski of the New York Post bluntly labelled it a "haute mess." Catey Sullivan of the Chicago Sun-Times found it "more J.C. Penny clearance catalogue than couture" and "a poor knock-off, a cheap flea market bag with a designer label glue-gunned to the lining. Back to the sketchbook!" The show based on the 2006 film and roman a clef by Lauren Weisberger about her year working at Vogue magazine for the exacting editor Anna Wintour, features music by pop-rock legend Elton John, lyrics by Shaina Taub (Suffs, the musical As You Like It now at the Delacorte) and a book by Kate Wetherhead. Tony winner Anna D. Shapiro (August: Osage County) directs. There were never any firm plans for a Broadway opening and it looks the show needs work before it's ready for the New York runway.

2022-23 Broadway/Off-Broadway Schedule
Aug. 11--That Day in Amsterdam (59E59)
Aug. 25--Kinky Boots (Stage 42)
Aug. 28--Two Jews, Talking (Theater at St. Clement's)
Aug. 30--As You Like It (Delacorte)
Sept. 22--Sesame Street: The Musical (Theater Row)
Sept. 24--Baldwin and Buckley at Cambridge (Public Theater) (previews begin; opening TBA)
Sept. 27--A Raisin in the Sun (Public Theater) (previews begin; opening TBA)
Sept. 29--american (tele)visions (New York Theatre Workshop)
Oct. 2--Leopoldstadt (Longacre)
Oct. 3--Cost of Living (MTC/Friedman)
Oct. 6--1776 (Roundabout/AA)
Oct. 6--Peerless (Primary Stages/59E59)
Oct. 9--Death of a Salesman (Hudson) 
Oct. 13--The Piano Lesson (Barrymore)
Oct. 20--Topdog/Underdog (Golden)
Oct. 26--Straight Line Crazy (The Shed/Griffin)
Oct. 28--Where We Belong (Public Theater) (previews begin; opening TBA)
Oct. 30--A Man of No Importance (CSC)
October--Catch as Catch Can (Playwrights Horizons); Downstate (Playwrights Horizons); Only Gold (MCC Theater)
Nov. 2--Where the Mountain Meets the Sea (MTC/City Center Stage I)
Nov. 2--Camp Siegfried (Second Stage/Tony Kiser) (previews begin; opening TBA)
Nov. 3--Almost Famous (Bernard Jacobs)
Nov. 4--Plays for the Plague Year (Public Theater) (previews begin; opening TBA)
Nov. 6--You Will Get Sick (Roundabout/Laura Pels)
Nov. 10--Kimberly Akimbo (Booth)
Nov. 13--Fiddler on the Roof (New World Stages)
Nov. 15--the bandaged place (Roundabout/Underground)
Nov. 17--& Juliet (Sondheim)
Nov. 20--KPOP (Circle in the Square)
Nov. 21--Becky Nurse of Salem (LCT/Mitzi Newhouse)
Dec. 1--Ain't No Mo (Belasco)
Dec. 4--A Beautiful Noise: The Neil Diamond Musical (Broadhurst)
Dec. 8--The Ohio State Murders (James Earl Jones)
Dec. 11--Some Like It Hot (Shubert)
Dec. 11--Merrily We Roll Along (New York Theatre Workshop)
Dec. 19--Between Riverside and Crazy (Second Stage/Hayes)
Dec. 20--The Collaboration (MTC/Freidman)
February--The Trees (Playwrights Horizons)
March--Regretfully So the Birds Are (Playwrights Horizons)
April 13--Camelot (Lincoln Center/Vivian Beaumont)
May--Wet Brain (Playwrights Horizons)

Fall 2022 (no dates yet)
Summer, 1976 (MTC/City Center Stage II)

2022-23 (no dates or theaters yet)
Ain't Supposed to Die a Natural Death, Black Orpheus, Cinderella, Come Fall in Love--The DDLJ Musical, Dancin', Pal Joey, Square One

Winter 2022-23
Dark Disabled Stories (Public)
The Wanderers (Roundabout/Laura Pels)

Spring 2023 
Prime Facie (a Shubert theater TBA)
The Thanksgiving Play (Second Stage/Hayes)
Good Bones (Public)
Poor Yella Rednecks (MTC/City Center Stage II)
Shadow/Land (Public)

2023, 2024 and Beyond
Game of Thrones, The Great Gatsby, Frida, the Musical, High Noon

Future--Good Night, Oscar; The Devil Wears Prada; The Griswolds' Family Vacation; The Karate Kid; Back to the Future; Our Town; The Nanny; The Normal Heart/The Destiny of Me; Sing Street; Smash; Soul Train; The Who's Tommy; Working Girl

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