Broadway’s 2018-2019 season is offering an eclectic mix of plays and musicals that continue the growing trend of productions adapted from movies, TV shows or previously published works; jukebox musicals that are based on the hit songs of an artist; and revivals starring actors and actresses who are best known for their roles in movies or TV. There is also the expected array of U.K. imports and original U.S. plays and musicals. All of them will be competing for nominations at the 73rd annual Tony Awards, which will take place in New York City on June 9, 2019. (Preview and opening dates are subject to change.)
Here’s a roundup of some of these productions:
ORIGINAL U.S. MUSICALS
WHEN: Previews began July 19. The opening date is Aug. 13.
WHERE: Belasco Theatre
PLOT SUMMARY: After losing his Wall Street job and with his house in foreclosure, a 40-year-old man (played by Mitch Jarvis) moves back in with his mother in New Jersey. He reunites with his high school rock band to try and win a local Battle of the Bands contest in order to get enough money to buy back his house.
STAR POWER: Marilu Henner of “Taxi” fame is the biggest star in the cast. Mark Allen wrote the musical’s score, and the book was written by Ken Davenport and the performance group Grundleshotz. The musical is directed by John Rando, whose previous Broadway credits include “Penn & Teller On Broadway,” “A Christmas Story, The Musical” and “Urinetown The Musical.”
THE BUZZ: “Gettin’ the Band Back Together” got mixed reviews when it opened in New Jersey in 2013, with critics noting that although the musical has plenty of humor and good-enough songs, the musical’s low-brow, simplistic plot won’t appeal to those looking for something more sophisticated on Broadway.
WHEN: Previews begin Oct. 23. The opening date is Nov. 15.
WHERE: Longacre Theatre
PLOT SUMMARY: In this musical comedy, a group of Broadway professionals go to a small town in Indiana to support a lesbian teenager who is banned from her high school prom because she wants to take her girlfriend as a date.
STAR POWER: The cast includes Tony winner Beth Leavel (“The Drowsy Chaperone”) and Tony nominees Christopher Sieber and Brooks Ashmanskas.
THE BUZZ: “The Prom,” which will have its world premiere on Broadway, is directed and choreographed by Tony-winning “Book of Mormon” co-director Casey Nicholaw, whose previous director/choreographer credits include “Mean Girls,” “Something Rotten!” and “The Drowsy Chaperone,” for which he earned Tony nominations. Given this track record, “The Prom” is likely to get multiple nominations for the 2019 Tony Awards.
This adaptation is also expected to be on Broadway in the 2018-2019 season, although the dates and location have not been officially announced yet:
“Hadestown”—Anaïs Mitchell’s mythical folk opera debuted off-Broadway in 2016, before moving to Edmonton, Canada, in 2017 and London in 2018. Tony nominee Rachel Chavkin is directing the show, which follows Orpheus and his quest to overcome Hades and reunite with his true love Eurydice. The Broadway cast hasn’t been announced yet, but Patrick Page has been playing Hades from the beginning of the production.