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. PLAYS
WHEN: Previews begin Oct. 6. The show opens Nov. 4 for a limited engagement.
WHERE: Booth Theatre
PLOT SUMMARY: An interracial couple whose marriage is on the rocks have their relationship further tested when their teenage son goes missing.
STAR POWER: Kerry Washington and Steven Pasquale star as the estranged spouses in the Broadway production, which is directed by Tony winner Kenny Leon (“A Raisin in the Sun”) and written by Christopher Demos-Brown.
THE BUZZ: Reviews were very positive for “American Son” during its original 2016-2017 Barrington Stage Company run in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, but that production had a different cast and director. Time will tell how the Broadway production will fare with audiences and critics.
WHEN: Previews begin Sept. 1. The show opens Sept. 25 for a limited engagement that ends Nov. 18.
WHERE: American Airlines Theatre
PLOT SUMMARY: The story of Sandra Bernhardt’s gender-bending starring role in Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” is told from her perspective.
STAR POWER: Tony winner Janet McTeer leads the cast as Bernhardt.
THE BUZZ: “Bernhardt/Hamlet,” written by Theresa Rebeck and directed by Tony nominee Moritz von Stuelpnagel, will have its world premiere on Broadway, and is expected to have a powerhouse performance from McTeer. Expectations are also high for this play’s costume design.
WHEN: Previews begin Dec. 27. The opening date is Jan. 22, 2019.
WHERE: Samuel J. Friedman Theatre
PLOT SUMMARY: The story of a gay high school student named Pharus, who leads a choir at his mostly African-American prep school, and how he struggles with being truly open about his sexuality.
STAR POWER: The cast includes Broadway veterans Chuck Cooper (who won a Tony for “The Life”) and Austin Pendleton, who reprise their respective roles as headmaster and schoolteacher that they had in “Choir Boy’s” off-Broadway production.
THE BUZZ: Tarell Alvin McCraney, who won an Oscar for co-writing “Moonlight,” wrote "Choir Boy," which got mostly positive reviews for its off-Broadway debut in 2013. Trip Cullman, who directed the Broadway revival of “Lobby Hero,” is the director of Broadway’s “Choir Boy.”
WHEN: Previews begin March 5, 2019. The opening date is April 11, 2019.
WHERE: Booth Theatre
PLOT SUMMARY: This comedic play, written by Taylor Mac, is set during the fall of the Roman Empire after the civil war has ended, and focuses on servants whose job is to clean up corpses.
STAR POWER: Tony winners Nathan Lane and Andrea Martin portray two of the servants.
THE BUZZ: The team behind "Gary" has multiple Tony winners, including Lane, Martin, producer Scott Rudin and director George C. Wolfe. It seems inevitable that "Gary" will get nominated for Tony Awards.
WHEN: Previews began June 29. The opening date was July 23, and the play’s limited engagement is scheduled to end Sept. 9.
WHERE: Helen Hayes Theater
PLOT SUMMARY: A middle-class widower father and his three adult sons gather for the Christmas holiday and reflect on their lives.
STAR POWER: Tom Skerritt plays the father, while the sons are played by Armie Hammer, Josh Charles and Paul Schneider. The cast also includes Kate Bornstein, Stephen Payne and Ty Defoe. “Straight White Men” is the Broadway debut for Hammer, Charles, Schneider, Bornstein and Defoe.
THE BUZZ: “Straight White Men” made Broadway history by being the first Broadway production to be written by an Asian-American woman: Young Jean Lee. The play is directed by Anna D. Shapiro, who won a Tony Award in 2008 for directing “August: Osage County.” “Straight White Men” has been getting mixed reviews, with reviewers praising efforts to make the play thought-provoking and nuanced, but many critics are saying that the play’s flaws are that the plot and characters are underdeveloped.