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:
WHEN: Previews begin Oct. 2. The opening date is Oct. 21.
WHERE: Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre
PLOT SUMMARY: Set in Northern Ireland in 1981, “The Ferryman” is a dramatic play about how a former IRA terrorist, who has become a farmer with a large family, defies the IRA’s pressure to lie about the murder of his brother.
STAR POWER: Most of “The Ferryman’s” West End cast, including Paddy Considine and Olivier winner Laura Donnelly, will reprise their roles for the Broadway production. Jez Butterworth wrote “The Ferryman,” which is directed by Olivier winner Sam Mendes, who won an Oscar for directing 1999’s “American Beauty.”
THE BUZZ: After getting rave reviews and winning three Olivier Awards, including Best New Play, this British import is primed to be a contender at the 2019 Tony Awards.
WHEN: Previews begin April 2, 2019. The show opens April 24, 2019.
WHERE: Samuel J. Friedman Theatre
PLOT SUMMARY: In 1969, budding media mogul Rupert Murdoch aims to make British tabloid The Sun the U.K.’s best-selling newspaper, with the help of editor Larry Lamb.
STAR POWER: The Broadway cast is to be announced. James Graham wrote the dramatic play. Tony nominee Rupert Goold, who directed the play on the West End, will direct the Broadway production.
THE BUZZ: After debuting on the West End in 2017, “Ink” received four nominations for the 2018 Olivier Awards. Bertie Carvel, who played Murdoch, went on to win the Olivier for Best Supporting Actor. Given all the praise and recognition that “Ink” received for its West End production, “Ink” will probably get similar acclaim for its Broadway production.
WHEN: Previews begin Feb. 28, 2019. The show opens April 4, 2019, and closes July 7, 2019.
WHERE: Golden Theatre
STAR POWER: Tony winner Glenda Jackson plays the title role in one of Shakespeare’s best-known plays. The cast also includes Ruth Wilson, Pedro Pascal, Elizabeth Marvel, Jayne Houdyshell, Aisling O’Sullivan and John Douglas Thompson. Ubiquitous producer Scott Rudin is one of the producers of the play, which is directed by Sam Gold, and features an original score by Philip Glass.
THE BUZZ: Jackson earned rave reviews and an Olivier nomination for playing King Lear on the West End in 2016.
WHEN: Previews begin Sept. 4. The show opens Sept. 27.
WHERE: Samuel J. Friedman Theatre
PLOT SUMMARY: This comedy thriller is about a snooker champ, his mother, his ex-con father, a sexy cop and a gangster.
STAR POWER: The cast, which is different from the show’s original West End production, includes Alexandra Billings, John Ellison Conlee, Johanna Day, Ahmed Aly Elsayed, Heather Lind, Max Gordon Moore, Bhavesh Patel, Thomas Jay Ryan and Ben Schnetzer.
THE BUZZ: Witten by Richard Bean (“One Man, Two Guvnors”) and directed by Daniel Sullivan, “The Nap” got positive reviews when it debuted on the West End in 2016. With a mostly unknown cast and a plot centering on a game that is unfamiliar to most Americans, “The Nap” may have some challenges in finding a large enough of an audience on Broadway, but the play will likely be as positively reviewed in the U.S. as it was in the U.K.
WHEN: Previews begin Nov. 10. The opening date is Dec. 6.
WHERE: Belasco Theatre
PLOT SUMMARY: Executives and newscasters at a fictional U.S. TV network do whatever it takes to boost the network's struggling ratings, even if their tactics are outrageous and unethical. The "Network" play, which is based on director Sidney Lumet's 1976 Oscar-winning film of the same name, debuted on the West End in 2017. "Network" is famous for the line shouted by suicidal news anchor Howard Beale, "I'm mad as hell, and I'm not going to take this anymore!" Peter Finch, who played Howard Beale in the movie, won an Oscar for Best Actor. "Network" also won Oscars for writer Paddy Chayefsky (Best Original Screenplay), Faye Dunaway (Best Actress) and Beatrice Straight (Best Supporting Actress).
STAR POWER: Bryan Cranston, who won the 2018 Olivier Award for Best Actor for his role as Howard Beale, will reprise the role on Broadway. Emmy-winning actress Tatiana Maslany ("Orphan Black") plays ruthless TV executive Diana Christensen, the role originated by Dunaway in the movie.
THE BUZZ: The "Network" play, written by Lee Hall and directed by Van Hove, was nominated for four Olivier Awards, including Best New Play, Best Lighting Design and Best Sound Design. Cranston won a Tony Award for playing Lyndon B. Johnson in "All the Way," and he will probably get a Tony nomination for "Network."
This U.K. import is also expected to be on Broadway in the 2018-2019 season, although dates and a location have not been officially announced yet:
“Hangmen”—After its critically acclaimed West End debut in 2015, Martin McDonagh’s Olivier-winning “Hangmen” made its U.S. debut off-Broadway in 2018, and could debut on Broadway in 2019. Directed by Matthew Dunster, this darkly humorous dramatic play is set in 1965 when capital punishment was abolished in Great Britain. The plot centers on retired hangman Harry Wade (played in the off-Broadway production by “Game of Thrones” alum Mark Addy), a menacing rogue named Peter Mooney (played by Johnny Flynn) and the possible wrongful execution that involves both men. Flynn is already being touted by critics as a serious Tony Awards contender if “Hangmen” makes it to Broadway.