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Coming Up in 2018: 5 NYC Shows Not to Miss

Category Broadway

|by David Sheward |

New York’s theater scene is heating up this spring and summer. Top new shows include Mean Girls and Rocktopia. And, there are many more anticipated shows, including bio-musicals about larger-than-life divas like Donna Summer and Cher, a new show featuring the music of the Go-Gos and a belated Broadway debut of a legendary comedy-drama. Check them out!

Cher performs in Las Vegas (Photo: Andrew Macpherson)

Cher performs in Las Vegas (Photo: Andrew Macpherson)

Summer: The Donna Summer Musical
The queen of disco music is the latest pop icon to have her life serve as the basis of a Broadway musical. Tony winner LaChanze (The Color Purple), Ariana DeBose (Hamilton), and Storm Lever (La Jolla Playhouse’s Freaky Friday) play Summer at three different stages of her career in this dance-heavy, thumping new show featuring 20 of the diva’s classics including “Love to Love Ya, Baby,” “Hot Stuff” and “Bad Girls.” Director Des MacAnuff and choreographer Sergio Trujillo, who collaborated on Jersey Boys, team up once more to bring another music legend’s story to the stage. The book is by MacAnuff, Obie winner Colman Domingo and Robert Cary. Previews begin March 28 at the Lunt-Fontanne Theater before an April 23 opening.

Gettin’ the Band Back Together
Tony-winning director John Rando (Urinetown) returns to Broadway with a new, feel-good musical about living your high-school dreams and socking it to the bad guys. Gettin’ the Band Back Together follows Mitch Papadopolos as he reunites his old garage rock group to win a Battle of the Bands and save his mortgaged New Jersey home. Featuring a book by Ken Davenport (who is also producing) and the performing ensemble Grundleshotz and a score by Mark Allen, the show transfers to Broadway this summer after a hit run at New Jersey’s St. George Playhouse. The New York Times calls it, “A feel-good class act! A playful, irreverent and genuinely funny musical.” Previews begin July 19 at Belasco Theatre before and August 13 opening.

Head Over Heels: The Go-Gos Musical
All-female group The Go-Gos join the ranks of pop and rock acts whose songbooks have served as the inspiration for a new show. But unlike works such as Beautiful: The Carole King Musical and Jersey Boys, Head Over Heels employs the source material to tell a fictional tale rather than the real life story of the group. “We Got the Beat,” “Our Lips Are Sealed” and “Vacation” will be featured in this tale of an Elizabethan-era royal family, prophecies of doom, mistaken identities and romantic hijinks. Gwyneth Paltrow is attached as a member of the producing team and Tony winner Michael Mayer (Spring Awakening) directs. Peppermint of RuPaul’s Drag Race will be featured in the cast. Previews commence June 23 at the Hudson Theater before opening on July 26.

The Cher Show
The inimitable Cher follows on the heels of Donna Summer in the Broadway diva sweepstakes. Cherilyn Sarkisian LaPiere Bono Allman has been half of chart-topping rock duo, star of her own TV variety series, Oscar-winning actress and all-around icon. Tony winner Rick Elice (Jersey Boys) fashions her diverse life into a gripping script while Jason Moore (Avenue Q) directs and Tony winner Christopher Gattelli (Newsies) directs. "My life as a musical on Broadway," Cher said in a statement. “It seems crazy, exciting and bizarre – but that's probably how my life seems to most people.” Previews start this fall at the Neil Simon Theater after a summer run in Chicago. Like the Donna Summer show, three actresses will play the subject at various stages of her career.

The Boys in the Band
Mart Crowley’s landmark 1968 gay comedy drama finally makes its Broadway debut in an all-star revival featuring Emmy winner Jim Parsons (The Big Bang Theory), Zachary Quinto (The Glass Menagerie, Star Trek), Andrew Rannells (The Book of Mormon, Falsettos), Matt Bomer (The Normal Heart) and Robin De Jesus (In the Heights). The production directed by two-time Tony winner Joe Mantello will be produced by Ryan Murphy (Glee, American Horror Story) and David Stone. The play depicts a wild birthday celebration at which a group of gay men reveal uncomfortable secrets as they play deadly party games. The limited run will play the Booth Theater from April 30 to August 12.

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