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The 10 Most Anticipated Broadway Shows for Spring 2018

Category Broadway

|by David Sheward |

Broadway’s spring season is heating up

A new year means a new season of shows. Spring is traditionally one of the busiest times for Broadway openings since the cut-off date for the Tony Awards falls at the end of April (this coming year it will be April 26). There is usually a mad stampede of productions rushing to qualify for New York’s top stage honor. Now is the time to make your reservations since many of these productions will be arriving with much anticipation thanks to hit runs at regional theaters or in London. In addition, there will be musicals based on hit films, movie stars making their Broadway debuts, and revivals of beloved classics. Here are the ten most anticipated Broadway openings for spring 2018.

Dance into spring with ‘Escape to Margaritaville’ (Photo: Matthew Murphy)

Dance into spring with ‘Escape to Margaritaville’ (Photo: Matthew Murphy)

Escape to Margaritaville
Pop legend Jimmy Buffet and Tony-winning director Christopher Ashley (Come from Away) introduce Escape to Margaritaville, a new musical as refreshing as a sea breeze on a summer day. The score includes new songs as well as Buffet favorites such as “Come Monday,” “Volcano,” and “Cheeseburger in Paradise.” The book by Emmy winner Gary Garcia (My Name Is Earl) and Emmy nominee Mike O’Malley (Survivor’s Remorse) follows Tully (Drama Desk nominee Paul Alexander Nolan), a relaxed resident of a tropical resort who questions his values when he meets and falls in love with a career-minded tourist (Alison Luff).  The Chicago Sun-Times calls it “a feel-good musical that finds the joy of living in the moment.” After runs at San Diego’s La Jolla Playhouse and Chicago’s Oriental Theatre, previews begin February 16 at the Marquis Theatre in advance of a March 15 opening.

Angels in America
Marianne Elliott, the Tony-winning director of War Horse and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, brings her new production of Tony Kushner’s massive, two-part epic on the AIDS crisis to Broadway after dazzling London audiences at the National Theatre. Tony winner Nathan Lane (A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, The Producers) stars as closeted lawyer Roy Cohn and Andrew Garfield (Death of a Salesman) plays gay visionary Prior Walter. Preview performances commence February 23 at the Neil Simon Theatre with the opening set for March 21 for a limited run through July 1.

The immensely popular animated film Frozen arrives on Broadway this spring. Oscar winners Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez expand on their score from the film and Oscar winner Jennifer Lee authors the book. Tony winner Michael Grandage (Red) directs the fanciful tale of two sisters seeking their voice in a mystical winter wonderland. Previews begin February 22 at the St. James Theatre. Opens March 22.

Lobby Hero
Second Stage, one of the most prominent Off-Broadway theater companies, will open its new Broadway home, the newly renovated Hayes Theater with a revival of Kenneth Lonergan’s critically praised 2001 drama Lobby Hero. Chris Evans (Captain America of the Marvel movies) makes his Broadway debut as an overbearing police officer and Michael Cera (This Is Our Youth, Arrested Development) stars as Jeff, an awkward security guard. Bel Powley (Diary of a Teenager) and Brian Tyree Henry (This Is Us, Atlanta) complete the cast of this four-person play about power and justice set in the lobby of a Manhattan high-rise. Previews begin March 1 for a March 26 opening.

Three Tall Women
After several decades away from the stage while she's served as a member of the British Parliament, Oscar winner Glenda Jackson (Women in Love, A Touch of Class) headlines a revival of Edward Albee’s Pulitzer Prize-winning drama Three Tall Women, directed by Tony winner Joe Mantello (Assassins, Take Me Out). Emmy and Tony winner Laurie Metcalf (Roseanne, A Doll’s House Part 2) and Tony nominee Allison Pill (The Lieutenant of Inishmore) also star. This stellar trio play the same woman at three different ages as she reviews her tumultuous life. Previews begin February 27 at the John Golden Theatre for a March 29 opening.

Mean Girls
Comedy superstar Tina Fey’s 2004 cult film Mean Girls is the latest movie to make the screen to stage leap. Featuring a book by Fey, music by her husband, Jeff Richmond, and lyrics by Nell Benjamin (Legally Blonde), Mean Girls is directed by Tony winner Casey Nicholaw (Aladdin, The Book of Mormon). Teenager Cady returns to the U.S. after growing up on the African savannah and must now deal with a different type of wildlife –

The Plastics, a cutthroat clique in her new high school. Previews begin March 12, 2018, at the August Wilson Theatre in advance of an April 8 opening.

Long regarded as Rodgers and Hammerstein’s masterpiece, Carousel arrives on Broadway in a brand new production directed by three-time Tony winner Jack O’Brien (Hairspray, Henry IV, The Coast of Utopia). Set in a 19th century New England fishing village, this gorgeous musical tells the story of brash, independent carnival barker Billy Bigelow who find redemption through the love of millworker Julie Jordan. The classic score includes such favorites as “If I Loved You,” “June Is Bustin’ Out All Over,” and the anthem of hope “You’ll Never Walk Alone.” The cast includes Tony nominee Joshua Henry (The Scottsboro Boys, Porgy and Bess) as Billie, Tony winner Jessie Mueller (Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, Waitress) as Julie, opera star Renne Fleming making her Broadway musical debut, Margaret Colin (Jackie), and Alexander Gemignani (Sunday in the Park with George, Sweeney Todd). Previews begin February 28 at the Imperial Theater. Opens April 12. 

My Fair Lady
Broadway insiders said Pygmalion, George Bernard Shaw’s sharp-edged comedy of clashing classes, would never become a hit musical. But Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe proved them wrong when My Fair Lady, their beloved adaptation, opened on Broadway in 1956 and became one of the longest running Broadway musicals of its time. The witty story of Professor Henry Higgins and Cockney flower girl Eliza Doolittle gets a new take from Tony and Drama Desk winning director Bartlett Sher (South Pacific,  Fiddler on the Roof) in a production from Lincoln Center Theater. Lauren Ambrose (Six Feet Under) and British star Harry Hadden-Patton (Downton Abbey) star along with Tony winners Norbert Leo Butz (Catch Me If You Can, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels) and Diana Rigg (Medea). Previews begin March 15 at Lincoln Center’s Vivian Beaumont Theatre with an opening set for April 19.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
Everybody’s favorite boy wizard makes his Broadway debut in this London hit, a two-part adventure which carries Harry’s magical legacy into the next generation. Based on a new story by Harry’s creator J.K. Rowling and Tiffany and Jack Thorne, this new play by Thorne takes place 20 years after the last adventure in the series Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows. Cursed Child follows a grown-up Potter as his son Albus struggles with secrets of the past. Members of the London company repeat their performances. The Lyric Theater has been renovated to accommodate this dazzling production with previews beginning March 16 in advance of an April 22 opening.

The Iceman Cometh
Two-time Oscar winner Denzel Washington returns to Broadway after triumphs in Fences and A Raisin in the Sun to tackle Eugene O’Neill’s massive drama The Iceman Cometh, directed by Tony-winning director George C. Wolfe (Angels in America, Shuffle Along). Washington follows in the legendary footsteps of Jason Robards, James Earl Jones, Lee Marvin, and Nathan Lane as the fast-talking salesman Theodore Hickman, Hickey to his pals at Harry Hope’s dive saloon in 1912 Manhattan. Hickey is out to save the pipe-dreaming drunks from their illusions, but we gradually learns he has the biggest delusion of all in this shattering drama of dashed dreams and terrifying reality. Previews begin March 22 at the Bernard Jacobs Theater in advance of an April 26 opening for a limited 14-week engagement. 

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