What’s On Broadway

For a more current guide, see What’s on Broadway 2012

WhatsonBroadwaySpring2012Fifteen shows are opening on Broadway between March 29 and April 26, the cut-off date to be eligible for the Tony Awards.

To see reviews chronologically as the shows open, see Broadway’s April Avalanche.

The schedule of shows with opening dates:

Newsies: March 29
The Best Man: April 1
End of the Rainbow: April 2

Evita: April 5

Magic/Bird:
April 11

Peter and the Starcatcher: April 15

One Man, Two Guvnors: April 18

Clybourne Park: April 19

A Streetcar Named Desire: April 22

Ghost The Musical: April 23

The Lyons: April 23

Nice Work If You Can Get It: April 24

The Columnist: April 25

Don’t Dress For Dinner: April 26

Leap of Faith: April 26

Harvey: June 14

Below, an alphabetical listing of these shows and those already on Broadway, with details, and links to my reviews:

ANYTHING GOES

Stephen Sondheim Theater

Opened: April 7, 2011

Cast: Sutton Foster, Joel Grey

Twitter feed: @AnythingGoesRTC

Revival of Cole Porter’s musical

My review of Anything Goes: Cole Porter in Red, White and Blue

THE BOOK OF MORMON

The Eugene O’Neill Theater

Opened: March 24, 2011

Director: Jason Moore and Trey Parker

Twitter feed: @BookofMormonBWY

This new musical by Trey Parker and Matt Stone (book), the creators of South Park, and Robert Lopez, one of the composer-lyricists for “Avenue Q” (music and lyrics) is about both the founder of the Church of Latter-Day Saints and a modern disciple.

Buy tickets to The Book of Mormon

My review of The Book of Mormon: Ridiculing Religion, Worshiping The Great White Way

CHICAGO

What's On BroadwayAmbassador Theater (219 West 49th Street)

Opened: November 14, 1996

Twitter: @ChicagoMusical

A chorus girl in 1920′s Chicago murders her lover and becomes a star. This cynical, tuneful 1975 musical adaptation by John Kander and Fred Ebb (“Cabaret” team) of a 1926 play was revived to great acclaim by director Walter Bobbie and choreographer Ann Reinking in homage to original choreographer Bob Fosse. But it has gone through many, many cast changes since then. Some say this is the production that invented the modern Broadway practice of “stunt casting.”

BUY TICKETS TO CHICAGO

CLYBOURNE PARK

Walter Kerr Theater

First preview: March 26, 2012

Opening: April 19, 2012

Closing: July 8, 2012

A “white update” of “A Raisin in the Sun.”

My review of Clybourne Park when it was at Playwrights Horizons

THE COLUMNIST

Samuel J. Friedman Theatre

David Auburn’s (Proof) latest drama portrays the dilemma faced by powerful Washington columnist Joseph Alsop, host to the Kennedy Camelot circle who becomes involved in a political, and personal, drama.

Director: Daniel Sullivan

Cast: John Lithgow

First preview: April 3 2012

Opening: April 25, 2012

Closing: June 3, 2012

DEATH OF A SALESMAN

Ethel Barrymore Theater

A revival of the 1949 play by Arthur Miler

Director: Mike Nichols

Cast: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Linda Emond, Andrew Garfield, John Glover

First preview: February 13, 2012

Opening: March 15, 2012

Closing: June 2, 2012

Twitter handle: @SalesmanBway

My review of Death of A Salesman: Mad Men vs. Salesman

DON’T DRESS FOR DINNER

American Airlines Theater

The play by Marc Camoletti is a sequel to “Boeing-Beoing”

Director: John Tillinger

First preview: March 30, 2012

Opening: April 26, 2012

Closing: June 17, 2012

END OF THE RAINBOW

Peter Quilter’s play with music is set in December, 1968, when Judy Garland is about to make her comeback.

Director: Terry Johnson

Cast: Tracie Bennett, Michael Cumpsty

First preview: Monday, March 19, 2012

Opened: April 2, 2011


My review of End of the Rainbow

EVITA

A revival of the 1978 Andrew Lloyd Webber musical about Argentina First Lady Eva Peron

Director: Michael Grandage

Cast: Elena Roger, Ricky Martin, Michael Cerveris

First preview: March 12, 2012

Opened: April 5, 2012

My review of Evita

The GERSHWIN’S PORGY AND BESS

A “re-imagined” version of the opera by George Gershwin, DuBose and Dorothy Heyward and Ira Gershwin set in the 1930′s in Catfish Row in Charleston South Carolina

Director: Diane Paulus

Cast: Audra McDonald, Norm Lewis, David Alan Grier, Phillip Boykin

Opened: January 12, 2012

My review of The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess

GHOST The MUSICAL

Lunt-Fontanne

A new musical based on the 1990 Whoopi Goldberg Patrick Swayze, Demi Moore movie.

Director: Matthew Warchus

Cast: Richard Fleshman, Cassie Levy

First preview: March 15, 2012

Opens: April 23, 2012

GODSPELL

Circle in the Square

Director: Daniel Goldstein

Opened: November 7 2011

My review of Godspell

GORE VIDAL’S THE BEST MAN

A revival of the 1960 play about a race for the presidnt

Director: Michael Wilson

Cast: Candice Bergen, James Earl Jones, Angela Lansbury, John Larroquette

First preview: March 6, 2012

Opened: April 1, 2012

My review of Gore Vidal’s The Best Man

HARVEY

Studio 54

Revival of the 1944 play by Mary Chase about Elwood and his friend, a six-foot-tall invisible rabbit named Harvey.

Director: Scott Ellis

Cast: Jim Parsons, Jessica Hecht, Charles Kimbrough

First preview: May 18, 2012

Opening: June 14, 2012

Closing: August 5, 2012

HOW TO SUCCEED IN BUSINESS WITHOUT REALLY TRYING

Al Hirschfeld Theater (302 West 45th Street)

Opened: March 27, 2011

Director: Rob Ashford

Original Cast: Nick Jonas

until end of year.

Twitter feed: @H2SBway

A revival of the 1961 musical, spoofing self-help business books, about a go-getter rising up the corporate ladder.

Buy tickets to How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying

My review of How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying

JERSEY BOYS

What's On Broadway

August Wilson Theater (245 West 52nd Street)

Opened: November 6, 2006

Twitter: @JerseyBoysInfo

The story of the 1950′s-60′s singing group Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, whose hits include “December 1963 [Oh, What A Night]” (my favorite) as well as “Sherry,” “Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You,” etc.

Here is what I wrote about the show recently, in an article entitled Jersey Boys vs. Jersey Shore: Although the music is better known than the musicians, and yes there are almost three dozen songs in the show, the story of the group is better than most of those ‘Behind The Music’ documentaries.

BUY TICKETS TO JERSEY BOYS

JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR

A revival of the 1971 Andrew Lloyd Webber musical

First preview: March 1, 2012

Opened: March 22, 2012


My review of Jesus Christ Superstar

LEAP OF FAITH

St. James Theater

In this musical based on the 1992 film with Steve Martin, Raúl Esparza plays con-artist Jonas Nightingale, who, finding himself stranded in a backwater Kansas town, attempts to separate the locals from their cash via a revival meeting.

First preview: April 3, 2012

Opening: April 26, 2012

Twitter feed: @LeapofFaithBway

THE LION KING

What's On BroadwayMinskoff Theater (200 West 45th Street)

Opened: November 13, 1997

Twitter: @TheLionKing

Based on the 1994 Disney animated film about the coming-of-age of a young lion in the African jungle, this musical offers African-inflected music by Elton John, lyrics by Tim Rice and the visual magic of Julie Taymor. Taymor is the director, a composer and lyricist for some of the songs. But above all, she is the designer of the costumes, masks, and puppets — and it is these visuals that make this show a good first theatrical experience.

BUY TICKETS TO THE LION KING

MAGIC/BIRD

A play by the same team that produced “Lombardi,” that chronicles the rivalry and intertwined stories of basketball players Larry Bird and Earvin “Magic” Johnson.

Director: Thomas Kail

First preview: March 21, 2012

Opening 11 Apr 2012

Cast: Tug Coker

Kevin Daniels

Deirdre O’Connell

Peter Scolari

Rob Ray Manning, Jr.

Francois Battiste

Twitter feed: @MagicBirdBway

MAMMA MIA!

What's On BroadwayWinter Garden (1634 Broadway)

Opened: October 18, 2001

Twitter: @MammaMiaMusical

It’s hard even for hard-core Mamma Mia fans to argue that the story pieced together using some two dozen hits from the 1970′s pop group ABBA makes very much sense: A young woman getting married on the Greek island where she has grown up invites the three men who may be her father to the wedding, without telling her mother: She had summer-quickie affairs with all three. The lyrics of some of the songs don’t always actually fit with what’s supposed to be happening at any moment.

But fans don’t care. The infectious music, most memorably “Dancing Queen,” and the whimsical disco-era dance numbers are enough for them. And whatever else you may think about the musical, it is true what the fans say: It is not quite as cheesy at the Meryl Streep movie.

BUY TICKETS TO MAMMA MIA

MARY POPPINS

What's On BroadwayNew Amsterdam Theater (214 West 42nd Street)

Opened: November 16, 2006

Twitter: @PoppinsMusical

The musical is based on the 1964 movie musical starring Julie Andrews with some added songs, and added plot from the original P.A. Travers stories that tells of unruly children tamed by a magical, flying nanny. There is more of a focus on the overworked parents, and their strained relationship. I did not see this Broadway musical until recently. I am told the London version was darker and more sophisticated, and that its transfer to Broadway was sweeter but still suited for adults. What I saw, though, were sets that stood out — they seemed expensive and with sufficient mechanical innovations (such as Mary Poppins flying over the audience) to distract theatergoers with Attention Deficit Disorder. But otherwise I found this version longer and more lumbering that I was expecting.

BUY TICKETS TO MARY POPPINS

What's On Broadway

MEMPHIS

Shubert Theatre

Opened: Oct. 19, 2009

Director: Christopher Ashley

Choreographer: Sergio Trujillo

Original Cast: Chad Kimball, Montego Glover

A new rock ‘n’ roll musical penned by Joe DiPietro and David Bryan.

Memphis Review: The Birth of Rock and Roll Yet Again

BUY TICKETS TO MEMPHIS

NEWSIES

Nederlander

A musical based on the 1990 film of the New York Newsboys Strike of 1899

Director: Jeff Calhoun

Cast: Jeremy Jordan, Andrew Keenan-Bolger

First preview: March 19, 2012

Opening: March 29, 2012

Closing: June 10, 2012

Twitter feed: @Newsies

NICE WORK IF YOU CAN GET IT

Imperial

A new screwball romantic comedy with a book by Joe DiPietro using the songs of George and Ira Gershwin

Director: Kathleen Marshall

Cast: Matthew Broderick, Kelli O’Hara

First preview: March 29, 2012

Opening: April 24, 2012

Twitter handle: @NiceWorkBway

ONCE

Bernard B. Jacobs Theater

Based on the hit 2006 movie, Once tell the story of the romance between a Dublin street musician and a Czech immigrant. Its song “Falling Slowly” won the Oscar.

First preview: February 18, 2012

Opening: March 18, 2012

Twitter handle: @OnceMusical

My review of Once: Falling Slowly on Broadway

ONE MAN, TWO GUVNORS

Music Box Theater

The production by the National Theatre of Great Britain of a comedy by Richard Bean about a confused man who works both for a local gangster and a criminal in hiding.

Director: Nicholas Hytner

Cast: James Corden

First preview: April 6, 2012

Opening: April 18, 2012

OTHER DESERT CITIES

Booth Theater

Director: Joe Mantello

Cast: Stockard Channing, Rachel Griffiths, Stacy Keach, Judith Light, Thomas Sadowski

Opened: November 3, 2011

My review of Other Desert Cities

THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA

What's On BroadwayMajestic Theater (247 West 44th Street)

Opened: January 26, 1988

Twitter: @TheOperaGhosts

The Phantom of the Opera, based on a 1911 French novel by Gaston Leroux, is about a disfigured genius named Erik who lives in the catacombs of the Paris Opera House and falls in love with Christine, an aspiring singer whom he helps…until an old flame of Christine’s named Raoul steps back into the picture.

However, the story in the musical, written and composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber — with more than its share of 1980′s heavy power ballads — is starting to take second place to the story of the musical, which is the longest-running Broadway musical of all time, and probably the most profitable.

Webber has written a “sequel,” entitled “Love Never Dies,” which was set for Broadway in the 2010-2011 season, but, after scathing reviews in London, will now be delayed.

BUY TICKETS TO PHANTOM OF THE OPERA

PRISCILLA QUEEN OF THE DESERT

Palace Theater

Opened March 20, 2011

Director: Simon Philips

Cast: Will Swenson, Tony Sheldon and Nick Adams

My review of Priscilla Queen of the Desert: Excess as Entertainment

ROCK OF AGES

What's On BroadwayBrooks Atkinson Theater (256 West 47th Street)

Opened: April 7, 2009

Twitter: @RockOfAges

It is 1987 in an L.A. club, and a girl meets a boy — she is new to town, he is shy but has the voice of an aircraft carrier and dreams of being a rock star. Both are smitten by the 1980′s rock songs of big-hair bands like Journey, Bon Jovi, and Poison….which you must be too, in order to appreciate this generally well-reviewed juke-box musical.

BUY TICKETS TO ROCK OF AGES

SEMINAR

John Golden Theater

A play by Theresa Rebeck about a writing class with a dictatorial instructor

Director: Sam Gold

Cast: Alan Rickman

Opened: November 20, 2011

My review of Seminar: Are The Best Writing Teachers Abusive?

SISTER ACT

The Broadway Theater

Opened: April 20, 2011

Director: Jerry Zaks

Musical based with songs by Alan Menken (“Little Shop of Horrors,” “Beauty and the Beast”) based on the 1992 Whoopi Goldberg movie about a lounge singer disguising herself as a nun and hiding out in a convent to escape the mob.

My review of Sister Act

SPIDER-MAN TURN OFF THE DARK

Hilton Theater

First preview: November 28

Original Director: Julie Taymor

Cast: Reeve Carney, Jennifer Damiano

Twitter feed: @SpideyOnBway

This musical originally by Julie Taymor and Glen Berger (book) and Bono and The Edge (music and lyrics) follows the story of Spider-man the geek turned superhero. It was originally scheduled to begin previews in February, 2010, finally did in November, 2010, and opened on June, 13 2011.

BUY TICKETS TO SPIDER-MAN: TURN OFF THE DARK

My review of Spider-Man Turn Off The Dark

A Streetcar Named Desire

Broadhurst

Revival of the Tennessee Williams play set in the French Quarter of 1940′s New Orleans about vulnerable Southern belle Blanche DuBois who comes to live with her sister, Stella, and her ruffian brother-in-law Stanley. The play has probably the most famous line ever uttered in an American drama.

Director: Emily Mann

Cast:Blair Underwood

Nicole Ari Parker

Daphne Rubin-Vega

Wood Harris

First preview: April 3, 2012

Opening: April 22, 2012

Closing: July 12, 2012

Twitter handle: @Streetcar2012

VENUS IN FUR

Reopened at the Lyceum beginning February 7, 2012

David Ives play inspired by an infamous 19th century erotic novel is most notable for the star-making performance by Nina Arianda

Director: Walter Bobbie

Cast: Nina Arianda, Hugh Dancy

Twitter handle: @VenusinFurBway

My review of Venus in Fur

WAR HORSE

Vivian Beaumont Theater at Lincoln Center

Opened: April 14, 2011

Directors: Marianne Elliott and Tom Morris

A new play based on a novel by Michael Morpurgo about a boy and his beloved horse during World War I. This is the American premiere of a play that has been on the London stage for several years, and will be designed by the London team, including video and puppetry.

My review of War Horse

Wicked

What's On BroadwayGershwin Theater (222 West 51st Street)

Opened: October 30, 2003

Twitter: @WICKED_Musical

The musical tells the story of “The Wizard of Oz” from the witches’ perspective, more specifically from the Wicked Witch of the West, who was not, as a child, wicked at all, but just green-tinted, taunted, and misunderstood. There is so much to like about this musical, the clever twists on the familiar tale, the spectacular set, and music that is a lot more appealing in context (such as the song “Defying Gravity”) that I will forgive the contortions necessary to tack on a happy ending.

BUY TICKETS TO WICKED

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Jonathan Mandell, who tweets as New York Theater, is a native New Yorker and third-generation journalist with diverse experience on newspapers, magazines and websites.He has written for a wide varie ...read more

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