There were quite a few shows that closed during previews that are now getting the chance for a real run, and a few that we are excited to see open next year.
As a Musical Theatre major, I’m a little biased and am very excited about the 5 musicals I’ve listed below.
I had the pleasure of seeing this show in tryouts in Seattle in January of 2020 before Covid. I immediately fell in love with this re-imagined version of the 1993 classic which starred Robin Williams as a divorced Father dressing up as a Scottish nanny to spend time with his children. Directed by Broadway legend Jerry Zaks and starring Rob McClure (Chaplin, Beetlejuice, Honeymoon in Vegas) the show has been beautifully updated for a 2021 audience. I recently got the chance to see it in previews and loved it even more as the creative team made some great changes to the show. The music is fun, and the story of a man who goes to great lengths to be with his family is even more poignant to me than it was In 2019 as I’m now a Mother. Rob Mclure does a fantastic job of making the role of Daniel his own (not an easy task as Robin Williams was such a tour de force in the movie) and I’d be shocked if he doesn’t receive a Tony nomination for his performance.
Stephen Sondheim Theatre
Currently in previews, opens December 5
I have to admit when I first heard the concept for this show I was VERY skeptical. The idea of Henry VIII’s wives starring in a pop concert made me want to run for the hills. Then I listened to the soundtrack. The songs are very catchy and will absolutely get stuck in your head. They also find a way to teach the audience the stories of the famous six wives (get it?) without feeling like you’re sitting in history class. The all female cast has incredible vocals and features 3 people making their Broadway debut (which is always very exciting). At 80 minutes (with no intermission) this show is perfect for audience members who want to make the most of their time in the city.
Brooks Atkinson Theatre
A revival of Stephen Sondheim’s 1970 show about the ultimate NYC single man Bobby who is encouraged by the “good and crazy people” his married friends to settle down, this new version features female Bobbie, a single woman in her mid 30’s living in modern day New York. The cast has been updated for 2021 and now features multi-racial and same gender couples as Bobbi’s friends. This is a transfer from London where it received great reviews. The cast is led by Katrina Lenk (Tony Winner for The Band’s Visit) as Bobbi and Broadway royalty Patti LuPone as Joanne. If nothing else, there are 2 reasons to see this show, and both are songs. Who would want to turn down the chance to see Patti sing “The Ladies Who Lunch,” where I am very sure people will actually “rise” at the end. The other is to see an amazing actress like Lenk tackle the finale song “Being Alive” which in my opinion is one of the most perfect musical theatre sings ever written.
Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre
Previews begin November 15, opens December 9
The Music Man
Jerry Zaks helms his 2nd production of the season with what promises to be an amazing revival of the classic musical The Music Man. If this is half as good as his 2017 Hello Dolly, audiences are in for an evening of Broadway at its best. Choreographed by Warren Carlyle (who teamed with Zaks on Dolly and has choreographed other classics on Broadway like Kiss Me Kate and She Loves Me) the show stars Sutton Foster as everyone’s favorite librarian Marion Paroo and Hugh Jackman as conman/salesman/band leader Harold Hill. One thing that stands out to me right away is the size of the cast. In today’s world of scaled back budget shows, Music Man will have a large cast with a substantial sized ensemble, something that is very rare these days. I’m personally very excited for this production as Music Man is one of my favorite musicals and I’ve never had the chance to see a professional production before.
Winter Garden Theatre
Previews begin December 20, opens February 10
MJ the Musical
These days it seems that Broadway audiences are presented with several Jukebox musicals per season, and most recently the trend is biopic jukebox musicals (a term coned by my husband and fellow TopDogTours Guide Patrick Kelly). We’ve had the Cher Show, Tina, Summer, and Aint Too Proud on the Great White Way over the last few years. This season’s MJ the Musical seems to be fit into the mold these musicals all seem to follow. There is a young version of the music star and we watch them rise to fame and struggle with everything that means. What makes me excited about this production are a few things. Newcomer Myles Frost makes his Broadway Debut as Michael Jackson, and I am always about brand new talent leading a show as it is something that doesn’t not happen very much. I’m also a huge fan of Jackson’s much and you KNOW the dancing in the show is going to be insane.
Neil Simon Theatre
Previews begin December 6, opens February 1