Broadway Blossoms

Star-studded spring productions abound

The flowers are blooming in The Big Apple and with them come fresh new productions starring top Hollywood talent.  If you’re unsure which productions are most worth your time and hard-earned money, NYC Monthly has a few recommendations that will leave you fulfilled, entertained and craving more! Whether you opt for a wickedly funny rock musical, an irresistible dark comedy, an outrageous inside look at friends and neighbors, or a one-woman show highlighting a jazz legend, don’t miss this chance to see famous faces showcase their raw talent.

For the past three years (and in 2009), Neil Patrick Harris has hosted the Tony Awards, a position he held to great acclaim.  This year, the How I Met Your Mother star has made other arrangements as he is currently starring in Hedwig and the Angry Inch, a heartbreaking, innovative, and wickedly funny rock musical comedy about a transgender rock goddess’ quest to find her other half.  The musical is Harris’s first Broadway appearance in nearly a decade and he’s taken no understudy, so you can be sure that the phenomenally talented actor will be there to entertain!  (Belasco Theatre, 111 W. 44th St.)

If you prefer Harry Potter to Doogie Howser, check out Danielle Radcliffe in the Broadway premiere of The Cripple of Inishmaan, a role far removed from that of boy wizard.  Radcliffe is no stranger to Broadway, having appeared in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying in 2011 and Equus a few years prior.  Set on the remote island of Inishmaan off the west coast of Ireland, word arrives that a Hollywood film is being made on the neighboring island of Inishmore. The one person who wants to be in the film more than anybody is young Cripple Billy (Radcliffe), if only to break away from the bitter tedium of his daily life.  Inishmaan is a coming of age dark comedy you don’t want to miss! (Cort Theatre, 138 W. 48th St.)

Another can’t-miss comedy turning heads on Broadway is The Realistic Joneses, a terrific new play that takes an outrageous, inside look at the people who live next door.  Featuring Hollywood stars Marisa Tomei (My Cousin Vinny, The Wrestler) and Michael C. Hall (Six Feet Under, Dexter) as well as Toni Collette (Muriel’s Wedding, Hostages) and Tracy Letts (Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, Homeland), the play is a critically acclaimed homerun about love, life, friends and neighbors. (Lyceum Theatre, 149 W. 45th St.)

Lastly, experience the unforgettable songs and legendary voice of Billie Holiday – one of the greatest jazz singers of all-time – as channeled through five-time Tony Award-winning actress Audra McDonald in the one-woman bio-play Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill.  The show recreates a night in 1959 when legendary blues singer Billy Holiday performed her classic hits in a smoky nightclub, giving what would become one of her last performances. You’ll hear songs like “God Bless the Child” and “Strange Fruit”, plus other Holiday hits.  This limited-run production ends 6/1, so May is your last chance experience this wonderful performance. (Circle in the Square Theatre, 235 W. 50th St.)