Iconic women captivate Broadway
Before the heat wave of summer rolls in, New York City blooms into a brilliant spring in the month of May. The remnants of a chilly winter become distant memories as the city reawakens with warmer weather and exciting events across the city. No place is this more apparent than New York’s theatre district where the lights of Broadway shine bright on exciting new shows and continue to glow on perennial favorites. May also sees the day when we honor the most important women in our lives- our mothers. And what better way to celebrate our Leading Ladies than by treating them to an afternoon or evening at the theatre with some of the Great White Way’s most acclaimed actresses?
Dame Helen Mirren makes a triumphant return to Broadway in The Audience reprising her role as Queen Elizabeth II as seen on the West End stage and in her Academy Award winning performance in the 2006 film The Queen. Over the course of her more than sixty year reign, the Queen of England holds a weekly private audience with the UK’s acting Prime Minister. Tradition holds that what is spoken in these meetings is never repeated beyond the walls of Buckingham Palace. The Audience imagines these conversations between the Queen and her various Prime Ministers from Churchill to Thatcher. At times explosive, intimate and always engaging, The Audience gives its viewers an imaginative view into the life of a Monarch and Mother as she navigates the waters of leading a nation (Schoenfeld Theatre, 236 W 45th St.)
From the Queen of England to the queen of the music charts, Beautiful: The Carole King Musical follows the story of another strong leading lady as she faces life’s trials and triumphs with determination and chutzpah. From her humble beginnings in Brooklyn to her Grammy award winning success as a singer-songwriter, Beautiful: The Carole King Musical features some of Carole King’s greatest hits including “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow,” “I Feel the Earth move,” and “(You Make Me Feel) Like a Natural Woman.” Recounting her romantic relationship with Gerry Goffin and friendship with the writing team of Cynthia Weil and Barry Mann, this inspiring show tells the story of how King ultimately found her own voice through love, heartbreak and sharing her musical gifts with the world (Sondheim Theatre, 124 W 43rd. St).
Another musical star finds her spotlight this Spring on the New York stage. Acclaimed opera Diva Renee Fleming makes her Broadway debut in the screwball comedy Living on Love. Direct from a smash hit run at the Willamstown Theatre Festival, Living on Love tells the story of a ravishing opera diva who plots and schemes revenge on her philandering husband. Also featuring Anna Chlumsky of HBO’s Veep and film star Jerry O’Connell, this comedy of errors through the world of music, marriage, and celebrity is sure to be a hit to share with the leading lady in your life (Longacre Theatre, 220 W 48th St.).
Now in its 14th year on Broadway there’s no celebration in town quite like joyous trip down the aisle that is the crowd pleasing and international mega-hit Mamma Mia. Bursting with the energetic and chart-topping hits of Swedish pop sensation ABBA, Mamma Mia is at its core a story of the unconditional love between a mother and daughter. Set on a magical Greek Island, the musical is about young bride-to-be Sophie who has, unknowingly to her mother Donna, invited three men , one of whom may or may not be her father to her big day. Over the course of one zany weekend and with the help of her and her mother’s best friend’s, Sophie learns the true meaning of family with a song in her heart and beat in her step. With hits such as “Dancing Queen,” “Take a Chance on Me,” and “SOS,” Mamma Mia leaves audiences night after night with beaming smiles on their faces (Broadhurst Theatre, 235 W 44th St).