Head to The Great White Way this month for exquisite musical theater.
Music is in the air this spring as a plethora of new critically acclaimed musicals make their mark on Broadway. Some are bucket loads of fun, others transport you to another place and time, but all are a great way to experience the unparalleled quality of NYC’s theater scene.
For the first time in 40 years, Gigi is headed to Broadway in a new production of Lerner and Loewe’s Oscar and Tony-award winning film and stage musical. Vanessa Hudgens (Disney’s High School Musical) stars in her Broadway debut and will be stepping into the footsteps of greats before her including Audrey Hepburn and Leslie Caron. The celebrated musical is a romantic comedy set in Paris, France during the “Belle Époque,” the 40-plus year period before the onset of World War 1 where fashion, glamour and passion prevail. It’s about one young woman’s journey to find her true self and her true love, and is brought to stage by the team responsible for classics including My Fair Lady, Camelot, and Brigadoon. Previews began 3/19 for a 4/8 opening. (Neil Simon Theatre, 250 W. 52nd St.)
Comedy is on full display this month, demonstrated by the opening of Something Rotten!, an original funny new musical from Casey Nicholaw, the director of Aladdin, co-director of The Book of Mormon, and producer of Avenue Q. Set in the 90s – that is, the 1590s – brothers Nick and Nigel Bottom are desperate to write a hit play but are stuck in the shadow of that Renaissance rockstar known as The Bard. When a local soothsayer foretells that the future of theatre involves singing, dancing and acting at the same time, Nick and Nigel set out to write the world’s very first musical. Starring Tony-winning actor Christian Borle (Peter and the Starcatcher, NBC’s Smash) and Brian d’Arcy James (Shrek the Musical), previews began 3/23 for a 4/22 opening. (St. James Theatre, 246 W. 44th St.)
Also new to Broadway this month is Fun Home, based on the best-selling graphic memoir by award-winning author Alison Bechdel. The acclaimed musical heads to The Great White Way after a successful run Off-Broadway in 2013, where its run was extended several times. A finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and already the winner of five theatrical awards for Best Musical, Fun Home is a beautiful, refreshingly honest, wholly original musical about seeing your parents through grown-up eyes. Starring Tony winner Michael Cerveris (Sweeney Todd) and three-time Tony nominee Judy Kuhn (Les Misérables), Fun House features music by 4-time Tony Award nominee Jeanine Tesori (Violet; Caroline, Or Change). Previews began 3/27 for a 4/19 opening. (Circle in the Square Theatre, 235 W. 50th St.)
John Kander and Fred Ebb were the Tony, Emmy and Grammy Award-winning songwriting team responsible for many celebrated musicals over the past 50 years, including Cabaret and Chicago. Now, legendary musical star Chita Rivera is returning to Broadway for the duo’s final musical, The Visit. Featuring a book by Tony Award winner Terrence McNally, the musical tells the story of often-widowed millionaire Claire Zachanassians’s visit to her hardship-stricken birthplace. The locals pray that her wealth will bring them a new lease on life, but her arrival carries a dreadful price. It’s a story about greed, love, and one woman’s carefully plotted revenge. Previews began 3/26 for a 4/23 opening. (Lyceum Theatre, 149 W. 45th St.)