April 2018 Highlights on Broadway and Beyond
Check out our guide to the biggest theatrical events of the month.
April is traditionally the month that brings an onslaught of Broadway openings each year, all clammering to officially open by the Tony Awards eligibility cut-off date towards the end of April. This year that date has been set for April 26 and there are no less than nine high-profile productions opening this month. But before we get to all those theatrical highlights, a quick reminder to tune in to NBC tonight from 8pm (ET) and enjoy Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert, starring John Legend as Jesus, Brandon Victor Dixon as Judas Iscariot, Sara Bareilles as Mary Magdalene, and Alice Cooper as King Herod! It's going to be a live musical event of biblical proportions!
And one last thing - it's the last chance saloon for Scissor Sisters fans to catch frontman Jake Shears as Charlie Price in the Tony Award-winning Best Musical Kinky Boots at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre this afternoon! Get down there post-haste and raise him up!
Three-time Tony Award nominee Condola Rashad returns to Broadway on April 3, as previews begin for Manhattan Theatre Club's revival of Bernard Shaw's classic play Saint Joan at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre. An official opening is set for later this month on April 25. Ms. Rashad takes on the title role, as we prepare to follow Joan of Arc's epic rise in 15th century French society thanks to her mysterious visions and her tragic fall as the political and religious authorities place her on trial for her life. The cast also includes first-rate support from familiar faces from the worlds of theatre, film and television, including Jack Davenport, Walter Bobbie, Adam Chanler-Berat, John Glover, Patrick Page, and Daniel Sunjata.
Saint Joan Tickets are available now for performances from April 3 through to June 10, 2018.
It's finally time for Broadway's Mean Girls to face Broadway's Mean Critics, as Tina Fey's musical adaptation of the hit 2004 movie celebrates its official opening at the August Wilson Theatre on April 8. Directed and choreographed by Tony Award winner Casey Nicholaw, the show has generated quite the positive buzz during previews and with constant full houses on the Great White Way, we're sure these ladies (and their cheese fries) will be sticking around for quite some time!
Mean Girls Tickets are available now for performances through to September 23, 2018.
Finally, "American Idol" and "Smash" star Katharine McPhee will be "Opening Up" on Broadway! She is set to play a Broadway debut limited engagement as leading lady Jenna in Waitress at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre from April 10 through to June 17. This is one of the most eagerly anticipated Broadway debuts of the spring as fans have been wondering for years when and where Ms. McPhee would finally grace the Great White Way, and she has some big shoes to fill, following the likes of Jessie Mueller and Sara Bareilles. We're confident though that she will hit the ground (or the kitchen of Joe's Diner) running!
Waitress Tickets are available now for performances through to December 23, 2018.
April 11 marks the official opening of Tony Award-winning director Kenny Leon's revival of Children of a Lesser God at Studio 54. The Berkshire Theatre Group's production of Mark Medoff's 1980 Tony Award-winning Best Play wowed audiences and critics alike during its initial run at BTG's 2017 summer season in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, so expect some high praise from Broadway's critics too. TV favorite Joshua Jackson and rising star Lauren Ridloff reprise their respective roles of James Leeds and Sarah Norman and are both making their Broadway debuts with the transfer of the production. See what happens when a budding romance breaks the boundaries of the hearing and non-hearing worlds in this beautifully wrought production, designed to be accessible for all with the use of supertitles, closed captioning and American Sign Language interpreters.
Children of a Lesser God Tickets are available now for performances through to September 9, 2018.
Next up to face the critics is the Broadway revival of Rodgers & Hammerstein's classic Carousel with Tony Award winner Jessie Mueller and two-time Tony Award nominee Joshua Henry taking on those infamous roles of Julie Jordan and Billy Bigelow, respectively, in this New England-based story of romance and tragedy. Of course, a highlight of the evening is bound to be opera sensation Renée Fleming's rendition of the standard "You'll Never Walk Alone" as Nettie Fowler and we are waiting with bated breath to see how director Jack O'Brien and choreographer Justin Peck have reimagined this timeless musical at Broadway's Imperial Theatre.
Carousel Tickets are available now for performances through to September 2, 2018.
The final musical revival to open on Broadway this season is Lincoln Center Theater's production of the Lerner & Loewe classic My Fair Lady, which officially opens at the Vivian Beaumont Theater on April 19. Tony Award-winning director Bartlett Sher has enjoyed great success with his musical revivals at LCT, with huge hits such as The King and I, South Pacific, and The Light in the Piazza on his résumé, and he has even worked with leading lady and two-time Emmy Award-nominee Lauren Ambrose before, directing her in the 2006 revival of Awake and Sing! It will be fascinating to see her interpretation of Eliza Doolittle, backed by a stellar cast that also includes "Downton Abbey" and "The Crown" star Harry Hadden-Paton, making his NY stage debut as Henry Higgins, two-time Tony Award winner Norbert Leo Butz as Alfred P. Doolittle and "Game of Thrones" favorite Diana Rigg as Mrs. Higgins. We simply cannot wait to visit the street where these fine characters live!
My Fair Lady Tickets are available now for performances through to January 6, 2019.
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child has unsurprisingly been a sell-out smash hit in London since the summer of 2016, but has not only been a commercial success because thank Dumbledore the play has garnered masses of critical acclaim, even breaking Olivier Awards records with an almighty nine wins! Now, J.K. Rowling's Wizarding World officially opens on the Great White Way. Muggle audiences have packed the Lyric Theatre in previews and there is undoubtedly a lot of Potterhead-generated excitement in the air, but will the New York critics be as enamored as their London counterparts?
Get ready for some "Hot Stuff," Broadway fans! April 23 marks the official opening of bio-musical Summer: The Donna Summer Musical at Broadway's Lunt-Fontanne Theatre! Charting the meteoric rise and tragic fall of the Queen of Disco, the musical is jam-packed with Donna Summer's classic Disco hits, including “Love to Love You Baby,” “Bad Girls,” “MacArthur Park,” and “Hot Stuff,” brought to you by a trio of talented ladies - Tony Award winner LaChanze (as "Diva Donna"), Ariana DeBose (as "Disco Donna"), and Storm Lever (as "Duckling Donna"). Will the critics be feeling the Disco groove?
Summer: The Donna Summer Musical Tickets are available now for performances through to November 18, 2018.
The first-ever Broadway revival (courtesy of Roundabout Theatre Company) of Tom Stoppard's Tony Award-winning play Travesties officially opens on April 24 at the American Airlines Theatre. BAFTA Award winner Tom Hollander finally makes a welcomed return to Broadway as he reprises his Olivier-nominated performance as Henry Carr, which he originated at the acclaimed Menier Chocolate Factory in London, before transferring to the West End last year. Will Roundabout's final Broadway offering of the season provide the company a high-brow smash hit?
Travesties Tickets are available now for performances through to June 17, 2018.
April 26 marks the final Broadway opening of the season and what a way to culminate than with Tony and two-time Oscar winner Denzel Washington's return to the Great White Way, taking on the iconic role of Hickey in Eugene O'Neill's classic The Iceman Cometh at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre. It also marks your final chance to catch Emmy Award winner Wayne Brady and Pentatonix star Kirstin Maldonado strutting their stuff as Lola and Lauren, respectively, in the Tony Award-winning Best Musical Kinky Boots at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre. Now, is that enough excitement for one day?! Everybody Say Yeah!
The Iceman Cometh Tickets are available now for performances through to July 1, 2018.
Kinky Boots Tickets are available now for performances through to January 13, 2019.
Our final highlight of the month is one we're very much looking forward to, as Broadway celebrates a landmark 50th anniversary of Mart Crowley's groundbreaking 1968 play The Boys in the Band with a star-studded Broadway premiere that begins performances on April 30 at the Booth Theatre. With a host of familiar faces, including Jim Parsons, Zachary Quinto, Matt Bomer & Andrew Rannells, and all out-and-proud actors, this iconic piece of gay culture - centering on a group of gay men who gather in a NYC apartment for a friend’s birthday party - is bound to be quite the monumental statement in the midst of a community that has long championed LGBTQ rights.
The Boys in the Band Tickets are available for performances from April 30 through to August 11, 2018.
And that about does it for our theatrical highlights of April 2018 and as you can see, it was certainly no April Fool when we said how packed this month is with exciting Broadway opening nights and Broadway debuts! Until next month...