Broadway Fall 2018 Preview - The Musicals

We take a closer look at the new musical offerings opening on Broadway this fall...

The Prom, King Kong and The Cher Show

Following last week's Broadway Preview of the nine plays openings on the Great White Way this fall, it's time now to turn our attention to the new musicals. It may be a modest list, but it's undeniably an exciting one!

This season has already got off to somewhat of a rocky start, in terms of new musicals, with a mixed bag of results. Head Over Heels, which features the greatest hits of The Go-Go's and continues to run at Broadway's Hudson Theatre, earned generally positive reviews but is struggling to find its audience, whilst the Broadway premiere of Gettin' The Band Back Together, playing the Belasco Theatre, failed to wow critics and is equally struggling at the box office. And then there's Pretty Woman: The Musical, starring Samantha Barks and three-time Tony Award nominee Andy Karl. Despite being pretty much universally panned by the critics, audiences have been flocking to the Nederlander Theatre for a bit of early '90s nostalgia.

Let's hope that the next musical openings are able to elevate the current season and match critical acclaim with commerical success. So, curtain up on the musicals! What's coming up?...


King Kong


(Photo by James Morgan)

The first new musical to officially open on Broadway this fall is a musical of monstrous proportions! Ever since its world premiere in the summer of 2013 in Australia, theatre fans have waited and waited and, after a rehauling of the creative team and various re-writes, King Kong is finally heading to New York City! And it seems only appropriate, considering the giant ape of our story is captured on Skull Island and brought to the Big Apple as a spectacle attraction, before breaking loose and rampaging through Manhattan. Director/Choreographer Drew McOnie is making his Broadway debut, after successful London outings such as Jesus Christ Superstar and On The Town at Regent's Park's Open Air Theatre and an Olivier Award win for In the Heights and having previously worked with producers Global Creatures on Baz Luhrmann's Strictly Ballroom: The Musical. The book has been re-written by Harry Potter and the Cursed Child scribe Jack Thorne and the new score has been provided by Australian songwriter Eddie Perfect, so the Broadway premiere is likely to be somewhat different from its Australian predecessor. Rather cleverly, the role of Ann Darrow (traditionally played by a caucasian blonde) will be played in New York by African-American actress Christiani Pitts, neutralising the central racist undertones of the original 1933 film. And, of course, her co-star - a six-metre tall, animatronic puppet - will undoubtedly be a site to behold! Previews begin at the Broadway Theatre on October 5, 2018, ahead of an official opening on November 8!

King Kong Tickets are available now for performances from October 5, 2018 through to April 19, 2019.


The Prom


Brooks Ashmanskas, Beth Leavel, Caitlin Kinnunen, Christopher Sieber & Angie Schworer
(Photo by Nathan Johnson)

Perhaps the dark horse of the 2018-2019 season could be new musical The Prom, which begins previews at Broadway's Longacre Theatre on October 23, 2018, before officially opening on November 15. This feel-good show delighted audiences back in 2016 during its world premiere at Atlanta's Alliance Theatre in Georgia and has enlisted the majority of the original cast for its Broadway premiere, including the likes of Tony Award nominee Brooks Ashmanskas, Tony Award winner Beth Leavel, and two-time Tony Award nominee Christopher Sieber. Based on an original concept by Jack Viertel, The Prom tells the story of Emma, who lives in a small town in Indiana. She wants to bring her girlfriend as her date to her high school prom, but after the school forbids her from doing so, the media and a host of brassy, Broadway stars gather to fight her cause. Directed and choreographed by Tony Award winner Casey Nicholaw, the musical is likely to be a crowd pleaser that knows exactly how to push an emotional button or two! Have you got your invite to the prom yet?

The Prom Tickets are available now for performances from October 23, 2018 through to October 20, 2019.


The Cher Show


Teal Wicks, Stephanie J. Block & Micaela Diamond in The Cher Show
(Photo by Joan Marcus)

Gypsies, Tramps & Thieves... and a Broadway musical! Fresh off the heels of a show-stealing appearance in movie musical "Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again," the icon that is Cher can soon add a Broadway bio-musical to her long list of accomplishments. The world premiere of The Cher Show was staged at Chicago's Oriental Theatre this summer and fans of the celebrated singer and actress have not been disappointed. Similar to the current Broadway premiere of Summer: The Donna Summer Musical, it takes not one, not two, but three awesome Broadway actresses to play the dynamic diva. Under the names of “Babe,” “Lady,” and “Star,” Micaela DiamondTeal Wicks, and two-time Tony Award nominee Stephanie J. Block do the honors in bringing Cher's lifestory (and all those fabulous costumes) to the stage, generously peppered with the singer's greatest hits from "I Got You Babe" to "If I Could Turn Back Time" all the way to "Believe". There are also appearances of influential characters in Cher's life, including her former partner Sonny Bono (portrayed by Tony Award nominee Jarrod Spector) and longtime costumer Bob Mackie (played by Tony Award nominee Michael Berresse). In a creative coup, Mr. Mackie himself serves as costume designer for the musical and these glittering outfits alone have been generating quite the buzz since Chicago. So either "Take Me Home" or to take me to Broadway's Neil Simon Theatre, when performances begin on November 1, 2018, ahead of an official opening on December 3!

The Cher Show Tickets are available now for performances from November 1, 2018 through to May 26, 2019.


And What Else?


The Illusionists - Magic Of The Holidays
(Photo courtesy of Boneau/Bryan-Brown)

OK, so it's not a musical, but who doesn't love a bit of magic?! The witches and wizards over at Harry Potter and the Cursed Child aren't the only ones who'll be wowing New York audiences with their illusions this Holiday season because - Hey, presto! - the jaw-dropping troupe of international magicians known as The Illusionists are returning to Broadway! Following their acclaimed engagements on the Great White Way in 2014 (Witness the Impossible), 2015 (Live on Broadway) and 2016 (Turn of the Century), they're back with a brand new show, festively titled The Illusionists - Magic Of The Holidays, and they're promising a family-friendly show that offers "even more illusions, close-up magic, mentalism, daring escapes, and technological spectacle performed by master entertainers..." Need we say more?! Performances run at Broadway's Marquis Theatre from November 23 through to December 30, 2018.

The Illusionists - Magic Of The Holidays Tickets are available now for performances from November 23 through to December 30, 2018.


The London Cast of Girl from the North Country
(Photo by Manuel Harlan)

And finally, our Off-Broadway pick for fall 2018 is the North American premiere of Conor McPherson's Girl from the North Country, featuring the songs of music icon Bob Dylan. This new musical play celebrated a world premiere at London's Old Vic in July 2017 and a West End transfer for a 12-week run from December 2017 and now thanks to the Public Theater, New York audiences will finally get to see this moving tale set in Mr. Dylan’s hometown of Duluth, Minnesota, in 1934... a tale that beautifully weaves together such beloved classics as "Make You Feel My Love," "Hurricane," and "Forever Young". We wouldn't be surprised to see this one making the leap uptown next spring! Performances begin at the Public's Newman Theater on September 11, 2018, ahead of an official opening on October 1 and a limited engagement through to November 18, 2018.

Girl from the North Country Tickets are available now for performances from September 11 through to November 18, 2018.


So, we hope you're looking forward to the musical treats in store this fall and we'll be sure to keep you posted on all the new productions announced for next spring! Until then, folks!