Editor's Top 5 Broadway Picks of Spring 2018
Find out who has landed on our top spot of all the new Broadway openings this spring...
It's not just the weather that is sizzling hot in New York City right now because the Broadway landscape is on fire at the moment with every new show of the spring officially open and heating up audiences eight times a week! With that said, we thought it's about time we revealed our "Editor's Top 5 Picks of the Spring"...
There's been a total of 15 official Broadway openings this spring - 4 new musicals (Jimmy Buffett's Escape to Margaritaville, Disney's Frozen, Tina Fey's Mean Girls and Summer: The Donna Summer Musical), 2 musical revivals (Rodgers & Hammerstein's Carousel and Lerner & Loewe's My Fair Lady), a rock/classical music mash-up by the name of Rocktopia, 7 revivals of plays (Tony Kushner's Angels in America, Kenneth Lonergan's Lobby Hero, Edward Albee's Three Tall Women, Mark Medoff's Children of a Lesser God, Tom Stoppard's Travesties, George Bernard Shaw's Saint Joan and Eugene O'Neill's The Iceman Cometh), as well as the Broadway premiere of London's mammoth hit Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. So, without any further ado, here are our theatrical favorites of the spring...
At number 5, we've chosen George C. Wolfe's sobering revival of Eugene O'Neill's The Iceman Cometh. Recently showered with no less than 8 Tony Award nominations, including "Best Revival of a Play" and "Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play" for its star Denzel Washington, The Iceman has indeed cometh and he will delivereth almost four hours of a masterclass on how to stage a timeless classic to those fortunate enough to get their hands on a ticket! Of course, Mr. Washington, who previously won a Tony Award in 2010 for his performance in August Wilson's Fences, delivers a gut-wrenching performance as Hickey, owning the stage with confidence and charisma for much of the play and finally breaking us apart in his monologue towards the end of Act IV, but there is also stellar work from the likes of David Morse (in a Tony-nominated portrayal of Larry Slade), Tammy Blanchard (as Cora) and Austin Butler (as Don Parrit, teetering on the brink of disaster). The production sways successfully between talented ensemble piece and sublime star vehicle and is most definitely worth a trip to the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre... Cometh and enjoyeth!
The Iceman Cometh Tickets are available now for performances through to July 1, 2018.
At number 4 is a London import that has just smashed the record as the most-nominated play in Tony Awards history! The National Theatre's revival of Tony Kushner's Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning epic Angels in America - A Gay Fantasia on National Themes has earned an overwhelming 11 Tony Awards, including "Best Revival of a Play" and "Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play" for Andrew Garfield giving life to Prior Walter. In addition, Nathan Lane, Denise Gough and Susan Brown have all also been nominated in their respective featured role categories. Told once again in two parts (Millenium Approaches and Perestroika) and racking up over seven hours of stage time, this one requires investment and commitment from the theatregoers, but I promise the return on investment will be immense. Director extraordinaire Marianne Elliott has put together a stylized production of neon lights, puppetry and pathos to once again address Kushner's multitiude of themes set against the backdrop of the AIDS epidemic of the mid-1980's in New York City. Guilt, alienation, identity through race or sexual orientation, spirituality and the notion of change are themes as universal as they are timeless and we prophesize that this National Theatre revival at the Neil Simon Theatre is destined to be universally unforgettable.
Angels in America Tickets are available now for performances through to July 15, 2018.
3 - Mean Girls
Switching gears at number 3 is our favorite musical offering of the spring... Watch your backs everyone... its' Mean Girls! Tina Fey (who wrote the screenplay and featured in the original movie) has written the book for this crowd-pleasing musical which has just received 12 plastic-fantastic Tony nominations! She has kept some of the best and most recognisable lines from the movie but updated the book with more current references (and yes, the presidency is not off limits) and kudos to director/choreographer Casey Nicholaw for his efforts to create a truly theatrical (rather than cinematic) piece. The dance factor is abundant in Mean Girls, even employing a musical number with lunch trays and, of course, the obligatory Nicholaw tap number, and the production moves effortlessly along thanks to mesmerizing video design by Finn Ross & Adam Young. Ashley Park and Kate Rockwell are equally hilarious as Taylor Louderman's trusted sidekicks in "The Plastics" and Grey Henson gives a breakout star performance as the deliciously fabulous Damian Hubbard. Everyone has a mean girl trapped inside them, so let yours out at the August Wilson Theatre - it'll be soooooooo fetch!
Mean Girls Tickets are available now for performances through to March 31, 2019.
2 - Three Tall Women
Two-time Academy Award winner Glenda Jackson is simply giving the acting masterclass of the entire Broadway season in this thought-provoking revival of Edward Albee's 1994 Pulitzer Prize-winning drama Three Tall Women, now finally receiving its Broadway premiere at the Golden Theatre. She has received her fifth Tony Award nomination for as many appearances on Broadway, but perhaps this nod carries even more sentimental weight as it comes after a 30-year absence from the Great White Way. She is backed up by Oscar nominee and Tony Award winner Laurie Metcalf, who never fails to amaze in her various stage roles, as well as Alison Pill, as three tall or uber-talented women in a production that is delicately directed by Joe Mantello with an inegnious scenic twist by Miriam Buether. Two Acts with two juxtaposing styles that so cleverly intertwine, Three Tall Women is a touching portrait of life and death that left me temporarily unable to speak by the end of the play. What a performance. What a privilege.
Three Tall Women Tickets are available now for performances through to June 24, 2018.
Hitting the top spot with a thousand shakes of a magic wand is the Broadway premiere of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child - Parts One and Two, currently playing to sold-out houses of Muggles at the Lyric Theatre. Based on an original story by J.K. Rowling set nineteen years after the events of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows", Olivier Award winner Jack Thorne has penned the script of the eighth official chapter in the Harry Potter saga and this production, once again directed by John Tiffany, reunites seven of the original London cast members for the Broadway premiere. Look for a breakout performance by Tony-nominated Anthony Boyle as the endearingly awkward Scorpius Malfoy, son of Harry's once nemesis Draco, and more illusions (courtesy of the genius of Jamie Harrison) than you could throw a chocolate frog at! The choreography, the music and, above all, the story-telling, is what makes Cursed Child such a magical day out at the theatre. The Wizarding World is finally resident on the Great White Way... Thank Dumbledore!
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Tickets are available now.