February 2019 Highlights on Broadway and Beyond
Check out our guide to the biggest theatrical events of the month.
February is finally here and that means the 2018-2019 Broadway season shifts up a gear as we welcome a handful of exciting new productions to the Great White Way! In this month's guide we'll take a closer look at these new Broadway shows, featuring star turns from the likes of Tony Award winners Kelli O'Hara and Glenda Jackson, but before we get to that, we'd like to take you on an obligatory trip to the last chance saloon. We at the New York Theatre Guide want to make sure you don't miss out on a few of Broadway's brightest and best who are all playing their final performances in the following crowd-pleasing musicals this month:
February 3 - Emmy, 2-time Tony and 7-time Grammy Award nominee Sara Bareilles and her "bestie" Tony Award winner Gavin Creel are set to leave the diner, as they play their final performances as Jenna and Dr. Pomatter, respectively, in Bareilles' hit musical Waitress at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre. "New Kids on the Block" fans may want to visit the tuner from February 4, as Joey McIntyre assumes the role of Dr. Pomatter.
February 10 - Academy Award winner Cuba Gooding, Jr. will show us the "Razzle Dazzle" one last time, as he comes to the end of his second limited engagement as Billy Flynn in Broadway's long-running favorite Chicago at the Ambassador Theatre.
So, here's what's coming up on the Great White Way this February...
The "Voices in My Head" are telling me that this might be the runaway hit of the Broadway season! Previews begin on February 13 at the Lyceum Theatre for the skyrocketing musical phenomenon that is Be More Chill! Ever since its 2015 world premiere in New Jersey, this new tuner (based on the popular 2004 novel by Ned Vizzini) has been dominating social media and creating such an online buzz on YouTube and Tumblr that a New York premiere was simply inevitable. The hysteria rose to new heights with the off-Broadway premiere at Pershing Square Signature Center last summer during its sold-out 10-week engagement and so a Broadway transfer was sure to follow. And now, it's finally here and it's bringing the entire acclaimed off-Broadway cast with it! Will Be More Chill be the next Dear Evan Hansen? Our super quantum unit intel processor (aka "SQUIP") certainly seems to think so!
Be More Chill Tickets are available now for performances from February 13 through to September 1, 2019.
"Another Op'nin', Another Show"... What better way to spend Valentine's Day than with one of the most nororiously inharmonious pairings in musical theatre history?! Fred Graham and his ex-wife Lilli Vanessi are set to once again don those metaphorical boxing gloves and go a few rounds on the Broadway stage as the Roundabout Theatre Company revival of Kiss Me, Kate! begins previews at Studio 54. Much-loved Tony Award winner Kelli O'Hara will be belting out those Cole Porter classics such as "So in Love" in the dual roles of Lilli and Kate and she'll be supported on stage by Tony Award nominee Will Chase and "High School Musical" favorite Corbin Bleu. Are we set for a revival that's just "Too Darn Hot"? You betcha!
Kiss Me, Kate! Tickets are available now for performances from February 14 through to June 2, 2019.
Get Ready!!! February 28 marks the beginning of previews for the latest toe-tapping jukebox musical to hit the Great White Way and this time theatregoers can look forward to all the beloved hits of perhaps one of the greatest RnB groups of all time... The Temptations! Ain't Too Proud - The Life and Times of The Temptations promises not only to deliver the cherished back catalogue of songs that includes "My Girl," "Just My Imagination (Running Away with Me)," and "Papa Was a Rollin' Stone," among many others (accompanied by the slickest dance moves known to man, of course), but the musical will also shed some more light on the inner workings of the group, their meteoric rise with Motown Records and the conflicts that threatened to tear them apart. Ain't Too Proud is running like a well-oiled machine, following its 2017 Berkeley Repertory Theatre world premiere and limited runs in Washington D.C., Los Angeles and Toronto last year, as rising star Jeremy Pope (fresh from a widely celebrated turn in Choir Boy) re-joins Ephraim Sykes, Jawan M. Jackson, James Harkness and Derrick Baskin at the Imperial Theatre on Broadway. Take a trip to "Cloud Nine" if you "Ain't Too Proud to Beg" for a ticket!
Ain't Too Proud - The Life and Times of The Temptations Tickets are available now for performances from February 28 through to November 24, 2019.
Also on February 28 (and perhaps at the other end of the theatrical spectrum), Tony and 2-time Academy Award winner Glenda Jackson returns to the Broadway stage to take on the title role in Shakespeare's great tragedy King Lear at the Cort Theatre. The British veteran of stage and screen earned rave reviews in the fall of 2016 as she finally made a triumphant return to the London stage (after working in UK politics for almost 23 years) and starred as Lear at the Old Vic. Her performance deservedly earned her an Olivier Award nomination in 2017 and now she is preparing herself to once again tackle the iconic role in a brand new production for Broadway. And there's a stellar cast to back her up, including Golden Globe winner Ruth Wilson (who earned a Tony nomination in 2015 for her Broadway debut in Constellations) as Cordelia, and Jayne Houdyshell (a 2016 Tony Award winner for The Humans) as the Earl of Gloucester. So, come and immerse yourselves in Shakespeare's "great stage of fools" brought to life by a great stage of masters of their craft.
King Lear Tickets are available now for performances from February 28 through to July 7, 2019.
And there's also a great deal of exciting happenings away from the bright lights of Broadway this month, so here's a quick look at February's Off-Broadway highlights...
February 1 – Oscar nominee Jake Gyllenhaal and Tony Award nominee Tom Sturridge return to the New York stage to star in a double bill of one man plays at the Public Theater. Sea Wall / A Life will officially open on February 14 at the Public's Newman Theater.
February 6 – Encores! launches its 2019 series at New York City Center with Call Me Madam, starring Tony Award nominee Carmen Cusack, which runs through to February 10. In addition, the New York Theatre Workshop and WP Theater co-production of Hurricane Diane also begins previews on February 6, ahead of a February 24 official opening.
February 11 – The hit Broadway comedy The Play That Goes Wrong begins previews at its new off-Broadway home at New World Stages (ahead of an official opening on February 20) and the acclaimed Yiddish-language production of Fiddler on the Roof begins previews at Stage 42 (with an official opening scheduled for February 21).
February 12 – Tony Award winner Alan Cumming returns to the New York stage to star in The New Group's world premiere of "Daddy" at Pershing Square Signature Center and Manhattan Theatre Club continues its 2018-2019 off-Broadway season with the New York premiere of The Cake at New York City Center, starring Debra Jo Rupp. There's also two official openings on February 12 with Lin-Manuel Miranda, Thomas Kail, and Anthony Veneziale's Freestyle Love Supreme at the Greenwich House Theater and The Shadow of a Gunman (as part of Irish Repertory Theatre's Sean O'Casey Cycle).
February 19 – Two more high-profile off-Broadway productions celebrate their official openings: Signature Theatre's By the Way, Meet Vera Stark by Lynn Nottage and Roundabout Theatre Company's revival of Sondheim musical Merrily We Roll Along at the Laura Pels Theatre.
February 20 – Mint Theater Company's The Price of Thomas Scott officially opens at Theatre Row and Atlantic Theater Company's U.S. premiere of Florian Zeller's The Mother begins previews at the Linda Gross Theater.
February 21 – Tony and 5-time Emmy Award winner John Larroquette returns to the New York stage to star in Lincoln Center Theater's production of Nantucket Sleigh Ride at the Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater and Chick Flick the Musical begins previews at the Westside Theatre.
February 26 – MCC Theater's world premiere musical Alice By Heart celebrates its official opening at The Robert W. Wilson MCC Theater Space and Keen Company returns to Theatre Row with the New York premiere of Surely Goodness and Mercy.
Join us again next month for our March 2019 guide where no less than 8 brand new Broadway productions will burst onto the scene! Until then... That's all, folks!