October 2019 Highlights on Broadway and Beyond
Check out our guide to the biggest theatrical events of the month...
No tricks, but a whole lot of treats for Broadway fans this October. Yes, we are now fully in the swing of the 2019-2020 Broadway season and this month will see no less than eight official openings on the Great White Way! But before we get to those, as always, here's a little trip to the Last Chance Saloon...
After almost six years on Broadway, the hit bio-musical Beautiful: The Carole King Musical will play its final performance at the Stephen Sondheim Theatre on October 27. Why not pay one last visit and experience the rise to fame of one of the music industry's cherished icons, as well as her personal trials and tribulations, and, of course, her greatest hits from "Tapestry" and beyond? Secure your tickets today before "It's Too Late"!
Beautiful: The Carole King Musical Tickets are available now for performances through October 27, 2019.
Fans of "American Idol" winner Jordin Sparks should get themselves down to the Brooks Atkinson Theatre this month, as the Grammy Award nominee will be "Opening Up" one last time on October 27, when her limited engagement in the leading role of Jenna in the hit musical Waitress comes to a close. Sugar, Butter, Flour... and Jordin! What more could you want?
Waitress Tickets are available now for performances through January 5, 2020.
And now let's look ahead to all the theatrical highlights coming our way this month...
The Great Society began previews at the Vivian Beaumont Theater last month and now it's time for playwright Robert Schenkkan, director Bill Rauch, Emmy and two-time Olivier Award winner Brian Cox and the entire cast to face the New York critics. The first official opening of the month sees President Lyndon B. Johnson (played by Mr. Cox) striding to create his "Great Society" through his ambitious series of policy initiatives and legislations to end poverty, reduce crime, improve the environment and abolish inequality. From the Civil Rights Movement to the atrocities committed in Vietnam, The Great Society is political drama with the highest of stakes.
The Great Society Tickets are available now for performances through November 30, 2019.
Next up is the official opening of freestyle love supreme at the Booth Theatre on October 2. What will the New York critics make of the Broadway premiere of this unique offering which combines elements of improvisational theatre and hip-hop, accompanied by a live band? Think: "Whose Line Is It Anyway?" for the next generation! Co-conceived by Lin-Manuel Miranda, Thomas Kail and Anthony Veneziale, the Broadway run promises special guest stars, such as multiple Emmy Award winner Wayne Brady, Tony Award winners James Monroe Inglehart and Daveed Diggs, Tony Award nominee Christopher Jackson, and even the mastermind himself... Lin-Manuel Miranda! Drop the mic... and secure your tickets today!
freestyle love supreme Tickets are available now for performances through January 5, 2020.
Attention all David Byrne and Talking Heads fans! On October 4, previews begin for the Broadway premiere of David Byrne's American Utopia at the Hudson Theatre (with an official opening set for October 20). What to expect? Well, it's billed as "a theatrical concert" and it's inspired by Byrne's seventh solo studio album of the same name, combining music and theatre in new, innovative ways. But you can also expect funky presentations of his greatest hits from his solo career and his formative years with Talking Heads. Get Ready, Broadway! Here comes the new wave!
David Byrne's American Utopia Tickets are available now for performances from October 4, 2019 through January 19, 2020.
On October 6, Jeremy O. Harris' acclaimed and controversial drama Slave Play faces the critics, as the Broadway transfer officially opens at the Golden Theatre. Will this audacious new piece, which earned rave reviews at New York Theatre Workshop last fall, conquer the Great White Way? Slave Play explores issues of race, sexual attraction and relationships through the lens of four couples, and due to its explicit use of nudity, sexual content, sexual violence, and racially violent language, the production comes with a 17+ age recommendation. This could well become the surprise runaway hit of the season!
Slave Play Tickets are available now for performances through January 5, 2020.
The next official Broadway opening this month is the Steppenwolf Theatre production of Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning playwright Tracy Letts' comedy Linda Vista. Starring Ian Barford, this production kicks off Second Stage Theater's 2019-2020 Broadway season at The Hayes Theater and is bound to be a barrel of laughs, as 50-year-old divorcé Wheeler throws caution to the wind in the midst of a midlife crisis and throws himself into the middle-aged dating game!
Linda Vista Tickets are available now for performances through November 10, 2019.
Part 1 of playwright Matthew Lopez's 2019 Olivier Award-winning "Best New Play" The Inheritance began performances on September 27 at the Barrymore Theatre and Part 2 of the epic drama begins on October 11. Audiences can then experience the conclusion of this New York-centric masterpiece which not only packs an emotional punch but will also undoubtedly be highly relatable for many New York theatregoers. The story, which revolves around a group of young gay men in post-AIDS era Manhattan, is brought to life by an exceedingly talented cast of actors, including Olivier Award winner Kyle Soller, Tony Award winner John Benjamin Hickey and two-time Tony Award nominee Lois Smith.
The Inheritance - Part 1 Tickets are available now for performances through March 1, 2020.
The Inheritance - Part 2 Tickets are available now for performances from October 11, 2019 through March 1, 2020.
Perhaps the most eagerly anticipated highlight of this month is the Broadway premiere of Tina: The Tina Turner Musical beginning performances at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre on October 12. This smash hit bio-musical is still going strong in London's West End, where it was nominated for three Olivier Awards earlier this year (including "Best New Musical"), and its original star Tony & Olivier Award nominee Adrienne Warren is reprising the role of the Queen of Rock 'n' Roll on Broadway. With a gut-wrenching book by Olivier Award winner Katori Hall and a back catelogue of hits to die for, including "What's Love Got to Do With It?," "Private Dancer," "River Deep Mountain High," and "Proud Mary," surely this is one of the sure-fire hits of the season!
Tina: The Tina Turner Musical Tickets are available now for performances from October 12, 2019, through June 7, 2020.
And back to the official openings... the fifth this month... and Roundabout Theatre Company steps center stage with its Broadway revival of Tennessee Williams' The Rose Tattoo, which previously won great acclaim at Williamstown Theatre Festival in the summer of 2016. Stearing the production at the American Airlines Theatre is director Trip Cullman, who has reunited with Academy Award winner Marisa Tomei from their WTF collaboration, to bring the 1951 Tony Award-winning "Best Play" to New York audiences. Tomei, widely known for her roles in the likes of "My Cousin Vinny," "The Wrestler" and the "Marvel Cinematic Universe," plays Serafina Delle Rose, a New Orleans-based widow who encounters a fiery suitor and rekindles her passion for love, lust and life.
The Rose Tattoo Tickets are available now for performances through December 8, 2019.
Bring on the Monsters... and another opening night! It's time for Percy Jackson to face the music(al)! Yes, Rick Riordan's best-selling young adult novel was transformed into a family-friendly musical and debuted off-Broadway in the spring of 2017. Now, following a successful National Tour, The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical celebrates its Broadway premiere at the Longacre Theatre, so why not treat the kids to a dose of Greek mythology and an original pop rock score by Rob Rokicki and find out what happens when Percy Jackson, a son of Poseidon, embarks on a quest to find Zeus’ lightning bolt and prevent all-out war between the Greek gods...
The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical Tickets are available now for performances through January 5, 2020.
On October 17, another Williamstown Theatre Festival import will face the New York critics, as Adam Rapp's two-hander The Sound Inside celebrates its opening night at Studio 54. Starring Tony, Golden Globe and Emmy Award winner Mary-Louise Parker, alongside her WTF co-star Will Hochman, and once again directed by Tony Award winner David Cromer, The Sound Inside centers on a relationship between a tenured professor and her gifted student that takes a scandalous turn. Brace yourselves for an extremely intimate production of an extremely intimate story!
The Sound Inside Tickets are available now for performances through January 12, 2020.
And, as always, here's a run-down of all the theatrical treats to enjoy Off-Broadway this October...
October 1 – Conor McPherson's Dublin Carol officially opens at the Irish Repertory Theatre, whilst the legend that is Harvey Fierstein returns to the stage in his self-penned Bella Bella at New York City Center, ahead of an official opening on October 22.
October 3 – Vineyard Theatre kicks off its 2019-2020 seaon with Is This a Room, officially opening on October 21, whilst the New York premiere of Seared, starring Raúl Esparza & Krysta Rodriguez, begins performances at MCC Theater, ahead of an official opening on October 28.
October 8 – The first major New York revival of For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow Is Enuf begins performances at the Public Theater, officially opening on October 22, and Keen Company kicks off its season at Theatre Row with Molly Sweeney, ahead of an official opening on October 23.
October 29 – Three shows begin previews Off-Broadway... the first major New York revival of Tony Kushner's A Bright Room Called Day at the Public Theater, Primary Stages' world premiere of On That Day in Amsterdam at the Cherry Lane Theatre, and Second Stage Theater's world premiere of Will Eno's The Underlying Chris at the Tony Kiser Theater.
So, that wraps up our October preview and we hope there are at least a few theatrical treats for you to sink your teeth into this month... Join us next month, when we'll give thanks for a whole host of new Broadway shows, including the Broadway premiere of Alanis Morissette's Jagged Little Pill!