New York Theater Guide Rumors

We heard it on the grapevine… Our Rumors section includes information that is yet to be officially confirmed or has been reported by reliable sources as a future possibility. If a rumor then materializes, it will be removed from this page and re-introduced in the main news and listings sections.


However, if, after a long period of time, there are no further developments with a particular rumor, it will be deleted from this page.


Mandela
Is new musical Mandela heading to Broadway?

Private industry readings of the new musical Mandela, exploring the epic story of Nelson Mandela’s political struggle to lead South Africa out of Apartheid into democracy and freedom, are being held on March 14 and March 15, 2019. Is Broadway next? Mandela features music and lyrics by Greg Dean Borowsky & Shaun Borowsky and a book by Laiona Michelle, and is produced in partnership with the Mandela family itself. Broadway favorite Quentin Earl Darrington has been cast as Nelson Mandela for the readings, so stay tuned for future Broadway casting announcements!

Nashville
Is a musical adaptation of Nashville heading to Broadway?

According to Lionsgate and lead producer Scott Delman, an original Broadway musical based on ABC's hit TV series "Nashville" is in the works. Delman has commented that the Broadway adaptation would be "an original story with entirely original music, written by major Nashville and Broadway songwriters" bringing a contemporary country music score to the Great White Way. The TV series ran for six seasons from 2012 to 2018 (with the final two seasons airing on CMT), featuring such Broadway stars as Laura Benanti, Will Chase and Kyle Dean Massey and depicting the lives of country music superstars and newcomers to Nashville's vibrant music scene. Stay tuned for further details on this musical project in development.

Harry Belafonte
Is a Harry Belafonte bio-musical Broadway-bound?

Producer Ken Davenport has confirmed he has acquired the Broadway stage rights for a musical about the life of celebrated American singer, songwriter, actor and activist, Harry Belafonte. Although there is no timeline, casting or creative team information for the yet-to-be named musical, Davenport is reportedly eyeing a Broadway bow for the production. Known by most as the "King of Calypso," Belafonte is a 3-time Grammy Award winner and one of the most successful Jamaican-American musicians of all time, with hits such as “The Banana Boat Song,” “Matilda,” and “Jump in the Line” in his back catelogue. He is also a Tony Award-winning actor, an Emmy and Academy Award recipient, and a formidable Civil Rights and political activist, who has worked as an advisor to the likes of President John F. Kennedy, Eleanor Roosevelt and Dr. Martin Luther King, among others.

Mystic Pizza
Could we see a Mystic Pizza musical on Broadway?

2-time Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter Melissa Etheridge is reportedly penning an original score for a musical stage adaptation of the 1988 Julia Roberts-led MGM film "Mystic Pizza." The tuner is said to be in development with Gordon Greenberg and Sas Goldberg writing the book and Mr. Greenberg also serving as director. The movie, which also starred Annabeth Gish, Lili Taylor and Matt Damon, followed the lives of three young waitresses at a pizza parlor in Mystic, Connecticut, where they struggle to defy the restrictions of class segragation and refuse to be defined by the men who pursue them. This would mark Etheridge's debut as a Broadway composer, however, she did previously make her Broadway debut, starring as St. Jimmy in Green Day's American Idiot in February 2011. Casting and a production timeline for the musical is yet to be announced.

Tony Hawk
Tony Hawk to produce and add skateboard choreography to musical adaptation of SLAM?

Skateboarding icon Tony Hawk has his eyes set on the Great White Way. A musical adaptation of the 2007 Nick Hornby novel SLAM is in development and hoping to bow on Broadway during the 2020-2021 season. Hawk, alongside Anita Greenspan, is set to produce the musical and develop skate choreography for the stage. Tony Award nominee Kyle Jarrow and Mark Mothersbaugh have also been enlisted to write the book and score, respectively. SLAM follows is a coming-of-age tale about a troubled 17-year-old named Sam, who finds refuge, hope and escapism in the world of skateboarding and imagined conversations with his idol, Tony Hawk.

The Notebook
Will a musical adaptation of Nicholas Sparks' The Notebook bow on Broadway?

Bekah Brunstetter and Ingrid Michaelson have announced they are collaborating on a musical adaptation of Nicholas Sparks' best-selling 1996 novel The Notebook and eyeing a Broadway bow. The Notebook is a love story regaled by an elderly man at a nursing home about falling in love in the 1940s, with the couple (immortalised in the 2004 film adaptation by Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams) sharing an extraordinary romance and a life together until a tragic diagnosis of Alzheimer's. The Broadway musical will be produced by Kevin McCollum and Kurt Deutsch in association with Mr Sparks himself.

When We Were Kings
Is a musical version of the Muhammad Ali/George Forman film "When We Were Kings" Broadway-bound?

According to producer David Sonenberg, a musical adaptation of his Oscar-winning 1996 film "When We Were Kings" is actively in development and could land on Broadway as early as 2020. The musical is said to feature a book by Shelley Marcus and the score will feature R&B classics from the 1974 Zaire music festival, as well as The Fugee's hit “Rumble In The Jungle”. "When We Were Kings" centers on one of the most infamous boxing matches in history, as Mohammed Ali took on George Foreman in Zaire, Africa, in 1974. "The details of Ali’s life are as relevant today as they were 45 years ago," commented Sonenberg. "Ali’s story, as depicted in ‘When We Were Kings’ fuses sports, music, dance, politics, race and culture in a way that should be compelling to a broad global audience."

Lady Gaga
Will Lady Gaga star as Fanny Brice in a Broadway revival of Funny Girl?

According to Rosie O'Donnell, who was a special guest at Randy Rainbow's comedy tour at The Paramount Theater in Huntington, New York, she will star opposite none other than Lady Gaga in an upcoming Broadway revival of the classic musical Funny Girl. Ms. O'Donnell claimed that she would be taking on the role of Fanny Brice's mother with Lady Gaga headling the revival as Brice herself. The production would mark the first ever Broadway revival of Funny Girl, which originally ran from 1964 to 1967. The role of Fanny Brice was originated on Broadway (and immortalized on film in 1968) by Barbra Streisand.

Almost Famous
Is a stage adaptation of Almost Famous heading for Broadway?

A musical adaptation of Cameron Crowe's seminal 2000 film "Almost Famous" could be heading to the Great White Way! The stage show is officially in development with a book by Crowe, adapting his Oscar-winning screenplay, music by Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winner Tom Kitt, and lyrics by Kitt and Crowe. Jeremy Herrin has also been announced as director with Lia Vollack of Columbia Live Stage, Joey Parnes, Sue Wagner and John Johnson listed as producers. "Almost Famous" follows the adventures and misadventures of a teenage journalist, who works for Rolling Stone in the early 1970s, and his hopes for landing his first cover story on fictitious rock band Stillwater.

Jean-Michel Basquiat
Is a new musical based on the life and art of Jean-Michel Basquiat Broadway-bound?

An original musical based on the life and art of Jean-Michel Basquiat is in development and could be greenlit for Broadway, according to producers Alan D. Marks and Barbara Marks, who have secured the rights Jean-Michel’s art work and personal archives and have also enlisted Tony Award winner John Doyle to direct. The musical is said to feature a score by Jon Batiste, who describes the project as "a boundary pushing masterpiece inspired by a true American original". Jean-Michel Basquiat died in August 1988 at the age of 27, following a drug overdose. In his short lifetime, he rose from being a grafitti artist in the Lower East Side of Manhattan to a cultural leader of the neo-expressionist movement.