Broadway Fall 2016 Preview - Part 2: The Plays

Tom Millward
Tom Millward

Following on from last week's preview of all the fabulous MUSICALS opening on the Great White Way this Fall, it's time to turn our heads to the dramatic and take a look at the selection of new plays on offer. As always the shining lights of Broadway has managed to attract some of the world's top shining stars - from Broadway veterans such as Nathan Lane to Broadway debuts from the likes of Cate Blanchett. Whether you're into laugh-out-loud comedies or reach-for-the-kleenex dramas, Broadway has got you covered this Autumn:

Kicking off the season is a rather unique production by the name of THE ENCOUNTER. Conceived, directed and performed by Simon McBurney and inspired by Petru Popescu's novel "Amazon Beaming," audience members are given headphones to wear for the duration of the performance, totally immersing them in the sounds of the Amazon rainforest. Using this 3D audio technology, McBurney will conjur up the 1969 journey of National Geographic photographer Loren McIntyre, during which he became lost among the indigenous people of the remote Javari Valley in Brazil. This Complicite production has already played to audiences across the globe and by all accounts, the New York theatregoers are in for a truly distinctive and stunningly imaginative night out. Previews begin on 20 September, before an official opening on 29th September at the John Golden Theatre.

Click HERE for tickets to The Encounter at the Golden Theatre until 8th January 2017.

Switching gears to a comic duo who recently wowed audiences off-Broadway at the Cherry Lane and are now moving on up to Broadway's Lyceum Theatre. OH, HELLO ON BROADWAY stars Nick Kroll and John Mulaney (also known as O.A.Ps with attitude Gil Faizon and George St. Geegland) and begins previews on 23rd September, before an official opening on 10th October. These two highly opinionated New Yorkers have garnered a cult following which led to their Comedy Central appearances and now they bring their "memoir for the stage" to the Great White Way itself. Oh, Hello on Broadway promises to be 90 minutes of theatre-themed hilarity!

Click HERE for tickets to Oh, Hello on Broadway at the Lyceum Theatre until 8th January 2017.


The renowned Manhattan Theatre Club's first Broadway offering of the season is a transfer of its hit off-Broadway two-hander, which enjoyed a sell-out run at New York City Center last Summer. HEISENBERG will see Mary-Louise Parker and Denis Arndt reprising their roles of Georgie and Alex, respectively, whose random encounter in a London train station sparks an intrigueing game that poses many questions about human connection. The play comes from the pen of British playwright Simon Stephens, who won a Tony last year for his magnificent stage adaptation of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. Previews begin on 20 September, with an official opening set for 13 October.

Click HERE for tickets to Heisenberg at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre until 4th December 2016.

The first Broadway play of the season from the equally celebrated Roundabout Theatre Company sees the Broadway return of Oscar nominee Diane Lane as she takes on one of Anton Chekhov's timeless classics THE CHERRY ORCHARD. Beginning previews on 15th September and officially opening on 16th October, the new adaptation comes to us from Stephen Karam, who just this year picked up a Tony himself for Roundabout's breakout hit The Humans. And if all that isn't enough to get your engines going, Ms. Lane is also joined on stage by a stellar cast which includes stage favourites such as Celia Keenan-Bolger, Joel Grey, John Glover and Chuck Cooper, among others. It will be fascinating to see Karam and the Roundabout's new take on this Chekhov masterpiece. We smell Tony nominations!

Click HERE for tickets to The Cherry Orchard at the American Airlines Theatre until 4th Decmeber 2016.


Perhaps the most anticipated play of the Autumn is the star-studded revival of Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur's comedy THE FRONT PAGE. First produced on Broadway in 1928 to expose the world of tabloid newspapers and crooked politicians in the most hysterical of ways, Jack O'Brien will direct this Broadway revival, which begins performances at the Broadhurst Theatre on 20th September, before an official opening on 20th October. And the cast reads like a who's who: Nathan Lane, John Slattery, John Goodman, Jefferson Mays, Sherie Rene Scott and Holland Taylor, just to name a few! This may well turn out to be the hottest ticket in town... Well, maybe second only to a certain smash hit musical at the Richard Rodgers Theatre.

Click HERE for tickets to The Front Page at the Broadhurst Theatre until 5th February 2017.

Next up comes a British import from the tiny, yet almighty Donmar Warehouse in London. Its production of Christopher Hampton's stage adaptation of LES LIAISONS DANGEREUSES made waves over the other side of the Atlantic and so Donmar Artistic Director Josie Rourke is bringing it to Broadway and what's more, two-time Oscar nominee Janet McTeer will be reprising her role as La Marquise de Merteuil, with Tony winner Liev Schreiber stepping in for Dominic West as Le Vicomte de Valmont. If aristocratic scandals, sex, intrigue and betrayal are your cup of tea, then this classic tale from pre-revolutionary France should certainly whet your appetite. Previews begin at the Booth Theatre on 8th October ahead of a 30th October official opening.

Click HERE for tickets to Les Liaisons Dangereuses at the Booth Theatre until 22nd January 2017.


From a British import to an Australian import now and one that will celebrate the much-anticipated Broadway debut of a two-time Oscar winner and one of Australia's finest! Cate Blanchett will star alongside Richard Roxburgh in the Sydney Theatre Company production of THE PRESENT, which begins previews at the Barrymore Theatre on 17th December, before an official opening on 8th January 2017. Based on Anton Chekhov's play 'Platonov,' Andrew Upton's adaptation transposes the story to post-Perestroika in the mid-1990s. A regular performer at the Sydney Theatre Company and no stranger to other stages in both Australia and London, it is hard to believe that Ms. Blanchett has never performed on the Great White Way... until now! Be sure to be a part of what may well be the show-stealing Broadway debut of the year!

Click HERE for tickets to The Present at the Barrymore Theatre until 19th March 2017.

The final play beginning performances on Broadway this year is the second offering from Manhattan Theatre Club. Ruben Santiago-Hudson directs JITNEY at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre, with previews beginning on 28th December 2016 and an official opening taking place on 19th January 2017. As of yet, no casting has been announced, but the play comes to us from Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning playwright August Wilson whose infamous ten plays under the banner of "The Pittsburgh Cycle" include such classics as 'Fences,' 'Ma Rainey's Black Bottom,' and 'The Piano Lesson.' Jitney is the only piece from this cycle, never to have been performed on Broadway, although its off-Broadway production at Second Stage Theatre picked up both the New York Drama Critics Circle Award and Outer Critics Circle Award in 2000 and its West End premiere earned Wilson his first Olivier Award in 2002. So, MTC is rightfully making it a full house for "The Pittsburgh Cycle" with this long overdue Broadway premiere.

Tickets for Jitney will become available shortly.

So, that's a wrap for yet another fine mix of plays heading our way this Fall. But what and who are you most looking forward to seeing?


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