Broadway spring preview: Stars share the shows they can't wait to see

Discover recommendations from the cast and creative teams of this season's shows, and learn more about every play and musical opening on Broadway in the spring.

Gillian Russo
Gillian Russo

Nineteen spring Broadway shows. That's a lot even for Broadway's busiest time of year — but that just means there's plenty of exciting theatre to discover. Between new shows and classic revivals of all stripes, spring 2024 is stacked with variety and talent.

"The biggest thrill of this season has to be the unprecedented number of shows, both new and known, that have found enough support to come to Broadway this year," said Natascia Diaz, a main cast member in April's revival of Cabaret. "A testament to resilience and the essential need for theatre."

We couldn't have said it better — so we let this spring's Broadway stars do the talking. Read their picks for what shows they're looking forward to and why. Between powerhouse performers, beloved music, and unique spectacles (like a circus on stage!), there are so many reasons to be excited about the Broadway shows this spring.

"The talents casts in these shows are otherworldly," said The Wiz's Melody A. Betts. "The stories are exciting. And I jump at the chance to support my colleagues and friends."

This page will be updated throughout the spring season with links to more interviews, features, and guides. Check back often to discover more.


Lempicka: Discover an artist's trailblazing, colorful life

Like 20th-century Polish artist Tamara de Lempicka, the musical based on her life has had a long journey to the mainstream spotlight. Now known as much for her Art Deco paintings as for her bisexuality, Lempicka is portrayed in this pop-rock musical by Wicked star Eden Espinosa, returning to Broadway for the first time in 16 years.

"I've watched that show grow over the years, and it's a queer woman who was forgotten by history and remembered because of her excellence," said Jordan Tyson, who stars in The Notebook this spring. "And Eden Espinosa wielding her full skill set as a performer playing this ambitious, queer icon? Yes, please!"

Discover more: Read a complete guide to Lempicka on Broadway and a story on the record number of female artists leading Broadway shows, including Lempicka, this season.

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An Enemy of the People: See TV sensations thrill on stage

Jeremy Strong in a Henrik Ibsen play adapted by Amy Herzog sounds like an instant classic," said The Outsiders star Sky Lakota-Lynch.

That sums it up. Emmy-winning Succession star Strong plays a doctor-turned-public enemy who discovers contaminants in the local water supply, saving lives but damaging the town's reputation. Michael Imperioli and Victoria Pedretti also star in this new version of the story by Herzog, who scored a Tony nomination for adapting Ibsen's A Doll's House for Jessica Chastain last year.

"Amy could adapt the phonebook into dramatic gold, and speaking of gold, I’m anxious and thrilled to see her first collaboration with husband [and director] Sam Gold," said Anne Kauffman, director of Mary Jane. Who knows what kind of magic they’ll concoct... but magic it shall be."

Discover more: Read a complete guide to An Enemy of the People on Broadway.

Get An Enemy of the People tickets now.

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Doubt: See a celebrated play return after 20 years

In 2004, John Patrick Shanley shook the theatre world with his play about a Catholic school principal struggling with suspicions about a priest's conduct toward a student. He won a Pulitzer Prize and a Tony Award (on top of his existing Oscar for Moonstruck) and an indelible place in theatre history.

"I saw the original three times and it remains one of the most powerful pieces I’ve ever seen," said Sara Gettelfinger of Water for Elephants.

For the first time since then, Doubt is back on Broadway, starring Amy Ryan and Liev Schreiber.

Discover more: Read an interview with Shanley and an interview with Ryan on stepping into the show's lead role with a moment's notice.


The Notebook: Have a swoon-worthy night out

We wouldn't expect The Notebook to be anything less than a total lovefest. Lakota-Lynch admitted to being a "softie" for the fan-favorite story of Noah and Allie, two lovers who fight to be together across decades in the book by Nicholas Sparks — and the movie, and now the musical.

But there's plenty of love to be found off stage, too: Days of Wine and Roses's David Jennings is eager to see The Notebook because "I have friends in it," he said. Among the cast are Broadway favorites Ryan Vasquez, Joy Woods, and Maryann Plunkett.

Discover more: Read an interview with Vasquez, a feature on the show's timeless themes, and a guide to how The Notebook evolved from page to screen to stage.

Get The Notebook tickets now.

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Hell's Kitchen: Hear the sounds of the city in Alicia Keys's music

Hell's Kitchen is named for the Manhattan neighborhood where 16-time Grammy winner Alicia Keys grew up, and the musical is loosely inspired by her own coming of age there. If you like Keys's music, from chart-topping hits to deep cuts, you'll likely enjoy this show — or if you like this spring's The Notebook or Days of Wine and Roses. They have vastly different subject matter, but they all have a leader in common.

"I can't wait to see all the musicals that Michael Greif is directing this year," said Kelli O'Hara of Days of Wine and Roses. The four-time Tony nominee is known for staging Rent, Next to Normal, and Dear Evan Hansen.

Discover more: Read a complete guide to Hell's Kitchen on Broadway, how Alicia Keys songs are reimagined in the show, and a guide to food, recreation, and more in the Hell's Kitchen neighborhood.

Get Hell's Kitchen tickets now.

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Mother Play: Watch a trio of award winners play a family

"Jessica Lange is coming!" Rob Madge, who was set to star in My Son's a Queer, said like it was a royal proclamation. "I can't wait for that."

Oscar winner Lange plays the title mother of Emmy winner Jim Parsons and Tony winner Celia Keenan-Bolger in this world-premiere play by Pulitzer winner Paula Vogel. That's a lot of acclaimed talent in one show! They present the story of a family with very rigid expectations of how life should go — but very different realities for what actually happens.

Discover more: Take a journey through the stage careers of Jessica Lange and Jim Parsons.

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Patriots: Witness an epic, real-life power struggle unfold

I would love to see Michael Stuhlbarg in Patriots," said Tyson. "He is a phenomenal actor."

The Boardwalk Empire star has the Emmy and Tony nominations to prove it. In his latest Broadway outing, Stuhlbarg stars as Boris Berezovsky, the Russian politician who launched Putin's rise to power — and then spoke out fiercely against him. Will Keen reprises his award-winning role as Putin from the London premiere of Patriots, written by Emmy-winning The Crown creator Peter Morgan.

Discover more: Learn about the real-life people and events that inspired Patriots.

Get Patriots tickets now.

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Water for Elephants: Experience the circus and the theatre in one

Go under the big top with the arrival of Water for Elephants, an adaptation of Sara Gruen's novel about a man who finds his calling and the (forbidden) love of his life when he runs away with the circus.

The Flash's Grant Gustin makes his Broadway debut alongside veteran stage actress Isabelle McCalla, and they're but two of the many people performing actual circus tricks on stage. Trapeze, aerialism, hoops, animal acts (with puppetry, not live animals) — this show has it all.

“I’m most excited to see my former [Aladdin co-star], Izzy McCalla, star in Water for Elephants," said Adam Jacobs of The Who's Tommy. "I hear she’s pulling off some incredible acrobatic stuff, so obviously our countless magic carpet rides were all just preparation for this star turn.”

Discover more: Read about how Water for Elephants marries circus arts and musical theatre and a history of circus musicals on Broadway.

Get Water for Elephants tickets now.

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The Wiz: Celebrate Black culture and joy

In 1974, The Wiz revolutionized Broadway by turning the beloved The Wizard of Oz tale into a fresh showcase for Black performers, musical styles, and storytelling. For the 2024 revival, the show gets a refresh once again with new material by Amber Ruffin — alongside the songs like "Ease on Down the Road" that are timeless classics in their own right.

"I'm very excited for The Wiz!" exclaimed The Notebook star Woods. "One of our [directors], Schele Williams, is directing. I'm rooting for them so hard. It's such a good musical, and to be on Broadway when it's coming back is very special."

"To have a Black woman directing not one but two shows on Broadway is wild!" echoed The Wiz cast member Phillip Johnson Richardson. We’re making history and the people of NYC aren’t even ready for what’s about to hit them.”

"I’m thrilled for all the people of color who will be coming to Broadway," added Jennings. Among The Wiz's stars are Wayne Brady, Deborah Cox, and breakout Broadway newcomer Nichelle Lewis.

Discover more: Hear how Ruffin and the creative team refreshed The Wiz for this 50th-anniversary revival.

Get The Wiz tickets now.

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The Outsiders: Discover a fresh twist on an enduring story

Many people know S. E. Hinton's novel The Outsiders as a staple of their high school English class: a story about teenage gang members navigating a world that's left them in the dust. Written in 1967 when Hinton herself was a teenager, The Outsiders has since gone down in history.

"I'm curious about how a timeless classic will transfer into a musical," Water for Elephants's Stan Brown said. Coincidentally, the best person to answer that question is Brown's former co-star.

"I was actually in the out of town productions of The Outsiders and Water for Elephants earlier this year," said Vasquez. "I'm going to have a surreal and tearful experience watching both of those shows. [All our theatres are] on the same corner, so I can hopefully do it in one day!"

Discover more: Read about how The Outsiders and three other spring shows made the leap from page to stage.

Get The Outsiders tickets now.

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The Who's Tommy: Hear the music that defined an era

"When I was growing up, my mom played [the Tommy album] all the time," Water for Elephants's Sara Gettelfinger said, calling it a "joyous staple of my childhood." The 1969 concept album about a traumatized boy who becomes a pinball whiz and local celebrity cemented The Who's place in rock history. The album, the 1975 film, and the 1993 musical revolutionized what it was acceptable to make mainstream art about.

The film changed my life as a teenager; I'm curious about seeing it live," Brown added. "I also have a strong intuitive hunch that the lead is on his way to a career most actors only dream of." That would be Broadway newcomer Ali Louis Bourzgui as Tommy, who joins forces with the musical's original creators: writer/director Des McAnuff and songwriter Pete Townshend.

Discover more: Read about the "amazing journey" of the classic show over the past 30 years and a guide to all the songs in The Who's Tommy.

Get The Who's Tommy tickets now.

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Cabaret: Get immersed in another time and place

Cabaret has been on Broadway four times before, but never like this. The story of the patrons and performers at Berlin's Kit Kat Club, who gradually cannot escape the rise of Nazism outside or inside the club, is now an immersive show featuring Eddie Redmayne, Gayle Rankin, and Bebe Neuwirth.

Director Rebecca Frecknall's award-winning production from London entirely transforms the August Wilson Theatre into the Kit Kat Club, where pre-show performances start in the lobby and the action spills into every corner of the theatre.

"I mainly perform in interactive shows like circus, and I want to see how they treat that aspect," said Joe De Paul of Water for Elephants. "I love not just the show, but the history."

Check back for information on Cabaret tickets on New York Theatre Guide.

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Uncle Vanya: See an all-around starry cast in a classic

Steve Carell (in his Broadway debut), Alfred Molina, Anika Noni Rose, William Jackson Harper, Jayne Houdyshell, Alison Pill, Mia Katigbak. Need we say more? This cast of stage and screen standouts come together for a new version of Chekhov's drama about a family turned upside down by dreams and desires. As the icing on the cake, the new translation is by Heidi Schreck, a Pulitzer Prize- and Tony Award-nominated writer for What the Constitution Means to Me.

"I admire the talents of the cast and am curious to see how they dive into this comedy and handle the tensions of this classic," said De Paul.

Discover more: Learn about all the celebrities who have starred in Uncle Vanya on Broadway and beyond over the years.

More spring 2024 Broadway shows

Still looking for the perfect Broadway show for you? There are more where those came from. Check out all the other musicals and plays taking the stage in the spring Broadway season.


Suffs: March alongside historical changemakers

You've heard of Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, but what about the many other suffragists that secured women's voting rights? Shaina Taub's new musical, on Broadway after a sold-out premiere at The Public Theater, centers on some of those lesser-known activists and how they pushed up against an older generation's ways to make change — though not without faults of their own.

Discover more: Meet the Suffs Broadway cast, read an interview with star Nikki M. James, learn the real history that inspired the show, and discover why The Public Theater, which premiered Hell's Kitchen and Suffs off Broadway, is a New York theatre powerhouse.

Get Suffs tickets now.

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Mary Jane: See an A-lister in a meaty starring role

Oscar nominee Rachel McAdams makes her Broadway debut in this Amy Herzog drama, which centers on a single mother and the ecletic circle of women who support her amid a family crisis.

Discover more: Read an interview with McAdams, see how McAdams's film career shaped theatre before the actress even made her Broadway debut, and learn why Manhattan Theatre Club, which presents Mary Jane, is an institution to pay attention to.

Get Mary Jane tickets now.

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Stereophonic: Step inside a rock and roll recording booth

Stereophonic, David Adjmi's play inspired by the heyday of '60s and '70s rock and roll, comes to Broadway after a sold-out world premiere at Playwrights Horizons. A fictional band finds themselves on the verge of a breakup while recording a breakthrough album, brought to life with original rock music by Arcade Fire's Will Butler.

Discover more: Learn about classic rock hotspots in New York City to visit during a trip to see Stereophonic — or any of the rock musicals on Broadway right now.

Get Stereophonic tickets now.

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The Great Gatsby: Party like it's the 1920s

Step into Gatsby's mansion, old sport, for the first The Great Gatsby Broadway musical. Jazz-pop music fuses the 1920s and 2020s in this stage adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald's classic novel. The time-honored story remains: Jay Gatsby (Jeremy Jordan), a mysterious billionaire, attempts to win over his former love, Daisy Buchanan (Eva Noblezada), in a world where money, status, and jazz are king.

Get The Great Gatsby tickets now.

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The Heart of Rock and Roll: Feel the power of love and '80s music

The infectiously catchy songs of Huey Lewis and the News fuel this musical rom-com about the power of love. After giving up his rockstar ambitions for a corporate job, Bobby meets aspiring boss Cassandra, and they give each other the push they need to take another shot at their dreams.

Discover more: Learn about how Huey Lewis shaped The Heart of Rock and Roll's music and story.

Get The Heart of Rock and Roll tickets now.

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Illinoise: Dance your way through the Midwest

Sufjan Stevens's 2005 album Illinois remains one of his best-known works, and it's now an exciting new dance theatre piece that pays homage to the people, places, and UFOs of the title state, newly styled for the stage with an E. Illinoise comes to Broadway after a sold-out Off-Broadway premiere at the Park Avenue Armory.

Get Illinoise tickets now.

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Days of Wine and Roses: Watch celebrated Broadway stars shine

The first new Broadway show to begin performances in 2024, Days of Wine and Roses ran from January 6 to March 31 starring Tony Award winner Kelli O'Hara and four-time nominee Brian d'Arcy James as a pair of spouses who ultimately drown their romance in liquor. The musical adaptation of the classic film is the first new Broadway show from writers Adam Guettel and Craig Lucas.

Discover more: Read an interview with O'Hara a look into the show's 20-year road to Broadway, and how the story evolved from screen to stage.

Responses have been condensed and edited for length and clarity.

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