Mark Rylance and John Lithgow

December 2017 Highlights on Broadway and Beyond

Check out our guide to the biggest theatrical events of the month.

Tom Millward
Tom Millward

December is here. The holiday season is upon us and theatre continues to be the gift that keeps on giving for Broadway fans in New York City! Here are just a few of our picks that are sure to warm the cockles of your hearts all month long!

December 3

- Sunday, December 3 marks the official opening of the first-ever Broadway revival of Lynn Ahrens & Stephen Flaherty's Tony-nominated and Olivier Award-winning musical Once on This Island at the Circle in the Square Theatre. This brand new production, with Tony Award nominee Michael Arden at the helm, has been generating a great deal of positive vibes throughout social media during previews, so we'll see how critics react to the revival this weekend. The cast is a mixture of young newcomers such as Hailey Kilgore and "Glee" star Alex Newell, making their Broadway debuts as Ti Moune and Asaka, Mother of the Earth, respectively, and Broadway veterans like Merle Dandridge (as Papa Ge, Demon of Death), Tony Award nominee Phillip Boykin (as Tonton Julian), Quentin Earl Darrington (as Agwe, God of Water), and Tony Award winner Lea Salonga (as Erzulie, Goddess of Love). This Caribbean Rhythm-infused musical revival, inspired by the recent tragic events Haiti, might well prove to be the surprise hit of the season!

Once on This Island Tickets are available now for performances through to December 30, 2018.

- Once Upon a December... This Sunday also marks Tony and Olivier Award nominee Ramin Karimloo's final performance as Gleb Vaganov in the Broadway premiere of Anastasia, so if you are a fan of Mr. Karimloo, get yourself down to St. Petersburg (I mean, the Broadhurst Theatre) post-haste!

Anastasia Tickets are available now for performances through to January 13, 2019.

- Meanwhile, the first production of acclaimed off-Broadway troupe The New Group's 2017-2018 season also officially opens this Sunday at the Pershing Square Signature CenterDowntown Race Riot stars Chloë Sevigny, who is widely known for her TV role as Nicolette Grant on "Big Love". Acclaimed director Scott Elliott helms Seth Zvi Rosenfeld's play, which is set in 1976 and follows the events of the violent riots in Washington Square Park. The production continues through to December 23, 2017.

December 4

- On Monday, December 4, the world's favorite sponge looks to conquer Broadway, as Nickelodeon's SpongeBob SquarePants officially opens at the Palace Theatre! Having established itself as a firm favorite on the small screen since 1999 and on the silver screen in 2004 and 2015, will the critics take SpongeBob to their hearts and will the Great White Way become another piece to ths puzzle of his global domination? The score is jam-packed with songs from some of the best the music business has to offer, including Aerosmith, Sara Bareilles, John Legend, Cyndi Lauper, Panic! At the Disco, and David Bowie, just to mention a few! Director Tina Landau has strived to create a uniquely theatrical event, rather than a "theme park attraction", so why not take a trip down to Bikini Bottom and judge for yourselves? After all, he's not just a simple sponge!

SpongeBob SquarePants Tickets are available now for performances through to September 2, 2018.

December 5

- The King has returned... Well, sort of... Oscar and 3-time Tony Award winner Mark Rylance returns to the Great White Way as previews begin on Tuesday, December 5 for the Broadway transfer of the hit West End production Farinelli and the King. Rylance reprises his performance as insomniac King Philippe V of Spain from the two sold-out London engagements at the Belasco Theatre. Written by his wife, Claire van Kampen (who also provides the angelic musical arrangements), the play follows famous castrato Farinelli (Sam Crane) whose singing seems to be the only thing that offers Philippe a degree of peace. But what will happen when he is faced with the difficult choice between a lifetime of servitude to the King of Spain and a life filled with fame and fortune, touring Europe's most wondrous Opera Houses? An official opening is set for December 17.

Farinelli and the King Tickets are available now for performances through to March 25, 2018.

- Downtown at the Linda Gross Theater, Atlantic Theater Company continues its 2017-2018 Off-Broadway season with the official opening of Rajiv Joseph's Describe the Night, also on December 5. This New York premiere stars Broadway favorite and 6-time Tony Award nominee Danny Burstein as Russian writer Isaac Babel in a story that spans over 80 years of Russian history, myth and conspiracy theories.

December 12

- Following the success of Prince of Broadway, Manhattan Theatre Club's next Broadway production officially opens on Tuesday, December 12 at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre. London's acclaimed Royal Court Theatre production of The Children transfers and marks the Broadway debut for playwright Lucy Kirkwood. The MTC production also features the original London cast - BAFTA Award winner Francesca Annis, Olivier Award nominee Ron Cook, and Olivier Award winner Deborah Findlay, who all reprise their respective roles in this drama, set in a tiny, isolated cottage on the British coast in the aftermath of devastating global events.

The Children Tickets are available now for performances through to February 4, 2018.

December 13

- It's time, once again, for "The Story of Buddy the Elf" to be told in New York City. Elf - The Musical returns to the Big Apple, beginning performances and officially opening at the Theater at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday, December 13! Why not get into the festive "Sparklejollytwinklejingley" spirit and take the family along to everyone's favorite modern, Christmas musical? You'll also get the chance to see "Cheers" star and original Broadway cast member George Wendt reprise his role as Santa Claus for this special New York revival! Buddy awaits...

Elf - The Musical Tickets are available now for performances through to December 29, 2017.

December 14

- Classic Stage Company and Fiasco Theater's co-production of Shakespeare's Twelfth Night officially opens off-Broadway on Thursday, December 14. See what happens when Fiasco's trademark innovative style takes on one of the bard's most timeless comedies.

Twelfth Night Tickets are available now for performances through to January 6, 2018.

December 15

- Not to be outdone, performances begin on Friday, December 15 for the next production in Playwrights Horizons' Off-Broadway season. Written and directed by two-time Obie Award winner Robert O'Hara, Mankind is a world premiere comedy that imagines a world where man's mistreatment has led to the extinction of women, centering on Mark and Jason - a couple who are just taking this slowly... Well, until Jason becomes pregnant, that is!

December 21

- Our finally pick for December marks the Broadway return of a stage and screen favorite. Roundabout Theatre Company presents the Broadway premiere of John Lithgow: Stories By Heart at the American Airlines Theatre, with previews beginning on Thursday, December 21 (an official opening is set for January 11, 2018). Golden Globe, Emmy and Tony Award-winning actor John Lithgow has put together a solo show that has been evolving since 2008. The Roundabout production marks the culmination of almost a decade-long passion project for the acclaimed star. In one of Broadway's most intimate theaters, you'll have the opportunity to experience a master of his craft up close and personal, as he showcases a plethora of diverse characters from the minds of Ring Lardner to P. G. Wodehouse.

John Lithgow: Stories By Heart Tickets are available now for performances through to March 4, 2018.

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