December 2018 Highlights on Broadway and Beyond
Check out our guide to the biggest theatrical events of the month.
It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year! Yes, the Holidays are upon us, theatre fans! The Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree is twinkling in all its glory, the Rockettes are once again spreading high-kicking, festive joy at Radio City Music Hall with their Christmas Spectacular and Broadway is shining as bright as ever! With a handful of official openings and a couple of new productions starting previews this month, there is sure to be a Holiday treat or two for you in store...
But before we get into that, just a few reminders:
Rock n Roll Hall of Famer and Tony Award recipient Bruce Springsteen will be playing his final performance in Springsteen on Broadway on December 15 at the Walter Kerr Theatre. Getting hands on tickets might require a bit of Christmas magic itself, but if you do get the chance, don't miss out on his historic Broadway debut engagement. And if you do miss out, you can always stream it on Netflix from December 16!
Speaking of Christmas magic, The Illusionists: Magic Of The Holidays continues at the Marquis Theatre this month, concluding on December 30, so why not check out some of the world's best magicians (including recent "America's Got Talent" winner Shin Lim) to put an extra bit of sparkle into your December?
And if that wasn't enough, then, also at the Marquis Theatre, there are two performances of Celebrity Autobiography on Broadway (on December 10 and December 17), where you can catch a star-studded line-up of comic performers such as Alec Baldwin, Tony Danza, Rachel Dratch, Susan Lucci, and more, acting out excerpts from actual celebs' autobiographies. What fun!
Or finally, why not have one "Last Dance" with the Queen of Disco? Summer: The Donna Summer Musical is set to play its final performance at Broadway's Lunt-Fontanne Theatre on December 30. See out 2018 with a dose of "Hot Stuff"!
So, let's move on to our theatrical highlights of the month... Our gift to you...
Do you believe in life after Opening Night?... The cast and crew of the brand new bio-musical The Cher Show are about to find out, as they face New York's fiercest critics and officially open on December 3. Will the show's three leading ladies (Micaela Diamond as Babe, Teal Wicks as Lady, and 2-time Tony Award nominee Stephanie J. Block as Star) be able to wow them with heart, soul, vocals and fabulous costumes courtesy of long-time Cher-collaborator Bob Mackie? We hope so! But why not find out for yourselves and get down to the Neil Simon Theatre to celebrate the life and career of one of the music industry's most cherished icons? We got you, Babe!
The Cher Show Tickets are available now for performances through to May 26, 2019.
Howard Beale vs. the Press! The next Broadway Opening Night could possibly be the crown jewel of the 2018-2019 Broadway season, as Tony, Emmy and Golden Globe Award winner Bryan Cranston reprise his Olivier Award-winning performance as Howard Beale in the National Theatre production of Network, based on the Academy Award-winning film by Paddy Chayefsky and adapted for the stage by Tony and Olivier Award winner Lee Hall. We have a feeling this epic stage version helmed by Tony Award winner Ivo van Hove may receive a handful of glowing reviews on December 6, when Network goes off-air at the Belasco Theatre. Experience this multi-media-infused masterpiece, blending together live theatre and live television cameras in an unprecedented hybrid fusion or you'll be mad as hell to miss it!
Network Tickets are available now for performances through to March 17, 2019.
And now for something completely different... and full of more festive joy than an exploding box of tinsel and candy canes! If your holiday season needs a lift, then look no further than Ruben & Clay's Christmas Show (aka Ruben & Clay's First Annual Christmas Carol Family Fun Pageant Spectacular Reunion Show), when previews begin at Broadway's Imperial Theatre on December 7 (ahead of an official opening on December 11). Broadway's new "odd couple" found fame, of course, on season two of "American Idol" back in 2003 and this special New York engagement will mark their first on-stage reunion since then. Get ready for charming renditions of all your favorite Christmas songs, accompanied by a live band, with a sprinkling a comic sketches to tickle your Christmas baubles. Well, why not...
Ruben & Clay's Christmas Show Tickets are available now for performances from December 7 through to December 30, 2018.
Following a sold-out, twice-extended, critically acclaimed run at Manhattan Theatre Club's Studio at Stage II at New York City Center back in the summer of 2013, MTC now presents the Broadway premiere of Choir Boy, which begins previews at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre on December 12. Written by Tarell Alvin McCraney (perhaps best known as the Oscar-winning writer of the film "Moonlight") and directed by Trip Cullman, Choir Boy follows Pharus (played by Jeremy Pope), who has always longed to take his rightful place as the leader of the legendary gospel choir at the Charles R. Drew Prep School for Boys. But will the establishment that has long been proud of churning out strong black men with good ethics, be proud to be represented by a student as effeminate as Pharus? With generous doses of live vocals, the production also boasts a terrific supporting cast which includes Tony Award winner Chuck Cooper and Hamilton star and J. Quinton Johnson.
Choir Boy Tickets are available now for performances from December 12, 2018 through to February 17, 2019.
Arguably the most eagerly anticipated official opening of the month is set to take place on December 13 as Academy Award winner Aaron Sorkin's brand new stage adaptation of Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird faces the critics at Broadway's Shubert Theatre. Directed by Tony Award winner Bartlett Sher and starring two-time Tony Award nominee, four-time Golden Globe nominee and Emmy Award winner Jeff Daniels as Atticus Finch, this classic tale of racial injustice in 1930s Alabama has been playing to sold out houses ever since previews began on November 1. Will this long-in-the-works and potential theatrical masterpiece live up to the hype? "You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view . . . until you climb into his skin and walk around in it." Truer words were never spoken for our troubled times.
To Kill a Mockingbird Tickets are available now for performances through to July 7, 2019.
Post-Christmas blues? We have the remedy! Because on December 27, Roundabout Theatre Company's production of True West begins performances at the American Airlines Theatre. Sam Shepard's classic - a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1983 - receives its first-ever Broadway revival and has enlisted two heavyweights of the acting world to depict the infamous sibling rivalry between two brothers, who couldn't be more different... and yet don't realize they have more in common than they think. Golden Globe nominee Paul Dano plays Austin, a well educated Hollywood screenwriter, whilst Tony & Academy Award nominee Ethan Hawke takes on the role of his older brother Lee, a drifter and a thief. We can't wait to see these two opposites collide on stage as a family implodes and the American Dream turns into a nightmare.
True West Tickets are available now for performances from December 27, 2018 through to March 17, 2019.
Finally, check out some of the theatrical highlights from beyond Broadway this December...
December 3 - Dylan Thomas's A Child's Christmas in Wales officially opens at Irish Repertory Theatre.
December 4 - The Off-Broadway premiere of new musical comedy Christmas in Hell begins performances at York Theatre Company, ahead of an official opening on December 13.
December 6 - The American premiere of Nassim Soleimanpour's latest play Nassim, featuring a rotating cast of guest star actors, begins performances at New York City Center, officially opening on December 12.
December 9 - The New York Premiere of Jeremy O. Harris' Slave Play, recommended for ages 17+, officially opens at New York Theatre Workshop.
December 10 - Signature Theatre's production of Fabulation, or The Re-Education of Undine and the Playwrights Horizons production of Noura both officially open off-Broadway.
December 11 - The New Group's world premiere of Clueless, The Musical officially opens at Pershing Square Signature Center.
December 12 - Atlantic Theater Company's world premiere of Blue Ridge begins previews at the Linda Gross Theater.
December 13 - Dr. Seuss' How The Grinch Stole Christmas! begins performances at the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden for a limited run through to December 30.
And that about wraps it up for 2018... Another year of theatrical gems in New York City!
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