New play ‘Cult of Love’ to open on Broadway this fall

The show is part of the fall season of nonprofit institution Second Stage Theater, which also announced its fall Off-Broadway show, Lunar Eclipse.

Gillian Russo
Gillian Russo

Second Stage Theater will present the New York premiere of Cult of Love on Broadway, a new play by Emmy Award nominee Leslye Headland. Performances begin on November 20 ahead of a December 12 opening night at the Hayes Theater.

Cult of Love takes place at a gathering of the Dahl family at Christmastime. Parents Bill and Ginny are deeply Christian and raised their four kids as such, but now, they’re all adults with their own families, lifestyles, and beliefs. As the Dahls and their in-laws sing Christmas carols and reminisce on old family rituals, the tensions and repression they’ve held onto for years suddenly erupt.

Casting has yet to be announced.

Cult of Love premiered in 2018 with Los Angeles’s IAMA Theatre Company and appeared earlier this year at Berkeley Repertory Theatre to critical acclaim. Trip Cullman directed that production and will return to do so for Broadway.

Headland is best known for co-creating the Netflix series Russian Doll with Natasha Lyonne and Amy Poehler. She also wrote the play Bachelorette and later directed and wrote the film adaptation. Currently, she is writing, showrunning, and executive producing The Acolyte, a Star Wars series on Disney+.

Also in Second Stage Theater's fall season, playing at the Tony Kiser Theater off Broadway, is the new play Lunar Eclipse, starring Tony Award-winner Reed Birney and Drama Desk Award nominee Lisa Emery. The pair play a long-married couple who, while chatting and drinking as they await a lunar eclipse, realize they don't know each other as well as they thought.

The show is written by Pulitzer Prize winner Donald Margulies and directed by Kate Whoriskey. Performances begin October 9 ahead of an October 30 opening.

Check back for information on Cult of Love and Lunar Eclipse tickets on New York Theatre Guide.

Photo credit: Leslye Headland, Lisa Emery, and Reed Birney. (Photos courtesy of productions)

Originally published on

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