Here’s a quick glance of some notable happenings on the Great White Way this week:
Now on Sale on Broadway:
Home for the Holidays – Begins November 17th
Winners of “American Idol,” “The Voice,” and “America’s Got Talent,” unite to form a new Holiday concert tradition on Broadway, performing more than 25 beloved Christmas classics.
The Children – Begins November 28th
Direct from an acclaimed run in London, a near-future drama about the aftermath of a catastrophe at a nuclear power station, exploring the responsibilities we have towards future generations.
Beginning preview performances this week:
Meteor Shower – Begins November 1st
Amy Schumer stars in a new comedy about a California couple who invites another couple to dinner during a meteor shower in a new absurdist comedy by Steve Martin.
Opening this week:
Junk – Opens November 2nd
Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Ayad Akhtar returns to Broadway with a new play about a self-professed investment genius who touches off a financial civil war.
David Henry Hwang’s Tony Award-winning play, M. Butterfly, directed by Julie Taymor, opened in a new Broadway revival last week at the Cort Theatre. Reviews were generally mixed. Some critics were enthralled by the dazzling visual tableaus and dynamic staging that are expected with a Taymor-directed production:
Newsday – “Taymor presents the play with the spectacle she is known for. But looking past the beauty of the production, and its fascinating story, the play becomes eerily timely.”
Variety – “Taymor has shielded Hwang’s poetry from being overwhelmed by the sheer theatricality of the story. By fortifying the scenes that frame the love story, Taymor has also strengthened the political undercurrents of the play.”
However, most found the material insufficiently updated for contemporary audiences, lessening the play’s emotional impact:
New York Times – “In this version, you always maintain the distance – sometimes amused, sometimes appalled – that’s generated by your awareness of theatrical machinery churning away.”
Hollywood Reporter – “M. Butterfly remains a provocative drama. But in their counterintuitive attempt to make the play relevant for an audience more versed in the complexities of gender and racial politics, Taymor and Hwang have inadvertently undercut its pathos.”
Broadway News and Notes:
Michael Moore to Take Terms of My Surrender on the Road
- Following the conclusion of his limited Broadway engagement, Michael Moore intends to bring his show The Terms of My Surrender on tour in summer 2018. The Oscar-winning filmmaker also revealed plans to return to the New York stage, saying, “Broadway remains a powerful hub of American popular culture and I plan on being back—with both a new play and a new one-man show—soon.” Moore’s piece ran at the Belasco Theatre from July through October this year. In the Michael Mayer-helmed show, Moore took aim at the Trump administration and its policies, shared personal anecdotes, and engaged the audience in quizzes and pleas for various forms of activism. Further information, including a tour itinerary, will be revealed at a later date. More details here.
The Lion King to Celebrate 20 Years on Broadway with Free Performance
- The Broadway production of The Lion King debuted November 13, 1997. To mark the occasion, the Tony-winning musical is giving away every ticket to its November 15 8pm performance at the Minskoff Theatre via a free lottery. “Though it’s been seen around the world, The Lion King was born in New York City – from the studio in the Flatiron district where we rehearsed, to the Bronx shop where its sets were built, to its Broadway home in the heart of Times Square,” said Thomas Schumacher, president and producer of Disney Theatrical Productions, in a statement. “This free performance is our chance to thank New York City for 20 years of loving support, and we hope audiences who could otherwise not experience Julie Taymor’s glorious vision will join us to toast the show born here in their hometown.” More details here.
Go-Go’s Musical Head Over Heels Aims for 2018 Broadway Bow
- Head Over Heels, a new musical that features the tunes of the all-female rock band the Go-Go’s, is aiming for a Broadway debut during the 2018–2019 season. The new musical, which made its world premiere this past summer at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, features a libretto by Avenue Q Tony winner Jeff Whitty, who conceived the musical. Tony winner Michael Mayer (American Idiot, Spring Awakening) directs. Songs in the production include “We Got the Beat,” “Turn to You,” and “Our Lips Are Sealed,” among others. The musical was inspired by Philip Sidney’s 16th-century pastoral romance Arcadia; a 2014 workshop described the piece as a “rollicking, comedic adventure tale, set in the Elizabethan period.” The Go-Go’s made history in the early 1980’s as the first all-female band that both wrote their own songs and played their own instruments to top the Billboard charts. Oscar-winner Gwyneth Paltrow is a co-producer for the new musical. More details here.