Broadway Sneak Peek

August 31, 2015

For Andy Blankenbuehler and Christopher Gattelli, the 2015–16 season is already well under way. Their shows, Hamilton and Amazing Grace, respectively, brought two 18th-century paragons—founding father Alexander Hamilton and abolitionist John Newton—to Broadway this summer. But most of the musicals setting their sights on the 2016 Tonys are still gestating. Here’s what to expect, if all goes according to plan (which it rarely does).

American Psycho. Photo by Manuel Harlan, courtesy The Corner Shop.

DAMES AT SEA  Back in 1968, a dazzling young singer/hoofer named Bernadette Peters played Broadway wannabe Ruby in a little off-Broadway smash called Dames at Sea. Well, Ruby is coming to Broadway at last, with Randy Skinner directing and choreographing this classic show in its long-overdue Broadway debut. It doesn’t get any tappier than this. Starts Sept. 24.

ON YOUR FEET! The sound of Miami invades Broadway in this tribute to music legends Gloria and Emilio Estefan. But before you relegate it to the ever-growing list of jukebox musicals, consider that Tony winner Jerry Mitchell is directing and salsa genius Sergio Trujillo is choreographing. Rhythm is sure to get you. Starts Oct. 5.

ALLEGIANCE  George Takei, eternally tied to the role of Sulu on “Star Trek,” veers far from sci-fi with this musical based on his own experience during World War II, when he and his family were among the more than 100,000 Japanese Americans forced into concentration camps. He’s making his Broadway debut alongside Tony winner Lea Salonga under the direction of Stafford Arima, with Andrew Palermo choreographing. Starts Oct. 6.

SCHOOL OF ROCK—THE MUSICAL  Broadway’s been awaiting its next heavy-metal musical, and here’s Andrew Lloyd Webber (of all people!) to provide one, with a stage version of the 2003 comedy about an unemployed rock guitarist who gets a job at a prep school. JoAnn M. Hunter choreographs for director Laurence Connor. Starts Nov. 9.

THE COLOR PURPLE  It’s taken less than 10 years for Alice Walker’s indelible black women of the rural South, Celie, Sofia and Shug, to return to Broadway, this time in an acclaimed British production directed by John Doyle. In his minimalist way, he’s chucked lots of choreography and designed the remaining movement himself. Starts Nov. 9.

FIDDLER ON THE ROOF  Yes, the famous bottle dance is coming back to Broadway, for the fifth time. Hofesh Shechter’s choreography will nod to Jerome Robbins’ 1964 original, but will also go its own way, in collaboration with director Bartlett Sher (The King and I) and star Danny Burstein (South Pacific). Starts Nov. 12.

SHE LOVES ME  The 1963 musical about pen pals who don’t realize they work in the same perfume shop returns yet again, thanks to the Roundabout Theatre Company. Scott Ellis directs, Laura Benanti stars and Warren Carlyle choreographs. Starts Feb. 4.

AMERICAN PSYCHO  Duncan Sheik demonstrated his knack for turning high-stakes fiction into riveting musical theater with Spring Awakening. Now he’s tackled Bret Easton Ellis’ notorious 1991 novel about serial murder and investment banking. This import from London was directed by Rupert Goold and choreographed by Lynne Page. Starts in February.

SHUFFLE ALONG  The unwieldy subtitle, “Or, The Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed,” summarizes the content, but the sizzle is suggested by the team: George C. Wolfe writes and directs; his choreographer is Savion Glover; his star is Audra McDonald. And of course, we’re just wild about the score, by black music pioneers Eubie Blake and Noble Sissle. Starts March 14.

TUCK EVERLASTING  Tony winner Casey Nicholaw directs and choreographs this stage version of the much-admired children’s novel about a family confronting immortality. Starts March 23.


And Waiting in the Wings…

Bright Star. Photo by Joan Marcus, courtesy The Old Globe.

ANIMAL HOUSE  Ever since the 1978 movie comedy turned the word “toga” into a verb, it was inevitable that someone would turn it into a song. David Yazbek and Michael Mitnick have done the deed; Casey Nicholaw directs and choreographs.

THE BEST LITTLE WHOREHOUSE IN TEXAS  Rob Ashford directs and choreographs this revival of Carol Hall’s 1978 hit about an early installment of the culture wars in small town Texas.

BRIGHT STAR  Coming to Broadway by way of San Diego’s Old Globe and the Kennedy Center, this bluegrass musical by Steve Martin and Edie Brickell recounts events that occurred in North Carolina in the first half of the 20th century. Josh Rhodes choreographs for director Walter Bobbie.

FALSETTOS  James Lapine reprises his collaboration with composer William Finn in this revival of the 1992 hit.

Patrick Richwood, Morgan Weed and Sean Murphy Cullen in First Wives Club. Photo by DJ Pierce, courtesy First Wives Club.

FIRST WIVES CLUB  Simon Phillips directs and David Connolly choreographs this adaptation of the revenge comedy that started as a 1992 novel by Olivia Goldsmith and morphed into the 1996 film hit with Goldie Hawn, Diane Keaton and Bette Midler.

GOTTA DANCE  Tony winner Jerry Mitchell moves from kinky boots to kinky halftime moves, directing and choreographing this show, based on the 2008 documentary film about the New Jersey Nets’ hip-hop dance team. What’s the big deal? Most of the dancers are over 60.

THE HEART OF ROBIN HOOD  The outlaw and his merry band are given a merry twist and lots of acrobatics in this mixed-media production from the Royal Shakespeare Company.

THE HONEYMOONERS  The classic television show about Ralph Kramden and Ed Norton gets some music and dance under the supervision of John Rando.

TOP HAT Christopher Gattelli directs and choreographs a stage version of the beloved Fred Astaire-Ginger Rogers movie.