With all due respect to Mel Brooks, springtime is not just for Hitler and Germany—it’s for commercial New York theater to launch its final barrage before the end of the season. After a spate of new shows in the fall followed by a few holiday offerings ‘round November, Broadway comes alive in April, when any show that hopes to compete for a Tony better raise the curtain.
Here are the big names: The late Nora Ephron penned the script, George C. Wolfe directs and Tom Hanks plays the subject, Daily News columnist Mike McAlary. Opening April 1 at the Broadhurst.
Nathan Lane returns to Broadway in this tale of an overtly homosexual performer in 1930s burlesque—just when Mayor LaGuardia was cracking down on that sort of thing. This comedy from Douglas Carter Beane (As Bees in Honey Drown) bumps into the Lyceum Theatre April 15.
The Big Knife
It’s been a big season for Clifford Odets. His lesser-known The Big Knife slices into the Roundabout’s American Airlines Theatre April 16. Bobby Cannavale stars as a movie idol trying to break free of the film studio’s clutches while shoring up his crumbling marriage.
The Assembled Parties
Dysfunctional Jewish families—where would theater be without them? The latest arrives courtesy of Richard Greenberg, whose wonderful baseball drama Take Me Out took the Tony for best play in 2003. With Judith Light and Jessica Hecht starring, Manhattan Theatre Club opens Greenberg’s latest on April 17 at their Samuel J. Friedman Theatre.
Got daddy issues? So do the two brothers who kidnap a mobster (Alec Baldwin) in this dark comedy that originally premiered in Los Angeles before rocking Chicago and off-Broadway. Now it gets a Broadway debut 30 years later with Ben Foster and Tom Sturridge at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre on April 18.
The Testament of Mary
Acclaimed Irish actress Fiona Shaw looks at the Jesus story from Mary’s perspective. The Walter Kerr Theatre prepares the way for Colm Tóibín’s solo drama April 22.
I’ll Eat You Last: A Chat with Sue Mengers
Escaping from Nazi Germany with her parents in 1938, Sue Mengers rose from secretary to Hollywood super-agent. At the Booth Theatre, she’ll be played by a superstar: Bette Midler. John Logan’s latest opens April 24.