Were you lulled by a relatively quiet autumn on the Great White Way—one whose most acclaimed productions were a chamber musical about a waylaid Egyptian band and solo turns for John Leguizamo as a Latin historian and Bruce Springsteen as his humble self? Fear not, for those were mere trickles before the deluge. Of course, only hindsight will reveal whether the upcoming rush of big shows will live up to the hype. But for those with deep pockets, Broadway is certainly the place to be this spring.
David Bowie’s Spirit Lives at the Brooklyn Museum
The season is not all fun and games, however. Angels in America, Tony Kushner’s landmark gay drama, receives its first Broadway remount, this one featuring Andrew Garfield and, as the despicable but fascinating lawyer Roy Cohn, Nathan Lane—both repeating roles they assayed when the show won raves at London’s National Theatre last April.
Classics of an older variety also reach Broadway stages this spring, with Denzel Washington as a salesman with a secret in The Iceman Cometh. Condola Rashad is a maiden with a mission in George Bernard Shaw’s Saint Joan. Tony winner Jessie Mueller and nominee Joshua Henry are mismatched marrieds in Carousel. And Brit newcomer Harry Hadden-Paton and Six Feet Under star Lauren Ambrose play the cunning linguists in a Lincoln Center My Fair Lady. Notable revivals of a more recent vintage will include Children of a Lesser God, Lobby Hero, Tom Stoppard’s Travesties and Edward Albee’s Three Tall Women—the latter starring Glenda Jackson, Laurie Metcalf and Alison Pill.
With Tina Fey’s Mean Girls musical and The Minutes, a new play by August: Osage County Pulitzer winner Tracy Letts, also in the mix, spring is shaping into a King Kong-sized season. No, wait. That show doesn’t arrive until next fall.
If you’re more into chilling out than a big chill, Jimmy Buffett’s oeuvre and lifestyle have been blended into Escape to Margaritaville, a love story that agglomerates such tunes as “Cheeseburger in Paradise,” “Last Mango in Paris,” and, well, you can probably guess the first-act closer. Charles McNulty, chief critic of the L.A. Times, wrote that he “had a good time,” an admission he was “not exactly proud of.” That’s okay Chuck, James Hebert of The San Diego Union Tribune liked it as well.
There’s something for the kids, too. Direct from London comes Harry Potter and the Cursed Child—six hours of magical doings in and around Hogwarts that pick up where book seven left off. Here’s what you need to know: 1) This one’s about the kids, especially Albus Potter and his best bud, Scorpius Malfoy. 2) It’s not a musical. 3) High-tech special effects are non-stop. 4) It’s directed by John Tiffany, Tony winner for Once. 5) Variety called the West End premiere “quite simply spellbinding.”
For those more partial to cartoons but who’ve already seen autumn’s SpongeBob SquarePants musical, Disney has Frozen, an adaptation of its staggeringly popular 2013 animated tuner about two sisters estranged by resentment and a lot of sub-zero water. “Let it Go” will be sung by Caissie Levy, who cut her teeth on such pop musicals as Wicked, Les Miz, Hairspray and Hair.