The Best of the Best of Late-Summer Theatre in NYCAugust 5, 2016 - by Griffin Miller
With a new season of shows poised to sprout wings near the end of September, the excitement in and around New York’s Theatre District is electric. But before we open our hearts and wallets to these big buzz newbies, it’s good to remember we’re smack in the middle of opportunity heaven, late summer being the time of year when we can easily score tickets to some of Broadway’s hottest shows—including some groundbreaking productions that will soon be leaving the Great White Way. So congratulations: when it comes to timing... location... you nailed it!
Image: Carol Rosegg
Flying out the stage door on August 21st (major tick-tock here) is Finding Neverland—a charming musical following playwright J.M. Barrie’s inspiration for Peter Pan. Family-friendly (i.e., bring the kids!), catch it while you can.
Next, we’re looking at Sunday, September 4th, an especially busy bon voyage date marking the exodus of three Broadway shows, including 2015’s Tony-winning Best Play, The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time, a gorgeously staged and acted production that will haunt theatregoers (myself included) who surrender to this unique work.
Also checking out is Sean Hayes’s divine run as one helluva Supreme Being in An Act of God. What can I say except “Thanks for the hilarity...amen.” Meanwhile, the mesmerizing revamped revival of Les Misérables will also depart on the fourth. See it before there is no “One more dawn/One more day/One day more!”
Fun Home, another Tony-winner and one of the most important musicals to ever reach Broadway, is hitting the road with its First National Touring Company following its September 10th performance. FYI: leading man Michael Cerveris picked up a Tony for his stunning portrayal of a conflicted/complex dad...not to be missed.
This time of year is also primo for capturing some of Broadway’s most coveted tickets, starting with The Book of Mormon (yes, it’s that fabulous). Other long-running hits lighting up Broadway’s must-see list include Kinky Boots, The Phantom of the Opera, Jersey Boys, Beautiful, Chicago, Wicked, Matilda, Something Rotten, and Disney’s Aladdin and The Lion King.
Andrew Lloyd Webber with Alex Brightman, James Barbour, and Leona Lewis. Photo by Nathan Johnson.
With the opening of Cats (featuring Leona Lewis as Grizabella) on July 31st, iconic composer Andrew Lloyd Webber once again achieved theatre history boasting rights with three shows running on Broadway. Completing the trio are The Phantom of the Opera, starring James Barbour in the title role, and Lloyd Webber’s most recent hit, School of Rock, with Tony-nominee Alex Brightman in the lead role of Dewey Finn.
Moving on to Off-Broadway, belated birthday kudos go out to the Tony-winning, people- and puppet-populated Avenue Q, the sexy, irreverent (not for little kids!) musical that turned 13 on July 31st. After a stellar Broadway run, Avenue Q extended its pop culture cachet by moving to New World Stages, where it’s inching up on 2,900 performances.