The holiday season spilling into the New Year is a balancing act for theatre lovers. On one hand you have a buoyant collection of shows celebrating seasonal magic: concerts laced with carols, The Nutcracker at Lincoln Center, a gaggle of Off-Broadway A Christmas Carols, and Santa hopping back and forth from sharing the stage with the Rockettes during Radio City Music Hall's Christmas Spectacular to mentoring Buddy in Elf the Musical at the Theater at Madison Square Garden. In addition, on Broadway, you don't want to miss winning talents from American Idol, The Voice, and America’s Got Talent lighting up the August Wilson Theatre in Home for the Holidays.
Clive Owen. Photo: Matthew Murphy
On the other hand, you have closings. Taking its leave a month in advance of its scheduled limited run adieu is Broadway’s first revival of M. Butterfly—a provocative drama starring Clive Owen and Jin Ha that will have played 19 previews and 61 regular performances at the Cort Theatre before its final curtain on Sunday, December 17th.
Another notable upcoming closing is Gerard Alessandrini’s hit parody Spamilton, which is set to end its run on January 7th, after banking over 500 performances Off-Broadway.
“We’re so proud of the success and reception Spamilton has received over the past year and a half,” said Alessandrini. "We were aware last June, when we moved from the Triad to the Puerto Rican Traveling Theater/47th St. Theatre, that January would have to be the end, but it has been well worth it, to be back in the heart of Broadway, and back in our long time Forbidden Broadway home. We’re thrilled by the current reception in L.A., and are looking forward to the exciting future ahead for Spamilton around the world.”
If you’re keen to see the show that picked up the Off-Broadway Alliance Award for “Best Unique Theatrical Experience” and the Manhattan Association of Cabarets & Clubs’ “Show of the Year” Award there’s still time—although be forewarned, tickets can be hard to score this late in the game. Still, it’s always worth a shot: spamilton.com.
As for announcements involving shows revving up for their 2018 debuts, the musical adaptation of the Pretty Woman: The Musical—the Cinderella story about a hooker and a hot businessman that charmed the socks off filmgoers in 1990 with actors Julia Roberts and Richard Gere.
The Broadway version is slated to begin performances on August 6th at the Nederlander Theatre, with an official opening night of August 16th. Jumping the gun, you say? Well tickets hit the virtual stands on December 15th, so if you loved the big screen romantic comedy, just imagine what it will be like as a sparkling musical on the Great White Way.
Already announced is the musical’s cast, which includes Samantha Barks (Éponine in the film version of Les Misérables) as the title character opposite Tony and Grammy winner Steve Kazee (Once; Shameless) in the Gere role. The company also includes Tony nominee Orfeh (Legally Blonde) as Kit.
For tickets to Pretty Woman: The Musical, visit ticketmaster.com.
Photo courtesy The Go-Go's.
Finally, get ready for Head Over Heels, a new jukebox musical featuring the songs of the female rock band The Go-Go’s. Unlike Pretty Woman, however, you won’t be able to reserve seats for this new Broadway musical (from the creators of the mega-hits Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Next to Normal, Spring Awakening and Avenue Q). That is, unless you’re based in—or willing to travel to—San Francisco, where the show will preview at the Curran Theater beginning April 24th and running through May 20th. As for Broadway, theatre, cast, dates, etc. will be announced shortly, although the producers have their hearts set on the 2018-2019 season.
According to The Go-Go’s, aka Charlotte Caffey, Belinda Carlisle, Gina Schock, Jane Wiedlin, and Kathy Valentine: “If you told us 30 years ago that our songs were going to be in a musical, we’d have said ‘Of course they’ll be on Broadway!’ None of us would have really believed it though—what a crazy idea! Yet here we are, with Head Over Heels—a celebration of love in all its forms, joyful, fun, and full of heart, driven by the songs that for decades have been making people jump from their seats and dance.”
So stay tuned…and in the meantime, stay warm! It’s winter, it’s New York, and it’s much cozier inside a theatre than facing a negative wind-chill factor outside.