Amid the glamour of Broadway’s bright lights, the theater world seems to change in a New York minute. A number of popular shows are being placed under a microscope heading into the fall and winter seasons and are generating quite a bit of buzz. From upcoming premieres to final curtain calls and everything in between, here’s what you need to know.
Dear Evan Hansen gets new leading men
The charming and talented Ben Platt earned himself a Tony for Best Actor for his acclaimed portrayal of the titular teenager in Dear Evan Hansen. Since originating the role two years ago, Platt is preparing for his final curtain call with the production, giving his last performance November 19. Noah Galvin, who starred in the ABC sitcom The Real O’Neals, will temporarily fill Platt’s shoes beginning November 21. Starting in January, Broadway vet Taylor Trensch, who’s currently featured in Hello, Dolly!, will take over as Evan Hansen. The remaining cast of the Tony-winning show are contracted to stay until May 2018.
Groundhog Day and Great Comet to close
Despite earning a heap of nominations at this year’s Tony Awards, Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812 and the musical adaptation of Groundhog Day will wrap on Broadway. The former was at the center of a casting controversy, when it was announced that Mandy Patinkin would replace Hamilton actor Okeiriete Onaodowan after a few short weeks in the role. The move triggered backlash regarding a lack of diversity featured in the show, and shortly afterwards, it got hit with the Broadway axe, set to close on September 3. Groundhog Day will close two weeks later on September 17 after less than 200 performances. It may not have lasted long at the August Wilson Theatre, but it did earn the praises of Bill Murray, who went to see it two nights in a row in true Groundhog Day fashion. Not to worry if you didn’t catch these shows on Broadway, as both productions are set to begin national tours in 2018.
Mean Girls gears up for premiere
The much buzzed-about musical adaptation of cult classic film Mean Girls is slowly but surely getting ready to take over Broadway. The production’s cast had been confirmed in July and will have its world premiere at the National Theatre in Washington, D.C. October 31, where it will run through December 3 before moving to Broadway, though no official opening date is confirmed yet.
CATS gives final performances
The latest revival of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s CATS will close December 30 after spending roughly 18 months back on Broadway. The show’s original New York run quickly became one of Broadway’s longest and most successful tenures at 18 years. It is expected to return to stages in 2019, however, when a North American tour is scheduled to launch.
The Boss is Born to Run on Broadway
Bruce Springsteen is trading his signature stadium gigs for the intimate setting of the Walter Kerr Theater for an 8-week series dubbed Springsteen on Broadway. The project will begin previews October 3 before officially kicking off October 12. Springsteen will perform five shows per week in what is expected to be a rapid sell-out.
Frozen sets premiere date
Disney’s stage production of Frozen is coming along quickly. Elsa, Anna and Kristoff will make their Broadway debut on March 22 following a month of previews beginning February 22. Plans for a Frozen musical have been in talks even before the 2013 film was released, and the production was confirmed to be in development for Broadway by mid-2014. The show features all the beloved songs from the film along with new numbers penned by the film’s songwriting duo of Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez.