Classic musicals, West End hits, bold new works and movie adaptations like 'Frozen' and 'Mean Girls' are among the anticipated debuts.
Chris Evans, Olivia Wilde, Michael Moore, Janeane Garofalo and Jimmy Buffett are a few of the boldface names making their Broadway debuts in the 2017-18 season, which also includes the anticipated stage adaptations of Frozen and Mean Girls, and revivals of beloved musicals like Carousel, Once on This Island and My Fair Lady. The season also features new works by Pulitzer-winning playwrights Ayad Akhtar and Tracy Letts, MacArthur Genius fellow Branden Jacobs-Jenkins and theater legend Harold Prince.
The Hollywood Reporter takes a look at the shows and stars of the season as the lineup takes shape (updated regularly).
Tom Sturridge, Olivia Wilde and 2016 Tony winner Reed Birney star in the new production of George Orwell’s dystopian novel, set in a future in which critical thought is suppressed by a totalitarian regime overseen by a party leader known as Big Brother. Newly adapted and directed by Robert Icke and Duncan Macmillan, the still-timely play transfers to Broadway after four hit U.K. runs as well as international tour stops, and marks Wilde’s Broadway debut.
Previews: May 18
Opening: June 22
Closing: Sept. 30
Janeane Garofalo makes her Broadway debut alongside Lili Taylor and Celia Weston in the staging of the 1990 Scott McPherson play. Directed by Anne Kaufman, the comedy-drama — which was adapted into a 1996 film with Meryl Streep, Leonardo DiCaprio and Diane Keaton — charts the tricky ties of family when one sister is diagnosed with leukemia and needs a bone marrow transplant, prompting a difficult reunion with her spiky sibling.
Previews: June 8
Opening: June 29
Closing: Aug. 27
Michael Moore aims to take down Donald Trump with this limited engagement one-man show, in which each performance will be rendered unique by surprise guest stars, responses to the latest headlines and occasional post-show treks to Trump Tower. Michael Mayer directs the acerbic political comedy, wtih the Belasco Theatre's presidential box being kept free in a standing invitation for Trump and his family.
Previews: July 28
Opening: Aug. 10
Closing: Oct. 22
Theater legend Harold Prince co-directs the new musical celebrating his six-decade career. Starring Michael Xavier (seen recently opposite Glenn Close in Sunset Boulevard), the revue features songs from many of the iconic shows that earned Prince a record 21 Tony Awards — including West Side Story, Fiddler on the Roof, Cabaret, Evita, Company, Follies, Sweeney Todd and The Phantom of the Opera — as well as biographical material. Jason Robert Brown contributes original songs and new orchestrations, while Susan Stroman co-directs and choreographs the Manhattan Theatre Club presentation.
Previews: Aug. 3
Opening: Aug. 24
Downton Abbey’s Elizabeth McGovern returns to Broadway in a revival of J.B. Priestley’s 1937 play, which considers the history of Britain through the prism of a moneyed Yorkshire family and their changing fortunes. Rebecca Taichman (Indecent) directs the limited engagement for Roundabout Theatre Company.
Previews: Sept. 14
Opening: Oct. 10
Closing: Nov. 26
Clive Owen stars in this first major revival of David Henry Hwang's 1988 drama, playing a married French diplomat in 1960s Beijing who has a 20-year relationship with a beautiful opera performer who spies on him for the Chinese government. Julie Taymor, returning to Broadway for the first time since her turbulent experience with Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, directs the play, which was inspired by the real-life love affair between French diplomat Bernard Boursicot and gender-ambiguous Chinese opera star Shi Pei Pu, as well as by Puccini's opera Madama Butterfly.
Previews: Oct. 7
Opening: Oct. 26
Tony Shalhoub and Katrina Lenk lead the transfer of the new musical, which picked up a string of awards in its hit off-Broadway debut at the Atlantic Theatre Company. With a score by David Yazbek and book by Itamar Moses, the show traces the beguiling cultural collision when an Egyptian police band, scheduled to play at the opening of an Arab cultural center in Israel, find themselves stranded overnight in an isolated desert town. David Cromer directs.
Previews: Oct. 7
Opening: Nov. 9
Steven Pasquale stars in the new finance-minded play from Pulitzer-winning playwright Ayad Akhtar (Disgraced). It centers on the rise and fall of a persuasive takeover pioneer and junk bond king — quite heavily based on infamous real-life businessman Michael Robert Milken. Doug Hughes directs the new Lincoln Center Theater production, which jumps to Broadway after debuting at La Jolla Playhouse.
Previews: Oct. 5
Opening: Nov. 12
This popular 1990 musical by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty (the vehicle that first launched Tony winner LaChanze) centers on Ti Moune, a fearless peasant girl who falls in love with a wealthy boy from the other side of the island and embarks on a quest to reunite with him. A Tony nominee for Spring Awakening, Michael Arden directs the revival, choreographed to the Caribbean tunes by Camille A. Brown and set to star a newcomer to be discovered through an international casting call. Ragtime composers Ahrens and Flaherty also are represented on Broadway with the new musical, Anastasia.
Previews: Nov. 9
Opening: Dec. 3
Bikini Bottom hits Broadway in the new musical based on the popular Nickelodeon animated series. Directed by Tina Landau, the show features a book by Kyle Jarrow, and music supervision by Tom Kitt, plus original songs by Yolanda Adams, Aerosmith's Steven Tyler and Joe Perry, Sara Bareilles, Alex Ebert of Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, The Flaming Lips, John Legend, Lady Antebellum, Cyndi Lauper, Panic! At the Disco, T.I., and David Bowie, among others.
Previews: Nov. 6
Opening: Dec. 4
Lucy Kirkwood's new play is set in a remote cottage on the lonely British coast, away from the chaotic world following a devastating series of events. However, the quiet life of a couple of retired nuclear engineers is interrupted when an old friend unexpectedly turns up at their door. Directed by James Macdonald, the Manhattan Theatre Club drama transfers from London, complete with its starring cast, Francesca Annis, Ron Cook and Deborah Findlay.
Previews: Nov. 28
Opening: Dec. 14
Three-time Tony winner (and Oscar winner for Bridge of Spies) Mark Rylance returns to Broadway in this new play written by his wife, Claire van Kampen, who also composed original 18th century-style music for the work about a famed court castrato whose voice had the power to soothe a troubled insomniac monarch. Rylance will play King Philippe V of Spain, who forces the singer to choose between a life of solitude and fame in the great opera houses of Europe — a role he played in the hit London run. John Dove directs.
Previews: Dec. 5
Opening: Dec. 17
Closing: March 25
This latest work from Pulitzer-winning playwright Tracy Letts centers on a town council meeting, during which petty policy matters reflect how one’s history isn’t always based on facts. Directing the comedy is Anna D. Shapiro, who steered Letts' August: Osage County to multiple Tony wins in 2008.
Previews: Feb. 6
Opening: March 8
The new Jimmy Buffett musical, featuring both original tracks and the singer’s classics, is set on a tropical island resort and and centers on a charming bartender-singer who falls for a beautiful, career-minded tourist. Greg Garcia and Mike O’Malley penned the book for the production which comes from a premiere run at La Jolla Playhouse, directed by Christopher Ashley and choreographed by Kelly Devine.
Previews: Feb. 16
Opening: March 15
Jessie Mueller, Joshua Henry and Renee Fleming star in this revival of the classic Rodgers and Hammerstein musical, directed by Jack O'Brien and choreographed by New York City Ballet resident Justin Peck. One of the most complex and darkest works in the R&H canon, the show centers on a New England mill worker who falls for and marries a hot-tempered carnival barker with stormy results.
Opening: March 23
The classic Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe musical returns to Broadway after a 25-year absence, in a new staging directed by Bartlett Sher, who has specialized in finding fresh dramatic hues in such vintage shows as South Pacific and The King and I. Based on the George Bernard Shaw play Pygmalion, it centers on a cockney flower girl who is passed off as aristocracy as part of a bet between phonetics scholar Professor Henry Higgins and his chum Colonel Pickering. The beloved 1964 film adaptation starred Rex Harrison and Audrey Hepburn.
Previews: March 22
Opening: April 19
The eighth story in J.K. Rowling's massively popular wizardry saga, this two-part play opens on Broadway on the heels of a continuously sold-out West End run and a record nine Olivier Awards. John Tiffany directs from Jack Thorne’s script, which centers on the adult Harry, now an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic. As his youngest son, Albus, struggles with the family legacy, Harry wrestles with his own past and new threats of darkness.
Opening: April 22
Tina Fey pens the stage adaptation of her beloved 2004 big-screen comedy, which starred Lindsay Lohan as a new student who, though initially clueless about the social mores of the high school caste system, aims to take down the popular female clique. Casey Nicholaw directs the show, featuring music by Fey’s husband Jeff Richmond and lyrics by Nell Benjamin.
Opening: Spring 2018
The Oscar-winning 2013 animated hit becomes a full-fledged Disney musical, with music and lyrics by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez (expanded from their film score) and a book by Jennifer Lee, who wrote and co-directed the movie. Directed by Michael Grandage and choreographed by Rob Ashford, the show stars Caissie Levy as Elsa, whose uncontrollable icy powers trap their kingdom in eternal winter, and Patti Murin as Anna, who undertakes an epic journey to find her troubled sister and reverse the magic.
Opening: Spring 2018
Chris Evans makes his Broadway debut opposite Michael Cera in Manchester By the Sea Oscar winner Kenneth Lonergan’s 2001 play, directed by Trip Cullman, which inaugurates Second Stage's Broadway home at the newly refurbished Helen Hayes Theatre. The play centers on a murder investigation in the lobby of a Manhattan apartment building, tracing the collisions of an ambitious young security guard, his stern boss, an intense rookie cop and her unpredictable partner
Opening: Spring 2018
Henrik Ibsen's 1882 Norwegian drama hits Broadway via a new adaptation from MacArthur Genius fellow Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, based on the acclaimed production directed by Thomas Ostermeier. The dark satire, studded with contemporary music references, takes place in a town with contaminated drinking water, whose civic leaders are more concerned with protecting its tourism industry than the health of its citizens.
Opening: 2017-18 season