The start of the fall season not only signifies the beginning of school, but also the start of a new Broadway season full of new, inspirational productions. Montclair State University’s close proximity to New York City allows students the opportunity to experience everything live theater on Broadway has to offer. With so many new options to choose from, it’s hard to pick the right show to see. Here’s a preview of some of the most promising shows for the upcoming Broadway 2015-2016 season.
Start of Previews: Sept. 17
Opening: Oct. 6
Old Times is a passionate play about Deeley (Academy Award nominee Clive Owen) and Kate (Tony nominee Eve Best), a husband and wife, who are caught in a love triangle with Anna (Kelly Reilly from True Detective), a friend from long ago. Anna’s peculiar visit to see Deeley and Kate stirs up emotions of jealousy and fear that are sure to bring up a lot of old feelings. It has been 40 years since this play has been on Broadway, so this revival is going to be a welcomed reintroduction to the story.
Fool For Love
Start of Previews: Sept. 15
Opening: Oct. 8
Starring Nina Arianda and Sam Rockwell, Fool For Love is a powerful play about former lovers staying in a motel in the Mojave Desert. Living together in such an intimate setting, the two delve into their emotional past that unearths harsh and buried secrets. While both try to figure out who they are, they must determine if their relationship is still one they wish to rekindle. While the subject seems simple, the characters appear to be very complex, which will bring a lot to the storyline as well as add depth and dimension.
The Gin Game
Start of Previews: Sept. 23
Opening: Oct. 14
In this play, a game of gin rummy is merely a medium that is used for two residents of a nursing home to form a deep friendship. Weller Martin and Fonsia Dorsey form a bond while sharing their life stories that have spanned decades, but, as with any game, there is always a winner and a loser. This competition creates tension in their relationship when details from their past are brought up. The Gin Game stars James Earl Jones and Cicely Tyson.
Start of Previews: Oct. 2
Opening: Oct. 27
This play stars an all-star cast of Broadway veterans like Matthew Broderick, Annaleigh Ashford and Julie White. The comedic play focuses on a man whose decision to bring home a stray puppy disrupts his relationship with his wife. The revival of the 1955 comedy looks very promising with a cast of great comedic actors.
Start of Previews: Oct. 1
Opening: Oct. 29
Keira Knightley makes her Broadway debut in this play in the leading role of Thérèse, who is in an unhappy marriage. She is visited by Laurent, a man from her past and their love for one another cannot be denied. Knightley’s amazing acting prowess is incredibly engaging in this interesting play about guilt, betrayal and love.
Start of Previews: Oct. 22
Opening: Nov. 15
This drama is based on the novel of the same name by Stephen King. It’s the story about a popular romance writer, Paul Sheldon (Bruce Willis) who is rescued by his “Number One Fan,” Annie Wilkes (Elizabeth Marvel) and is then held captive. When she learns that he plans to kill off her favorite character in his next book, she becomes outraged and makes him write a new “Misery” novel.
Start of Previews: Sept. 8
Opening: Sept. 27
This revival is a coming-of-age show set in 19th-century Germany, starring Marlee Matlin as well as Krysta Rodriguez and Andy Mientus fromSmash and the original Broadway production. The production will be performed in spoken English and American Sign Language at the same time as it was performed in the Deaf West Theatre production. It will only play for a limited engagement until January 9, 2016.
Dames at Sea
Start of Previews: Sept. 24
Opening: Oct. 22
A small town girl named Ruby leaves Utah and finds herself in a Broadway show. However, unforeseen circumstances lead Ruby and the cast to perform their show on a naval battleship. It’s a musical full of tap dancing and music reminiscent of the 1930s and the “golden era” of movie musicals. The show features music by Jim Wise and book and lyrics by George Haimsohn and Robin Miller. With three-time Tony Award winner Randy Skinner as director and choreographer, this show is anticipated to be a big hit.
Start of Previews: Oct. 6
Opening: Nov. 8
George Takei stars in this musical inspired by events in his own childhood that chronicle a family going through the Japanese-American internment during World War II. Broadway veteran Lea Salonga also stars alongside Takei and an amazing cast in this musical that is sure to be incredibly powerful with a remarkable story. The music is beautiful, engaging and will definitely be a hit with the public as well as the critics when Tony nominations start.
The Color Purple
Start of Previews: Nov. 9
Opening: Dec. 10
This promising musical revival is based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Alice Walker about an African-American girl named Celie whose life in the South has its fair share of highs and lows as she journeys to find companionship. She clings to the hope of one day being reunited with her sister back in Africa. The production stars Cynthia Erivo, Danielle Brooks and the sensational Jennifer Hudson.
She Loves Me
Start of Previews: Feb. 5
Opening: March 3
Two parfumerie clerks, Georg (Zachary Levi) and Amalia (Laura Benanti) are constantly at odds with each other; however, they are both unaware that they have been writing to each other as anonymous romantic pen pals. Jane Krakowski also stars in this You’ve Got Mail-style musical romantic comedy that proves that maybe your true match is staring you right in the face. The cast of this revival are extraordinarily talented and the music by Jerry Bock perfectly suits the story.
Shuffle Along, Or, The Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed
Start of Previews: March 14
Opening: April 26
This original musical opening in the spring stars six-time Tony Award winner Audra McDonald and Tony winner Billy Porter. The title is self explanatory in the fact that the show chronicles the events that led to the creation of the musical, Shuffle Along. McDonald’s talent on the stage cannot be denied and her presence in this show makes it an automatic must-see for the spring.
With every new Broadway season comes exciting productions, both old and new. Every show is unique in its own way, which means there is something out there for everyone. This Broadway season, in particular, has a lot of new and returning stars coming to the Great White Way and there are a variety of different storylines and music genres. The diversity of Broadway this season is a welcoming way to expand the community who enjoy experiencing the beauty that is live theater.