The Shows We're Looking Forward to in 2022
We can't wait to see these plays and musicals on and off-Broadway.
Theatrically speaking, there's a lot on offer in 2022. Here are the shows — on and off-Broadway — that we're most looking forward to.
For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow is Enuf
Greatness is certainly its own justification, and by now the greatness of For Colored Girls…, set for a Broadway revival next year, is widely accepted. But there is one particular reason to look forward to this revival of Ntozake Shange's groundbreaking theatrical work: its director. Camille A. Brown has been tirelessly active as a choreographer in the past few years, including the Public Theater's 2019 off-Broadway revival of For Colored Girls…. Most recently, she brought step dancing, in thrilling fashion, to the Metropolitan Opera in its production of Terence Blanchard's Fire Shut Up in My Bones, which she also codirected. But Brown has the director's chair all to herself for next year's For Colored Girls… revival, marking yet another step up for this talented artist. I, for one, am curious to see what kind of vision Brown will bring to this time-honored theatrical text. — Kenji Fujishima
For Colored Girls begins performances at the Booth Theatre on March 4.
This Broadway revival of Funny Girl has been eons in the making. In 2011, Bartlett Sher was set to direct Lauren Ambrose as Broadway's next Fanny Brice. Then there were the infamous rumblings about Lea Michele turning her Glee storyline into reality. Then Idina Menzel was the name being bandied about to fill the role. Finally, the wheel of fortune landed on Beanie Feldstein and director Michael Mayer, and unless another global apocalypse hits, it looks like this one is really going to happen (the first preview is scheduled for March 26, 2022 at the August Wilson Theatre).
Feldstein has been on a roll in the past few years, between screen roles in Lady Bird, Booksmart, and Impeachment, and her Broadway debut in Bette Midler's Hello, Dolly! — not to mention her blending of those two worlds in the recently released film adaptation of Stephen Karam's The Humans. Funny Girl fans are die-hard, so naturally, there's a fair amount of pressure on anyone brave enough to take on the challenge. Barbra Streisand's reign as Fanny Brice, however, has lasted 57 years, and after all the behind-the-scenes gossip and anticipation that has led to this moment, I think Broadway is finally ready for a new Fanny to sit on the Funny Girl throne. — Hayley Levitt
Funny Girl begins performances March 26 at the August Wilson Theatre. Get tickets here.
How I Learned to Drive
It took Paula Vogel's Pulitzer-winning dramedy about sexual abuse and generational trauma over two decades to make it to Broadway — plus two years, actually, thanks to the pandemic. But Manhattan Theatre Club is committed to giving this beloved work the big stage, and it will resume rehearsals in early 2022. The play itself more than justifies its Broadway run, but there's an added attraction here: original stars Mary-Louise Parker, David Morse, and Johanna Day, plus original director Mark Brokaw, are all returning to reinvestigate a show they first created at the Vineyard Theatre in 1997. I'm excited to see how their work has deepened with age, time, and memory, three things that are very important to Vogel's sterling text, and what the (presumably sterling) results will yield. — David Gordon
How I Learned to Drive begins performances at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre on March 29. Get tickets here.
Into the Woods
I get excited whenever I hear about a new production of a Sondheim musical, whether it's on Broadway or off, and with Sondheim's passing a month ago, seeing one of his shows will make it feel like he's still among us. So New York City Center's upcoming revival of Into the Woods has me impatient for the spring. Sondheim and James Lapine's fairy-tale mash-up will run for just two weeks, May 4-15. As if the show itself weren't enough to get me to the theater, the production will star Sara Bareilles as the Baker's Wife, Christian Borle as the Baker, Heather Headley as the Witch, and Ashley Park as Cinderella, among others. That's a cast that seems right out of a magical story book. We can probably look forward to even more Sondheim revivals in the near future (Company is on Broadway right now). In the meantime, Into the Woods is sure to be one of the hottest tickets of the season. — Pete Hempstead
Prayer For The French Republic
Playwright Joshua Harmon has given me some of the most electric nights I've ever spent in the theater: His breakout play, Bad Jews, turned a period of mourning into cheek-clenching farce. His 2015 play (and eventual Broadway debut), Significant Other, was lemon in the emotional wounds of every single twentysomething who saw it. In 2018, he hit New York audiences with the double-whammy of Skintight and Admissions (I've never seen the Lincoln Center audience so close to fisticuffs). So I obviously cannot wait to experience his latest play, Prayer for the French Republic, which addresses the resurgence of antisemitism in the West. (Did it ever really go away?) More than any other playwright working today, Harmon dares to go there — to write the uncomfortable yet true thing that no one wants to say out loud. But, of course, in the theater it must be spoken. — Zachary Stewart
Prayer for the French Republic begins performances January 11 at New York City Center — Stage I. Get tickets here.