Special Reports

What’s New on Broadway This Fall?

Tennessee Williams. Harold Pinter. Shakespeare. And more.

Everything old is new again on Broadway this season. In addition to the literary classics (Shakespeare, Williams, Pinter), this Broadway season features the stories of some of your favorite female rock and roll hall-of-famers, Billy Crystal, and a rock-star rabbi.
So if you want to make your way to the Great White Way this autumn but are experiencing analysis paralysis due to all the great options, take a look at TheaterMania’s previews. It’ll only take a minute to find out which show will inspire you to renew that JDate subscription and which will make you thank your lucky stars there’s no one to bring home for Passover.


A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder:

This madcap musical comedy features Tony Award winner Jefferson Mays (I Am My Own Wife) as eight different characters, all of them heirs to a British earldom. The ninth in line (played by Bryce Pinkham) schemes to off all of them and seize the family fortune. It’s high theatricality in Edwardian England. Think Downton Abbey, but a whole lot funnier and with music. Click here to see a clip from the pre-Broadway run at San Diego’s Old Globe.—Zachary Stewart

The Winslow Boy:

Tony Award winner Roger Rees (Indiscretions) stars in this revival of Terrence Rattigan’s drama about family honor in Edwardian England. When Ronnie Winslow is expelled for stealing a five-shilling postal order, his father exhausts much of the family fortune (much more than five shillings) to hire a legal defense and restore the family name. Knock back some Earl Grey and settle in for an evening of gorgeous period costumes and copious subtext. (Costumes and tea cozies aside, according to Roundabout Theater Company’s Todd Haimes, this play is really just a complex and thoughtful look at father-son relationships.)—Zachary Stewart


Stage veterans Ethan Hawke (The Coast of Utopia on Broadway) and Anne-Marie Duff (Strange Interlude at London’s National Theatre) star as the ambitious Ms in Jack O’Brien’s revival of Shakespeare’s Macbeth for Lincoln Center Theater. What’s new and exciting about a play New York has recently seen and will see again in the near future? “It’s a completely original approach to the play. I’m doing it basically like a nightmare,” O’Brien told TheaterMania.—David Gordon

Twelfth Night/Richard III:

The London-based Shakespeare’s Globe makes its Broadway debut with a double bill of Twelfth Night and Richard III, featuring an all-male company led by two-time Tony Award winner Mark Rylance (Jerusalem). With Rylance as both the grieving and lovesick Olivia and the deformed, titular Richard, these productions, which debuted last year in the UK, are not to be missed. Also, British humorist and writer Stephen Fry makes his Broadway debut as Malvolio, a role that won him the 2013 WhatsOnStage Award. And there are seats on the stage for an even more up-close-and-personal view of the productions.—David Gordon


The Snow Geese:

Mary-Louise Parker (Proof) will star in The Snow Geese, a new play written by The Other Place playwright Sharr White. Fans of Parker’s television show Weeds will be excited that she is again playing a widowed mother of sons. This time, however, she’ll be giving her dramatic acting chops a workout, delving into one of White’s deeply emotional characters. Seeing Parker in another story about a family forced to confront a new reality begs the question: Which will break you down faster, drugs or your family?—Bethany Rickwald

The Glass Menagerie:

This will be the seventh Broadway production of the Tennessee Williams classic since its premiere in 1946, and it could not be in better hands. Tony Award-winning Once director John Tiffany directs a Broadway buff’s dream cast, with two-time Tony Award nominee Celia Keenan-Bolger (Peter and the Starcatcher) playing the frail Laura Wingfield and two-time Tony Award winner Cherry Jones (Doubt) as her overbearing mother, Amanda. Throw in a Broadway debut by this generation’s Spock (Zachary Quinto) as the aloof poet Tom and a dreamy Brian J. Smith (The Columnist) as the charming Gentleman Caller and you’ve got yourself a play made in Tony heaven.—Hayley Levitt

Outside Mullingar:

Those who have had a Debra Messing-shaped hole in their heart since the last episode of Smash aired in May need only hold on until the end of the year to see her name in lights once more. Messing will star opposite Tony winner Brian F. O’Byrne (Frozen) in a new play by John Patrick Shanley, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Doubt. Outside Mullingar follows two eccentric Irish forty-year-olds struggling to find a way to love each other. The play is sad and Irish, so obviously it’s also funny as hell.—Bethany Rickwald

A Time to Kill:

Fans of courtroom drama will undoubtedly flock to this stage adaptation of John Grisham’s debut novel. And who better to bring this tale of small-town southern racism and ambitious white lawyers to life than Law & Order D.A. and former real-life presidential candidate Fred Thompson? He makes his Broadway debut playing Judge Noose. Expect lots of legal jargon and racial tension in this one.—Zachary Stewart


A Night With Janis Joplin:

Watching Mary Bridget Davies re-create the rock legend’s soulful voice is as close to hopping in a time machine and taking a road trip to Woodstock as a Janis Joplin fan could hope for. Davies nails Joplin’s iconic, gut-wrenching rasp in classic songs like “Me and Bobby McGee,” “Cry Baby,” and “Piece of My Heart,” and will make you wonder if she’s reinforced her vocal chords with steel as she busts out eight performances a week.—Hayley Levitt

Let It Be:

Let it Be is as close as you can get to the real thing. This celebration of the music of The Beatles, which will close September 1, is a tour de force in imitation, both visual and audio. The cast looks, sounds, and acts just like the band’s four heartthrobs. The 140-minute show is basically a blow-out concert, with no plot arc and minimal banter, which is ideal. That means the musicians are able to squeeze in even more of the Fab Four’s most nostalgia-inducing tunes.—Bethany Rickwald

DATE NIGHT (Let’s hope it ends better for you.)

Romeo and Juliet:

OMG, it’s Legolas on Broadway! (*swoon*) Orlando Bloom (The Lord of the Rings) makes his Broadway debut as Shakespearean heartthrob Romeo opposite Tony nominee Condola Rashad (The Trip to Bountiful). Is this the dreamy man you imagined while reading the play in your 9th grade English class? Well, now you don’t have to.—Zachary Stewart

First Date:

First Date is led by Krysta Rodriguez (The Addams Family) and Zachary Levi, stars of the cult-favorite (canceled) television shows Smash and Chuck, respectively. In this new musical by Alan Zachary, Michael Weiner, and Gossip Girl scribe Austin Winsberg, Levi (playing down his sex appeal and upping his nerd factor) goes on a blind date with serial-dater Casey. Even on their first date, the chemistry between these two talented hotties will leave you wanting to obsessively stalk them on Facebook until the next time you’re together.—Bethany Rickwald

700 Sundays:

Why read the book when you can watch the Broadway show? After a hiatus of nearly a decade, Billy Crystal is returning to Broadway with a reboot of his Tony Award-winning one-man staged adaptation of his 2005 memoir, 700 Sundays. Yes, you could just read the book to learn everything you need to know about Crystal’s upbringing, but when you’ve got a world-class comedian down the block offering to tell you his childhood stories himself, you take him up on the offer.—Hayley Levitt



Real-life married couple Daniel Craig (A Steady Rain) and Rachel Weisz (The Shape of Things) join Rafe Spall (Constellations) in Harold Pinter’s drama Betrayal, a 1977 play that follows a pair of adulterous lovers through their relationship, backwards. If the star wattage of 007 returning to Broadway and Olivier Award winner Weisz making her Great White Way debut isn’t enough, the production is directed by the legendary Mike Nichols (Death of a Salesman) and will feature incidental music by LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy. If you can’t wait for a first glimpse (or if tickets are sold out), renowned celebrity photographer Brigitte Lacombe has some rehearsal photos (see above) to get your mouth watering.—David Gordon

No Man’s Land/Waiting for Godot:

Four veteran actors, two of the twentieth century’s landmark plays. Ian McKellen (Lord of the Rings), Patrick Stewart (X-Men), Billy Crudup (The Coast of Utopia), and Shuler Hensley (The Whale) all return to Broadway in another double bill, of Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot and Harold Pinter’s No Man’s Land. Originating at London’s Theatre Royal Haymarket (Godot) and Berkeley Rep (No Man’s Land), Sean Mathias’ productions are so highly anticipated that even the sick and elderly refuse to leave when they become indisposed. Who would miss the opportunity to see Professor X and Magnito bro-out on stage?—David Gordon


Forever Tango:

In its third Broadway engagement since 1997, Forever Tango offers Latin dance lovers a home on the Great White Way. Who needs a plot when you can listen to the Spanish crooning of Grammy nominee Luis Enrique while watching some of the steamiest choreography in New York? Caution to all of the men in the audience: Your wives and girlfriends will be signing up for couples tango as soon as you leave the theater.—Hayley Levitt

After Midnight:

Unless you own a time machine, you’re never going to spend a night at the Cotton Club. The legendary Harlem night spot that played host to some of the greatest talents of the jazz age, including Lena Horne, Duke Ellington, and Billie Holiday, closed in 1940. This show is the closest you’ll come to seeing a real prohibition-era nightclub act. Originally titled Cotton Club Parade, this show played to sold-out audiences at New York City Center. Wynton Marsalis has selected a world-class big band of 17 musicians for this show.—Zachary Stewart


Beautiful – The Carole King Musical:

Beautiful is a new Broadway musical about the life of songwriting-secretary-turned-music-legend Carole King (you know her for songs such as “Will You Love Me Tomorrow” and “I Feel the Earth Move”). King will be played by Tony Award-nominated Broadway darling Jessie Mueller (The Mystery of Edwin Drood). The musical, which follows the musician from her childhood in Brooklyn, is sure to be just as inspiring and soulful as King’s generation-defining music. We promise, the music of Carole King is great even out of the haze of your college dorm room.—Bethany Rickwald

Soul Doctor:

What does Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson have in common with Nina Simone? Shlomo Carlebach. Considered by many to be the father of modern Jewish music, Carlebach was a controversial figure throughout his life, forming equally tight bonds within the Hasidic community and the hippie counterculture of the ’60s. Even if you aren’t familiar with Carlebach’s music, you can get to know it through his uniquely American story.—Zachary Stewart

Big Fish:

Big Fish is a new Broadway musical adaptation of the 2003 Tim Burton-directed film of the same name. The movie was notable for its storytelling and beautiful visual style, two elements that screenwriter-turned-book-writer John August plans to give new life in the stage version. The musical will star Broadway favorites Norbert Leo Butz (Catch Me If You Can) and Kate Baldwin (Giant) and promises to be a new classic American musical — provided you take your classics with werewolves and daddy issues.—Bethany Rickwald

Featured In This Story


Closed: January 4, 2015

700 Sundays

Closed: January 5, 2014

The Glass Menagerie

Closed: February 23, 2014

Forever Tango

Closed: September 15, 2013

A Night With Janis Joplin

Closed: February 9, 2014

Outside Mullingar

Closed: March 16, 2014

A Time to Kill

Closed: November 17, 2013

Soul Doctor

Closed: October 13, 2013

After Midnight

Closed: June 29, 2014

Waiting for Godot

Closed: March 30, 2014

Let It Be

Closed: September 1, 2013

No Man’s Land

Closed: March 30, 2014

First Date

Closed: January 5, 2014


Closed: January 12, 2014

The Winslow Boy

Closed: December 1, 2013

Big Fish

Closed: December 29, 2013

Twelfth Night

Closed: February 16, 2014

Richard III

Closed: February 16, 2014