A Guide to Musicals and Plays Coming This Fall and Spring

by Joe Holman
A Guide to Musicals and Plays Coming This Fall and Spring

MERRILY WE ROLL ALONG Daniel Radcliffe, Jonathan Groff and Lindsay Mendez star in this Broadway revival of Stephen Sondheim and George Furth’s musical about three friends trying to make it in showbiz. The story is told in reverse chronological order, allowing us to see the broken ties of later life before the starry-eyed hopefulness of younger days. Maria Friedman directs. The 1981 Broadway debut was a flop, but this production, with a sold-out, well-reviewed run at New York Theater Workshop, might have the makings of a smash. (Sept. 19-March 24, Hudson Theater)

ULYSSES Elevator Repair Service brings the epic and challenging James Joyce novel about one day in 1904 Dublin to the stage in this new production, commissioned by the Fisher Center at Bard College. While the company is not doing the entire text, as it had for “The Great Gatsby,” selections from each of the 18 episodes in the Joyce novel will be performed, using a fictional academic panel discussion as the jumping-off point. The cast features company regulars including Scott Shepherd, Vin Knight and Maggie Hoffman, with John Collins directing. (Sept. 21-Oct. 1, Fisher Center at Bard)

THE WIZ This musical — an adaptation of L. Frank Baum’s children’s book with an all-Black cast — was a hit in 1975 with André De Shields in the title role. The new production kicks off a national tour in Baltimore, starring Alan Mingo Jr. as the Wiz, Nichelle Lewis as Dorothy and Deborah Cox as Glinda. The show is intended to hit Broadway in spring 2024, with Wayne Brady stepping into the title role in time for appearances in San Francisco and Los Angeles. “The Wiz” features a book by William F. Brown, with additional material by Amber Ruffin and a score by Charlie Smalls (and others). Schele Williams (“The Notebook”) directs. (Tour begins Sept. 23, Hippodrome Theater)

HERE WE ARE Stephen Sondheim fans will get to see one more new musical by the master, who died in 2021, when this long-gestating show, a collaboration with the playwright David Ives and the director Joe Mantello, has its world premiere. The musical is adapted from two Luis Buñuel films, “The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie” and “The Exterminating Angel.” Sondheim was guarded about the exact story, telling The New York Times days before he died: “I don’t know if I should give the so-called plot away, but the first act is a group of people trying to find a place to have dinner, and they run into all kinds of strange and surreal things, and in the second act, they find a place to have dinner, but they can’t get out.” The talented cast includes Tracie Bennett, Bobby Cannavale, Micaela Diamond, Amber Gray, Denis O’Hare, Steven Pasquale and David Hyde Pierce. (Sept. 28-Jan. 7, the Shed’s Griffin Theater)

ALL THE DEVILS ARE HERE: HOW SHAKESPEARE INVENTED THE VILLAIN Patrick Page is no stranger to playing bad guys (Hades in “Hadestown” comes to mind), but he doesn’t often play a bunch of them in one show. In this solo creation, Page embodies more than a dozen of Shakespeare’s great villains — even Lady Macbeth — as he explores their motivations and Shakespeare’s interpretation of villainy. The show was presented at the Shakespeare Theater in Washington, D.C., a couple of years ago, and The Times’s Maya Phillips wrote that seeing Page in action was “like watching a chameleon change hues before your eyes: stupefying, effortless.” Simon Godwin directs. (Sept. 29-Jan. 7, DR2 Theater)

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