New York’s theater season is heading into the homestretch before awards season in May and June. Here are just a few musicals and plays that are opening on Broadway this spring, plus some tips to help your clients have the best theater-focused trip in New York.
Spring Theater Openings
Death of a Salesman: Willy Loman is back, this time played by Oscar-winner Philip Seymour Hoffman. Linda Emond and Andrew Garfield co-star in this revival of Arthur Miller’s masterpiece of Americana. Note: The limited run closes June 2. Barrymore Theatre, 243 W. 47th St. between Broadway and Eighth Ave. For tickets, visit www.telecharge.com.
The Best Man: Gore Vidal’s classic 1960 drama (last on Broadway in 2000) follows a secretive presidential candidate, played by Will & Grace’s Eric McCormack. The rest of the cast includes heavyweights Candice Bergen, John Larroquette, Angela Lansbury and James Earl Jones. Note: The limited run closes July 18. Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre, 236 W. 45th St. between Broadway and Eighth Ave. For tickets, visit www.telecharge.com.
Jesus Christ Superstar: Also returning after a 2000 visit to Broadway is Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s rock musical about the life of Christ, directed by Des McAnuff. The Stratford Shakespeare Festival production comes to Broadway direct from Canada. Neil Simon Theatre, 250 W. 52nd St. between Broadway and Eighth Ave. For tickets, visit www.ticketmaster.com.
Newsies: Twenty years ago, Disney’s live-action movie musical about the 1899 newsboys strike flopped. Today, the stage adaptation is one of the hottest tickets in town, with songs by Alan Menken and Jack Feldman, and a book by Harvey Fierstein. Grab tickets fast, though, the show only runs for 101 performances...unless, of course, it extends. Nederlander Theatre, 208 W. 41st St. between Broadway and Eighth Ave. For tickets, visit www.ticketmaster.com.
Magic/Bird: Last year, Lombardi became a surprise Broadway success—a play about the legendary football coach! Playwright Eric Simonson and director Thomas Kail have reunited for another sports-themed play, this one about basketball stars Larry Bird and Earvin “Magic” Johnson. Longacre Theater, 220 W. 48th St. between Broadway and Eighth Ave. For tickets, visit www.telecharge.com.
Clybourne Park: In 1959, a black family moves into a white Chicago neighborhood, and the neighbors worry about urbanization. Fifty years later, a white family moves into the now mostly black neighborhood, and the neighbors worry about gentrification. (La plus ca change...) Bruce Norris’ drama won the Pulitzer after its off-Broadway bow a few years ago, and is inspired by Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun. Note: The limited run closes on July 15. Walter Kerr Theatre, 219 W. 48th St. between Broadway and Eighth Ave. For tickets, visit www.telecharge.com.
Peter and the Starcatcher: This fantasy/comedy play by Rick Elice imagines the origins of Peter Pan and Captain Hook, and is ideal for the whole family. (It’s smart enough to keep grown-ups interested, and silly and irreverent enough to keep kids thoroughly entertained.) Roger Rees and Alex Timbers co-direct the play, and the cast includes Christian Borle, currently starring in TV’s Smash. Brooks Atkinson Theater, 256 W. 47th St. between Broadway and Eighth Ave. For tickets, visit www.ticketmaster.com.
Leap of Faith: Based on the Steve Martin movie, this new musical (music by Alan Menken, lyrics by Glenn Slater) follows a con man on a journey of redemption. Four-time Tony-nominee Raúl Esparza plays the Martin role. St. James Theatre, 246 W. 44th St. between Broadway and Eighth Ave. For tickets, visit www.telecharge.com.
A Streetcar Named Desire: Taking a cue from 2008’s all-African-American Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, this multicultural revival of Tennessee Williams’ classic is sure to start some discussions. Blair Underwood will play the primal Stanley Kowalski, with Nicole Ari Parker as Blanche and two-time Tony-nominee Daphne Rubin-Vega as Stella. The limited run is only 16 weeks. Broadhurst Theatre, 235 W. 44th St. between Broadway and Eighth Ave. For tickets, visit www.telecharge.com.
Harvey: After making his Broadway debut in last season’s searing drama The Normal Heart, The Big Bang Theory’s Jim Parsons returns to take on Jimmy Stewart’s iconic Elwood P. Dowd, an oh-so-pleasant man whose best friend is a six-foot-tall invisible white rabbit. Jessica Hecht plays his sister, Veta. (Note: Previews for Harvey start May 18, and the play runs June 14 through August 5.) Studio 54, 254 W. 54th St. between Broadway and Eighth Ave. For tickets, visit www.roundabouttheatre.org.
|Jesus Christ Superstar is being presented by the Stratford Shakespeare Festival production.|
Of course, there are plenty of long-running shows that your clients will love as well—The Book of Mormon, Jersey Boys and Wicked are all still going strong, and are certainly worth a visit.
Where to Eat
Sure, there are plenty of fancy restaurants with big-name chefs all throughout New York City, but there are also plenty of hidden gems with fantastic menus and much shorter wait times. Here are just a few theater district restaurants to try.
Natsumi is an upscale Japanese-Italian fusion restaurant located right across the street from the Minskoff Theatre and the Circle in the Square Theater on 50th Street. The space is divided into two separate rooms that can be entered either by a central hallway or directly from the street. The restaurant is intimate and quiet while the lounge is lively and a bit wild. While the traditional sushi and sashimi are very tasty, the special rolls make Natsumi shine, blending classic Japanese style with a few deft Italian touches. For example, the Natsumi Roll has tuna, spicy tuna and avocado, but also adds some sliced apple and basil for a unique flavor. The Fortissimo Roll has seared salmon along with avocado and peperoncini. For appetizers, try the steamed king crab dumplings. For dessert, try the green-tea and red-bean tartufo (again, a nice mix of Europe and Asia). And be sure to try something from the bar—the ginger cosmo is spicy and sweet all at once.
On 44th Street, Saju Bistro specializes in French Provencal cuisine, although there are several Italian items on the menu as well. For an appetizer, try the tangy salmon tartar or the escargot in puff pastry. Shellfish fans will be in heaven: The restaurant has oysters on the half shell for appetizers and Moules marinières or Provençales for a main course. (Top Tip: If the beef pappardelle is on the menu, grab it. It’s rich, decadent and delicious.)
|Newsies, with songs by Alan Menken and Jack Feldman, is one of the hottest tickets in town.|
Close to the Broadway Theater (where Sister Act is currently playing) and the David Letterman show, Maison is a 24-hour French bistro (specializing in the cuisine of Brittany) with a large outdoor space—perfect for spring and summer evenings before or after the theater. Shellfish also takes center stage here, with oysters, mussels, shrimp and lobster tails all available in a variety of styles. (The Moules Dijonnaise are reportedly a favorite.) We recommend some of the savory crepes, however, like the duck confit or the ratatouille and goat cheese. For dessert, try the beignets au cafe or the profiteroles, or one of the sweeter crepes.
Where to Stay
While there are many hotels in the theater district—and many other lovely properties a quick cab ride away—we recommend the new InterContinental New York Times Square on 44th Street and Eighth Avenue, just steps away from many of the theaters.
For families or groups, the three one-bedroom Manhattan Suites can be adjusted into two bedrooms, and the three-bedroom duplex Penthouse Suites into four bedrooms to accommodate large groups. The Penthouse Suite offers private butler service, and has fireplaces in both the living room and the bedroom. The Manhattan Suites have a dining area that seats up to eight guests for formal or casual in-suite meals—great for multigen family gatherings. As the rooms all have floor-to-ceiling windows, make sure you know what kind of view your clients will want.
For meals, the hotel has the Ça Va brasserie, courtesy of Chef Todd English, open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The restaurant serves traditional brasserie fare as well as contemporary interpretations of the classics. The “Taste of Ça Va” menu is three courses of seasonal dishes such as the winter vegetable salad, loup de mer rôti, and cranberry almond bread pudding. Cool Touch: The menu changes each month, so the ingredients are always in season.
Chef Concierge Adrian Proietti ([email protected]; 212-894-4940) can arrange just about any New York experience your clients need, but since the hotel is so close to the theaters, we recommend asking for behind-the-scenes access to shows like Wicked and Jersey Boys. For shopping excursions to Fifth and Madison Avenues (or uber-trendy SoHo, Proietti can arrange transportation to and from the stores or arrange private shoppers to take guests all around the city. Bonus: Many high-end stores in the city will messenger over guests’ bags to the hotel for “home” delivery.
Luxury travel advisors should reach out to International Sales Director Martha Palacios ([email protected]; 212-803-4580) with any questions.