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Darren Criss
Photograph: Courtesy Elsie Fest

Darren Criss returns on Broadway in a new musical rom com

Set in Seoul, 'Maybe Happy Ending' will open in October.

Anna Rahmanan
Written by
Anna Rahmanan

Moving away from the stage adaptations and revivals that seem to have dominated Broadway throughout the past few years, Maybe Happy Ending is a new musical romantic comedy starring Ryan Murphy darling Darren Criss alongside Helen J. Shen, who will make her Broadway debut.

Maybe Happy Ending is set to begin previews at the Belasco Theatre at 111 West 44th Street near Sixth Avenue on September 18 and officially open on October 17. No announcement has yet been made regarding ticket sales. 

Based in Seoul, the show was actually written in both Korean and English. The former version, which debuted back in 2016 at the DaeMyung Culture Factory in Seoul, won six Korean Musical Awards, including one for Best Musical. The English iteration of the production premiered in Atlanta during the 2019-2020 season but had yet to reach New York audiences.

Throughout all previous runs, Maybe Happy Ending was praised for its off-kilter yet fascinating plot.

In the show, Criss plays Oliver, a HelperBot 3, “a robot that has long been retired and considered obsolete,” according to an official synopsis. Living a happy, quiet life in his one-room apartment in Seoul, Oliver eventually mets his fellow HelperBot neighbor Claire (Shen) and the two embark on “a unique friendship, a surprising adventure, and maybe”

“I am so very happy to be joining the enchanting world of Maybe Happy Ending,” Criss said in an official statement. “I can’t wait for audiences to take part in this wonderfully original theatrical experience, and behold a story from a future that explores one of the most ancient questions of humanity- why love?”

American composer Will Aronson worked on the music for the show, with lyrics by Hue Park and a book by the both of them together. Tony Award winner Michael Arden of Parade and Once on this Island fame will direct the show, which will also feature The Voice's Dez Duron's Broadway debut. 

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