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A Strange Loop at the Woolly Mammoth
Photograph: Courtesy Marc J. FranklinA Strange Loop

The best spring shows to see on Broadway in 2022

Our Broadway spring preview of all the new musicals, plays and revivals that are coming to the Great White Way in 2022

Adam Feldman
Written by
Adam Feldman
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The theater season always heats up in the spring, as many of the best Broadway shows jockey to open in time to be considered for Tony Awards. Between now and the end of April, 18 productions are scheduled to open on the Great White Way, including multiple shows that had originally been scheduled to open in 2020 and as well as a couple of transfers from recent Off Broadway runs. Along with new plays and musicals, the 2022 spring crop on Broadway features many revivals—including works by Wiliam Shakespeare, Thornton Wilder, David Mamet and Ntozake Shange—and stars including Hugh Jackman, Daniel Craig, Billy Crystal, Phylicia Rashad, Beanie Feldstein, Jesse Tyler Ferguson and a double Parker of Sarah Jessica and Mary-Louise. Here, divided into categories, is a spring preview of the productions that are currently set to open on Broadway this season.

RECOMMENDED: Complete A–Z listings of Broadway shows in NYC

NEW MUSICALS

  • Theater
  • Musicals
  • Midtown West

What it is: This biomusical looks at Michael Jackson in the early 1990s, when he was on his Dangerous world tour. Created with the cooperation of the singer's estate, the show features hits by the King of Pop's catalog and a book by Lynn Nottage.
Why to go: The songs are classics, but will audiences embrace a story about an artist whose image has been so tarnished by dark accusations? Nottage's involvement raises the possibility that this portrait will include some shadows.

  • Theater
  • Musicals
  • Midtown West

What it is: Ragtime megaproducer Garth Drabinsky returns to Broadway after two decades with an original musical set among the intermingling Black and Irish communities of the Lower East Side during the Civil War.
Why to go: Moisés Kaufman directs this ambitious undertaking, which features choreography by the great Bill T. Jones and a book and score credited to four writers apiece.

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  • Theater
  • Drama
  • Midtown West

What it is: Antoine de Saint-Exupéry's cosmically whimsical 1942 parable about a young intergalactic traveler lands on Broadway in an international production directed and choreographed by Anne Tournié.
Why to go:
In this otherworldly story, expect to escape into an elaborate spectacle with aerial acrobatics and plenty of trippy video effects.

  • Theater
  • Musicals
  • Midtown West

What it is: National comedy treasure Billy Crystal reprises his role as a washed-up septuagenarian comic named Buddy Young Jr. in this musical adaptation of his 1992 film. 
Why to go: 
Adapted by Crystal and his original screenwriting partners, the show includes a full original score by Jason Robert Brown and Amanda Green—and David Paymer is back to re-create his Oscar-nominated turn as Buddy's brother.

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  • Theater
  • Musicals
  • Midtown West

Musical-theater auteur Michael R. Jackson turns himself inside out in this painfully funny and explosively honest metamusical about queer black identity, which won the 2020 Pulitzer Prize and the New York Drama Critics' Circle Award in the wake of its premiere run at Playwrights Horizons. The Broadway transfer, once again directed by Stephen Brackett and choreographed by Raja Feather Kelly, features most of the original Off Broadway cast, led now by Jaquel Spivey in the incredibly demanding central role of Usher.

MUSICAL REVIVALS

  • Theater
  • Musicals
  • Midtown West

What it is: Hugh Jackman and Sutton Foster return to Broadway in a revival of Meredith Willson's beloved 1957 musical about a wily con man who stirs up "Trouble" in small-town Iowa but meets his match at the library.
Why to go: First-class stars and a first-class supporting cast in a first-class musical in a first-class production that reassembles nearly the entire creative team of the Bette Midler Hello, Dolly!, including director Jerry Zaks. This one sells itself.

  • Theater
  • Musicals
  • Midtown West

What it is: Beanie Feldstein (Lady Bird) headlines the very first Broadway revival of the musical biography of stage and radio personality Fanny Brice that launched Barbra Streisand to superstardom in 1964. 
Why to go: Many stars have been floated for potential revivals in the past, but Streisand's roller skates have proved hard to fill. Feldstein seems a promising choice: She's on the cusp of a major career, she can really sing, and most important, she's funny—actively, distinctively funny.

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  • Theater
  • Musicals
  • Midtown West

What it is: Tim Burton's well-loved 1988 dark comedy, about a chaotic demon hired by a kindly dead couple to rid their old home of its pesky live inhabitants, returns to haunt Broadway.
Why to go: This 2019 show became a word-of-mouth hit before getting exorcised from its theater on a technicality, so more people now can bask in its brand of spectacular weirdness.

 

 

NEW PLAYS

  • Theater
  • Drama
  • Midtown West

What it is: Four workers at a dying Detroit auto-parts plant are torn between strategies for survival in Dominique Morisseau's meaty drama. 
Why to go: Five years after earning critical plaudits in its Off Broadway debut at the Atlantic, 
Skeleton Crew makes the leap to Broadway in a production that stars Broadway royalty Phylicia Rashad.

  • Theater
  • Drama
  • Midtown West

What it is: Tracy Letts (August: Osage County) is both the writer and star of this short, punchy play about the machinations of a small-town city council. 
Why to go: 
Anna D. Shapiro’s acclaimed 2017 Steppenwolf production makes its long-delayed move to Broadway with a promising cast that includes Jessie Mueller, Blair Brown, Austin Pendleton and Schitt’s Creek charmer Noah Reid. 

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  • Theater
  • Comedy
  • Midtown West

What it is: Debra Messing headlines a new play by Noah Haidle (Mr. Marmalade) that traces one woman's journey through more than 80 years of birthday cakes. 
Why to go: Messing fans will relish the chance to see her prove that she is more than just Grace
.

PLAY REVIVALS

  • Theater
  • Comedy
  • Midtown West

What it is: Husband-and-wife stars Matthew Broderick and Sarah Jessica Parker play different married couples in each of the three acts of Neil Simon's hit 1968 comedy, in its first Broadway revival.
Why to go: Comedies have been in short supply on Broadway for years, and we all could use some laughs. And playing three different characters should let these familiar actors stretch their wings a bit. 

  • Theater
  • Musicals
  • Midtown West

What it is: In spoken word, movement and song, seven women of color reflect on their experiences through prisms of sex and race.
Why to go: Ntozake Shange's groundbreaking 1976 "choreopoem" has been a major influence on Black theater, and director-choreographer Camille A. Brown earned acclaim for her work in 
the show's soul-stirring 2019 revival at the Public.

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  • Theater
  • Drama
  • Midtown West

What it is: Jesse Tyler Ferguson (Modern Family) and Jesse Williams (Grey's Anatomy) lead the ensemble cast of Richard Greenberg's Tony-winning 2002 drama about a Derek Jeter–esque baseball star who comes out of the closet. 
Why to go: 
The play offers a provocative and insightful look at the intersections of race, sexuality, class and naked guys in showers

  • Theater
  • Drama
  • Midtown West

What it is: David Mamet's 1975 breakthrough play, set in a junk shop, is a blackly comedic psychological thriller about greed and dishonor among thieves. 
Why to go: 
The high-wattage cast of three comprises Sam Rockwell, Laurence Fishburne and Darren Criss, and the Atlantic's Neil Pepe directs the profanity-laced pyrotechnics. 

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  • Theater
  • Drama
  • Midtown West

What it is: Paula Vogel's Pulitzer Prize–winning 1997 memory play, a probing look at child molestation and accelerated sexuality, makes its overdue Broadway debut.
Why to go: 
Manhattan Theatre Club's production reunites the drama's excellent original stars, Mary-Louise Parker and David Morse, with original director Mark Brokaw.

  • Theater
  • Shakespeare
  • Midtown West

What it is: Longtime Bondsman Daniel Craig plays the title role in this limited run of Shakespeare's Scottish play, in which an ambitious nobleman, egged on by witches, murders his way to the crown.
Why to go:
An accomplished stage actor, Craig is joined here by Ruth Negga (of Loving and Passing) as the ruthless Lady M., and reunited with Sam Gold, who directed him in a superb 2016 production of Othello.

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  • Theater
  • Drama
  • Upper West Side

What it is: Lincoln Center Theater mounts a rare revival of Thornton Wilder's rule-shattering, Pulitzer-winning 1942 allegory, which takes a New Jersey family from the Ice Age to the end of the world. 
Why to go: If you only know Wilder from his deceptively homey classic Our Town, prepare for your mind to be blown by this outlandish
 transhistorical epic.

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