The new fall season on Broadway is kicking into gear, with a diverse assortment of 10 plays and musicals that include a musical comedy about the inventor of the printing press with the original stars of “The Book of Mormon,” the Broadway debuts of two noteworthy Black playwrights, and the first Broadway revival of a treasured Sondheim musical.
Purlie Victorious: A Non-Confederate Romp Through the Cotton Patch: Ossie Davis’ 1961 play about a Black preacher who sets out to rescue the church of a small Georgia community (which was later remade into the musical “Purlie”), is receiving its first major New York revival starring Tony Award winner Leslie Odom Jr. (“Hamilton”) as Purlie. Now in previews at the Music Box Theatre, purlievictorious.com.
Jaja’s African Hair Braiding: Ghanaian-American playwright Jocelyn Bioh, who is best-known for the comedy “School Girls: Or, The African Mean Girls Play” and her Shakespeare in the Park adaptation of “The Merry Wives of Windsor,” makes her Broadway debut with a new play about a group of West African immigrant hair braiders in Harlem. Begins previews on Sept. 12 at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre, manhattantheatreclub.com.
Melissa Etheridge: My Window: Following an Off-Broadway run last year, the singer-songwriter is bringing back her autobiographical solo show, in which she performs her music and shares stories of her childhood in Kansas and rock career. Begins previews on Sept. 14 at Circle in the Square Theatre, melissaetheridge.com.
Gutenberg! The Musical!: Andrew Rannells and Josh Gad, who famously originated the roles of Elder Price and Elder Cunningham in “The Book of Mormon” respectively, reunite in a bizarre two-hander in which two clueless writers pitch a musical about Johannes Gutenberg to investors by trying to perform the entire show themselves. Begins previews on Sept. 15 at the Cort Theatre, gutenbergbway.com.
Merrily We Roll Along: Stephen Sondheim and George Furth’s bittersweet 1981 musical, which famously moves backwards in time to show the disintegration of a three-way friendship over 20 years, returns to Broadway for the first time (following an Off-Broadway run last season) with Jonathan Groff, Daniel Radcliffe, and Lindsay Mendez. While the original production was a massive flop, “Merrily” has since become beloved for its exquisite score and intricate storytelling. Begins previews on Sept. 19 at the Hudson Theatre, merrilyonbroadway.com.
I Need That: Danny DeVito, who gave a terrific performance in the 2017 Broadway revival of Arthur Miller’s “The Price,” joins his daughter, Lucy DeVito, in the world premiere of Theresa Rebeck’s comedy about a recluse who must clean up his home or face eviction. Begins previews on Oct. 13 at the American Airlines Theatre, roundabouttheatre.org.
Harmony: After a quarter century of ongoing development, Barry Manilow and Bruce Sussman’s bio musical about the Comedian Harmonists (an all-male German musical group made up of three Jews and three gentiles that enjoyed international fame up until Hitler’s rise to power), has finally made it to Broadway. Begins previews on Oct. 18, harmonanewmusical.com.
Spamalot: The Tony Award-winning 2005 Broadway musical comedy based on “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” returns with a game cast that includes Christopher Fitzgerald (“Waitress”), James Monroe Iglehart (“Aladdin”), Leslie Rodriguez Kritzer (“Beetlejuice”), Ethan Slater (“SpongeBob SquarePants”), and Michael Urie (“Torch Song”). Begins previews on Oct. 31 at the St. James Theatre, spamalotthemusical.com.
How to Dance in Ohio: Based on a 2015 HBO documentary, this new musical follows autistic teens from Columbus, Ohio as they prepare for a spring dance. The legendary director and producer Hal Prince, who died in 2019, was involved in its early development. Begins previews on Nov. 15 at the Belasco Theatre, howtodanceinohiomusical.com.
Appropriate: Sarah Paulson, who has not appeared on the New York stage for a decade, leads Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’ (“Gloria,” “An Octoroon”) drama about a woman who uncovers family secrets when she returns home to deal with the remains of her late father’s estate. Begins previews on Nov. 28 at the Hayes Theater, 2st.com.