The new year promises to bring a diverse and exciting array of theater. Below are 15 highlights, almost all of which will begin performances on and off Broadway before the end of March.
‘Merrily We Roll Along’
Stephen Sondheim’s much beloved 1981 musical flop (which moves backward in time to explore how friendship and personal goals can fall apart) will receive an Off-Broadway revival by the tightly-knit Fiasco Theater ensemble (which successfully reconceived and scaled-down Sondheim’s “Into the Woods”) under the aegis of the Roundabout Theatre Company. Previews begin Jan. 12 at the Laura Pels Theatre. 111 W. 46th St., roundabouttheatre.org.
Elevator Repair Service, the experimental theater troupe best known for devising theater from the texts of famous novels, will remount “Gatz,” its eight-and-a-half-hour, word-for-word dramatization of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby,” which played the Public Theater to great acclaim in 2010. Performances begin Jan. 23 at NYU Skirball, 566 LaGuardia Place, nyuskirball.org.
‘Freestyle Love Supreme’
The hip-hop comedy group (co-founded by “Hamilton” star Lin-Manuel Miranda and known for improvising freestyle raps based on audience suggestions) will play a multiweek Off-Broadway engagement in the West Village. Miranda may show up at select performances as a special guest. Previews begin Jan. 30 at the Greenwich House Theater, 27 Barrow St., freestylelovesupreme.com.
‘Be More Chill’
A sci-fi teen musical comedy with an unusually devoted fan following on social media (think “Dear Evan Hansen” meets “Little Shop of Horrors”), “Be More Chill” (based on Ned Vizzini’s 2004 novel, with a pop-rock score by Joe Iconis) comes to Broadway following a sold-out Off-Broadway run last summer. Previews begin Feb. 13 at the Lyceum Theatre, 149 W. 45th St., bemorechillmusical.com.
‘Kiss Me, Kate’
Kelli O’Hara (“The King and I”), Will Chase (“The Mystery of Edwin Drood”) and Corbin Bleu (“High School Musical”) lead a revival of Cole Porter’s classic 1948 musical comedy, which is loosely based on Shakespeare’s “The Taming of the Shrew.” Previews begin Feb. 14 at Studio 54, 254 W. 54th St., roundabouttheatre.org.
Glenda Jackson (who just won a Tony Award for her performance in Edward Albee’s “Three Tall Women”) will play the title role in a new production of Shakespeare’s masterful tragedy, with direction by Sam Gold (“Fun Home”) and an original score by Philip Glass. Jackson will be joined by Ruth Wilson (“The Affair”), Elizabeth Marvel (“Homeland”), Jayne Houdyshell (“The Humans”) and John Douglas Thompson (“Carousel”). Previews begin Feb. 28 at the Cort Theatre, 138 W. 48th St., kinglearonbroadway.com.
‘Ain’t Too Proud — The Life and Times of The Temptations’
The Temptations (who were briefly touched upon in the Broadway musical “Motown”) get their own jukebox-bio musical, directed by Des McAnuff, whose prior work in the genre includes the megahit “Jersey Boys” and the less successful “Summer: The Donna Summer Musical.” Previews begin Feb. 28 at the Imperial Theatre, 249 W. 45th St., ainttooproudmusical.com
‘Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus’
Shakespeare’s early, ultra-gory tragedy will receive an unlikely comedic sequel by performance artist Taylor Mac (“A 24-Decade History of Popular Music”) starring Nathan Lane and Andrea Martin (“Pippin”) as two lowly servants charged with cleaning up the dead bodies that litter the stage. Previews begin March 5 at the Booth Theatre, 222 W. 45th St., garyonbroadway.com.
‘Hillary and Clinton’
Hillary Clinton (Laurie Metcalf), Bill Clinton (John Lithgow), Barack Obama (Peter Francis James) and Mark Penn (Zak Orth) will be characters in Lucas Hnath’s (“A Doll’s House, Part 2”) new play that takes place during Hillary Clinton’s unsuccessful 2008 presidential campaign. Performances begin on March 16 at the Golden Theatre, 252 W. 45th St., hillaryandclintonbroadway.com.
After premiering at Bard College and recently playing St. Ann’s Warehouse in DUMBO, Daniel Fish’s stripped-down, rough-edged, intimate revamp of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s 1943 musical theater classic is transferring to Broadway. Chili and cornbread is served at intermission. Previews begin March 19 at Circle in the Square Theatre, 1633 Broadway, oklahomabroadway.com.
‘The Lehman Trilogy’
A three-part financial drama tracing the original Lehman brothers and their lineage from the 19th century to the 2008 financial crisis, Sam Mendes’ London production (starring Simon Russell Beale, Adam Godley and Ben Miles) will play the expansive drill hall of the Park Avenue Armory on the Upper East Side in March. Performances begin March 22 at the Park Avenue Armory. 643 Park Ave., armoryonpark.org.
After playing Off-Broadway, Edmonton, Canada, and London, singer-songwriter Anaïs Mitchell’s folk-jazz-pop musical, “Hadestown” (which originated as a concept album and is based on the tragic Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice), will finally arrive on Broadway. Previews begin March 22 at the Walter Kerr Theatre, 219 W. 48th St., hadestown.com.
Tim Burton’s 1988 film comedy promises to be even “ruder, raunchier and frankly more repellent” as a Broadway musical, with direction by Alex Timbers and a score by Australian singer-songwriter Eddie Perfect. The cast includes Alex Brightman (“School of Rock”) as Beetlejuice and Sophia Anne Caruso (“Lazarus”) as Lydia. Previews begin March 28 at the Winter Garden Theatre, 1634 Broadway, beetlejuicemusical.com.
Santino Fontana (“Crazy Ex-Girlfriend,” “Cinderella”) will take on the roles of Michael Dorsey/Dorothy Michaels (made famous by Dustin Hoffman) in a new Broadway musical adaptation of the 1982 film comedy about an out-of-work actor who takes on a new persona. Previews begin March 29 at the Marquis Theatre, 210 W. 46th St., tootsiemusical.com.
‘Moulin Rouge! The Musical’
Baz Luhrmann’s epic and wild 2001 film musical will come to Broadway with a score similar to the film (containing a wide variety of pop songs from recent decades), direction by Alex Timbers (“Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson”) and a cast that includes Karen Olivo (“West Side Story”), Danny Burstein (“Fiddler on the Roof”) and Aaron Tveit (“Next to Normal”). Previews begin June 28 at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre, 302 W. 45th St., moulinrougemusical.com.