amBroadway | ‘Water for Elephants’ musical coming to Broadway, ‘Waitress’ live-capture screening this winter and more

Waitress By Joan Marcus – Charity Angél Dawson, Sara Bareilles, Caitlin Houlahan
Charity Angél Dawson, Sara Bareilles, Caitlin Houlahan in “Waitress”
Photo: Joan Marcus

‘Water for Elephants’ musical confirmed for Broadway

“Water for Elephants,” a new musical based on Sara Gruen’s 2006 novel about a veterinary student who jumps a train and joins a traveling circus, will open on Broadway at the Imperial Theatre in the spring, with preview performances beginning Feb. 24. The musical, which had its world premiere over the summer at the Alliance Theatre in Atlanta, promises to have innovative stagecraft, puppeteers and circus artists. A 2011 film version of the novel featured Reese Witherspoon, Robert Pattinson, and Christoph Waltz.

Bean and Dixon will lead Alicia Keys musical

Shoshana Bean (“Mr. Saturday Night,” “Wicked”) and Brandon Victor Dixon (“Shuffle Along,” “The Color Purple”) will lead the cast of “Hell’s Kitchen,” a new coming-of-age musical with music and lyrics by Alicia Keys, which will receive its world premiere at the Public Theater beginning Oct. 24. It was also announced that Adam Blackstone has joined the creative team as a music supervisor. In a statement about Blackstone, Keys said that “everything from the Grammys to the Super Bowl has been transformed by his Midas touch and now the musical theater world will be as well.” The score will include both new music and previously recorded songs.  

Rachel McAdams making Broadway debut in ‘Mary Jane’

Rachel McAdams will make her Broadway debut in the spring in Amy Herzog’s drama “Mary Jane,” which will be produced by Manhattan Theatre Club at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre, with previews beginning on April 2. The play, which was staged Off-Broadway in 2017, follows a single mother caring for her chronically sick child. Coincidentally, McAdams co-starred in the 2004 film version of “The Notebook,” which will be coming to Broadway this spring as a musical.

Parsons, Keenan-Bolger, and Lange make a family in ‘Mother Play’

Jim Parsons and Celia Keenan-Bolger will play the children of Jessica Lange in the world premiere of Paula Vogel’s comedic drama “Mother Play,” which will begin previews at the Hayes Theater on Broadway on April 2. Lange will play Phyllis, a matriarch who has firm ideas about what her children will need to do in order to succeed in life. Last season, Parsons appeared in an acclaimed Off-Broadway revival of the musical “A Man of No Importance.” Keenan-Bolger received a 2019 Tony Award for her performance as Scout in “To Kill a Mockingbird.” Lange last appeared on Broadway in a 2016 revival of the classic drama “Long Day’s Journey Into Night.”

‘Waitress’ live-capture to be screened in December

A live-capture film recording of the Broadway musical “Waitress,” shot in 2021 with Sara Bareilles (who wrote the songs) playing pregnant pie maker Jenna, will be released in movie theaters on Dec. 7 following its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival. “Waitress,” which opened on Broadway the same season as “Hamilton,” went on to play more than 1,500 performances, with Jenna being played by Jessie Mueller, Bareilles, Shoshana Bean, Katharine McPhee, and Jordin Sparks.