Theater Roundup: ‘Tommy’ rolls back to Broadway, Yiddish ‘Fiddler’ and ‘The Office’ parodies closing

Pete Townshend and Des McAnuff at the La Jolla Playhouse benefit concert performance of "The Who's Tommy" (Photo by Rachel Fuller)

‘Tommy’ returning to Broadway

“The Who’s Tommy,” the 1993 stage musical adaptation of the landmark 1969 rock opera, will receive a Broadway revival in 2021 directed by Des McAnuff, who also helmed the original Broadway production. In a statement comparing the show’s title character with Holden Caufield of “The Catcher in the Rye,” McAnuff promised that the revival “will be a reinvention aimed directly at today … The story of ‘Tommy’ exists all too comfortably in the 21st Century. In fact, time may have caught up to Tommy Walker.”

Darren Criss joins ‘American Buffalo’

Former “Glee” star Darren Criss has joined the three-man cast of the Broadway revival of David Mamet’s confrontational 1975 drama “American Buffalo,” which also includes Laurence Fishburne and Sam Rockwell. The production will begin previews on March 24 at Circle in the Square (currently home to the experimental revival of “Oklahoma!”). Criss previously appeared on Broadway in “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying” and “Hedwig and the Angry Inch.”

Yiddish ‘Fiddler’ to close Off-Broadway

(L-R) Raquel Nobile, Rosie Jo Neddy, Rachel Zatcoff, Stephanie Lynne Mason, and Samantha Hahn in the Yiddish production of “Fiddler on the Roof” (Photo by Matthew Murphy)

The National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene’s acclaimed Yiddish-language revival of “Fiddler on the Roof” will play its final performance on Jan. 5. After premiering in July 2018 at the Museum of Jewish Heritage in Battery Park City, the production (which was directed by Joel Grey and provides English and Russian supertitles for the non-Yiddish speaking) transferred to Off-Broadway’s Stage 42 in February. National and international tours are currently in the works.

‘American Utopia’ extends Broadway run

After opening to highly positive reviews earlier this week, the David Byrne mega-concert “American Utopia” has extended its limited Broadway run at the Hudson Theatre from Jan. 19 to Feb. 16. Any further extensions are unlikely since a revival of Neil Simon’s  comedy “Plaza Suite” with Matthew Broderick and Sarah Jessica Parker begins previews at the theater on March 13. An original cast album of “American Utopia” was digitally released by Nonesuch this week, in advance of a CD release on Nov. 22. 

‘The Office’ parody to shutter

So long, Dunder Mifflin. “The Office! A Musical Parody,” which pokes fun at the long-running TV sitcom, will close in January following a 16-month Off-Broadway run. Its writers, Bob and Tobly McSmith, have also penned musical parodies of “Friends,” “Saved By the Bell,” “Full House,” “Showgirls,” “Love Actually” and “Keeping Up with the Kardashians.”

Cromwell and Alexander find ‘Grand Horizons’

Emmy winner James Cromwell (“Babe”) and Tony winner Jane Alexander (“The Great White Hope”) will lead the cast of Bess Wohl’s new family comedy “Grand Horizons,” which will be produced on Broadway by the non-profit Second Stage beginning Dec. 23. They join the previously announced Michael Urie (“Torch Song”), Priscilla Lopez (“A Chorus Line”), Maulik Pancholy (“30 Rock”), Ashley Park (“Mean Girls”) and Thomas Sadoski (“Life in Pieces”).


Alicia Keys at “Beetlejuice” … James Franco and Ben Stiller at “Little Shop of Horrors” … Judy Collins at “Bella Bella” … Liam Neeson at “Nothing Gold Can Stay” … Anna Wintour and John Cameron Mitchell at “American Utopia” … Taylor Schilling and Susan Sarandon at “The Sound Inside.”

Matt Windman