amBroadway | Tony Awards set for September, ‘Waitress’ may return to Broadway and more

WAITRESS MCPHEE0407_Credit_ Matt Murphy
Photo: Matt Murphy

Tony Awards set for September

Following months of confusion and delay, the 2020 Tony Awards will finally be presented on Sunday, Sept. 26 in a four-hour presentation (split between CBS and the streaming service Paramount+) that combines the awards with a splashy concert (“The Tony Awards Present: Broadway’s Back!”) that is primarily intended to publicize the return of Broadway. In fact, only three awards (Best Musical, Best Play, Best Play Revival) will air on CBS. The Tony Award nominations for the abbreviated 2019-2020 season were announced back in October. Needless to say, the return of Broadway following the shutdown is a lot more newsworthy than whether “Jagged Little Pill” wins an award over “Moulin Rouge!”

‘Pass Over’ to begin previews in Aug.

At first, it looked as if the first shows back on Broadway would be “Hamilton,” “Wicked,” “The Lion King” and “Chicago” on Sept. 14. Then, “Hadestown” announced that it would restart on Sept. 2. Now word comes that Danya Taymor’s new drama “Pass Over” will begin previews at Broadway’s August Wilson Theatre on Aug. 4, which will make it the first show to return to Broadway following the shutdown – assuming nothing else beats it to the punch. Inspired by Exodus and “Waiting for Godot,” “Pass Over” (which was filmed by Spike Lee in Chicago, prior to its Off-Broadway premiere) depicts two men on a city street corner who pass the time as they wait for change for the better.  

‘Waitress’ may return to Broadway

Is the musical “Waitress,” which ended a three-and-a-half-year run on Broadway right before the pandemic occurred, looking to return? No official announcement has been made. But the show’s website contains the following message: “The diner is currently closed. We can’t wait to welcome you again when Broadway reopens. We hope to see you this fall!” In spite of opening in the shadow of “Hamilton,” “Waitress” (based on the 2007 film, with a score by Sara Bareilles) managed to hold its own by appealing to a largely female audience and incorporating exciting cast changes including Bareilles (who took over the lead role of Jenna three times), Katharine McPhee, Shoshana Bean, Jenna Ushkowitz, Joey McIntyre, Al Roker and June Squibb.

Ann Dowd to star in one-woman ‘Enemy of the People’

Ann Dowd, who plays the terrifying Aunt Lydia on the Hulu series “The Handmaid’s Tale,” will star in a one-woman adaptation of Henrik Ibsen’s vigorous 1882 drama “An Enemy of the People” at the Park Avenue Armory from June 22 to July 25 as part of its Social Distance Hall series of socially-distanced live indoor performances. In the play, a small community is manipulated into leasing out against a lone critical voice (who wishes to tell the truth that the town’s lucrative baths are polluted and causing illness) like a rampaging mob. 

Jordan Fisher to return as Evan Hansen

While performing with the cast of “Dear Evan Hansen” on “Good Morning America” this week, Jordan Fisher (who was playing Evan Hansen at the time of the shutdown) confirmed that he will return to the role when the Tony-winning musical returns to Broadway on Dec. 11. Fisher, who won the 25th season of “Dancing with the Stars,” previously appeared on Broadway in “Hamilton” and played Mark in “Rent: Live.” Meanwhile, the film version of “Dear Evan Hansen” starring Ben Platt premieres on Sept. 24.