Theater’s Most Anticipated, Star-Studded Shows of the Fall Season

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Theater’s Most Anticipated, Star-Studded Shows of the Fall Season

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The Parisian Woman
Opens 11/30; previews start 11/7
Hudson Theatre

A new play written by House of Cards creator Beau Willimon, The Parisian Woman tells the story of Chloe (Uma Thurman), a Washington, D.C., socialite coming to terms with her politics, her past and her marriage in the wake of the 2016 election. “The play is about Chloe’s self-reckoning,” Willimon said in a statement, adding that he reworked the show significantly after Donald Trump was elected president. It marks the second new Broadway show, following Michael Moore’s The Terms of My Surrender, to deal with the nation’s real-life political turmoil. The Parisian Woman also features Josh Lucas, Orange Is the New Black’s Blair Brown and Hamilton breakout Phillipa Soo.

Once on This Island
Opens 12/3; previews start 11/9
Circle in the Square Theatre

The Tony-winning musical about life in a small island village where, in the aftermath of a great storm, new life begins, returns to Broadway in a revival directed by Michael Arden. Perhaps the most diverse new show this season, the musical stars acclaimed Broadway actress (and Disney Princess) Lea Salonga, Merle Dandridge of Greenleaf, and Glee breakout Alex Newell as three of the gods, as well as Hamilton’s Alysha Deslorieux. “In casting the gods that inhabit our island, it became imperative for me to break expectations and stretch beyond the bounds in which gods are traditionally represented,” Arden said. “It felt important that young people watching our production see themselves reflected back from the stage at them. The gods are simply that: gods. They are not bound by gender, race, sexuality or being human at all.”

Spongebob Squarepants
Opens 12/4; previews start 11/6
Palace Theatre

Adapted from the hit animated Nickelodeon series, Spongebob Squarepants promises to be a one-of-a-kind musical event with original songs by Yolanda Adams, Steven Tyler and Joe Perry of Aerosmith, Sara Bareilles, Jonathan Coulton, Alexander Ebert of Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, The Flaming Lips, Lady Antebellum, Cyndi Lauper, John Legend, Panic! At the Disco, Plain White T’s, They Might Be Giants and T.I., and even a song by David Bowie.

A Christmas Story
Premieres 12/17
FOX

OK, this is not a Broadway show — or even an Off-Broadway production — but FOX is following the success of Grease: Live with a live television production of A Christmas Story based on Benj Pasek and Justin Paul’s Tony-nominated Broadway musical. The award-winning duo (La La Land, Dear Evan Hansen) will compose new songs for the show. Maya Rudolph will lead the cast as the mother of 9-year-old Ralphie Parker and Matthew Broderick will narrate as a grown-up Ralphie; the rest of the cast has yet to be announced.  

John Lithgow: Stories by Heart
Opens 1/11/18; previews start 12/21
American Airlines Theatre

Closing out the year is John Lithgow’s return to the Broadway stage in an intimate evening of storytelling with a solo onstage performance in Stories by Heart. The longtime actor has been enjoying a late-career resurgence with an award-winning portrayal of Winston Churchill on The Crown, as well as notable roles in Love Is Strange and Beatriz at Dinner. He’ll next be seen in Daddy’s Home 2 and Pitch Perfect 3.

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