See these revivals on Broadway and off Broadway right now
We love new plays and musicals — there’s nothing like being among the first people to see a classic in the making. But what about the existing classics? They’re classics for a reason, and there are always plenty popping up in New York. Play and musical revivals are just as exciting as new shows — and seeing a revival can offer a new experience whether you saw the original or not.
Whether you’re seeking nostalgia or a fresh take on a classic show, revivals are just the ticket. Check out the major revivals on Broadway and off Broadway right now below. You’ve got a second (or third, or fourth) chance to catch these shows if you couldn’t before, so don’t let it pass you by!
Phone rings, door chimes, in comes Company — again! Company is currently paying Broadway its fourth visit. In director Marianne Elliott’s new production, which transferred from London’s West End, the lead bachelor, Bobby, is now a perpetual bachelorette named Bobbie. A few other character swaps are made, too — but don’t worry, all the classic Stephen Sondheim songs remain, like “Not Getting Married Today,” “The Ladies Who Lunch,” and “Being Alive.”
Company premiered on Broadway in 1970 with a formidable team. Besides the legendary Sondheim and Tony Award-winning librettist George Furth, the show was directed by the iconic Hal Prince and choreographed by Michael Bennett, of A Chorus Line fame. No wonder Company won Best Musical in 1971 (and five other Tonys to boot). The first Broadway revival was in 1995 and the second in 2006. The Tony-winning 2006 production was unique because the actors played their own instruments! You won’t see that this time around, but you will see Katrina Lenk and Patti LuPone, and we’ll drink to that.
The Music Man
The Broadway train is rolling into River City for the fourth time. The Music Man premiered on Broadway in 1957 to critical acclaim and all the fanfare of 76 trombones. The show even beat out West Side Story for Best Musical that year! It was only a matter of time before a revival happened — in 1965, New York City Center hosted a two-week Off-Broadway revival followed by a three-week Broadway revival in 1980.
The year 2000 was the last time Broadway saw Professor Harold Hill, Marian Paroo, and the River City townspeople until now — Tony winner Susan Stroman directed and choreographed. Twenty-two years after that, and 45 years after its original premiere, the newest Hugh Jackman and Sutton Foster-led revival proves that The Music Man still hits all the right notes.
Little Shop of Horrors
Seymour and Audrey may want to get out of Skid Row, but New York audiences can’t get enough of Skid Row and the bloodthirsty plant inside its humble flower shop. This new revival is in the cozy Westside Theatre off Broadway, and that environment is where Little Shop thrives. The show first took root off-off Broadway in 1982 and moved off Broadway later that year. That production at the Orpheum Theatre won multiple awards and, by the end of its three-year run, was the highest-grossing Off-Broadway show in history at the time.
Little Shop of Horrors had one Broadway run in 2003, which received a Tony nomination but closed after just under a year. People felt that the show was most successful in small venues — the musical is called Little Shop of Horrors, after all! That theory has proved true with the current revival, which has been acclaimed as much for the lead actors’ performances (Conrad Ricamora, Tammy Blanchard, and Christian Borle currently star) as for its intimate nature. Let’s just say that if you’re in the front row, you’ll get up close and personal with Audrey II. Watch the snapping jaws!
A production of Neil Simon’s Plaza Suite hasn’t checked into a Broadway theatre since 1968, when the show premiered. Of its three Tony nominations including Best Play, the production won one: Best Direction of a Play for Mike Nichols. The show was met with mostly positive reviews — plus a little snark from a fellow playwright, Noël Coward. He wrote A Suite in Three Keys, a trio of one-acts all set in the same Swiss hotel, and is quoted as saying of Plaza Suite, “Such a good idea having different plays all played in a hotel suite! I wonder where Neil Simon got it from?”
Nonetheless, both playwrights and their shows enjoyed plenty of success. It’s Simon’s play, however, that’s being revived this season, with real-life celeb couple Matthew Broderick and Sarah Jessica Parker as three couples who occupy the Plaza Hotel’s Suite 719 at various times. Maybe another revival will have an extended stay at the Neil Simon Theatre someday!
Chicago almost doesn’t feel like a revival — since this production has been on Broadway for 25 years and counting. It’s the only Chicago many theatregoers know and has established its own historic legacy, setting plenty of Broadway records. But this production marks Chicago‘s second time bringing all that jazz to Broadway. The musical first took the Broadway stage in 1975. That production was a success in its own right, playing for nearly 1,000 performances, immortalizing Bob Fosse’s signature style, and putting Gwen Verdon and Chita Rivera in the spotlight.
Then, in 1996, Chicago was granted a short Off-Broadway revival as part of New York City Center’s Encores! series. Ann Reinking rejigged Fosse’s choreography and starred as Roxie, playing opposite Bebe Neuwirth as Velma Kelly. The rest is history, as plenty of stars have put on their garters in the musical’s leading roles. And while the original Broadway production walked away from the Tonys empty-handed, the revival razzle-dazzled the Tony voters and won six trophies, including Best Revival of a Musical.
Take Me Out
Take yourself out to the ballgame (again)! Richard Greenberg’s play about a Major League Baseball player who comes out as gay was groundbreaking upon its Off-Broadway premiere in 2002. No real-life MLB player had ever done so at the time, and the play was Greenberg’s imagining of what might happen — namely, the kinds of backlash he’d receive — if someone did.
When the show transferred to Broadway in 2003, Take Me Out ran for 355 performances and won the 2003 Tony Award for Best Play. Now, Take Me Out is sliding into its new home base at the Hayes Theater for its first-ever Broadway revival. There’s an all-star roster of cast members, too, with Grey’s Anatomy star Jesse Williams, Modern Family star Jesse Tyler Ferguson, and Patrick J. Adams in leading roles.
American Buffalo was one of three Off-Broadway plays — alongside The Duck Variations and Sexual Perversity in Chicago — that first put future Pulitzer Prize winner David Mamet’s name on the map in the 1970s. Of the three, though, American Buffalo, about three greedy junk-shop workers who scheme to get back a buffalo nickel they undersold, went on to the most Broadway success. Since Mamet made his Broadway debut with the show in 1977, it’s been revived three times.
Those revivals have attracted some major stars. Al Pacino starred in the 1983 revival, and the short-lived 2008 Broadway revival (it closed after eight performances) starred Cedric the Entertainer, Haley Joel Osment, and John Leguizamo. The 2022 revival is no different: Tony and Emmy winner Laurence Fishburne, Oscar and Golden Globe winner Sam Rockwell, and Emmy and Golden Globe winner Darren Criss unite as the trio of hustlers.
New York audiences haven’t been able to take their eyes off Jersey Boys since 2005. The musical first ran on Broadway for 12 years, picking up four Tony Awards including Best Musical! But the Four Seasons couldn’t stay in the August Wilson Theatre forever, and they had to pack up their instruments in 2017.
But it didn’t stay that way for long. Months after closing, Jersey Boys announced that it had found a new home, off Broadway this time. In November 2017, Jersey Boys reopened at New World Stages, mere blocks away from its former venue, and has played there ever since. Walk like a man to the theatre and check it out! Oh, what a night you’ll have.
Funny Girl made Barbra Streisand the greatest star back in 1964. Although she’d been on Broadway before, her leading turn as Fanny Brice (in both the musical and the film adaptation) made her a household name. Unfortunately, the musical faced tough competition at the Tony Awards, coming home empty-handed because Carol Channing and Hello, Dolly! swept the categories. But Funny Girl didn’t fade into obscurity, thanks in large part to Streisand and the iconic tune “Don’t Rain on My Parade.” Oh, and because the cast album was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame!
However, the musical has never gotten a Broadway revival and now it’s Fanny Brice’s turn to shine again. The first Broadway revival of Funny Girl stars Beanie Feldstein as Fanny, with Ramin Karimloo as Nicky Arnstein and Jane Lynch as Mrs. Rosie Brice. If you couldn’t catch Funny Girl the first time around, now’s your chance to hear the music that makes you dance, live!