TONY TALK: Jo Bonney

Meet Jo Bonney, the Tony-nominated director of Martyna Majok’s COST OF LIVING.

Last fall’s Manhattan Theatre Club production of Cost of Living may have been director Jo Bonney’s Broadway debut, but she’s been working extensively Off-Broadway and around the country and world since the 1980s. Having worked with dozens of celebrated contemporary playwrights, including everyone from David Rabe to Suzan-Lori Parks, Bonney received particular acclaim for directing the premiere of Lynn Nottage’s By the Way, Meet Vera Stark at Second Stage in 2011. She won OBIE awards in both 1998 and 2019 for her sustained excellence in directing, and also has two Lucille Lortel Award wins and a Drama Desk nomination under her belt. 

Now, after over forty years working in the theatre, she’s a first-time Tony nominee for her work on Cost of Living by Martyna Majok. Three out of the play’s four cast members are also nominated this year for the performances, and the show is nominated for Best Play.

Get to know more about this New York theater stalwart with our TONY TALK Q&A:

Who was the first person to text/call you when you got the nomination?

I didn’t actually register the very first person as I had slept late that morning, so when I turned my phone back on it seemed to explode with dozens of texts, confetti bursts, emojis and general mayhem. I was still 80% asleep and had no clue what I was looking at. It was a sweet moment when I did. My husband was the first to give me a huge hug – he had a tear in his eye. He’s more sentimental than I am.

How did you celebrate your nomination?

I was out of the city and we went for a long hike in the woods that afternoon. It seemed like the perfect way to celebrate.

Show some love to a fellow nominee this year. Whose work blew you away?

I want, desperately, to name my entire cast for Cost of Living because they ‘blew me away’ but maybe that’s a little too in-family so I’m going to say (and I’m being greedy here by naming two actors), Wendell Pierce and Stephen McKinley Henderson. Their body of work over the years is simply inspiring and their particular performances on Broadway this season were a joy to watch.

Top restaurant in the theater district?

I’m not going to pretend that Hurley’s Saloon is the top restaurant in the theater distance but they’re so welcoming to theater people after a show. The Cost of Living group spent a lot of hours in their outside seating area late into the night, alongside many other theater artists relaxing after a show. Sort of like office workers’ 6 o’clock get togethers.

The first Broadway show you ever saw?

Someone invited me to see Phantom of the Opera in 1988. I was immersed in the performance/downtown theater scene, which tended to be more low budget, with a different sensibility, and when I saw Phantom I was like, ‘Whoa – the scale! the effects! the full size orchestra!’ I still have this reaction when I see a huge Broadway Musical – they’re their own glorious over-the-top universe.

When did you decide to become a theater artist?

I think the answer is in the next question…

Joe Papp

To which teacher/mentor/colleague do you most attribute your theatrical success?

Joe Papp. I came out of art school and was working with Eric Bogosian on solo pieces in clubs and performance venues and Joe brought us into The Public Theater in the mid 80’s. I had never thought to name what I was doing, but Joe would sit in the theater and watch us work and one day he took me aside and told me I was a director and encouraged me to commit to that. He and Gail Merrifield (his wife and the director of Play Department) continued to be super supportive of my work as I figured out who I was as a theater artist. 

Do you have any theatre superstitions? What are they?

My superstition is not specific to theater, it’s more a general life superstition. If anyone says to me, “this is going to be a big success,” you know immediately, it’s not.

Next up in Broadway’s Best Shows TONY TALK series are our chats with Director/Choreographer Casey Nicholaw and Costume Designer Emilio Sosa! Stay tuned to the website to see more.


TONY TALK: Andre Bishop

Meet André Bishop, the Producing Artistic Director of Lincoln Center Theater, whose revival of Lerner & Loewe’s CAMELOT is nominated for five Tony Awards including Best Revival of a Musical.

Mr. Bishop previously served as Artistic Director of Playwrights Horizons and as its Literary Manager prior to that, before joining Lincoln Center Theater in 1992. He is responsible for shepherding some of the theater’s classics of the last four decades to the stage, including SUNDAY IN THE PARK WITH GEORGE, THE HEIDI CHRONICLES, DRIVING MISS DAISY, and THE LIGHT IN THE PIAZZA. In addition, he has produced countless acclaimed revivals before this year’s, including SOUTH PACIFIC, FALSETTOS, THE KING & I, and MY FAIR LADY.

Learn more about this titan of Broadway with our TONY TALK Q&A:

Who was the first person to text/call you when you got the nomination news?

The first person to call me when we got the nomination was our director, Bartlett Sher

Show some love to a fellow nominee this year. Whose work blew you away?

I can’t possibly pick out anybody specific who blew me away as so many fine actors gave great performances.

Top restaurant in the theater district?

Top restaurant is Orso

The first Broadway show you ever saw?

The first Broadway show I ever saw was Mary Martin’s Peter Pan.

When did you decide to become a theater artist?

I decided to become a theater artist after I saw Mary Martin’s Peter Pan.

What is your earliest Tonys memory?

My earliest Tony memory was buying a balcony ticket to the show (the year of No, No Nanette), but not wearing a tuxedo as I did not have one. Alexander H Cohen, who was the Tony Producer at the time, was basically standing guard in the lobby, looking for improperly dressed audience members. He spotted me, grabbed me by the arm, and forcefully threw me out of the theater and onto the street.

Who’s your favorite Tonys host in history, and why?

My favorite Tony host was Neil Patrick Harris. I thought he was totally charming and deft.

All-time favorite Tonys performance on the telecast, and why?

My favorite Tonys performance from the telecast was given by Barbara Harris who sang a song from ON A CLEAR DAY YOU CAN SEE FOREVER. She was sensational and vocally impeccable.

Most memorable Tonys acceptance speech, and why?

The most memorable Tony acceptance speech was given by the director Gerald Gutierrez who thanked his best friend, Phyllis. Who was Phyllis? Newman? Diller? No, it was his dog whom he brought up onstage with him and revealed her hiding in his tuxedo. She was a Pekinese.

What is one play or musical you would like to adapt or revive on Broadway, and why?

The one musical I would like to revive is The Most Happy Fella whose beauty is incomparable.

CAMELOT is running at the Vivian Beaumont Theater, currently scheduled through September 3, 2023. The revival is directed by Bartlett Sher and features a revised book by Aaron Sorkin. In addition to Best Revival of a Musical, the production earned nominations for Best Performance by an Actor in Featured Role in a Musical for Jordan Donica, Best Scenic Design of a Musical, Best Costume Design of a Musical, and Best Lighting Design of a Musical. Next up for Mr. Bishop and LCT is FLEX, to be presented at the Newhouse Theater Off-Broadway starting June 23.



By Jordan Levinson

Through the years, there have been multiple rehearsal spaces that have etched their places in New York City lore and hosted some historic theater moments.

As early as the 1930s, Fazil’s Times Square Studio served as a safe space for a large plethora of cultural figures, from struggling dancers to rap and hip-hop artists and famous movie stars. Rates were cheap, and even penniless artists could afford to rent out a rehearsal room. Located on 8th Avenue between 46th and 47th Streets, the building used to be called Michael’s, until taxi driver Fazil Cengiz — who had grown up in a dancing family — bought the space in 1978. Countless workshops and rehearsals for Broadway musicals were held in Fazil’s 14 rooms, spread out across three floors. After 73 long years in business, Fazil’s closed in February 2008 and made way for a condo and hotel complex. Its legacy lives on in movies like “Easter Parade” and Woody Allen’s “Broadway Danny Rose.”

Shelter Studios, now closed.

Also once in the heart of the Theatre District was Shetler Studios, which was founded by voice instructor Ron Shetler in 1990 and provided another affordable space for performing artists. It featured a whopping 35 rehearsal rooms and two black-box theatres, which fostered the growth and development of countless readings, workshops, and Broadway and Off-Broadway productions. One of the first readings of Be More Chill was held at Shetler Studios, as well as early rehearsals of The Jonathan Larson Project and [title of show]. Lin-Manuel Miranda has especially remembers bringing in the new bridge of “That Would Be Enough” for Phillipa Soo to sing for the first time. Shetler closed in May 2020 during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the mid-1980s, West Side Rehearsal Studios opened with Patricia Ripley as the manager. Patricia, who has a background in music and nightclub management, developed a long-distance relationship with former stuntman Butch Grier, and the two of them took over the studios. As their business started to prosper, they started to expand, from just five studios on three floors to 29 total studios in 2002 (and in other suitable spaces), and they renamed their spaces the Ripley-Grier Studios. Now, across four West Side locations, Ripley-Grier consists of 92 spaces and boasts a staff of 45. In addition to Broadway rehearsals, readings, and workshops, the studios provide a solid background for auditions, seminars, meetings, and showcases. 

In 1991, choreographer Gina Gibney launched a dance company with just a single dance studio to work in. Through many expansions, the company kept expanding as the years went by, and to this day thousands of artists work in two New York City locations, which total 23 rehearsal studios and 5 performance spaces. On the fifth floor of 890 Broadway (in Union Square) is where Gibney’s largest space can be found: Studio 4. An expansive studio designed for big ideas, it is perfect for large groups and high-budget productions, which best explains why countless major Broadway productions have rented it out for their rehearsal periods. Before Gibney moved into the space, the director-choreographer Michael Bennett used his profits from A Chorus Line to buy the studios in 1978 and further expand the area. Bennett’s love for dance was particularly reflected in two other building tenants — the Eliot Feld Ballet and the American Ballet Theatre. Studio 1 was also once the home of costume design company Barbara Matera Ltd, which worked on costumes (mostly as an assistant designer) for over 100 Broadway shows. Besides the Union Square location, some of the other Gibney studios can be found further downtown on Chambers Street — 280 Broadway. The 2022-23 Broadway season’s Take Me Out revival was rehearsed at Gibney Center, as well as Bob Fosse’s Dancin’ and Jefferson Mays’s A Christmas Carol

A relatively recent entry in the rehearsal space sweepstakes is Open Jar Studios, which opened in summer 2019 and was founded by various Broadway luminaries, including director Susan Stroman, project manager Jeff Whiting, producer Barry Weissler, and The Shubert Organization, just to name a few. A 21st-century institution targeted specifically at larger-scale Broadway productions, Open Jar — located on the corner of 48th and Broadway — features many expansive spaces for auditions and rehearsals, but they can also be used for production offices and even some costume fittings. At first, the studios were so necessary and in-demand that its entire first year of business was near-completely booked. Open Jar is now officially New York City’s newest and largest rehearsal studio space, a reliable option for Broadway shows of all shapes and sizes. In the 2022-23 Broadway season, KPOP, A Beautiful Noise, and Sweeney Todd used up the space. Every day, one can see the various industry readings, workshops, and rehearsals taking place under the large TV display in the lobby. 

Perhaps some of the most iconic rehearsal spaces can be found at New 42. Since 2000, New 42 has played host to several nonprofit theater groups, and most Broadway musicals and plays to this day rehearse in the building. New 42 features over a dozen rehearsal spaces, 10 of which fit the entire footprint of a Broadway stage. It is located on 42nd Street between 7th and 8th Avenues, so some rooms have a stunning view of Times Square and beyond. Multiple Broadway shows can —and often will — fit under the same humongous roof New 42 offers. During a busy spring 2018 Broadway season, The New York Times chronicled a day from 10 AM to 6 PM where Frozen, Pretty Woman, and a replacement cast of Hamilton all rehearsed in separate rooms. A handful of shows rehearsed there this season, including Some Like It Hot, Parade, and Into the Woods


Some Like it Hot, Leopoldstadt lead Tony Awards Nominations

Lea Michele, star of Funny Girl, and 2022 Tony Award-winner Myles Frost announced the nominations for the 76th Annual Antoinette Perry “Tony” Awards® in 26 competitive categories. The nominees were selected by a committee of 40 theater professionals appointed by the Tony Awards Administration Committee. The Tony Awards, presented by The Broadway League and the American Theatre Wing, will be hosted by Ariana DeBose and will air live on June 11, 2023, from the United Palace in Washington Heights, New York City. The CBS Television Network will broadcast the event, while Paramount+ will stream it live and on demand.

In addition to the competitive categories, the 2023 Tony Honors for Excellence in the Theatre will be presented to Lisa Dawn Cave, Victoria Bailey, and Robert Fried. The Isabelle Stevenson Tony Award will be presented to Jerry Mitchell.

The Tony Awards: Act One, a pre-show featuring live and exclusive content, will be presented by CBS and Pluto TV. The pre-show will be available on Pluto TV, the leading free streaming television service (FAST), on smart TVs, streaming devices, mobile apps, or online. The 2022-2023 eligibility season for Tony nominations began on May 5, 2022, and ended on April 27, 2023. Legitimate theatrical productions that opened in any of the 41 eligible Broadway theaters during the season could be considered for Tony nominations. The Tony Awards will be voted on in 26 competitive categories by 769 designated Tony voters within the theater community.

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Nominations for the 2023 American Theatre Wing’s Tony Awards®
Presented by The American Theatre Wing and The Broadway League

Best Book of a Musical

& Juliet

David West Read

Kimberly Akimbo

David Lindsay-Abaire

New York, New York

David Thompson & Sharon Washington


Robert Horn

Some Like It Hot

Matthew López & Amber Ruffin

Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics) Written for the Theatre

Almost Famous

Music: Tom Kitt
Lyrics: Cameron Crowe & Tom Kitt

Kimberly Akimbo

Music: Jeanine Tesori
Lyrics: David Lindsay-Abaire


Music & Lyrics: Helen Park & Max Vernon


Music and Lyrics: Brandy Clark & Shane McAnally

Some Like It Hot

Music: Marc Shaiman
Lyrics: Scott Wittman & Marc Shaiman

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play

Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Suzan-Lori Parks’ Topdog/Underdog
Corey Hawkins, Suzan-Lori Parks’ Topdog/Underdog
Sean Hayes, Good Night, Oscar
Stephen McKinley Henderson, Between Riverside and Crazy
Wendell Pierce, Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play

Jessica Chastain, A Doll’s House
Jodie Comer, Prima Facie
Jessica Hecht, Summer, 1976
Audra McDonald, Ohio State Murders

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical

Christian Borle, Some Like It Hot
J. Harrison Ghee, Some Like It Hot
Josh Groban, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
Brian d’Arcy James, Into the Woods
Ben Platt, Parade
Colton Ryan, New York, New York

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical

Annaleigh Ashford, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
Sara Bareilles, Into the Woods
Victoria Clark, Kimberly Akimbo
Lorna Courtney, & Juliet
Micaela Diamond, Parade

Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Play

Jordan E. Cooper, Ain’t No Mo’
Samuel L. Jackson, August Wilson’s The Piano Lesson
Arian Moayed, A Doll’s House
Brandon Uranowitz, Leopoldstadt
David Zayas, Cost of Living

Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play

Nikki Crawford, Fat Ham
Crystal Lucas-Perry, Ain’t No Mo’
Miriam Silverman, The Sign in Sidney Brustein’s Window
Katy Sullivan, Cost of Living
Kara Young, Cost of Living

Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical

Kevin Cahoon, Shucked
Justin Cooley, Kimberly Akimbo
Kevin Del Aguila, Some Like It Hot
Jordan Donica, Lerner & Loewe’s Camelot
Alex Newell, Shucked

Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical

Julia Lester, Into the Woods
Ruthie Ann Miles, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
Bonnie Milligan, Kimberly Akimbo
NaTasha Yvette Williams, Some Like It Hot
Betsy Wolfe, & Juliet

Best Scenic Design of a Play

Miriam Buether, Prima Facie
Tim Hatley & Andrzej Goulding, Life of Pi
Rachel Hauck, Good Night, Oscar
Richard Hudson, Leopoldstadt
Dane Laffrey & Lucy Mackinnon, A Christmas Carol

Best Scenic Design of a Musical

Beowulf Boritt, New York, New York
Mimi Lien, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
Michael Yeargan & 59 Productions, Lerner & Loewe’s Camelot
Scott Pask, Shucked
Scott Pask, Some Like It Hot

Best Costume Design of a Play

Tim Hatley, Nick Barnes & Finn Caldwell, Life of Pi
Dominique Fawn Hill, Fat Ham
Brigitte Reiffenstuel, Leopoldstadt
Emilio Sosa, Ain’t No Mo’
Emilio Sosa, Good Night, Oscar

Best Costume Design of a Musical

Gregg Barnes, Some Like It Hot
Susan Hilferty, Parade
Jennifer Moeller, Lerner & Loewe’s Camelot
Clint Ramos & Sophia Choi, KPOP
Paloma Young, & Juliet
Donna Zakowska, New York, New York

Best Lighting Design of a Play

Neil Austin, Leopoldstadt
Natasha Chivers, Prima Facie
Jon Clark, A Doll’s House
Bradley King, Fat Ham
Tim Lutkin, Life of Pi
Jen Schriever, Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman
Ben Stanton, A Christmas Carol

Best Lighting Design of a Musical

Ken Billington, New York, New York
Lap Chi Chu, Lerner & Loewe’s Camelot
Heather Gilbert, Parade
Howard Hudson, & Juliet
Natasha Katz, Some Like It Hot
Natasha Katz, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

Best Sound Design of a Play

Jonathan Deans & Taylor Williams, Ain’t No Mo’
Carolyn Downing, Life of Pi
Joshua D. Reid, A Christmas Carol
Ben & Max Ringham, A Doll’s House
Ben & Max Ringham, Prima Facie

Best Sound Design of a Musical

Kai Harada, New York, New York
John Shivers, Shucked
Scott Lehrer & Alex Neumann, Into the Woods
Gareth Owen, & Juliet
Nevin Steinberg, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

Best Direction of a Play

Saheem Ali, Fat Ham
Jo Bonney, Cost of Living
Jamie Lloyd, A Doll’s House
Patrick Marber, Leopoldstadt
Stevie Walker-Webb, Ain’t No Mo’
Max Webster, Life of Pi

Best Direction of a Musical

Michael Arden, Parade
Lear deBessonet, Into the Woods
Casey Nicholaw, Some Like It Hot
Jack O’Brien, Shucked
Jessica Stone, Kimberly Akimbo

Best Choreography

Steven Hoggett, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
Casey Nicholaw, Some Like It Hot
Susan Stroman, New York, New York
Jennifer Weber, & Juliet
Jennifer Weber, KPOP

Best Orchestrations

Bill Sherman and Dominic Fallacaro, & Juliet
John Clancy, Kimberly Akimbo
Jason Howland, Shucked
Charlie Rosen & Bryan Carter, Some Like It Hot
Daryl Waters & Sam Davis, New York, New York

Best Play

Ain’t No Mo’

Author: Jordan E. Cooper
Producers: Lee Daniels, BET: Black Entertainment Television, Len Blavatnik, Ron Burkle, Aryeh B. Bourkoff, 59th & Prairie Entertainment, RuPaul Charles, I’ll Have Another Productions, Jeremy O. Harris, Lena Waithe, Tucker Tooley Entertainment, CJ Uzomah, Ann Cox, Gina Purlia, Bob Yari, Marvin Peart, Colleen Camp, Marvet Britto, Jeremy Green, Sue Wagner, John Johnson, Jillian Robbins, The Public Theater, Oskar Eustis, Patrick Willingham, Mandy Hackett

Between Riverside and Crazy

Author: Stephen Adly Guirgis
Producers: Second Stage Theater, Carole Rothman, Khady Kamara, Atlantic Theater Company

Cost of Living

Author: Martyna Majok
Producers: Manhattan Theatre Club, Lynne Meadow, Barry Grove, Williamstown Theatre Festival

Fat Ham

Author: James Ijames
Producers: No Guarantees, Public Theater Productions, Rashad V. Chambers, National Black Theatre, Tim Levy, Bards on Broadway, Bob Boyett, Ghostbuster Productions, James Ijames, Cynthia Stroum, Audible, Adam Cohen, Blake Devillier, Firemused Productions/JamRock Productions, The Forstalls, Iconic Vizion/Corey Brunish, John Gore Organization, Midnight Theatricals, David Miner, Robin Gorman Newman/PickleStar Theatricals, Marc Platt, Play on Shakespeare, The Wilma Theater, Colman Domingo, Cynthia Erivo, Andy Jones, Dylan Pager, Roundabout Theatre Company, Oskar Eustis, Patrick Willingham, Mandy Hackett, Sade Lythcott, Jonathan McCrory


Author: Tom Stoppard
Producers: Sonia Friedman Productions, Roy Furman, Lorne Michaels, Stephanie P. McClelland, Gavin Kalin, Delman Sloan, Eilene Davidson, Brad Edgerton, Patrick Gracey, Hunter Arnold, Burnt Umber Productions, Cue to Cue Productions, The Factor Gavin Partnership, Harris Rubin Productions, Robert Nederlander, Jr., No Guarantees, Sandy Robertson, Iris Smith, Jamie deRoy/Catherine Adler, Dodge Hall Productions/Waverly Productions, Richardo Hornos/Robert Tichio, Heni Koenigsberg/Wendy Federman, Thomas S. Perakos/Stephanie Kramer, Brian Spector/Judith Seinfeld, Richard Winkler/Alan Shorr

Best Musical

& Juliet

Producers: Max Martin & Tim Headington, Theresa Steele Page, Jenny Petersson, Martin Dodd, Eva Price, Lukasz Gottwald,, Independent Presenters Network, Jack Lane, Library Company, Shellback, Shivhans Pictures, Sing Out, Louise!, Kim Szarzynski, Taylor/Riegler, Tenenbaum/Keyes, Barry Weiss, John Gore Organization

Kimberly Akimbo

Producers: David Stone, Atlantic Theater Company, James L. Nederlander, LaChanze, John Gore, Patrick Catullo, Aaron Glick

New York, New York

Producers: Sonia Friedman Productions, Tom Kirdahy, Wendy Federman & Heni Koenigsberg, Crossroads Live, Playing Field, Stephanie P. McClelland, Ambassador Theatre Group, Waiting in the Wings Productions, Colin Callender, Gilbert and DeeDee Garcia/Sue Vaccaro, Peter May, Rileyfan, Silverhopkins+/Hunter Johnson, Jay Alix & Una Jackman, Eric Passmore, Thomas Swayne, Elliott Cornelious/SunnySpot Productions, Santino DeAngelo/Cynthia Tong, Craig Balsam, Richard Batchelder, Concord Theatricals, Creative Partners Productions, Marguerite Hoffman, Jessica R. Jenen, John Gore Organization, MGM on Stage, James L. Nederlander, Linda B. Rubin, Seriff Productions, Shivhans Pictures, on Broadway, AGL Productions/Brad Blume, Hunter Arnold/Red Mountain Theatre, Cue to Cue Productions/Roy Putrino, Jamie deRoy/Janet and Marvin Rosen, Edgewood/Silva Theatrical Group, Dale Franzen/Henry R. Muñoz, III, Deborah Green/Chris Mattsson, Branden Grimmett/DMQR Productions, Christen James/Gregory Carroll, NETworks Presentations/Lamar Richardson, Ron Simons/Adam Zell, Chartoff-Winkler


Producers: Mike Bosner, Jason Owen, AEG Presents/Jay Marciano/Gary Gersh, Jeffrey A. Sine, Richard Smith, Silvia Schmid, Bob Boyett, Jeremiah J. Harris, James L. Nederlander, EST/Emily Tisch, Sony Music Entertaiment, DudaAllen, David W. Busch, Karen Fairchild, HoriPro Inc., Gordon-Helfner, John Gore Organization, Madison Wells Live, S&Co., Terry Schnuck, Jimi Westbrook, ZKM Media

Some Like It Hot

Producers: The Shubert Organization, Neil Meron, MGM on Stage, Roy Furman, Robert Greenblatt, James L. Nederlander, Kenny Leon, Hunter Arnold, John Gore Organization, The Dalgleish Library Company Group, Sheboygan Conservatory Partners, Ambassador Theatre Group Productions, Bob Boyett, Cue to Cue Productions, Janet and Marvin Rosen, The Araca Group, Concord Theatricals, Marc Howard, Independent Presenters Network, Juanita Jordan, Jujamcyn Theaters, Henry R. Muñoz, III, Ostar, Mariah Carey, D.S. Moynihan

Best Revival of a Play

August Wilson’s The Piano Lesson

Producers: Brian Anthony Moreland, Sonia Friedman, Tom Kirdahy, Kandi Burruss & Todd Tucker, Hunter Arnold, Playing Field, The Factor Gavin Partnership, FBK Productions/, Jay Alix & Una Jackman, Creative Partners Productions, Harris Rubin Productions, Marguerite Steed Hoffman, Alia Jones-Harvey, Mark Gordon Pictures, Stephanie McClelland, Moore Delman, James L. Nederlander, Seriff Productions, The Shubert Organization, Salman Al-Rashid/Jamie deRoy, Brad Blume/Cliff Hopkins, Jean Doumanian /Fakston Productions, Edgewood/DMQR Productions, Jay & Cindy Gutterman/Caiola Productions, Van Kaplan/Lu-Shawn Thompson, Erik A. King/Finewomen Productions, Marc David Levine/William Frisbie, Syrinda Paige/Kevin Ryan & Diane Scott Carter, Silva Theatrical Group/Tilted, Thomas Swayne/Cynthia J. Tong, Constanza Romero-Wilson

A Doll’s House

New Version by: Amy Herzog
Producers: Ambassador Theatre Group Productions, Gavin Kalin Productions, Wessex Grove, Julie Boardman, Kate Cannova, Bob Boyett, Hunter Arnold, Creative Partners Productions, Eilene Davidson Productions, GGRS, Kater Gordon, Louise L. Gund, Los Angeles Media Fund, Stephanie P. McClelland, Tilted, Jessica Chastain, Caitlin Clements/Francesca Moody Productions, Caiola Productions/Amanda Lee, Ted & Richard Liebowitz/Joeyen-Waldorf Squeri, Richard & Cecilia Attias/Thomas S. Barnes, OHenry Theatre Nerd Productions/Runyonland MMP, The Jamie Lloyd Company

The Sign in Sidney Brustein’s Window

Producers: Seaview, Sue Wagner, John Johnson, Phil Kenny, Audible, Sony Music Masterworks, Jillian Robbins, Jeremy O. Harris, Larry Hirschhorn and Ricardo Hornos, Shields Smedes Stern Ltd., Kevin Ryan, The Shubert Organization, Willette and Manny Klausner, Marco Santarelli, Be Forward Productions, Concord Theatricals, Creative Partners Productions, Invisible Wall Productions, Salman and Moudhy Al-Rashid, TodayTix Group, Ido Gal, HarrisDonnelly, Sally Cade Holmes, Stella LaRue, LAMF Protozoa, Kati Meister and John Sorkin, Meredith Lynsey Schade, Catherine Schreiber, Dennis Trunfio, MCM Studios,, BAMM Productions, CarterMackTaylorWilliam, HB2M Productions, HK-Undivided Productions, MAJIKK Theatricals, Tanker Kollev Productions, Douglas Denoff, OHenry Productions, Plate Spinner Productions, Runyonland Productions, Mad Gene Media, Scrap Paper Pictures, Joi Gresham, BAM, Gina Duncan, David Binder, Elizabeth Moreau

Suzan-Lori Parks’ Topdog/Underdog

Producers: David Stone, LaChanze, Rashad V. Chambers, Marc Platt, Debra Martin Chase, The Shubert Organization

Best Revival of a Musical

Into the Woods

Producers: Jujamcyn Theaters, Jordan Roth, New York City Center, Daryl Roth, Hunter Arnold, Concord Theatricals, Nicole Eisenberg, Jessica R. Jenen, Michael Cassel Group, Kevin Ryan, ShowTown Productions, Armstrong, Gold & Ross, Nicole Kastrinos

Lerner & Loewe’s Camelot

Producers: Lincoln Center Theater, André Bishop, Adam Siegel, Naomi Grabel


Producers: Seaview, Ambassador Theatre Group Productions, Alex Levy, Kevin Ryan, Eric & Marsi Gardiner, Interscope & Immersive Records, Erica Lynn Schwartz, Creative Partners Productions, Marcia Goldberg, John Gore Organization, Cynthia Stroum, Tom Tuft, Benjamin Simpson, Nathan Vernon, Brian & Nick Ginsberg, Ruth & Stephen Hendel, Roth-Manella Productions, Chutzpah Productions,, Ahava 72 Productions, The Andryc Brothers, The Array, At Rise Creative, Caiola Jenen Productions, Coles Achilles, deRoy Brunish Productions, Fakston Productions, Federman Batchelder, Level Forward, Pencil Factory Productions, Renard Lynch, Robin Merrie, Rubin Stuckelman, Runyonland Sussman, Kristin Caskey, Mike Isaacson, Bee Carrozzini, New York City Center

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

Producers: Jeffrey Seller, Bob Boyett, Diana DiMenna & Plate Spinner Productions/Aaron Glick, Eastern Standard Time, Roy Furman, Thomas Kail, Jim Kierstead/Benjamin Leon IV, TourDForce Theatrical, Maggie Brohn, Andy Jones

Tony Nominations by Production

Some Like It Hot – 13

& Juliet – 9

New York, New York – 9

Shucked – 9

Kimberly Akimbo – 8

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street – 8

Ain’t No Mo’ – 6

A Doll’s House – 6

Into the Woods – 6

Leopoldstadt – 6

Parade – 6

Cost of Living – 5

Fat Ham – 5

Lerner & Loewe’s Camelot – 5

Life of Pi – 5

Prima Facie – 4

A Christmas Carol – 3

Good Night, Oscar – 3

KPOP – 3

Suzan-Lori Parks’ Topdog/Underdog – 3

Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman – 2

August Wilson’s The Piano Lesson – 2

Between Riverside and Crazy – 2

The Sign in Sidney Brustein’s Window – 2

Almost Famous – 1

Ohio State Murders – 1

Summer, 1976 – 1


Best Play Tony Awards Predictions

Tony Award nominations will be announced on May 2nd before the ceremony at the United Palace on June 11th. The categories of Best Play and Best Musical are highly competitive, and this week we’ve predicted the likely nominees and winner for the Best Play.

Best Play Major Contenders 

Between Riverside and Crazy: Real estate got real in the wintertime limited engagement at the Helen Hayes that served as actor/rapper Common’s Broadway debut. Buoyed by a career-defining lead performance by Stephen McKinley Henderson as a retired police officer living in one of the last rent-controlled apartments on Riverside Drive, the 2015 Pulitzer Prize-winning play came to Broadway timelier than ever, its main issues of racism and dealing with police brutality having become more relevant than ever. 

Fat Ham: Another Public transfer, this Black, queer modernization of Hamlet comes into the Tony race with credentials: it is one of three new acclaimed plays this season that has won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, and it is the most recent winner of the Prize (as it won last year). Fat Ham doesn’t open until April 12 at the American Airlines, but early buzz indicates James Ijames’s play is a joyful yet deep, tense, and sometimes-heartbreaking experience. 

Summer, 1976: Pulitzer Prize winning author David Auburn’s new play, starring Laura Linney and Jessica Hecht, began previews at MTC’s Samuel J. Freidman Theatre on April 4. While the show doesn’t open until the 25th, with this award-winning cast and creative team, including Tony Award winning Director Daniel Sullivan, this might be a last-minute contender. 

Leopoldstadt: Without a doubt, Tom Stoppard’s chronicling of an extended family in the Austrian Jewish quarter from 1899 through World War II is amongst the best-selling new play of the season. Its limited engagement run at the Longacre has already been extended twice. It is a moving, humane tale of the Holocaust, which seems to be exactly the kind of play the Tonys have preferred to champion in years past. Its timeliness helps too, with anti-Semitic acts of hate on the rise throughout the country once again. A commercial and critical hit, Leopoldstadt might just be the one to beat. 

Life of Pi: Remember Richard Parker, the adorable Royal Bengal tiger from Yann Martel’s novel Life of Pi or the 2012 Oscar-winning motion picture of the same name? Well, he’s at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre now in all his glory, controlled by eight (!) puppeteers and aboard a lifeboat stranded at sea with teenaged Piscine Patel, played by Olivier winner Hiran Abeysekera. Life of Pi offers larger than life puppets and some of the most dazzling visual effects right now on Broadway. In a crowded Best Play category this year, this epic tale of survival just may have earned its stripes with a nomination. 

Potential Surprises

Ain’t No Mo’: Jordan E. Cooper’s scathing series of comic vignettes set in a parallel universe in which Black Americans are offered one-way plane tickets to Africa received favorable reviews when it opened December 1 at the Belasco. What was supposed to be a two-and-a-half month run lasted only two-and-a-half weeks, before a five-day extension due to prominent celebrities buying out performances (the #saveAINTNOMO campaign). Though this Public Theatre transfer probably won’t win Best Play — it’s a very stacked category this year — a nomination could happen.

Cost of Living: MTC’s fall production of Martyna Majok’s 2018 Pulitzer Prize garnered a positive response from audiences and critics alike. Through the interconnected lives of four people in New Jersey, Cost of Living explores the struggles and systemic barriers individuals with disabilities face in daily life, including navigating relationships, employment, and healthcare. The show received praise for its narrative centering around the experience of disabled individuals. Directed by Jo Bonney, the production starred Kara Young, David Zayas, Gregg Mozgala, and Katy Sullivan. While the production concluded its run in November 2022, a nomination isn’t out of the question. 

Pictures From Home: Starring Nathan Lane, Danny Burstein, and Zoë Wanamaker, Sharr White’s new play based on the photo memoir by photographer Larry Sultan will complete its limited engagement at Studio 54 on April 30. A touching and humorous portrait of an American family, Pictures From Home explores the relationship between Larry and his parents as he tries to capture the perfect picture. 

Prima Facie: Recent Olivier Award winner Jodie Comer makes her Broadway debut in the highly anticipated West End transfer of Suzie Miller’s Prima Facie. Now in previews at the Golden Theatre, Prima Facie will open on April 23 for a 10-week limited engagement. Havin just won the 2023 Olivier Award for Best New Play, one shouldn’t count it out.  

Goodnight Oscar: Currently in previews at the Belasco Theatre, Doug Wright’s new play will open on Broadway after a smash-hit run at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago. Emmy Award winner Sean Hayes stars as wild card Oscar Levant, who explores the fine line between humor and heartbreak. 


Best Musical Predictions 2023

It’s coming! After months of witnessing some incredible performances on Broadway in the 2022-23 season, Tony Awards season awaits once again. The 2023 Tony nominations will be announced on May 2 before a June 11 ceremony from the United Palace in Washington Heights. 

The biggest prizes are, as always, Best Play and Best Musical, and this week we’ve predicted the likely nominees and winners for the Best Musical category — even though some of these haven’t opened yet. Let’s get started!

Best Musical Contenders

& Juliet: This West End transfer — still running at the Stephen Sondheim Theatre — also happens to be one of the most cleverly constructed jukebox musicals ever. Set during the first performance of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, Anne Hathaway (not that one), suggests his heroine not kill herself at the end of the play, and start a new life without Romeo. Juliet’s story comes to life through nearly 30 songs written and produced by Swedish sensation Max Martin, and all woven into the plot by “Schitt’s Creek” creator David West Read. This shot of pure gold is one of the most fun musicals on Broadway right now (especially for Shakespeare fanatics, pro-feminists, and 1990s/2000s music lovers), and the strong notices it received on opening night might be enough for it to roar to a Tony nod.

Kimberly Akimbo: The touching musical at the Booth Theatre won Broadway’s heart this season as it transferred from Atlantic Theatre Company. The plot follows 16-year-old Kimberly Levaco, a rare disease that makes her look like a 72-year-old lady, who is determined to find happiness anywhere and anyhow — which isn’t easy when her mother is a hypochondriac, her father is an alcoholic, and her ex-convict of an aunt is up to no good. This refreshing new musical checks all the boxes as to what Tony voters have been pulling for the last number of years. 

New York, New York: Start spreading the news. Partially inspired by the 1977 Martin Scorsese film (starring Robert De Niro and Liza Minnelli), the new musical from John Kander and Lin-Manuel Miranda — also featuring several Kander & Ebb trunk songs — traces the lives of a diverse array of New Yorkers as they chase their dreams and try to find their “major chord” in life: music, money, and love. Now in previews at the St. James Theatre, the musical doesn’t open until April 26, but considering the successful creatives behind this project, it’s not impossible to think it will receive some Tony buzz.  

Shucked: This completely original “farm to fable” follows a small town isolated from the rest of the world by fields of corn. Corn is valuable to the town’s way of life, and when it begins to die, an underestimated young girl travels to the big city searching for help. One of the major surprises of the 2022-23 Broadway season, Shucked has turned Broadway on its ear with its countrified score (by Brandy Clark and Shane McAnally), a book full of dad jokes and delicious one-liners (by Tootsie Tony winner Robert Horn), and a cast that includes some of the best comedic actors in New York. Don’t sleep on it!

Some Like It Hot: A larger-scale comedy, Some Like It Hot is the story of two jazz musicians who witness a mob hit in Chicago, disguise themselves, and flee cross-country with an all-girl band. Some Like It Hot expands on the 1959 Billy Wilder movie by diversifying its principal cast and making a more modern statement on gender identity. For high-budget entertainment, it’s tough to beat a Jazz Age-pastiche score (by the nimble Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman), fast-paced staging by the always-reliable Casey Nicholaw, a life-size train car coming onto the Shubert Theatre stage, and a five-minute tap-dancing chase sequence. Nobody’s perfect, but it sounds like this adaptation comes close. 

Potential Surprises

Almost Famous: Adapted from a movie of the same name, Almost Famous opened in the fall with book and lyrics by Cameron Crow and original music by Tom Kitt. Directed by Jeremy Herrin, Almost Famous had performances at the Jacobs Theatre until its closing on January 8th.  While it is unlikely this new musical will be nominated, there is a chance it could sneak into some categories. 

A Beautiful Noise: The story of the legendary Neil Diamond comes to life this new musical filled with his hits. Directed by Tony Award winner Michael Mayer, choreographed by Olivier Award winner Steven Hoggett, and written by four-time Academy Award nominee Anthony McCarten, A Beautiful noise has been open at the Broadhurst Theatre since December 4. It’s leading man, Will Swenson, should get a nomination even if the show is overlooked. 


Farewell to Phantom

As the final curtain falls on Sunday, April 15th, 2023, Broadway bids adieu to one of its most iconic and enduring shows, “Phantom of the Opera.” After a remarkable run of more than three decades, this beloved musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber is closing its doors, leaving behind a legacy that has captivated audiences around the world. Let’s take a look back at some of the biggest milestones, notable cast members, and the enduring magic of “Phantom of the Opera.”

“Phantom of the Opera” has truly been a monumental production over its illustrious run on Broadway. With an astonishing 13,981 performances, the show has employed over 6,500 people, including 400 actors who have brought its iconic characters to life. The production has boasted the largest pit orchestra on Broadway, featuring a full-time ensemble of 27 musicians, adding to its grandeur and spectacle. With nearly 20 million people having seen the show, it has grossed a staggering $1.3 billion, solidifying its status as one of the most successful musicals in Broadway history. These impressive statistics are a testament to the show’s enduring popularity and the lasting impact it has had on the world of theater.

John Riddle as Raoul (left), Ben Crawford as The Phantom and Emilie Kouatchou as Christine at Broadway’s 34th anniversary performance of The Phantom of the Opera. 
Avery Brunkus

The show has become the longest-running musical in Broadway history, surpassing even the legendary “Cats,” another Webber masterpiece. Its success has earned it countless awards, including seven Tony Awards, including Best Musical, and a Grammy Award for Best Musical Cast Recording.

One of the reasons for “Phantom of the Opera’s” enduring popularity is its remarkable cast of characters, brought to life by a multitude of talented performers over the years. From the enigmatic and masked Phantom himself to the innocent and courageous Christine, to the dashing Raoul, the love triangle at the heart of the story has captivated audiences for generations. Notable actors who have graced the stage in these iconic roles include Michael Crawford, Sarah Brightman, Hugh Panaro, Sierra Boggess, Ramin Karimloo, and many more, each bringing their unique interpretations to these beloved characters.

“Phantom of the Opera” has also been known for its groundbreaking theatrical elements that have set new standards in stagecraft. The show’s opulent costumes, elaborate set designs, and mesmerizing special effects have wowed audiences and set a benchmark for Broadway productions. The grand chandelier that descends from the ceiling during the show’s iconic “Masquerade” scene, the secret lair of the Phantom hidden beneath the opera house, and the hauntingly beautiful music that accompanies these scenes have become iconic symbols of the show’s enduring legacy.

Beyond its artistic achievements, “Phantom of the Opera” has also made a significant impact on Broadway and popular culture. The show has generated billions of dollars in ticket sales, making it one of the most successful musicals of all time. It has been translated into multiple languages and has been performed in over 150 cities worldwide, making it a global phenomenon. The show’s memorable songs, including “The Music of the Night,” “All I Ask of You,” and “Think of Me,” have become classics and are beloved by fans of musical theater everywhere.

But it’s not just the show itself that has made an impact; it’s also the devoted fan base that has grown around it. Known as “Phans,” these passionate fans have formed online communities, attended countless performances, and have even donned costumes to pay homage to their favorite characters. Their unwavering support and love for the show have contributed to its longevity and helped create a vibrant and enduring fan culture.

Emilie Kouatchou and Ben Crawford star as Christine and the Phantom in “Phantom of the Opera” on Broadway.
Matthew Murphy

As “Phantom of the Opera” took its final bow on Broadway, fans and theater enthusiasts alike reflect on the show’s remarkable journey and its lasting impact. From its humble beginnings as a novel by Gaston Leroux to its transformation into a global phenomenon, “Phantom of the Opera” has captured the hearts of millions and has left an indelible mark on the world of theatre.


Happy Birthday, Joel Grey

Joel Grey, the legendary American actor, singer, and dancer, is celebrating his birthday today, and it’s a perfect time to appreciate his incredible accomplishments and contributions to the entertainment industry. With his unique talent, magnetic stage presence, and infectious energy, Joel Grey has become one of the most iconic performers of his generation, earning numerous awards and accolades for his remarkable work.

Born on April 11, 1932, in Cleveland, Ohio, Grey was destined to become a star from a young age. He grew up in a showbiz family, with his father being a comedian and a musician. Grey started his career as a child actor, appearing in various TV shows and stage productions, including “Borscht Capades” and “On Borrowed Time.” However, it wasn’t until the 1960s when Grey rose to prominence, thanks to his breakthrough role as the Master of Ceremonies in the hit Broadway musical “Cabaret.”

Kander & Ebb’s “Cabaret” was a groundbreaking production that captured the dark and decadent atmosphere of 1930s Berlin, with Grey’s iconic performance as the MC stealing the show. His chilling rendition of the show-stopping number “Wilkommen” became an instant classic and won him a Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Musical. Grey’s portrayal of the MC was a perfect blend of seductiveness, cynicism, and vulnerability, showcasing his incredible range as a performer.

After “Cabaret,” Grey continued to conquer the stage and screen with his unique talent and charisma. He starred in numerous Broadway productions, including “Chicago,” “Wicked,” and “Anything Goes,” earning critical acclaim and adoration from audiences worldwide. He also appeared in several movies and TV shows, including “Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins,” “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” and “Brooklyn Bridge,” showcasing his versatility as an actor.

Grey’s contributions to the entertainment industry have not gone unnoticed. In addition to his Tony Award, he has received an Academy Award for his performance in the movie version of “Cabaret” and an Emmy Award for his guest appearance in the medical drama “ER.” He has also been inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame, cementing his status as a true legend of the stage and screen.

But Grey’s accomplishments don’t stop at acting and singing. He is also an accomplished photographer, with his works being exhibited in galleries and museums around the world. His photography captures the beauty and complexity of everyday life, showcasing his unique perspective and artistic sensibility.

As Joel Grey celebrates his birthday, it’s clear that his contributions to the entertainment industry are as relevant and inspiring as ever. His legacy as a performer, photographer, and artist is a testament to his passion, dedication, and talent. From “Cabaret” to “Wicked,” from Broadway to Hollywood, Joel Grey has left an indelible mark on the world of entertainment, and we can’t wait to see what he’ll accomplish next. Happy birthday, Joel Grey!


Shakespeare Retold

By Jim Glaub

Shakespeare’s plays have been a staple of Broadway for decades, with countless productions staged on the Great Bright Way. In recent years, several notable Shakespearean plays have been produced on Broadway, including King Lear, Macbeth, and Othello. However, two recent productions have garnered significant attention is Fat Ham and & Juliet.

Written by James Ijames, “Fat Ham” features a Black cast and is inspired by “Hamlet.” The play explores themes of grief, revenge, and redemption in a modern-day context, highlighting the experiences of Black southern Americans. Despite its unique take on the classic story, “Fat Ham” has been well-received by audiences and critics alike. It even won the Pulitzer Prize!

Another notable Broadway production that is based on a Shakespeare play is & Juliet, which is a contemporary retelling of Romeo and Juliet. The play premiered in London in 2019 before transferring to Broadway in 2021. & Juliet imagines what might have happened if Juliet had not taken her own life at the end of the original story, and instead embarked on a journey of self-discovery and empowerment. Featuring a pop soundtrack that includes songs by Max Martin, the play has been praised for its energetic and irreverent take on the classic story.

While Shakespeare’s plays have been performed for centuries, the recent trend of updating these classic stories for modern audiences is a welcome development. By exploring themes of race, identity, and contemporary culture, plays like Fat Ham and & Juliet are able to connect with audiences in new and powerful ways. Shakespeare’s influence on Broadway continues to endure and inspire.


Jewish Observances in Plays and Musicals

By Jordan Levinson

Tonight marks the start of the weeklong Jewish observance of Passover, which kicks off with the Seder. Here are some plays and musicals, past and present, that highlight Jewish rituals and observances:

Leopoldstadt_Broadway_Production Photos_2022_HR
Leopoldstadt (pc: Joan Marcus)

Moving Broadway audiences this season is Tom Stoppard’s Leopoldstadt, a deeply personal play about an extended family living in the Austrian Jewish quarter over the span of about fifty years. At one point early in the show, a Passover Seder is shown, but throughout the play the family must also deal with great loss: multiple people are killed in World War I; the family business must stay afloat throughout the Great Depression and the rise of the Bolsheviks; the Nazis reduce the number of survivors to just three in the final, post-World War II scene. Stoppard was inspired by the death of his own extended family while writing Leopoldstadt and he is receiving Tony buzz for his passionate drama. The show’s limited engagement has extended twice at the Longacre Theatre due to popular demand, and it is now set to run through July 2.

From a musical perspective, perhaps nothing sums this up in a more succinct manner than Fiddler on the Roof, the Jerry Bock-Sheldon Harnick masterwork that grapples with the preservation and breaking of “Tradition.” Set in an early 20th-century shtetl in Imperial Russia, a conservative milkman contends with his marriage, as he reluctantly lets go of three of his daughters due to more modern marriages of their own. Combined with rising anti-Semitism in the area and the Czar about to evict the Jews from their village, the life that the milkman has known for a long time hangs in the balance. A different traditional observance is shown at one point, as the entire family gathers and prays for the Lord’s protection as they light the candles during “Sabbath Prayer.” Fiddler premiered in New York in 1964, won the Tony for best musical, and became the first musical in Broadway history to surpass 3,000 performances — the longest-running musical ever at the time. It was adapted into a wildly successful 1971 film, which won the Oscar for best picture, and it has been revived five times on Broadway as of this writing — and that’s not counting an Off-Broadway remount sung and spoken entirely in Yiddish, first staged in 2018 at the Museum of Jewish Heritage. Fiddler on the Roof punctuated the Golden Age of Broadway musicals with an exclamation point, and its impact can still be felt today. 

There have been multiple Broadway shows with scenes taking place at bar mitzvahs, a coming-of-age ritual in which children turn 13, and thus become accountable for their own actions (the traditional service is usually followed by a party). For one, the Harold Rome-Jerome Weidman musical I Can Get It for You Wholesale played Broadway in 1961 and gave New York City’s Depression-era Garment District a song to sing. The story of a young, ambitious businessman who stops at nothing to get to the top (even if it means lying to and betraying his loved ones and embezzling company funds), Wholesale utilized several Jewish folklike motifs in its score, and the second act opened with a touching bar mitzvah sequence in “A Gift Today.” A 1991 American Jewish Theatre revival starred Carolee Carmello and Vicki Lewis, and a new version (with a revised book by Weidman) will open in fall 2023 at Classic Stage Company, led by Tony winner Santino Fontana as the businessman. 

Musical 13 Being Adapted for Netflix | Broadway Direct
13 the musical 

The Jason Robert Brown-Robert Horn-Dan Elish musical 13 uses a bar mitzvah as a primary plot point, as it follows a New Yorker who moves to Indiana and tries to fit in within the social circles of his new school, as he prepares for his big day. Throughout the show, the diverse, young cast begins to understand what growing up means, and the surprises that come with it.  The 2008 Broadway production ran just three months but it notably launched the careers of Ariana Grande, Liz Gillies, and Graham Phillips. On the creative side of things, Christopher Gatelli and Tom Kitt were involved before their respective claims to fame. 13 became a Netflix motion picture in 2021 and is still streaming on the platform. 

Stephen Lynch and the Cast
Wedding Singer on Broadway in 2006 (pc: Joan Marcus)

A more unconventional musical setting for a bar mitzvah occurs during a scene in The Wedding Singer, the 2006 adaptation of the Adam Sandler-Drew Barrymore film of the same name. After wedding entertainer Robbie Hart gets dumped at the altar, he gets back on his feet playing gigs at bar mitzvahs in the song “Today You Are a Man” (“Your goyim friends have been agog / Since they left the synagogue / Drunk on schnapps and in a fog / And speaking Hebrew best they can”). A love letter to the ‘80s, the score was written by The Prom team of Matthew Sklar and Chad Beguelin, who loaded the show with power chords, shout-it-out-loud choruses, and energetic ensemble harmonies. The Wedding Singer ran eight months at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre.

In Joshua Harmon’s play Bad Jews, two cousins wage war on a family heirloom after their beloved “Poppy” passes away. The character of Daphna, in particular, is strongwilled and closely in tune with Jewish tradition, and calls her cousins “bad Jews” for only going through the motions at family festivals (for instance, one of them pops a cookie in his mouth during Passover, violating culinary restrictions of the observance). It has never played on Broadway yet, but it played Roundabout’s Laura Pels Theatre in a fall 2013 Off-Broadway production starring Tracee Chimo, and Michael Zegen of “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” fame. 

A Scene from <i>The Diary of Anne Frank</i>
The Diary of Anne Frank on Broadway in 1997 (pc: Joan Marcus)

Finally, no article on Jewish pieces of theatre is complete without mentioning The Diary of Anne Frank, based on Frank’s posthumously published book. There are no indications that Frank had a Passover seder while in hiding from the Nazis during World War II, but the play does show her family celebrating the wintertime festival of Hanukkah and exchanging gifts. The Diary of Anne Frank originally opened at the Cort Theatre in 1955, and Natalie Portman led a 1997 revival at the Music Box.