The Cher Musical Announces Broadway Timeline + More New York Theater News

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On Broadway and beyond, a curtain can rise as quickly as it can fall; a star can be swapped as easily as Bernie Telsey can say, “That’s enough.” Theater is the beating heart of New York show business and, if you want to make it here, it’s crucial you’re up to date on incoming projects, latest castings, and other industry news. Don’t worry, Broadway baby, Backstage has your back. Every week, we’re rounding up the can’t-miss stories no thespian should live without, so you can focus on important matters like hitting your high F. Curtain up and light those lights!

There’s life after love on Broadway.
“The Cher Show,” a musical using the songs of the titular icon’s prolific songbook to tell the story of her life, is coming to Broadway. The tuner will open at the Neil Simon Theatre in fall 2018 (disqualifying it from the Broadway season underway), after an out of town tryout in Chicago in June. The show, which has been in discussion for a decade, will feature a book by Rick Elice, and direction under Jason Moore (“Avenue Q”). Most intriguingly, three different actors will portray the music legend at three different phases of her career, none of whom have been announced yet.

“Pretty Woman” will walk down the Great White Way.
On a strikingly similar trajectory as “The Cher Show” is the “Pretty Woman” musical, which will also hold an out of town tryout in Chicago this coming spring, before taking a fall 2018 bow in the next Broadway season. Starring in the role made famous in the film by Julia Roberts will be “Les Mis” film star Samantha Barks, making her Broadway debut, opposite Steve Kazee, who won a 2012 Tony Award for his role in “Once.” The late Garry Marshall, who directed the film, co-wrote the book with its screenwriter J.F. Lawton, and songs will be co-written by Bryan Adams. Celebrated Jerry Mitchell will pull double duty both directing and choreographing.

The (new) doctor is in at “Waitress.”
Jason Mraz, the Grammy-winning singer-songwriter, is slated to make his Broadway debut in Broadway’s hit musical, “Waitress.” Stepping into the role of Dr. Pomatter on Nov. 1, Mraz will play a 10-week engagement in the tuner, opposite current star Betsy Wolfe. Mraz’s stunt-casting is unsurprising; the sugary-sweet musical has a score by Grammy nominee Sara Bareilles, who released a concept album of its songs back in 2015 and featured Mraz on one of the tracks—a song he’ll now be singing in character in the show (got that?).

The “Cursed Child” gets official Broadway dates.
For Harry Potter fans, “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” can’t arrive on the Main Stem stages soon enough. Luckily, the team has announced official Broadway dates: the play will begin performances at the newly-renovated Lyric Theatre March 16, 2018, with an opening set for April 22. The sure-to-be-huge piece will be a direct-from-London transfer and is written by original “Potter” scribe J.K. Rowling along with Jack Thorne and John Tiffany, the latter of whom is also directing.

The boys are back Off-Broadway.
After a smash hit, 11-year run on Broadway, “Jersey Boys” closed up shop this past January. However, New York theater will get the Jersey treatment again imminently: A trimmed down production will open Off-Broadway at New World Stages beginning Nov. 22, and several alumni from previous iterations will open the production. Playing the iconic Four Seasons will be Aaron De Jesus, Nicolas Dromard, Mark Edwards, and Cory Jeacoma, all of whom were either in the show on Broadway at some point or in one of its regional or touring productions.

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