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Something to Look Forward to! Musicals Opening on Broadway in 2016

As 2016 kicks off, Broadway will see a sharp influx of new and returning musicals, headlined and helmed by some of the stage's best. From the Jessie Mueller-led WAITRESS, featuring music by Grammy nominee Sara Bareilles, to the all-star SHUFFLE ALONG with Audra McDonald, there's plenty to be excited about as the 2015-16 theatre season ramps up.

With a handful of new pieces set to bow before the Tony Awards deadline in April, BroadwayWorld brings you a look at those currently set to bow on the Great White Way this year!


DISASTER!
First Performance: February 9, 2016
Opening Night: March 8, 2016

The new musical Disaster! will open at Broadway's Nederlander Theatre next spring, starring Tony Award winner Roger Bart (You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown), Tony Award nominee Kerry Butler (Xanadu), three-time Tony Award nominee Kevin Chamberlin (The Addams Family), Tony Award nominee Adam Pascal (Rent), Tony Award winner Faith Prince (Guys & Dolls), Drama Desk Award winner Rachel York (Victor/Victoria), three-time Emmy Award nominee Seth Rudetsky (SiriusXM's "Seth's Big Fat Broadway"), Drama Desk Award nominee Jennifer Simard (The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee), Max Crumm (Grease) and Lacretta Nicole.

DISASTER! is directed by Jack Plotnick with a book by Seth Rudetsky and Jack Plotnick, and choreography by JoAnn M. Hunter (School of Rock)

Just when you thought it was safe to go back to the theatre comes Broadway's new musical comedy Disaster! Earthquakes, tidal waves, infernos and rampant wildlife can't stop an outrageous cast of characters from dancing, gambling and singing the night away aboard New York's first floating casino and discothéque.DISASTER! features some of the most memorable pop, rock and disco hits of the 1970's, including "Hot Stuff," "I Am Woman," "Knock On Wood," "Daybreak" and more.


SHE LOVES ME
First Performance: February 19, 2016
Opening Night: March 17, 2016

As part of Roundabout's 50th Anniversary Season, She Loves Me will star Tony Award winner Laura Benanti (Amalia) and Zachary Levi (Georg), alongside René Auberjonois (Maraczek), Gavin Creel (Kodaly), Michael McGrath (Sipos) and Jane Krakowski (Ilona). The new Broadway production will be directed by Scott Ellis, choreographed by Warren Carlyle with musical direction by Paul Gemignani. This classic musical comedy features a book by Joe Masteroff, lyrics by Sheldon Harnick and music by Jerry Bock.

The cast will also feature Nicholas Barasch (Arpad) and Peter Bartlett (Head Waiter) and ensemble members Cameron Adams, Alison Cimmet, Justin Bowen, Preston Truman Boyd, Benjamin Eakeley, Sara Edwards, Michael Fatica, Gina Ferrall, Jenifer Foote, Andrew Kober, Laura Shoop, Jim Walton.

In a special celebration of Roundabout's 50th Anniversary season, She Loves Me returns to Broadway in a new production led by Roundabout's Associate Artistic Director Scott Ellis. Ellis directed Roundabout's ten-time Tony nominated revival of She Loves Me in 1993, which marked the first Broadway musical in the company's history and launched the Musical Theatre Program at Roundabout. Highlights from Roundabout's Musical Theatre Program include Cabaret, Nine, Assassins, Violet, The Pajama Game, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Sunday in the Park with George, Anything Goes and On the Twentieth Century.


BRIGHT STAR
First Performance: February 25, 2016
Opening Night: March 24, 2016

BRIGHT STAR, the new musical from Grammy and Emmy winner Steve Martin and Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Edie Brickell, directed by Tony Award winner Walter Bobbie, will play Broadway's Cort Theatre next spring, after wrapping its current run at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C.

Carmen Cusack will make her Broadway debut as Alice, a role she originated in BRIGHT STAR's world premiere production, and will be joined by Paul Alexander Nolan, Tony Award nominee Michael Mulheren, A.J. Shively, Hannah Elless, Tony Award nominee Stephen Bogardus, three-time Tony Award nominee Dee Hoty, Stephen Lee Anderson, Emily Padgett, Tony Award nominee Jeff Blumenkrantz, along with Maddie Shea Baldwin, Allison Briner-Dardenne, Max Chernin, Patrick Cummings, Sandra DeNise, Richard Gatta, Lizzie Klemperer,Michael X. Martin, William Michals, Tony Roach, Sarah Jane Shanks and William Youmans.

Inspired by an astonishing true event, the wholly original new musical BRIGHT STAR tells a sweeping tale of love and redemption set against the rich backdrop of the American South in the 1920s and 40s. When successful literary editor Alice Murphy (Cusack) meets an ambitious young soldier (A.J. Shively) just home from World War II, their connection inspires Alice to confront a shocking incident from her past. Together they discover a long-buried secret with the power to transform their lives.


SHUFFLE ALONG
First Performance: March 15, 2016
Opening Night: April 28, 2016

Joining six-time Tony Award winner Audra McDonald in SHUFFLE ALONG are Tony Award winners Brian Stokes Mitchell and Billy Porter, and Tony Award nominees Brandon Victor Dixon and Joshua Henry in the 30-member cast of Shuffle Along Or The Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed will be Brooks Ashmanskas, Felicia Boswell, Amber Iman, Adrienne Warren, Phillip Attmore, Darius de Haas, C.K. Edwards, Afra Hines, Curtis Holland, Adrienne Howard, Kendrick Jones, Lisa LaTouche, Alicia Lundgren, J.C. Montgomery, Erin N. Moore, Janelle Neal, Brittany Parks, Arbender Robinson, Karissa Royster, Britton Smith, Zurin Villanueva,Christian Dante White, J.L. Williams, Pamela Yasutake, and Richard Riaz Yoder.

SHUFFLE ALONG Or The Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed will have a new book by George C. Wolfe, choreography by Savion Glover, and direction by Mr. Wolfe, and marks the first time that the writer/director and choreographer will have worked together since their 1996 hit Bring in 'da Noise, Bring in 'da Funk.

In May 1921, the new musical Shuffle Along became the unlikeliest of hits, significantly altering the face of the Broadway musical as well as that of New York City. By the time Shuffle Along stumbled into town after a back-breaking pre-Broadway tour, it was deeply in debt and set to open at a remote Broadway house on West 63rd Street. In a season full of spectacles, such as Sally - a Ziegfeld musical - and yet another edition of George White's Scandals, Shuffle Along's failure was almost a foregone conclusion. New York City was still in the throes of the Depression of 1920. And, despite being celebrated vaudeville performers, Miller and Lyles and Sissle and Blake had never performed on Broadway, much less written a musical. But with an infectious jazz score and exuberant, unforgettable dancing, Shuffle Along ignited not just Broadway, but all of New York City. George Gershwin, Fanny Brice, Al Jolson, Langston Hughes, and famed critic George Jean Nathan were among the many fans who repeatedly flocked to West 63rd Street to see a cast which - during its run of 504 performances - featured such incipient luminaries as Josephine Baker, Paul Robeson, Florence Mills, Fredi Washington, and Adelaide Hall. Because of Shuffle Along, Uptown and Downtown met - and became one.


AMERICAN PSYCHO
First Performance: March 24, 2016
Opening Night: April 2016

Grammy and Tony award-winning musician Duncan Sheik's American Psycho will make it's U.S. premiere on Broadway this spring at the Gerald Schoenfield Theater.

The cast is a who's who of Broadway notables, with the lead role of Bateman played by Benjamin Walker (Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson). The cast also includes Tony Award-winner Alice Ripley (Next to Normal) as Patrick's Mother/Mrs. Wolfe; Tony Award nominee Jennifer Damiano (Next to Normal) as Patrick's secretary Jean, and Heléne Yorke (Bullets over Broadway, "Masters of Sex") as Patrick's girlfriend, Evelyn.

Set in the excess of 1980's Manhattan, American Psycho is based on the novel by Bret Easton Ellis and tells the story of Patrick Bateman, a young and handsome Wall Street banker who pursues his darkest American dreams. Directed by Rupert Goold (King Charles III). American Psycho has a book by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa ("Glee") and choreography by Lynne Page (LA Cage Aux Folles).


WAITRESS
First Performance: March 25, 2016
Opening Night: April 24, 2016

Based upon the 2007 motion picture written by Adrienne Shelly, Waitress will open at Broadway's Brooks Atkinson Theatre following its Pre-Broadawy tryout at the A.R.T. The production has a book by Jessie Nelson, music and lyrics by five-time Grammy Award-nominated singer-songwriter Sara Bareilles, choreography by Lorin Latarro and direction by Tony Award-winner Diane Paulus.

Waitress stars Jessie Mueller, winner of the 2014 Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical for Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, with Eric Anderson (South Pacific, Kinky Boots, Rocky, The Last Ship) as Cal, Christopher Fitzgerald (Chicago, two-time Tony Award nominee for Young Frankenstein and Finian's Rainbow) as Ogie, Drew Gehling (Jersey Boys, On a Clear Day You Can See Forever) as Dr. Pomatter, Kimiko Glenn ("Orange Is The New Black," Spring Awakening, Love's Labour's Lost) as Dawn, Dakin Matthews (The Audience Rocky, The Best Man) as Joe and Keala Settle (LES MISERABLES, Tony Award-nominee for Hands On A Hard Body) as Becky, with ensemble members Charity Angél Dawson, Jeremy Morse and Stephanie Torns.


TUCK EVERLASTING
First Performance: March 31, 2016
Opening Night: April 26, 2016

TUCK EVERLASTING will soon arrive at Broadway's Broadhurst Theatre, and will star three-time Tony Nominee Carolee Carmello as "Mae Tuck" (Finding Neverland), Outer Critics Circle nominee Andrew Keenan-Bolger as "Jesse Tuck" (Newsies), two-time Emmy Award winner Michael Park as "Angus Tuck" (How To Succeed...), three-time Tony Nominee Terrence Mann as "The Man in the Yellow Suit" (Pippin), Fred Applegate as "Constable Joe" (The Last Ship), Robert Lenzi as "Miles Tuck" (South Pacific), Michael Wartella as "Hugo" (Wicked), Valerie Wright as "Betsy Foster" (Elf The Musical), and introducing 11-year-old Sarah Charles Lewis as "Winnie Foster".

If you could live forever, would you? When Winnie Foster discovers the magical secret of the Tuck family, she embarks on an extraordinary adventure that will change her life forever. Take a journey you'll never forget in this powerful new musical about love, family and living life to the fullest.

Natalie Babbitt's best-selling and award-winning novel, Tuck Everlasting, was first published in 1975, and has remained in print ever since. Considered a modern classic, the beloved novel has been translated into 27 languages and has sold over four million copies in the United States since it was first published 40 years ago. Tuck Everlasting was named an American Library Association's Notable Book, and the winner of the Christopher Award, which honors media that "affirm the highest values of the human spirit."


HOLIDAY INN
First Performance: September 1, 2016
Opening Night: October 13, 2016

Roundabout Theatre Company, in association with Universal Stage Productions, will stage the first-ever Broadway production of HOLIDAY INN, THE NEW IRVING BERLIN MUSICAL next fall. With music and lyrics by Irving Berlin, Gordon Greenberg and Chad Hodge's new book is inspired by the Academy Award-winning film, Holiday Inn.

The new musical features over 20 classic songs from the Irving Berlin catalogue including "Steppin' Out With My Baby," "Shaking the Blues Away," "Easter Parade," "Cheek to Cheek" and "Heatwave."

Holiday Inn, The New Irving Berlin Musical tells the story of Jim, who leaves the bright lights of show business behind to settle down on his farmhouse in Connecticut. He quickly discovers life isn't the same without a bit of song and dance. Jim's luck takes a spectacular turn when he meets Linda, a spirited schoolteacher with talent to spare. Together they turn the farmhouse into a fabulous inn with dazzling performances to celebrate each holiday, from Thanksgiving to the Fourth of July. But when Jim's best friend Ted tries to lure Linda away to be his new dance partner in Hollywood, will Jim be able to salvage his latest chance at love?


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