The Stars Align: 19 Broadway People to Watch in 2019!
2018 is over and we can't help but look ahead to the 2019 Broadway season, which is bound to be filled with countless star-making (and star-preserving) performances. Who should you keep your eye on as the spring season begins and awards season approaches?
In no particular order...
Following her Broadway debut in BRING IT ON, and her Tony-nominated turn in SHUFFLE ALONG, Adrienne Warren is poised to have a breakout year on Broadway in 2019 with the announced transfer of TINA: THE Tina Turner MUSICAL. No official casting has been announced for Broadway yet, but, after winning rave reviews for the show's world premiere in London, it feels like a safe bet that Warren will take a good job in the city sometime this fall!
Before he presides over the Moulin Rogue as eccentric frontman Harold Zidler next summer, the six-time Tony nominee will step in as Alfred P. Doolittle in My Fair Lady. With a little bit of luck will see just as much Burstein in seasons to come!
It's a rare thing when a performer can be leading a Broadway show into previews, and already know that they have another Broadway gig lined up when the current one closes. But, that's how CHOIR BOY star Jeremy Pope is starting 2019. After the limited run in Tarell Alvin McCraney's play with music ends its run in February (the show officially opens on Jan. 8), Pope will quickly transition to preparing to play Eddie Kendricks in the Temptations bio-musical AIN'T TOO PROUD, which will begin performances at the Imperial in March.
Following a sold out out run earlier this year at the Signature Theatre, Be More Chill will upgrade to Broadway in March, marking the Broadway debut of one of the hippest new composers of this generation. We have a feeling he will more than survive the leap!
Earlier this year, following a three decade hiatus from Broadway, this stage and screen legend took the scene by storm when she won her first Tony Award for her performance in Three Tall Women. In 2019, at the age of 82, she'll be back to take on one of Shakespeare's most troubled characters in a gender-swapped King Lear.
Speaking of Shakespeare... it's another openin', another show for two of Broadway's most adored performers. O'Hara returns to the stage following her Tony-winning performance in the 2015 revival of The King and I, joining Chase to lead Kiss Me, Kate. We have a feeling they will be a Fred and Lilli for the ages.
After stepping away from the stage for a bit, the Tony-winning star had an exciting 2018. From starring in a staged concert of CHESS in Washington DC, to leading the world premiere of MOULIN ROUGE in the Boston area, to playing Alison in FUN HOME in Wisconsin, Karen Olivo as been busy. But, in the summer of 2019, she will return to New York for the Broadway premiere of MOULIN ROUGE, her first Broadway show in more than nine years.
It's been over four years since this director extraordinaire brought a musical to Broadway (Rocky), but he's making up for his absence in 2019. Be on the lookout for his work in both Beetlejuice and Moulin Rouge!
Though he is still a third-year student at Yale, Jeremy O. Harris is already making a splash in the New York theatre community. His show SLAVE PLAY at the New York Theatre Workshop is currently one of the most buzzed-about shows running right now. His next show. DADDY, will be a co-production between The New Group and The Vineyard starring Alan Cumming and Charlayne Woodard, and begins performances in February. A star in the making, it would not surprise us if Harris found a show on Broadway sooner rather than later.
Under a year ago, this 16 year-old was just an ordinary high school student from Woodmere, New York. That's all about to change for the 2018 Jimmy Awards winner as he prepares to don the cast of one of Broadway's most popular characters, Evan Hansen.
The last few years in Amber Gray's career have been focused on two roles, both of which she has played in multiple productions. First, there was Hélène in NATASHA, PIERRE AND THE GREAT COMET OF 1812, and then there was Persephone in HADESTOWN. With the later ending its run at the National Theatre later this month, Gray is considered a strong awards' contender in 2019 when HADESTOWN takes its Broadway bow at the Walter Kerr later this spring.
It's a dynamic duo that we can't wait to see in action. These acting powerhouses join forces in April to play political powerhouses in Lucas Hnath's new play, Hillary and Clinton.
He has produced some of the most high-profile shows Broadway has ever seen (including 2018 hit To Kill a Mockingbird), and that won't stop in 2019. Next year, look out for King Lear, Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus, and Hillary and Clinton- all incoming Rudin plays.
Though her current Broadway show HEAD OVER HEELS closes at the end of the week, Jones has quickly made a name for herself in the theatre community since making her Broadway debut in 2017's GROUNDHOG DAY. A regular at 54 Below and The Green Room 42, Jones has proven to be an incredibly talented rising star, and we're excited to see what she does next.
Fresh from of his Olivier Award win for his performance in the same play, the original Trunchbull is back, this time as a young Rupert Murchoch in Ink. Will his performance captivate the critics like it did in London? We think yes.
The last time Chavkin took over a Broadway theatre, she turned it into a fully immersive, Russian supper club, the likes of which Broadway has never seen (Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812). Now the director is back with her electrifying take on another classic tale with Hadestown. We think this will be a journey to the underworld worth taking.
Though much of the attention for the upcoming Broadway premiere of David Yazbek's musical adaptation of the film TOOTSIE will be on Lilli Cooper's cross-dressing co-star Santino Fontana, she is a star quickly on the rise. Following her beloved performance as Sandy Cheeks in SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS, Cooper is poised for a breakout turn in Tootsie. It must also be nice to be sharing a Broadway season for the second year in a row with her Tony-winning father Chuck Cooper.
After a few years making television and movies (including BLINDSPOTTING, one of President Obama's favorite films of 2018), Tony winner Daveed Diggs will return to the New York stage in 2019 when he leads the cast of WHITE NOISE at The Public Theater. The new play by Pulitzer-Prize winner Suzan-Lori Parks begins performances in March, and will co-star Sheria Irving and Zoë Winters.
Despite being a Pulitzer Prize finalist and receiving a MacArthur Genius Grant, iconic theatre artist Taylor Mac has yet to appear on Broadway, either as a performer, or a writer... that is until 2019. Later this spring, Mac's show GARY: A SEQUEL TO TITUS ANDRONICUS will premiere on Broadway starring Nathan Lane, Andrea Martin, and Kristine Nielsen.
A previous version of this article did not meet BroadwayWorld's criteria for diversity and was updated to reflect our commitment to making sure performers of all demographics are represented in our coverage.