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Williamstown to Broadway: A Look Back on Some Recent Transfers From the Williamstown Theatre Festival

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The Williamstown Theatre Festival has been the starting place for a number of plays and musicals that end up securing a spot on the Great White Way!

Recently, there have been multiple Broadway hits that began at the Festival. In honor of the most recent, Grand Horizons, we're taking a look back on some other biggest WTF transfers from the past few years!

Learn more about The Bridges of Madison County, The Elephant Man, The Visit, and more, below!


The Bridges of Madison County

Williamstown to Broadway: A Look Back on Some Recent Transfers From the Williamstown Theatre Festival
Check out more production photos from The Bridges of Madison County here!

The Bridges of Madison County is a musical based on the novel, and subsequent film, of the same name. The musical ran at the Williamstown Theatre Festival from August 1 to August 18, 2014.

The cast was led by Steven Pasquale (Robert) and Elena Shaddow (Francesca). Kelli O'Hara was originally announced to play Francesca, but she had to exit due to her pregnancy with her second child.

O'Hara took over the role of Francesca when Bridges transferred to Broadway, at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre. It began previews on January 17, 2014, and officially opened on February 20, 2014. The musical closed on May 18, 2014, after 137 performances.


The Elephant Man

Williamstown to Broadway: A Look Back on Some Recent Transfers From the Williamstown Theatre Festival
Check out more production photos from The Elephant Man here!

The Williamstown Theatre Festival staged a revival of The Elephant Man in 2012, after the show was last seen on Broadway in 2002.

The new production starred Bradley Cooper, in the lead role of Joseph Merrick, who went on to lead the Broadway production. The Elephant Man opened on Broadway in 2014 at the Booth Theatre. The show played a 13-week engagement from December 7, 2014 to February 15, 2015.

Scott Ellis directed both the production at Williamstown and the Broadway run.

The Elephant Man was nominated for 4 Tony Awards, including Best Revival of a Play, Cooper for Best Actor, Patricia Clarkson for Best Featured Actress, and Alessandro Nivola for Best Featured Actor.


The Visit

Williamstown to Broadway: A Look Back on Some Recent Transfers From the Williamstown Theatre Festival
Check out more production photos from The Visit here!

The Visit was staged at the Williamstown Theatre Festival from July 31 - August 17, 2014. John Doyle directed the musical, with music and lyrics by John Kander and Fred Ebb, and a book by Terrence McNally.

Chita Rivera and Roger Rees led the production, and then reprised their roles when it eventually transferred to Broadway in 2015. This was the first production of a new "one act" version of The Visit, which premiered in its original form in 2001.

The musical began Broadway previews at the Lyceum Theatre on March 26, 2015 and officially opened on April 23, 2015. The production closed on June 14.

Rivera was nominated for a Tony Award for her performance. The Visit also received Tony nominations for Best Musical, Best Book, Best Original Score, and Best Lighting.


Living On Love

Williamstown to Broadway: A Look Back on Some Recent Transfers From the Williamstown Theatre Festival
Check out more production photos from Living On Love here!

Living On Love played the Festival during the same season as The Visit, from July 16 - July 26, 2014. The show starred Renee Fleming as Rachel DeAngelis.

Living On Love is written by Joe DiPietro and based on the play "Peccadillo" by Garson Kanin.

The show opened on Broadway on Monday, April 20, 2015 at the Longacre Theatre and played through May 3. Fleming reprised her role as Rachel DeAngelis, marking her Broadway debut. Kathleen Marshall directed both the Williamstown and Broadway productions.


The Sound Inside

Williamstown to Broadway: A Look Back on Some Recent Transfers From the Williamstown Theatre Festival
Check out more production photos from The Sound Inside here!

Written by Pulitzer Prize finalist Adam Rapp and directed by David Cromer, The Sound Inside had its world premiere at the Williamstown Theatre Festival June 27, 2018 - July 8, 2018.

Mary-Louise Parker led the play, and went on to reprise her role of "Bella" on Broadway. Will Hochman made his Broadway debut reprising his role as "Christopher."

The Sound Inside began performances on Broadway on September 14, 2019 with an official opening night set October 17, 2019 at Studio 54. It played its final performance on January 12, 2020.


The Rose Tattoo

Williamstown to Broadway: A Look Back on Some Recent Transfers From the Williamstown Theatre Festival
Check out more production photos from The Rose Tattoo here!

A new production of the Tennessee Williams play The Rose Tattoo debuted at the Williamstown Theatre Festival June 28 - July 17, 2016. The production starred Marisa Tomei, who reprised her role on Broadway when the play transferred in 2019.

The Broadway production of The Rose Tattoo began previews on September 19, and officially opened on October 15 at the American Airlines Theatre. It closed its limited engagement on December 8.

Trip Cullman directed the play in Williamstown and on Broadway.



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