2018 Broadway spring season preview of plays: Which will be remembered by the Tony Awards?

In the last four months of the 2017-18 Broadway season, nine productions of plays (two new, five revivals, two older works making their Broadway debuts) will open. Could we be seeing any of them contend at this year’s Tony Awards?

Below, we recap the plot of each play as well as the awards history of its author, cast and creative types and the opening and (where applicable) closing dates.

John Lithgow: Stories By Heart” (opening January 11; closing March 4)
Virtuosity and imagination combine in one utterly unique event, as Tony and Emmy Award winner John Lithgow creates a singularly intimate evening. With equal measures of humor and heart, he evokes memories of family, explores and expands the limits of the actor’s craft, and masterfully conjures a cast of indelible characters from classic short stories by Ring Lardner and P. G. Wodehouse.

“Angels in America” (opening March 25; closing June 30)
This is the first Broadway revival of Tony Kushner’s 1993 Tony & Pulitzer Prize-winning two-parter, set against the backdrop of the first wave of the AIDS epidemic in America in the mid-1980’s. The play’s two parts bring together a myriad of disparate characters whose lives intersect, intertwine, collide and are blown apart during a time of heartbreak, reaction and transformation. Ranging from earth to heaven, from the political to the intimate to the visionary and supernatural, Angels in America is an epic exploration of love, justice, identity and theology, of the difficulty, terror and necessity of change.

The original production opened in two separate seasons. “Millennium Approaches” won four Tony Awards (including Best Play) in 1993 while “Perestroika” won three (including Best Play) the following year. It was then adapted into an acclaimed HBO miniseries in 2003, which won 11 Emmy Awards (including Best Miniseries). This production, which had a successful run at the National Theatre in London, will present both parts in repertory. The cast includes Tony & Oscar nominee Andrew Garfield (“Death of a Salesman”, 2012; “Hacksaw Ridge”, 2016), two-time Tony winner Nathan Lane (“A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum”, 1996; “The Producers”, 2001), James McArdle, Emmy nominee Lee Pace (“Pushing Daisies”, 2008), Olivier Award winner Denise Gough (“People, Places, and Things”, 2016), Nathan Stewart-Jarrett, Susan Brown, Amanda Lawrence and Tony nominee Beth Malone (“Fun Home”, 2015), and is directed by two-time Tony winner Marianne Elliott (“War Horse”, 2011; “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time”, 2015).

“Lobby Hero” (opening March 26; closing May 13)
This is the Broadway premiere of this 2001 play by Oscar winner Kenneth Lonergan (“Manchester By the Sea”, 2016), a young security guard with big ambitions clashes with his stern boss, an intense rookie cop and her unpredictable partner.

This production stars three-time SAG nominee Michael Cera (“Arrested Development”, 2005-06; 2014), Chris Evans, Emmy nominee Brian Tyree Henry (“This is Us”, 2017), Bel Powley (“Arcadia”, 2011), and is directed by Trip Cullman (“Six Degrees of Separation”, 2017).

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“Three Tall Women” (opening March 29; closing June 24)
In the Broadway premiere of Edward Albee’s 1991 Pulitzer Prize-winning play, three women of different ages talk about their lives and their relationships with their families. Gradually it emerges that they may all be the same woman.

This production stars two-time Oscar winner Glenda Jackson (“Women in Love”, 1971; “A Touch of Class”, 1974), Emmy & Tony winner Laurie Metcalf (“Roseanne”, 1992-94; “A Doll’s House, Part Two”, 2017) and Tony nominee Alison Pill (“The Lieutenant of Inishmore”, 2006), and is directed by two-time Tony winner Joe Mantello (“Take Me Out”, 2003; “Assassins”, 2004).

“Children of a Lesser God” (opening April 11; closing September 9)
In the first Broadway revival of Mark Medoff’s 1979 Tony-winning play, James Leeds, a new teacher at a school for the deaf, takes a keen interest in Sarah Norman, the school’s one-time star student who has stayed behind as its cleaning woman rather than venturing out into the hearing world. James tries to persuade Sarah to communicate orally by lip reading as they kindle a romance beyond words.

The original Broadway production won three Tony Awards (including Best Play). It was then brought to the big screen in 1986, where it received five Academy Award nominations (including Best Picture). This production stars SAG nominee Joshua Jackson (“Bobby”, 2006), newcomer Lauren Ridloff, Golden Globe winner Anthony Edwards (“ER”, 1997), Drama Desk nominee Kecia Lewis (off-Broadway’s “Dessa Rose”, 2005), Treshelle Edmond (“Spring Awakening”, 2015), Julee Cerda and John McGinty, and is directed by Tony winner Kenny Leon (“A Raisin in the Sun”, 2014).

“Harry Potter & the Cursed Child” (previews begin March 16; opening April 22)
This new play was written by Jack Thorne based on an original story he penned with author J.K. Rowling and Tony-winning director John Tiffany (“Once”, 2012). It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband and father of three school-age children. While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places

The two-parter has already to be proven to be an enormous success in London’s West End, where it won a record-breaking nine Olivier Awards (including Best New Play) last year. This production brings over seven of the original principal cast members: Jamie Parker, Paul Thornley, Noma Dumezweni, Poppy Miller, Alex Price, Sam Clemmett and Anthony Boyle, and is directed by Tiffany.

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“Travesties” (opening April 24; closing June 17)
In the first Broadway revival of Tom Stoppard’s 1974 Tony-winning play, Henry Carr reminisces about Zürich in 1917 during World War I. The play follows his interactions with Tristan Tzara during the rise of Dada, James Joyce while he was writing Ulysses and Lenin leading toward the Russian Revolution.

The original Broadway production won two Tony Awards (including Best Play). This production presented by Roundabout Theater Company is coming in after a successful run in London last season. The cast includes BAFTA winner Tom Hollander (“The Night Manager”, 2017), Seth Numrich (“War Horse”, 2011), two-time Olivier nominee Scarlett Strallen (“H.M.S. Pinafore”, 2006; “Singin’ in the Rain”, 2012), Opal Alladin, Peter McDonald, Drama Desk nominee Nicholas Woodsen (“Man and Superman”, 1978), Sara Topham and Patrick Kerr (“You Can’t Take It With You”, 2014), and is directed by Tony nominated playwright Patrick Marber (“Closer”, 1999).

“Saint Joan” (opening April 25; closing June 10)
In the eighth Broadway revival of George Bernard Shaw’s 1923 play, a country girl whose mysterious visions propel her into elite circles. When the nation’s rulers become threatened by her popularity and influence, they unite to bring her down and she finds herself on trial for her life.

The last revival earned the play’s very first (and to date, only) Tony nomination in 1993, which was for Best Revival. This production presented by Manhattan Theatre Club stars three-time Tony nominee Condola Rashad (“Stick Fly”, 2012; “The Trip to Bountiful”, 2013; “A Doll’s House, Part Two”, 2017) and is directed by Tony winner Daniel Sullivan (“Proof”, 2001).

“The Iceman Cometh” (opening April 26; closing July 1)
In the fourth Broadway revival of Eugene O’Neill’s 1946 play, a group of alcoholics and misfits endlessly discuss but never act on their dreams, and Hickey, the traveling salesman is determined to strip them of their pipe dreams.

The last two revivals from 1985 and 1999 both received their fair share of Tony nominations, but neither of them won anything. This production stars two-time Oscar & Tony winner Denzel Washington, Emmy winner Tammy Blanchard (“Life with Judy Garland: Me and My Shadows”, 2001), Tony winner Bill Irwin (“Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?”, 2005), Dakin Matthews (“The Audience”, 2015), Olivier nominee Colm Meaney (“A Moon for the Misbegotten”, 2007), Michael Potts (“The Book of Mormon”, 2011), Tony nominee Reg Rogers (“Holiday”, 1996) and Tony winner Frank Wood (“Side Man”, 1999), and is directed by two-time Tony-winning director George C. Wolfe (“Angels in America: Millennium Approaches”, 1993; “Bring in ‘Da Noise, Bring in ‘Da Funk”, 1996).

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