2021 Broadway fall season preview of musicals: Will these 6 shows (including ‘Six’!) be Tonys contenders in 2022?

Broadway performances all over the New York theater district are starting back up again after a year and a half of COVID-19 pandemic closures. There are currently six musical productions (four new, two revivals) set to open this fall. Could we see any of them contend at next year’s Tony Awards? Let’s take a look at the plot of each musical as well as some of the awards history of their creators, actors, and creative teams, plus the opening and closing dates (where applicable).

“Six” (previews begin September 17; opens October 3)
This original musical by Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss tells the stories of the six wives of King Henry VIII presented as a pop concert. Each ex-wife gets to sing and tell her story to determine who suffered the most from marrying Henry and should therefore become the group’s lead singer.

This production is coming in from London’s West End, where it earned five 2019 Laurence Olivier Award nominations (including Best New Musical). The cast features Adrianna Hicks, Andrea Macasaet, Brittney Mack, Abby Mueller (who’s the sister of Tony-winning actress Jessie Mueller), Samantha Pauly, and Anna Uzele, and it’s directed by Jamie Armitage and Moss.

“Mrs. Doubtfire” (previews begin October 21; opens December 5)
In this stage musical adaptation of Chris Columbus’s Academy Award-winning film 1993 of the same name, which itself was adapted from Anne Fine’s 1987 novel titled “Alias Madame Doubtfire,” an out-of-work actor loses custody of his kids in a divorce, so he masquerades as Scottish nanny Euphegenia Doubtfire to stay in their lives.

This project reunites the Tony-nominated writing team behind “Something Rotten!” (2015): composer/lyricist Wayne Kirkpatrick, composer/lyricist/book writer Karey Kirkpatrick, and book writer John O’Farrell. The production stars Tony nominee Rob McClure (“Chaplin,” 2013), Jenn Gambatese (“Tarzan,” 2006), two-time Tony nominee Brad Oscar (“The Producers,” 2001; “Something Rotten!”), Analise Scarpaci, Jake Ryan Flynn (“Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” 2017), Avery Sell, J. Harrison Ghee, Mark Evans, Charity Angél Dawson, and Drama Desk nominee Peter Bartlett (Off-Broadway’s “The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told,” 1999). It’s directed by four-time Tony winner Jerry Zaks.

“Caroline, or Change” (opens October 27; closes January 9, 2022)
In the first Broadway revival of Jeanine Tesori and Tony Kushner’s Tony-winning 2004 musical, Caroline is a single mother of four working as a maid to a white family in 1963 Louisiana. She becomes friends with the family’s young son, Noah, while the country is on the cusp of social change.

The original production starring Tonya Pinkins earned six Tony nominations (including Best Musical). This production, presented by Roundabout Theatre Company, is coming in from London’s West End, where it received three Olivier nominations (including Best Musical Revival). The cast features Oliver winner Sharon D. Clarke, Samantha Williams, Caissie Levy (“Frozen”), Tony nominee John Cariani (“Fiddler on the Roof,” 2004), Tamika Lawrence, Nasia Thomas, Nya, Harper Miles, Arica Jackson, Kevin S. McAllister, N’Kenge, two-time Drama Desk nominee Chip Zien (Off-Broadway’s “Isn’t It Romantic,” 1984; Off-Broadway’s “A New Brain,” 1999) (“All My Sons,” 2019), Stuart Zagnit (“The Wild Party,” 2000), and Joy Hermalyn. It’s directed by Michael Longhurst (“Constellations,” 2015).

Diana” (previews begin November 2; opens November 17)
In this biographical musical, Princess Diana finds herself in conflict with her husband, the media, and the monarchy. Princess Diana stands up for herself and wins the hearts of the public.

This project reunites the Tony-winning writing team behind “Memphis” (2010): composer/lyricist David Bryan and book writer/lyricist Joe DiPietro. The production stars Jeanna de Waal, newcomer Roe Hartrampf, Drama Desk nominee Erin Davie (“Side Show,” 2015), and two-time Tony winner Judy Kaye (“The Phantom of the Opera,” 1988; “Nice Work If You Can Get It,” 2012). It’s directed by Tony winner Christopher Ashley (“Come From Away,” 2017).

“Flying Over Sunset” (previews begin November 11; opens December 13)
This original musical with a book by three-time Tony winner James Lapine (“Into the Woods,” 1988; “Falsettos,” 1992; “Passion,” 1994) is inspired by the lives of three extraordinary people: playwright and congresswoman Clare Boothe Luce; legendary actor Cary Grant; and novelist Aldous Huxley; who each experimented with the drug LSD. The three come together and take a trip, confronting the mysteries of their lives and their world.

With a score by Tony and Pulitzer Prize winner Tom Kitt (“Next to Normal,” 2009) and Tony nominee Michael Korie (“Grey Gardens,” 2007), this production is presented by Lincoln Center Theater and stars Tony nominee Carmen Cusack (“Bright Star,” 2016), Tony nominee Tony Yazbeck (“On the Town,” 2015), and Tony nominee Harry Hadden-Paton (“My Fair Lady,” 2018). It’s directed by Lapine.

“Company” (previews begin November 15; opens December 9)
In the third Broadway revival of Stephen Sondheim and George Furth’s 1970 classic, Bobbie is a single woman turning 35 but unable to commit to a steady relationship, let alone marriage. So her married friends explain the pros and cons of taking on a spouse.

The original production directed by the late Hal Prince won six Tony Awards (including Best Musical). This production — which gender-flips certain characters, including the protagonist — arrives here from London’s West End, where it won four Olivier Awards (including Best Musical Revival). The cast features Tony winner Katrina Lenk (“The Band’s Visit,” 2018), two-time Tony nominee Christopher Sieber (“Monty Python’s Spamalot,” 2005; “Shrek,” 2009), Tony nominee Jennifer Simard (“Disaster!,” 2016), Rashidra Scott, Greg Hildreth (“Frozen,” 2018), Nikki Renée Daniels (“Porgy and Bess,” 2012), three-time Tony nominee Christopher Fitzgerald (“Young Frankenstein,” 2008; “Finian’s Rainbow,” 2010; “Waitress,” 2016), Matt Doyle (“Bye Bye Birdie,” 2009), Etai Benson (“The Band’s Visit”), two-time Tony winner Patti LuPone (“Evita,” 1980; “Gypsy,” 2008), Terrence Archie (“Kiss Me, Kate,” 2019), Drama Desk nominee Claybourne Elder (Off-Broadway’s “One Arm,” 2012), Manu Narayan (“Bombay Dreams,” 2004), and Bobby Conte Thornton (“A Bronx Tale,” 2016). It’s helmed by two-time Tony-winning director Marianne Elliott (“War Horse,” 2011; “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time,” 2015).

Be sure to make your Tony predictions today so that Broadway insiders can see how their shows and performers are faring in our odds. You can keep changing your predictions as often as you like until just before winners are announced. And join in the fun debate over the Tonys taking place right now in our theater forums. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news.

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