Jake Gyllenhaal will open on Broadway this spring, inaugurating the newest house on the Street — but not in the show originally announced. The extensively refurbished Hudson Theatre will reopen in February with Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s Pulitzer Prize winning musical Sunday In The Park With George. The revival, starring Gyllenhaal and Annaleigh Ashford, was first presented in October at New York City Center in concert form and was acclaimed a highlight of the fall season. Deadline called it “a total home run of a production.”
Ambassador Theatre Group, which took over the Hudson with a long-term lease a year ago, has been upgrading the 970-seat house and had announced plans to open in the spring with Gyllenhal starring in a revival of the Lanford Wilson drama Burn This. Those plans were scuttled when Gyllenhaal’s film commitments precluded a rehearsal and Broadway run, according to a spokeswoman for the Hudson.
With the stars and director Sarna Lapine’s concert presentation ready to go, however, Sunday in The Park looks like an easier transition. The show is scheduled to begin performances February 11 at the West 44th Street theater, with an official opening on the 23rd and a 10-week run that will close April 23. The rest of the cast and creative team will be announced shortly.
Adam Speers for ATG is producing the show, along with Jeanine Tesori, the composer (Fun Home) who produced the concert production and is artistic adviser to City Center, and Riva Marker, who heads up Gyllenhaal’s production company, Nine Stories.
The Hudson will be reopening as a legitimate theater for the first time since 1968. In the interim, it’s been used as a facility for corporate presentations and the like. UK-based ATG recently entered the Broadway market with two houses, including the 1,900-plus seat Lyric along with the Hudson. ATG already has booked its monster hit Harry Potter And The Cursed Child for the larger theater.
“We are absolutely delighted to be welcoming audiences back to the historic Hudson Theater for the first time in almost 50 years with this musical classic,” Mark Cornell, ATG’s Chief Executive Officer, said in the announcement Tuesday. “Sondheim and Lapine’s masterpiece is the perfect inaugural offering for this Broadway treasure box. To be re- opening our most intimate of New York venues with this special work makes me excited about the future of the Hudson.”