Broadway Will Revisit ‘Miss Saigon’ & Irving Berlin As Off Broadway Juices Upcoming Slates Too

Sir Cameron Mackintosh announced Thursday that his London revival of Miss Saigon, slated to shutter in February, will move to Broadway late next season with its stars and directors intact. Eva Noblezada will play Kim (the role originated by Lea Salonga 26 years ago, in a Tony-winning performance) and Jon Jon Briones will play the Engineer (played by Jonathan Pryce in 1991, winning both a Tony and the approbation of protesters who felt the Amerasian part should not have gone to the British thespian).

The musical updating to the Vietnam War era of Puccini’s opera Madame Butterfly, by the Les Misérables team of Claude Michel Schoenberg and Alain Boublil with Richard Maltby Jr., originally was staged by Nicholas Hytner and ran on Broadway for almost decade. The revival has been directed by the very busy Laurence Connor, who won acclaim for his comparatively modest remounting of Les Miz, which is still running on Broadway. Connor also is helming Andrew Lloyd Webber’s School Of Rock, which opens on Broadway in two weeks. Famed for its helicopter, its sex-with-a-Cadillac scene and its historic $37 million in advance ticket sales, Miss Saigon will reappear in a similarly scaled down production when it opens in Spring, 2017 at a Shubert theater as yet unnamed. It’s scheduled to run through January 15, 2018 prior to a national tour.

More news for next season: Universal Stage Productions is behind the Roundabout Theatre Company transfer of Holiday Inn, billed as “The New Irving Berlin Musical” and a hit last year in its world premiere at East Haddam, CT’s Goodspeed Opera House. “Inspired” by the 1942 Bing Crosby/Fred Astaire movie that introduced the Oscar-winning song “White Christmas,” the show has a book by Gordon Greenberg (who also directs) and Chad Hodge. Denis Jones is the choreographer. The show is slated to introduce the 2016 Holiday Trimester on September 1, 2016 at the Roundabout’s Studio 54.

“I went to see a workshop of Holiday Inn with no idea what to expect and left with a huge smile on my face,” said Roundabout Artistic Director Todd Haimes. “The energy and joy of this show are just infectious.” In the manner of recent revivals of musicals buy the Brothers Gershwin, Holiday Inn makes free use of the Irving Berlin catalogue and isn’t confined to the song list from the movie. The score includes “Steppin’ Out With My Baby,” “Shaking the Blues Away,” “Easter Parade,” “Cheek to Cheek” and “Heatwave.”

In scheduling news from off-Broadway, the Manhattan Theatre Club’s artistic director Lynne Meadow and executive producer Barry Grove have added two productions to the coming season: the New York premiere of Vietgone, by Qui Nguyen (She Kills Monsters), directed by May Adrales (Luce); and the world premiere of Sell/Buy/Date, written and performed by Tony winner Sarah Jones (Bridge and Tunnel), directed by Carolyn Cantor (Fly By Night).

Described as a “modern twist on the All-American love story,” Vietgone will begin performances October 4, 2016 at New York City Center Stage II. Sell/Buy/Date will run at the Studio At Stage II beginning September 27, 2016, and is “inspired by the real-life experiences of people affected by the commercial sex industry.”

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