Editor's Picks: 10 Plays, Concerts and Musicals You Should See This March
March 2nd, 2015
by Josh Ferri
It’s officially March, which means we can stop talking about snow and start exclusively discussing Broadway openings, buzz and the upcoming Tony race. Read on for our editor’s picks of the 10 plays, musicals and concerts you need to see this month in New York City.
1. This month, I am all about Les Miserables. (Ok, who are we fooling? It’s every month.) But March in particular because this stunning, game-changing revival is reinventing itself yet again with a cast overhaul. Don’t worry Ramin Karimloo and Will Swenson are staying on as Valjean and Javert, but nearly all the other principals are brand spanking new. So head back to the Imperial Theatre this March to see Gavin Lee, Chris McCarrell, Wallace Smith, Brennyn Lark and Erika Henningsen put their spin on this beloved musical masterpiece.
2. If you want to experience beauty and poetry in motion, get to the Palace Theatre to see the new musical An American in Paris. Based on the beloved MGM movie-musical, this lush stage adaptation moves the action to post-occupation Paris—making the love story even more immediate and moving. Also, if extraordinary dance is your thing, this is the spring show for you. Hands down. Previews begin March 13.
3. Now, if you want to see a play this month, the first-ever Broadway revival of The Heidi Chronicles is your best bet. It follows protagonist Heidi Holland from high school in the ‘60s to motherhood in the ‘80s, and it stars Mad Men’s Elisabeth Moss, Jason Biggs and Bryce Pinkham. It’s the rare kind of show that actually makes you laugh and cry.
Photo by Sara Krulwich/The New York Times
4. Teen queen Vanessa Hudgens makes her eagerly awaited Broadway debut as the title character in the musical adaptation of Gigi. It’s a classic love story set in Paris about a young girl who follows her heart and makes her dreams come true. The production also stars Tony winner Victoria Clark and Newsies fan favorite Corey Cott, and if these production photos are any indication, you’ll spend the whole show mouth agape taking in these gorgeous costumes and sets. Previews begin March 19.
5. Kate Baldwin and Conor Ryan will break your heart in twain in this intimate off-Broadway revival of Andrew Lippa’s two-hander John and Jen. You have to go just to see this breakout performance by Conor Ryan and to hear Kate Baldwin’s voice on the score, unmic’d and full of emotion. #WhyIsntSheinEverything
Photo by Carol Rosegg
6. Tony nominee Kerry Butler returns to the New York stage as former first lady/maybe the first female president in Clinton The Musical. The comedy was a big hit at the NYMTF, and it’s sure to hit the spot during your inevitable House of Cards withdrawal. Previews begin at New World Stages on March 25.
7. The groundbreaking novel and Oscar-winning film Doctor Zhivago finally hits Broadway this month. West End hunk Tam Mutu and homegrown beauty Kelli Barrett star as the lovers Zhivago and Lara. With music by The Secret Garden’s Lucy Simon and direction by Des McAnuff, this is sure to be more than just another new musical, it’s going to be a theatrical event. Previews begin at the Broadway Theatre on March 27.
8. Another brand-new musical, I’m excited to finally see is the comedy It Shoulda Been You. It focuses on a wedding between Sierra Boggess and David Burtka and how wild and crazy their families are (matriarchs played by Tony winners Harriet Harris and Tyne Daly); but the big buzz here is the breakout performance by Lisa Howard as Boggess’ sister Jenny. If there’s a chance to see a star-is-born moment on Broadway, you just gotta go. Previews begin at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre on March 17.
9. The messy princesses of off-Broadway's Disenchanted! are back for an open-ended run at the Westside Theatre. If you didn’t see the hilarious musical before, you should see it now. It’s a must for those who grew up on the animated Disney films. Performances begin March 16.
Photo by Matthew Murphy
10. The Set List’s Victor Legrá gave us the skinny on March’s cabaret scene but three shows we’d be remiss not to add are Lea Salonga at Town Hall (March 14), Amy Spanger at Birdland (March 16) and The Best of Broadway Sings at 54 below (March 16). The first features the voice of a generation doing her thang, the second has one of Broadway's best belters melting faces and the third concert stars every young, hot Broadway actor you’re obsessed with singing songs by Beyonce, Timberlake, Winehouse, P!nk, Adele and Michael Jackson. It’s a win, win, win.
NJ BONUS ROUND
There’s no way to talk about musicals in March and not mention Disney’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame at New Jersey’s Paper Mill Playhouse. The casting is perfect (Patrick Page, Michael Arden, Ciara Renee); Alan Menken & Stephen Schwartz’s score is already a knockout; and how often do you really get to feel like a kid again at the theatre? Don’t pass this opportunity up. (Running March 4-April 5.)