search cityguideny

New to Broadway: Debuts from Cate Blanchett, Mel B & More!

January 3, 2017 - by Griffin Miller, Theatre Editor
Print Article Email Article

When it comes to New York in the throes of winter, the thrill of the chill is a plus only for those who get a kick out of all things arctic. For the rest of us, it’s not as alluring to be hopping giant puddles at street corners and scaling grungy piles—January’s slush fund concept isn’t so much an illicit nest egg as it is an investment in waterproof boots.

Thankfully, since outdoor theatre isn’t an option in January, Broadway and Off-Broadway theatres are heated, cozy, and have bars where you can purchase liquor (aka the universal antidote for nippy). (On a similar note, if you’re escorting little ones to Disney’s The Lion King or Aladdin, rest assured there are myriad places to procure pre- and post- hot chocolate.) And while January 2017 has the bleak distinction of bidding adieu to nine Broadway shows, it also boasts a bit of excellent news in the form of new shows and the arrival of a handful of must-see celebrities.

Kicking off the new year on the Great White Way is The Present starring two-time Oscar winner Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine, The Aviator) and Richard Roxburgh, whose film resume includes Moulin Rouge!, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, and Van Helsing. Both actors are making their Broadway debuts in this adaptation (by Andrew Upton, Ms. Blanchett’s husband) of Anton Chekhov’s first play—official opening date is January 8th. 

jitney broadway cast

Image: Kareem Black

Also new to Broadway this month is August Wilson’s Jitney, one of the two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning author’s few plays in his American Century Cycle to be making its Broadway debut. It’s directed by one of the playwright’s leading interpreters, Ruben Santiago-Hudson, and features a dazzling cast of actors, the majority of whom have starred in other Wilson works. This major theatrical event coincides with the film version of the last Wilson play to rock Broadway—Fences, which is now a movie starring the same actors who starred here: Oscar and Tony winner Denzel Washington and Tony and Emmy Award winner Viola Davis.

mel b chicago broadway

Image: Len Prince

Meanwhile, if you’re a fan of music and TV luminaries, you’ll want to check out Chicago where Mel B, aka Scary Spice of Spice Girls fame, is making her Broadway debut as the unrepentant, red-hot murderess Roxie Hart. Currently known for her judging skills on NBC’s America’s Got Talent, Mel B will be with the show through February 19th only. Advice to fans: Get your tickets now!

If you have your heart set on seeing some of the theatre world’s most celebrated actors, you might want to veer Off-Broadway for productions like The Man From Nebraska by Pulitzer and Tony Award winner Tracy Letts (August: Osage County), which stars Reed Birney, fresh from his Tony-winning performance in The Humans, and J. Smith-Cameron, one of the stars of SundanceTV’s award-winning Rectify. Previews for what may well become the breakout hit of the season begin January 26th, with an opening night set for February 15th.

Looking for Free Group Planning Services?

Get free advice on planning your group's trip to New York.

Where is Your Group Coming From?
Type of Group:
Date of Trip:
Areas of Interest: Sightseeing Dining Theater Culture

Shopping Transportation

Group Size:

Enter the code: 4396


Heartland Brewery and Rotisserie Empire State Building  Photos

Heartland Brewery and Rotisserie Empire State Building

New York City’s most famous landmark, the Empire State Build...


School of Rock-The Musical  Photos

School of Rock-The Musical

A new musical following a wannabe rock star who poses as tea...


Annex Markets Photos

Annex Markets

Heaven for designers, artists, and antiques lovers....


One World Observatory  Photos

One World Observatory

Start by ascending to the top of the tallest building in the...


search cityguideny

Group Booking

This Week in New York City

(1/17-1/24) Looking for what to do in New York? We've got the latest on all the goings-on in NYC, from concerts to museum exhibitions to comedy to the best in city sightseeing. Read on for our picks for the best of this week in New York City. click here

This Week in New York City