Musical Will Begins Previews March 23, 2016 After Long Delay
This musical based off of Natalie Babbitt’s well known young adult novel has been gestating for a long time. The first announcement of a pre-Broadway run specified that the show would have trial production in Boston in the summer of 2013. However, allegedly due to the scarcity of an available theatre to transfer the show to after the Boston run, that production was postponed. It is also possible that the show was not ready creatively at that point. In any case, the world premiere of Tuck Everlasting finally took place at the Alliance Theatre in Georgia in early 2015. The show is directed by Casey Nicholaw, who is also the director behind such hits as The Book of Mormon, Aladdin, and Something Rotten! Finally, it has now been announced that the Broadway production will indeed take place this upcoming spring 2016 season. With previews beginning on March 23, 2016, the musical is scheduled to open on April 17, 2016, just in time for Tony Awards consideration for next year.
Presently, Mamma Mia! is playing at the Broadhurst Theatre, and it is scheduled to wrap up its performaces on September 12, 2015. Previously, Mamma Mia! ran at the Winter Garden Theatre for many years since 2001, but it stepped aside in November 2013 to allow for the highly anticipated musical production of Rocky, which had a surprisingly short run due to low ticket sales. Following the conclusion of Mamma Mia!, the Broadhurst will house a limited engagement of the play Misery by William Goldman, directed by Will Frears, and starring Bruce Willis and Laurie Metcalf. When that production concludes on February 14, 2016, the theatre will be available for Tuck Everlasting to step in. The Broadhurst is owned by the Shubert Organization, which is the landlord for many of the theatres on Broadway. In order to secure this theatre, the producers of Tuck Everlasting had to make an agreement with the Shuberts to occupy one of their houses, and it was just decided that the Broadhurst would be it.
A Warm Reception for the Atlanta Pre-Broadway Run
When Tuck Everlasting opened in Atlanta in February 2015, Charles Isherwood of the New York Times flew down to witness it and report back to New York. Isherwood was moved by the piece, remarking that it was refreshing to see a musical based off of dancers in dream sequences, which used to be a staple of theatre but is lesser seen in recent years. Isherwood also remarked that it is surprising to see this direction from Casey Nicholaw, as it demonstrates a softer touch than is seen in some of his shows such as The Book of Mormon and Aladdin. He found the show to be already polished, which is a compliment for a trial run where many other Broadway shows are still working out their kinks. Even though the show is kid-friendly and emotionally compelling, Isherwood did remark that perhaps the show may find it difficult to compete in the commercially cutthroat atmosphere of Broadway, as it does not rely on the element of spectacle.