In The Crazy Weeks Leading Up To The 2024 TONY Awards Looming Cutoff Date, A Whopping 14 Shows Will Open On Broadway In April 2024

Another Opening, Another 14 Broadway Shows

Turning the clocks ahead, rising temperatures and crocuses, runny noses and itchy eyes— these all may be signs of a seasonal change in New York City but nothing says springtime on Broadway like a fresh new crop of plays and musicals. In order for shows to contend for a given year’s TONY Awards, they must open officially by the Tony cutoff date, this year’s being April 25th, 2024.

This year, a whopping 14 shows will be opening in April over the three-week period leading up to the deadline, in addition to the 5 shows which just opened in March. Offerings range from revivals to original musicals to off-Broadway transfers to international imports to star-driven dramatic vehicles. In theory, there’s something for everyone. But in practice are there enough audience for this amount of new shows?

Comparison to Previous TONY Season Trends

Looking back to similar timeframes of recent years, we can see that this is always a robust time for openings. 10 shows hit the boards in April of 2023, 14 opened in April of 2022 (in addition to several Covid re-openings),10 opened in April of 2019 (the last full season prior to the pandemic shutdown) and 8 opened in April of 2018.

While 2022 boasted a similar onslaught of premieres to 2024, that season is really an outlier given the pandemic context. Generally speaking, the April numbers hover around 10 which pales in comparison to this season’s 14 entries, many of which are jammed into a tight schedule leading up to that fateful cutoff date.

Broadway Shows Opening in April 2024
Broadway Shows Opening in April 2024

What’s Coming to Broadway in April of 2024

The Outsiders (opening April 11th, Jacobs Theatre)

Based on the book/film and set In Tulsa in1967, this coming-of-age story centers on a Greaser family of outsiders as they dream about who they want to become in a world that may never accept them.

Lempicka (opening April 14th, Longacre Theatre)

Inspired by the titular female artist who reinvented herself from destitute refugee to valentine of the art industry— set against a world in political chaos— Lempicka explores the beauty and bravery of one painter willing to pursue it all.

The Wiz (opening April 17th, Marquis Theatre)

Based on The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, this revival uses one of the most familiar (and enduringly white) American classic fantasies to redefine the narrative as an all-Black musical celebration for the ages.

Suffs (opening April 18th, Music Box Theatre)

Set in 1913 during the women’s suffrage movement, this sung-through history lesson chronicles the hardships fought and won, and the ongoing battle for systemic equality that’s still raging.

Stereophonic (opening April 19th, Golden Theatre)

Billed as a play with music, Stereophonic excavates the agony and the ecstasy of the creative process by way of a music studio in the 1970s, where an emerging rock band negotiates the pressures of superstardom.

Hell’s Kitchen (opening April 20th, Shubert Theatre)

Using the catalog of pop star Alicia Keys, this epic work of auto-fiction follows the story of a girl who finds her voice, and through the urban symphony of the streets, learns to make New York City her own.

Cabaret (opening April 21st, Wilson Theatre)

This iteration is the fifth revival of the dark, seductive and iconic musical inhabiting the lives of artists and misfits trying to create sanctuary and survive during the rise of Nazism.

The Heart of Rock and Roll (opening April 22nd, Jones Theatre)

This jukebox musical raiding the catalog of Huey Lewis and the News aims to spread love, joy and good vibes through a conventional romcom storyline.

Patriots (opening April 22nd, Barrymore Theatre)

Though set in 1991 after the fall of Soviet Russia, this timely history play taps into current political complexities by exploring the epic confrontation between two fatally flawed oligarchs.

Mary Jane (opening April 23rd, Friedman Theatre)

Film star Rachel McAdams plays the title role in a saga of a single mother who depends on humor and hope to surmount a seemingly impossible family situation.

Uncle Vanya (opening April 24th, Beaumont Theatre)

Lincoln Center is presenting a new translation of Chekhov’s masterpiece about a family who, during a summer of love, desire and resentment, must reckon with the pesky ghosts of their unlived lives.

Illinoise (opening April 24th, St. James Theatre)

Direct from the Park Avenue Armory, this dance-based musical about friends sharing campfire stories of grief, love and growing up, is set against the musical canvas of Sufjan Stevens’ landmark titular album.

The Great Gatsby (opening April 25th, Broadway Theatre)

F. Scott Fitzgerald’s enduring classic will transport audiences to the opulent Roaring Twenties, where eccentric, wealthy man of mystery Jay Gatsby stops at nothing to reclaim lost love Daisy Buchanan, the one who got away.

Mother Play (opening April 25th, Hayes Theatre)

Closing out the season is an acerbic, comedic and unapologetically candid play about families and domesticity during the 1960s, specifically the ineffable hold relatives have over us and what we may discover when courageous enough to unpack the past.

Broadway Shows

The Problems of an Overcrowded April

On paper, the sheer volume and variety of Broadway fare seems like an abjectly positive thing. The proliferation of shows would suggest a thriving theatre scene. However, it’s not that simple.

Critics, TONY nominators and TONY voters are already spread very thin during this time of year and these logistics only exacerbate those matters. Not only are huge amounts of tickets provided to the press and TONY folks at no cost, there simply isn’t enough time for such VIPs to see everything. A handful of the aforementioned shows are even opening on the same night!

Even if all the relevant stakeholders could attend in order to make their informed decisions about Tony nominations, there’s a physical and emotional weariness that comes from attending show after show after show in such quick succession. The density problem could easily impact critical reception, and ultimately, staying power.

Effects on Pricing Across the Broadway Spectrum

The good news for audiences is that with so much inventory, discounts will likely abound. And those savings will logically spread to already running shows. Naturally, patrons shouldn’t expect to see Wicked at liquidation prices but in order to fill seats, many producers will see the value in incentivizing audiences to buy tickets.

Also, given that congestion pricing may be taking effect this spring, offering deep discounts to offset these new costs could motivate commuters to show up in healthy numbers.

Broadway Theatre Entrance

Inevitable Casualties of Broadway Post-TONY Awards

As a theatregoer, this all seems like a luxury problem. Who could complain about more art, more voices or more culture? But as the business of Broadway has proven again and again, only the strong can survive. The flurry of Broadway openings will certainly have its share of casualties come summer.

Moreover, several shows have recently closed (or will in the near future) in order to prepare for the new onslaught. Those shows include Days of Wine and Roses, acclaimed revivals of Spamalot and Sweeney Todd and last year’s Tony winner for Best Musical, Kimberly Akimbo