Final Curtain Calls and Brand-New Beginnings on Broadway

A line of people stretches down the block, all clutching tickets in their hands, barcodes on display. There is a bustle as theatergoers crowd into the lobby of whatever show they may be seeing that day. Audience members, greeted by staff handing out Playbills, are directed to their seats. The lights dim, cell phones are silenced, and for the next few hours, the audience will now share a one-of-a-kind, irreplaceable, unrepeatable experience. These people may never see each other again.

The experience in question? Seeing a Broadway show. Shows that have been running for years are being plucked from the stages one by one while new performances are coming into the mix to replace them. 

The list of shows from which actors will take (or have already taken) their final bows include: Come from Away, The Kite Runner, Cost of Living, The Music Man, Into the Woods, Beetlejuice, Death of a Salesman, Topdog/Underdog, The Piano Lesson, and The Phantom of the Opera

Come from Away, which told the true story of 7,000 passengers whose plane landed in a small town in Newfoundland, Canada, after all aircraft were grounded on 9/11, closed on October 2. The Kite Runner, which closed on October 30, focuses on the complicated life of an Afghan man named Amir. Starring Hugh Jackman and Sutton Foster, The Music Man is set to close on January 1, 2023, only after its opening date had been pushed back years. 

Into the Woods, closing on January 8, 2023, is not just a musical about fairy tales–rather, it is an original story which bases its characters off the descriptions of the Grimm Brothers. Senior Lola Sokolskiy has a special place in her heart for it: “Into the Woods is one of my favorite musicals of all time, and seeing it finally live, not to mention with an all-star cast, literally made me tear at the first note.” She continued, “I was so grateful to see it, and if anyone gets the chance before it closes, do go see it.” Beetlejuice, which closes on the same day as Into the Woods, is the stage adaptation of the Tim Burton film.

After 35 years on Broadway, The Phantom of the Opera will be holding its final show on February 18, 2023. This is shortly after the first actor of color to play Christine Daaé on the Broadway stage, Emilie Kouatchou, filled the role. 

Senior Grace Benedict is alarmed by the number of shows that are closing. “It makes me worried for the future of Broadway,” she said. “I hope we exit this dark age soon.” Junior Zachary Buxton saw the closures as a bittersweet finale: “Although it is sad to see these Broadway blockbuster shows go, we can only hope that new shows will emerge to become the classics of this day and age.”

While there are several shows set to close soon, many new shows are opening as well. Almost Famous, Kimberly Akimbo, KPOP, Take Me Out, & Juliet, Sweeney Todd, Mike Birbiglia: The Old Man and the Pool, and Ain’t No Mo’ are some of the upcoming shows, many of which have have already begun their performances. 

Almost Famous, set in the 1970s and opened on October 3, is the musical adaptation of the 2000 movie. Kimberly Akimbo, a new musical, opened on October 12. KPOP, which opened on October 13 and will close on April 16, 2023, goes behind the scenes of the Korean pop music industry. Take Me Out will return to Broadway for a limited runtime, opening on October 27 and closing on January 29, 2023. & Juliet, a modern pop musical that is beginning on October 28, will tell the story of what may have happened to Juliet had she not died at the end of her love story with Romeo. Josh Groban will star in the newest Broadway adaptation of Sweeney Todd starting February 26, 2023. 

Many shows have recently had to extend opening or closing dates for a variety of reasons, so the above dates may be subject to change. However, one can only savor the last few weeks of the classics soon to retire from the stage and look forward to the many new and exciting shows to come.