If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere. Or so the song goes. Five-time Tony winner Susan Stroman, director and choreographer for the Broadway musical New York, New York, tells Playbill that the Broadway show "was inspired by the movie, but it's really based on the song."
The new musical from John Kander and Fred Ebb begins previews March 24 at the St. James Theatre ahead of its April 26 opening. It features a book by David Thompson, co-written by Sharon Washington. As Washington says, "It was the opportunity to tell my New York story as a native New Yorker. And when I say native New Yorker, I mean someone in my family has lived on the island of Manhattan since 1835."
Set in Manhattan following the end of WWII, a group of artists hope to make their big dreams come true in the big city. Among them is Francine Evans, a young singer freshly off the bus from Philly, who encounters New York native and disillusioned musician Jimmy Doyle. "I love an underdog story. That's a New York story to me," says Colton Ryan, who plays Jimmy.
The show's also been a fun opportunity for Kander and Lin-Manuel Miranda, who wrote additional lyrics, to work together. Kander actually came to see Miranda's In the Heights, and was quite taken with the show. "Something I never do, I hung around because I really wanted to meet the guy who made this happen," Kander tells. "Soon we went out to lunch together, we've been friends ever since." As Miranda adds, "You meet your heroes fast."
Find out what more the cast members and creative team had to say about the musical in the video above.
The cast includes Ryan, with Anna Uzele, Clyde Alves, John Clay III, Janet Dacal, Ben Davis, Oliver Prose, Angel Sigala, and Emily Skinner. The ensemble includes Wendi Bergamini, Allison Blackwell, Giovanni Bonaventura, Jim Borstelmann, Kristine Covillo, Gabriella Enriquez, Ashley Blair Fitzgerald, Richard Gatta, Stephen Hanna, Naomi Kakuk, Kevin Ligon, Leo Moctezuma, Dayna Marie Quincy, Julian Ramos, Drew Redington, Benjamin Rivera, Jeff Williams, and Darius Wright. Rounding out the company are swings Lauren Carr, Bryan J. Cortés, Haley Fish, Akina Kitazawa, Ian Liberto, Aaron Nicholas Patterson, and Davis Wayne; and standbys Vanessa Sears, Mike Cefalo, and Alex Prakken.
Sam Davis leads the music team as music supervisor and arrangements, with orchestrations by Daryl Waters and Davis, vocal arrangements by David Loud, music direction by Alvin Hough, Jr., and music coordination by Kristy Norter.
The production features scenic design by Beowulf Boritt, costume design by Donna Zakowska, lighting design by Ken Billington, sound design by Kai Harada, projection design by Christopher Ash and Boritt, hair and wig design by Sabana Majeed, and makeup design by Michael Clifton. Casting is by Jim Carnahan and Jason Thinger, with Johnny Milani serving as production stage manager. Spanish translations and additional text are by Michael León.
New York, New York is produced by Sonia Friedman Productions, with senior associate producer Thomas Swayne and executive director Diane Benjamin; and Tom Kirdahy, with senior associate producer Cynthia J. Tong, in association with MGM On Stage and Chartoff-Winkler. Co-producers include Wendy Federman& Heni Koenigsberg, Crossroads Live, Playing Field, Stephanie P. Mcclelland, Ambassador Theatre Group, Waiting in the Wings Productions, Colin Callender, Peter May, Rileyfan, Silverhopkins +/Hunter Johnson, Gilbert and Deedee Garcia/Sue Vaccaro, Jay Alix & Una Jackman, Craig Balsam, Richard Batchelder, Concord Theatricals, Branden Grimmett, Marguerite Hoffman, Jessica R. Jenen, John Gore Organization, MGM On Stage, James L. Nederlander, Eric Passmore, Linda B. Rubin, Seriff Productions, Shivhans Pictures, Thomas Swayne, 42nd.club/Beards on Broadway, AGL Productions/Brad Blume, Hunter Arnold/Red Mountain Theatre, Elliott Cornelious/Sunnyspot Productions, Jamie Deroy/Janet and Marvin Rosen, DMQR Productions/Cynthia J. Tong, Edgewood/Silva Theatrical Group, Dale Franzen/Henry R. Muñoz III, Deborah Green/Chris Mattsson, Christen James/Gregory Carroll, Networks Presentations/Lamar Richardson, and Ron Simons/Adam Zell.
Go inside the rehearsal room with photos below.