The Bridge to Broadway: The Connection between New Jersey and the Great White Way | New Jersey Theatre Alliance

The Bridge to Broadway: The Connection between New Jersey and the Great White Way

  • Paper Mill Playhouse’s Newsies: one of the many plays and musicals that debuted in New Jersey before moving to Broadway. Photo by T. Charles Erickson.
    Paper Mill Playhouse’s Newsies: one of the many plays and musicals that debuted in New Jersey before moving to Broadway. Photo by T. Charles Erickson.

 

New Jersey Theatre Alliance is getting ready to represent the state's professional theatres at the first annual BroadwayCon: a convention of Broadway and theatre fans taking place at the Hilton Midtown Hotel in New York City from January 22th to the 24th, 2016. 

To prepare, we've been researching some of the connections between New Jersey and the Great White Way.

Some notable New Jersey premieres that moved to Broadway are: 

Crossroads Theatre Company of New Brunswick:

  • It Ain’t Nothin’ But the Blues by Charles Bevel, Lita Gaithers, Randal Myler, Ron Taylor, and Dan Wheetman
  • Paul Robeson by Phillip Hayes Dean
  • The Colored Museum by George C. Wolfe
  • Sheila’s Day by Duma Ndlovu

George Street Playhouse of New Brunswick:

George Street Playhouse's Gettin' the Band Back Together

  • Gettin’ the Band Back Together with music and lyrics by Mark Allen, book by Ken Davenport and The Grundleshotz, and additional material by Sarah Saltzberg (on Broadway next season)
  • It Shoulda Been You with book and lyrics by Brian Hargrove

McCarter Theatre Center of Princeton:

MCCarter Theatre Center's Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike

  • The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe by Jane Wagner
  • Having Our Say: The Delany Sisters’ First Hundred Years by Emily Mann
  • Electra by Sophocles, adapted by Frank McGuiness 
  • Anna in the Tropics by Nilo Cruz
  • Translations by Brian Friel 
  • Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike by Christopher Durang
  • Stick Fly by Lydia Diamond
  • Eclipsed by Danai Gurira

Paper Mill Playhouse of Millburn:

Paper Mill Playhouse's 25th Anniversary Tour of Les Miserables

  • I’m Not Rappaport by Herb Gardner
  • You Can’t Take It with You by George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart
  • Les Miserables (25th anniversary tour)
  • Newsies with music by Alan Menken, lyrics by Jack Feldman, and a book by Harvey Fierstein 
  • Honeymoon in Vegas with book by Andrew Bergman and music and lyrics by Jason Robert Brown
  • The Bandstand with book and lyrics by Richard Oberacker (on Broadway next season)

Also, dozens of Broadway luminaries got their starts in New Jersey, including Anne Hathaway, Laura Benanti, Rob McClure, Nikki M. James, Shanice Williams, Ali Stroker, Jared Gertner, Kristin Chenoweth, and Viola Davis (to name a few...). 

If you happen to be attending BroadwayCon, look for the Alliance’s booth in the Marketplace section, where there will be several chances throughout the weekend to win free tickets to NJ theatres!