As 2022 comes to a close, we take a look back and also a look forward to what could be coming to a theatre near you in the 2023/2024 season.
Current State of Affairs
Although I am generally an optimist, and this season preview will have its fair share of it, we first have to take a sobering look at the current state of affairs for the arts.
Despite the pandemic being declared over back in September, venues across the country are still facing uphill battles. A recent New York Times article reported a 40% decline in ticket sales across various performing arts organizations all over the country. Coming out of the pandemic, audiences are still slow to return, and the arts remain at a critical point in their history. And with inflation hitting a near 40-year high, it appears that audiences are using their disposable income more selectively with regards to season tickets and which individual shows they will end up seeing in a season.
Thankfully, however, fewer and fewer venues and shows have been cancelling performances directly related to the virus. The last one to occur happened when a few performances of The Prom were cancelled in back July while in San Francisco. Venues have also made sure to mitigate the virus’s spread by promoting vaccines, optional masks, and installing new ventilation systems.
We’re also starting to see a wave of new shows and revivals. During the 2021/2022 season, 16 new or revived shows toured across the country. And the 2022/2023 season currently incorporates 14 new shows or revivals, including a revamped Aladdin, a second touring company of SIX and the upcoming tour of Into the Woods and MJ. This season also saw several shows embark on their fourth season of touring, including Dear Evan Hansen, Come From Away and Anastasia.
This is not to say that the road to recovery has gone unscathed. 9 to 5, one of the new shows for this season opted to delay its tour to the 23/24 season due to concerns over the Coronavirus disease. Long time shows Beautiful and Jersey Boys ended their current tours, along with Waitress, which was in the process of arbitration with its producers to unionize the tour when it closed. Currently, Jersey Boys is scheduled to return in 2024, but the other two shows have yet to indicate such a return in the near future.
With all that in mind, hopefully we can start to see a resumption of the pre-pandemic activity and get back to normal in terms of when shows announce a tour, when they begin to tour and when new seasons for venues are announced.
Although January is when season announcement season officially begins, we already have three 23/24 seasons in the books: Denver Center (Denver, CO), Alaska Performing Arts Center (Anchorage, AK) and Broadway in Detroit (Detroit, MI). These announcements have given us glimpses as to what we should expect to see in the upcoming season. Additional season announcement dates will be added on the Calendar as they are announced.
To start off the website updates section, I would first like to thank all of those who decided to come and see what this site is all about. Hopefully, you will continue to come back for the latest news in touring Broadway. This is indeed a labor of love and I truly appreciate your patience and patronage. 2023 marks five years since I began the site and I am looking to continue to curate and provide information for as long as I can. Be on the lookout in early 2023 for a Year In Review, which will provide more details regarding the website in additional to other interesting information.
The pandemic happened to be just the baptism by fire I wasn’t expecting. Pages on the site were still being codified in their look and feel when new and creative methods needed to be implemented to incorporate the high number of cancelled and rescheduled engagements. In the blink of an eye, over 300 venues that I keep track of closed. I had to decide if I wanted to even provide the space for those engagements that did not occur between mid-March 2020 and August 2021. However, in the spirit of showing an accurate history of what occurred during the shutdown, I decided to retain that data as a sort of symbolic scar.
But, I am happy to announce that, despite an unforeseeable future, this has site thrived and has quietly become a major source for information, which is very humbling. I don’t view the site’s statistics very often, but I was quite pleased to find out that in 2022 this site has had over 550,000 visits and nearly 285,000 viewed pages, with the show pages for The Lion King, Beetlejuice, and Wicked being at the top. For comparison: in 2021, I had a little over 300,00 visits. Tours To You was also the first site to break the news that MJ would be touring back in March. All of this combines to give me more motivation to continue onward while also searching for new and innovative ways to present information.
One such addition created this past year was the Show Histories spreadsheet. Although it can be a bit hard to describe, the page details in which season a particular show visited a venue. It also tracks the show’s age when it visited each venue. Although it’s tempting to color code the show’s age since it’s first season of touring, it was much easier to cap the changes at four seasons, as a majority of shows do not last longer than that. But, I think this is a wonderful tool for aiding those who like to predict which shows will be going to a given venue in a future season.
Another new addition this year was the Tickets Offers page. Here you will find information about rush and lottery tickets, as well as special offers and promotions, such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Although every effort goes into providing as much information as possible, I am limited in my ability to list every offer, so I am only listing Musicals and Plays and only the occasional Holiday or Miscellaneous show.
A modification that was made was the creation of a Past Seasons tab on each active show’s page. (If time permits, I plan on revisiting inactive shows to make the adjustment.) This feature will allow visitors to see the list of engagements a particular musical or play has had during its run. Note, however, that data is only available starting from the 2018-2019 season–the season I began the site. What makes this table helpful is the ability to use the search box to make finding a past engagement easier. And the results include cancelled or postponed engagements, like those from 2020 and 2021. You can view a sample of this change on this page. Once a show becomes inactive, only the Past Seasons tab will remain.
One project I am hoping to (finally) complete in 2023 is the Venues page, which will be a compiled listing of all of the venues featured on this site. With around 400 venues to list, I am hoping this will be a great resource.
Lastly, an experimental Venue Rankings page has been created to provide a sort of rankings for each venue presenting a Broadway musical or play. The scores are derived from the points given to each show. Points are based on a show’s age and union status. A raw score and a weighted score are then averaged to provide a total score and an assigned ranking based on the total. Rankings are not meant to be a reflection on the venue per se, but can allow visitors to see in which level/market a given venue may lie as it pertains to understanding primary, secondary, and tertiary markets.
2023-2024 Season Shows
Now we’ll take a look at what lies ahead for the upcoming season in terms of the returning and new shows. By way of a disclaimer: outside of the confirmed shows, I have relatively minimal insight into which shows will continue or begin. This is just a fun way to hypothesize and speculate the shows that will make up the bulk of the 23/24 season.
Before we dive into which shows will be part of the upcoming season, we’ll first have a look at which shows may not be returning.
- Clyde’s – the limited-engagement tour is not expected to continue
- Come From Away – a non-union tour will start in the 23/24 season
- Legally Blonde – the producers pre-planned one season’s worth of touring
- Oklahoma! – the national tour has already completed its run
- Pretty Woman – although the current tour is set to close, per the recent tour extension announcement, a non-union tour looks to start in the 23/24 season
- The Prom – the national tour has already completed its run
- A Soldier’s Play – playing in limited venues in the 22/23 season indicates to me that it is destined to only play a single season.
- Dear Evan Hansen – this may be likely the end as it will have played in almost all major markets at least once by the end of the current season. The show has toured since 2018, making it one of the rare, older shows currently on tour. Should it continue, it may become a non-union tour.
- Into the Woods – as revealed in the tour announcement, the upcoming tour is playing a number of limited engagements in 2023. Currently, the tour ends in July 2023. I could see it extend into the 23/24 season but the principal cast would most likely have to be overhauled. How well it is received may also aid in its possible extension.
Confirmed Returning Shows
These shows have been confirmed for returning in the 2023/2024 season. They are based on early season announcements and individual announcements from venues. To view a current engagement list with specific locations for each show, visit the All Shows page:
- Ain’t Too Proud
- Jagged Little Pill
- Moulin Rouge! The Musical
- Tina – The Tina Turner Musical
- To Kill A Mockingbird
Potential Returning Shows
Below is the remaining list of shows that are currently on tour but have not been confirmed as of yet for the upcoming season. My personal confidence level of their return is in parenthesis, with 10 being extremely confident, to 1 indicating no confidence. Confidence levels are based on organizational surveys, offerings from booking groups, and other resources.
- 1776 (5)
- Anastasia (6)
- Cats (8)
- Chicago (8)
- Fiddler on the Roof (7)
- Hairspray (6)
- Jersey Boys (9)
- Les Misérables (10)
- Mean Girls (8) [expected to become non-union]
- My Fair Lady (7)
- On Your Feet! (3)
- Pretty Woman (8) [expected to become non-union]
- The Book of Mormon (10)
- The Play That Goes Wrong (5)
- The Lion King (10)
- Tootsie (3)
Confirmed New Shows
When trying to figure out which shows will be presented in a future season, we look to which shows have been confirmed for touring. This includes the following shows:
- Company – although no starting timeframe for the tour has been announced, an engagement–taking place from May 22–June 2, 2024–was announced as part of the upcoming season in Denver.
- Girl From the North Country – will launch in Minneapolis in fall 2023 before travelling to such cities as Baltimore, Buffalo, Dallas, Greenville, Las Vegas, Seattle, Tulsa and Washington DC, according to the tour announcement.
- Little Women – an non-equity tour of this revival is being produced by Big League Productions.
- Mamma Mia! – an equity tour of this revival will begin in late October 2023.
- Mrs. Doubtfire – set to begin in fall 2023, the show has already been announced as part of the 23/24 seasons in Denver and Detroit.
- The Cher Show – initially set to begin touring in 2020, and subsequently delayed as a result of the pandemic, the bio musical is finally set to tour the country. Details, however, are fuzzy, although it will likely be a non-equity tour.
- The Kite Runner – set to begin in 2024, no further information is available at this time.
- The Wiz – a pre-Broadway tour will launch from Hippodrome Theatre (Baltimore, MD) in October 2023. The Broadway production will begin in the spring of 2024.
Potential New Shows
Below is a list of shows that have not confirmed a tour, but have a degree of potential based on organizational surveys, offerings on booking groups, and other resources. Click the title of each show to view more information, including a personal confidence level from 10 (extremely confident) to 1 (not likely).
- Confidence = 10
- Notes: It would seem unthinkable for a Best Musical winner to not tour. However, the announcement may come around the time of its closing performance on Broadway (January 15, 2023). FYI: The last Best Musical winner to not have a direct from Broadway tour was Stephen Sondheim’s Passion in 1994.
- About: Meet Usher: a Black, queer writer writing a musical about a Black, queer writer writing a musical about a Black, queer writer…
- Confidence = 4
- Notes: Found in a couple of surveys from this summer, it’s possible this show will tour depending on the results. It played an engagement in Los Angeles earlier in 2022, which might provide an opportunity to expand nationwide.
- About: A modern-day musical fairytale based on the true story of a 16-year-old with a secret to tell – and dreams to realize. Supported by his brilliant loving mum and surrounded by his friends, Jamie overcomes prejudice, beats the bullies, and steps out of the darkness, into the spotlight.
- Confidence = 9
- Notes: In what has become a survey staple since 2020, it finally appears that this play will execute a national tour in a non-union capacity.
- About: Based on the iconic 1985 Paramount movie which was inspired by the classic Hasbro board game, Clue is a hilarious farce-meets-murder mystery.
- Confidence = 10
- Notes: All signs appear to show that this revival will tour in the 23/24 season. However, we may have to wait until the lead role has been secured for the announcement to become official (a la Hello, Dolly!).
- About: Funny Girl tells the bitter-sweet story of Fanny Brice, whose unique comedic and vocal talent see her rise from young Brooklyn music hall performer to star, and her tempestuous relationship with gambler, Nicky Arnstein.
- Confidence = 5
- Notes: This show appeared on a single organizational survey in the category of ‘New Musicals on Tour,’ which leads me to believe it has a slight chance to make its road debut following its previous run on Broadway back in 2014/2015.
- About: Based on the classic 1992 ﬁlm comedy, this is the hilarious story of commitment-phobe Jack, his not-so-patient girlfriend Betsy, and a professional gambler named Tommy. Featuring a book by Andrew Bergman (who wrote and directed the original ﬁlm) and music and lyrics by Tony Award Winner Jason Robert Brown, this is a musical comedy in the Golden Age tradition, with gags, gams and great tunes.
- Confidence = 6
- Notes: Most recently seen Off-Broadway, this show was a show option on a recent survey, and a booking agency appears to be actively accepting offers for engagements.
- About: Charlie Price is struggling to live up to his father’s expectations and continue the family business of Price & Son. With the factory’s future hanging in the balance, help arrives in the unlikely but spectacular form of Lola, a fabulous performer in need of some sturdy new stilettos.
- Confidence = 5
- Notes: Recently closed on Broadway, it’s possible this show will begin a national tour in the upcoming season. However, because of the abrupt and somewhat mysterious nature of its closure, this may impact the show’s future touring potential.
- About: Claim your backstage pass and dive inside the high-stakes world of K-pop with this exhilarating new musical. As global superstars put everything on the line for a special one-night-only concert, one singer’s inner struggle threatens to dismantle one of the hottest labels in K-pop.
- Confidence = 5
- Notes: If I were making this list back in the summer, I would have been more confident in this show touring: it was featured on a national survey and a booking company appeared to be offering the show. However, it now looks like a 50/50 chance it will tour this next season.
- About: In this deviously delicious sci-fi rock musical, meek floral assistant Seymour Krelborn stumbles across a new breed of plant he names “Audrey II” (after his coworker crush). This foul-mouthed, R&B-singing carnivorous plant promises unending fame and fortune to the down-and-out Seymour as long as he keeps feeding it…
- Confidence = 3
- Notes: Although it appeared that a tour was going to happen following the show’s closure on Broadway, the current legal battle taking place has delayed a tour from happening. Should it be a long process, and depending on the outcome, the show may lose a lot of its momentum and end up not touring.
- About: New York, 1863. As the Civil War rages on, free Blacks and Irish immigrants live and love together in the unlikeliest of neighborhoods – the dangerous streets and crumbling tenement houses of Lower Manhattan’s notorious Five Points slum. The amalgamation between the communities took its most exuberant form with raucous dance contests on the floors of the neighborhood bars and dance halls. It is here in the Five Points where tap dancing was born. But this racial equilibrium would come to a sharp and brutal end when President Lincoln’s need to institute the first Federal Draft to support the Union Army would incite the deadly NY Draft Riots of July 1863.
- Confidence = 9
- Notes: The NETworks production company has this show listed as starting in 2023. Furthermore, the show was an option for responders on a couple of shows surveys from major organizations.
- About: Featuring a timeless score that includes “I’m Flying,” “I’ve Got To Crow,” “Never Never Land,” “I Won’t Grow Up,” and so many more, Peter Pan is now updated for a new generation of thrill seekers—and more spectacular than ever. Come witness the new definitive version of a story that never grows old. Your whole family will be hooked!
- Confidence = 10
- Notes: All signs lead me to believe that this show will tour in the upcoming season: it has been an option for patrons on every 23/24 survey produced by major organization, and has been available for venues to book for a few months.
- About: “Once upon a time, there was a little ogre named Shrek….” And thus begins the tale of an unlikely hero who finds himself on a life-changing journey alongside a wisecracking Donkey and a feisty princess who resists her rescue. Throw in a short-tempered bad guy, a cookie with an attitude and over a dozen other fairy tale misfits, and you’ve got the kind of mess that calls for a real hero. Luckily, there’s one on hand… and his name is Shrek.
- Confidence = 7
- Notes: Set to close on Broadway in January, this one-man show could conduct a limited-engagement tour in the same vein as Mike Birbiglia’s previous tour The New One.
- About: Award-winning comedian and storyteller Mike Birbiglia is bringing his tale of life, death, and a highly chlorinated YMCA pool on the road! Birbiglia chronicles his coming-of-middle-age story that asks the big questions: Why are we here? What’s next? What happens when the items at the doctor’s office that you thought were decorative become functional?
- Confidence = 4
- Notes: Although garnering big stars in the main roles, this revival failed to win any Tony Awards, which may prevent a national tour from occurring. In addition, with large production costs, the show may not be financially viable for touring in today’s market. However, should recognizable names be cast as the leads, this show may tour, although I don’t see this happening.
- About: One of the most universally cherished treasures of the American musical theater, The Music Man was an instant smash hit when it premiered on Broadway on December 19, 1957. It went on to win five Tony Awards, including the prize for Best Musical, and ran for 1,375 performances.
- Confidence = 4
- Notes: With a new production being staged at the Ahmanson Theatre, this revival is looking more like it will finally make its way back to Broadway. Whether a possible tour may happen prior to or following that remains to be seen.
- About: This magical production follows the young, orphaned Mary Lennox as she’s sent from her home in India to live with her reclusive uncle on his haunted English country estate. Guided by an exceptionally beautiful score, audiences will be swept away with Mary’s unapologetic curiosity as she is joined with the help of unlikely companions sending her on a thrilling quest to untangle the pieces of her family’s past and, most importantly – discover herself.
- Confidence = 7
- Notes: Booking for this play, which most recently played in Toronto, is currently underway from a touring booking agency. When the tour will start and how extensive it will be is still unknown.
- About: Martha’s Vineyard, 1974: shooting on ‘Jaws’ has stalled. The film’s lead actors – Robert Shaw, Roy Scheider and Richard Dreyfuss – are stuck on a boat, at the mercy of foul weather and a faulty mechanical co-star. Awash with alcohol and ambition, three hammered sharks start to bare their teeth…
- Confidence = 6
- Notes: It appears that a revival of the recent touring production, last seen on tour in 2019, is returning to tour in a forthcoming season. It was an option on a survey and a booking organization appears to be spearheading its return.
- About: The spirited, romantic and beloved musical story of Maria and the von Trapp Family will once again thrill audiences with its Tony®, Grammy® and Academy Award® winning Best Score, including “My Favorite Things,” “Do-Re-Mi,” “Climb Ev’ry Mountain,” “Edelweiss” and the title song.
- Confidence = 6
- Notes: Recent surveys have this show listed among its offerings. Whether this is the same version that premiered at the Paper Mill Playhouse back in 2020 is unknown.
- About: EGOT winning composer Andrew Lloyd Webber has brought to the stage a host of blockbusters, including The Phantom of the Opera, Cats, Evita, Jesus Christ Superstar, School of Rock, and many more that have taken the theatre world by storm. Now the biggest hits from these inspirational works have been fashioned into an evening of theatre music that is, like the songs themselves, unforgettable!
In addition, the following revivals were offered on a single survey among other shows, but because of lack of information at this time, it is unknown whether any will tour this coming season. Rather, I suspect, these are revivals that could possibly make a return in a future season.
- A Chorus Line
- Anything Goes
- Bye Bye Birdie
- The King & I
Shows on Broadway
Although Broadway’s 22/23 season won’t hit its peak until the spring, preparations are well underway for what could be coming to a venue near you in a future season.
Below are the non-touring musicals that (as of publication) are either currently playing on Broadway or are currently scheduled to do so during the 22/23 season. This gives you an idea as to what could be coming on tour starting in the 24/25 season:
- & Juliet
- A Beautiful Noise
- Almost Famous
- Back to the Future
- Bad Cinderella
- Bob Fosse’s Dancin’
- Kimberly Akimbo
- New York, New York
- Once Upon a One More Time
- Pal Joey
- Some Like It Hot
- Sweeney Todd
Below are the plays that are either currently playing on Broadway or are currently scheduled to do so during the 22/23 season. Note that most plays that are on or off Broadway do not tour, so expectations for a touring production should be kept at a minimum:
- A Doll’s House
- Between Riverside and Crazy
- Death of a Salesman
- Fat Ham
- Good Night, Oscar
- Life of Pi
- Ohio State Murders
- Pictures From Home
- Prima Facie
- Summer, 1976
- Take Me Out
- The Collaboration
- The Piano Lesson
- The Thanksgiving Play
Of those plays, we could possibly see non-New York performances of Death of a Salesman (Charlotte’s Blumenthal Performing Arts are producers), Life of Pi, Take Me Out, and Leopoldstadt at a few select theatres.
For a current listing of all shows currently playing, or scheduled to play on Broadway, please visit Broadway Now and Next.
Disney Theatrical Group
In addition, a recent survey from the John Gore Organization, one of the largest producers and presenters of the touring Broadway productions, requested interest levels for shows produced by the Disney Theatrical Group that could be coming to a venue near you in a future season. These are shows that are not currently on tour in North America, but have the potential should, among other factors, there be enough interest. These include the following (click the title for more information about each show):
Aida, a thrilling new production of Elton John and Tim Rice’s Tony Award-winning musical that tells the story of star-crossed lovers belonging to feuding nations.
Beauty and the Beast, the “Tale as Old as Time” romantic Broadway musical by Alan Menken, Howard Ashman, and Tim Rice.
Coco, a new musical version of the treasured Pixar animated feature set in Mexico, about family, connecting with loved ones, and pursuing your dreams.
Descendants, a new theatrical version of the hit Disney Channel musical movies that feature the next generation of Disney’s beloved heroes and wicked villains.
Freaky Friday, a musical comedy based on Mary Rodger’s successful book and the popular movie adaptations, featuring a delightful score by the award-winning writers Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey (Next to Normal).
Hercules, a new musical version based on the animated feature, with a roof raising score by Alan Menken and David Zippel, featuring “Go the Distance,”“Zero to Hero,” and “I Won’t Say I’m in Love.”
Mary Poppins, the award-winning “Supercalifragilistic” musical featuring the world’s most famous nanny.
Newsies, a revival of the athletic and high-stepping Tony Award-winning musical by Alan Menken, Jack Feldman, and Harvey Fierstein, inspired by the Newsboy strike of 1899 in New York City.
The Greatest Showman, a stage adaptation of the highly successful movie about P.T. Barnum, featuring a score by award-winning writers Benj Pasek and Justin Paul (Dear Evan Hansen, ‘La La Land’)
The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz’s stage musical based on the Disney animated film about love, acceptance, and what it means to be a hero.
The Little Mermaid, a musical by Alan Menken and Howard Ashman which tells the story of a young mermaid who falls in love with a prince and dreams of becoming human.
The Princess Bride, a reimagining of William Goldman’s best-selling book and beloved (and hilarious!) movie as a rollicking new play with music.
It should be noted that these are potential shows to be presented in a future season and that not all 12 of these shows would go on tour in the same season. However, this does provide some interesting insight into what Disney Theatrical Group has planned for new shows as well as revivals.
If I had to speculate, we’ll probably see maybe one or two be introduced into the 23/24 season, with my guesses being Aida, which tour was postponed due to the shutdown resulting from the pandemic, and either Beauty and the Beast or Newsies. A revival of Beauty and the Beast was in the works in 2019 to celebrate Disney’s 25th anniversary on Broadway, so this may be an opportune moment to revive the show on tour.
This brings us to the end of this year’s season preview and the beginning of season announcement season. There certainly is a lot to be excited about when it comes to touring Broadway. I want to again thank all of my site’s visitors. I look forward to sharing with you the latest and greatest. Although this site is my main source for distributing information, you can also find me occasionally posting on the following social media sites: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.