The Playback: May 2023

Ben Joyce as Marty McFly in 'Back to the Future: The Musical. Photo: Sean Ebsworth Barnes

In this inaugural edition of The Playback, we’ll recap all of the recent news and updates, including the recent Tony Award nominations, surveys for a future season and much more.

Season Announcements

As the calendar once again turns to the lusty month of May, we begin to wind down the season announcements from the major venues and start to see more seasons and single shows being announced from secondary and tertiary markets.

At just over 125 announced seasons through April, there are currently anywhere from from 150 to 175 additional venues that may be announcing at least one touring show.

Also in the coming months, we typically start seeing shows being added to previously-announced venues, as well as the tour stops for the upcoming holiday season. And, following the Tony Awards, we should add a few new shows to those already announced to begin in the 24/25 season.

In the meantime, however, one of the last major venues to announce their 23/24 season lineup recently was the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. The touring Broadway shows they’ll be presenting are listed below. Except where indicated, all shows will be at the Opera House.

2023-2024 Season

~ Eisenhower Theater

For additional information regarding subscriptions, group tickets, and the other productions that are part of the upcoming season, head to the Kennedy Center’s website.

Tony Awards

On Tuesday, May 2, the nominations for the 76th Tony Awards were announced. While the ceremony highlights shows from the 22/23 season on Broadway, more importantly it also allows those who don’t live in New York to catch a glimpse into which shows could be coming on tour in an upcoming season.

In the past 30 years, only two winners of the Best Musical award have not gone on tour: Passion and (as of now) A Strange Loop, 2022’s winner. The same could also be said for the Best Revival category, whose winner has gone on tour consistently for the past decade. So the odds are extremely high that whichever shows win, they most likely will be headed nationwide.

The two shows that have already announced plans for a tour include:

& Juliet – 9 nominations, including:

  • Best Musical
  • Best Book of a Musical
  • Best Costume Design of a Musical
  • Best Choreography

Kimberly Akimbo – 8 nominations, including:

  • Best Musical
  • Best Book of a Musical
  • Best Original Score
  • Best Direction of a Musical

In addition, the revival of Into the Woods, which is currently on tour, was nominated for six Tony Awards, including:

  • Best Revival of a Musical
  • Best Direction of a Musical
  • Best Featured Actress in a Musical (Julia Lester, who is currently on the tour)

A Beautiful Noise, which will begin touring in Providence in the fall of 2024, did not receive any nominations.

The awards ceremony is on Sunday, June 11, 2023. The broadcast will be from the historic United Palace in Washington Heights, in New York City from 8:00-11:00 PM, ET/5:00-8:00 PM, PT on the CBS Television Network, and streaming live and on demand on Paramount+.

In addition, CBS and Pluto TV will present The Tony Awards: Act One, a pre-show of live, exclusive content leading into the 76th Annual Tony Awards. The celebration commences at 6:30-8:00 PM, ET/3:30-5:00 PM PT, on Pluto TV, the leading free streaming television service (FAST). Viewers can access the show on their smart TV, streaming device, mobile app or online by going to Pluto TV and clicking on the “Pluto TV Celebrity” channel (no payment, registration or sign-in required).

For more, and to see the other nominated musicals and plays, visit

New Surveys

Prior to the Tony Award nominations, Broadway Across America emailed surveys to patrons in the locations where they present a Broadway series. The goal of the surveys was to gauge an individual’s level of interest in a variety of shows for the 24/25 season. These surveys provide interesting insight as to what could possibly be coming on tour in a coming season, as well as detailing which current shows may be returning. Results from the surveys can also carry a certain amount of weight in determining the makeup of a given season.

As in previous surveys, similar categories were used, including: New Musicals, Plays, Revivals, Continuing Favorites, Holiday Shows, and Shows In Development. Significant shows from the main categories include:


  • & Juliet
  • A Beautiful Noise
  • A Wonderful World
  • Almost Famous
  • Back to the Future: The Musical
  • Bad Cinderella
  • Disney’s Hercules
  • Kimberly Akimbo
  • New York, New York
  • Shucked
  • Some Like It Hot
  • Sunny Afternoon – The Kinks Musical

Shows in orange have already announced a tour.

Notes: Of the shows that haven’t made a tour announcement, I highly suspect that New York, New YorkShucked and Some Like It Hot will announce tours shortly after the Tony Awards, depending on how well they perform. It’s possible that A Wonderful World made the list as it looks to return to touring following its upcoming Broadway engagement.

EDIT: The day this information was published, Some Like It Hot announced a North American tour to begin in the fall of 2024 (more).

With an early closure and mixed reviews, it’s possible that both Almost Famous and Bad Cinderella are left out completely. If that is the case, that means the only Andrew Lloyd Webber show playing either on Broadway or on tour is Jesus Christ Superstar, as it appears that the current touring production of Cats will end following the 22/23 season.


  • Fat Ham
  • Good Night, Oscar
  • Grey House
  • Life of Pi
  • Peter Pan Goes Wrong

Notes: Possibly with the exception of Peter Pan Goes Wrong and Grey House, the plays under consideration may have to see how the Tony voters treat them before considering a tour. The only known show that apparently is under serious consideration at this time is Life of Pi.

Although the engagement in Los Angeles is considered an independent production, I highly suspect that Peter Pan Goes Wrong will continue straight on to morning with a full-fledged tour. Grey House is currently in previews on Broadway so it is too early to tell whether it will begin touring.


  • Bob Fosse’s Dancin’
  • Camelot
  • Company
  • Disney’s Aida
  • Disney’s Beauty and the Beast
  • Disney’s Mary Poppins
  • Disney’s Newsies
  • Funny Girl
  • Hairspray
  • Kinky Boots
  • Mamma Mia!
  • Matilda the Musical
  • Parade
  • Peter Pan
  • Sweeney Todd
  • The Music Man
  • The Secret Garden
  • The Sound of Music
  • The Who’s Tommy
  • The Wiz

Shows in orange are currently on tour or will begin in the 23/24 season.

Notes: An entire post could be dedicated to this category alone, as it presents a glimpse into the most unknown of unknowns. Could Disney bring back four shows, alongside new show Hercules, to add to Frozen, Aladdin, and The Lion King? Probably not; but the case for each potential show could be made. Could a large production like Sweeney Todd go on tour in the current economic climate? Should it begin in late 2024, will there still be interest in The Music Man almost two years its closure? Was there a surge of interest in Matilda following its film adaptation in 2022?

With a little arm-twisting, I believe that we’ll see somewhere between 4 and 6 new revivals begin touring in the 24/25 season, including: CamelotSweeney ToddThe Sound of Music, and one of the Disney productions.

Of note in the Continuing Favorites section was the inclusion of Jersey Boys and Waitress. Jersey Boys has indicated that it will be back in 2024, and I suspect Waitress will also be back touring in the 24/25 season.

Closing Curtain

Last, but not least, it’s time to bid a fond adieu to the first national tours of Mean Girls and Pretty Woman: The Musical.

While both are post-pandemic success stories, Mean Girls was about six months in to its first season when it was abruptly disrupted. 20 months later, the show returned and played over 50 engagements. 

Meanwhile, Pretty Woman had announced nearly all of its scheduled  engagements for the 20/21 season when the shutdown occurred. Fortunately, the show and its initial venues were able to reschedule all of the planned engagements, and now ends with over 60 logged stops.

Second national tours are expected to begin this fall for both shows, as engagements have been announced in locations such as: Washington, Philadelphia, and Miami. Stay tuned for updates with those and the many other shows covered here.

In the next edition of The Playback, we’ll look into the results from the Tony Awards, update any new shows that might begin touring, and introduce the Show Scores feature.

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