The bulging lineup of new plays hitting Broadway during the spring season just expanded further with the confirmation that London hit “Coram Boy” will open May 2 at the Imperial Theater.
Originally staged at the National Theater in November 2005 and currently running in a return engagement, the play was adapted by Helen Edmundson from the Jamila Gavin children’s novel. Dark but ultimately uplifting story set in the 18th century focuses on two musically gifted boys from opposite ends of the class spectrum. Child abandonment, slavery and murder are among the grim elements of the sprawling Dickensian tale.
Boyett Ostar Prods., which was behind last season’s National import, “The History Boys,” will again produce as part of its ongoing deal with the Brit theater. But while Alan Bennett’s Tony winner transferred intact, Melly Still’s production will feature a new U.S. cast (of 40 performers, with seven musicians), along with an onstage choir singing Handel’s “Messiah.” Previews begin April 16.
“Coram Boy” fills the vacancy at the Imperial created by the sudden December closing of “High Fidelity” just 13 perfs after it opened.
Other new plays due on Broadway in the spring include Joan Didion’s adaptation of her memoir “The Year of Magical Thinking,” starring Vanessa Redgrave, and Terrence McNally’s “Deuce,” with Angela Lansbury and Marian Seldes.
Due to be confirmed any day now are the late August Wilson’s final play, “Radio Golf,” tipped to go into the Cort, and the transfer of Peter Morgan’s West End hit “Frost/Nixon,” starring Frank Langella and Michael Sheen, which is believed to be in place for an April 22 opening at the Jacobs.
All those new arrivals will face stiff competition in the Tony Awards play race from Tom Stoppard’s “Coast of Utopia” trilogy. The final part, “Salvage,” bows at Lincoln Center’s Vivian Beaumont on Feb. 15.