National Tours Take Tony Nominees on the Road

The producers of “The King and I” and “On the Town,” two shows nominated for the 2015 Tony Awards, are already looking beyond Broadway, announcing national tours that will launch during the 2016-17.

Ditto “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time,” considered by many as the frontrunner in the new play race. That show will launch a North American tour in October 2016. “American in Paris,” one of two new musicals this season to score 12 Tony nominations, announced a tour a couple of weeks ago.

As familiar titles currently playing Broadway in critically praised productions, “King and I,” “On the Town” and “American in Paris” are all natural candidates for the road. “Something Rotten!” also seem to have strong touring prospects, although no road plans have yet been announced; on the other hand, the edgier, more intimate “Fun Home” might need some major Tony wins to spur a touring incarnation.

Plays don’t often hit the road, since most in the theater industry consider the audience for plays considerably smaller than the audience for musicals. But producers of “Curious Incident” are giving it a shot after the show managed to build unexpectedly strong popular momentum here on Broadway: “Curious Incident,” which earned raves in its London premiere and subsequently in New York, has reported consistently robust sales since opening on Broadway in the fall, despite having no big-name stars in the cast.

The timing of such touring announcements highlights the importance of the road producers and presenters who comprise a notable chunk of the Tony voting pool. That segment of the voters is often thought to reward shows most likely to succeed with regional audiences.

In an unusual turn, Tony Yazbeck, a current Tony nominee for his role in “On the Town,” will star in “On the Town” on the road as well. It’s not often that original Broadway cast members tour with a production, although it does happen; Cherry Jones, for instance, reprised her Tony-winning performance in “Doubt” in the national tour.

No cast for the tour of “King and I” — which stars Kelli O’Hara and Ken Watanabe (pictured above) on Broadway — has yet been set. News of the road production coincided with the confirmation that the Broadway staging will run indefinitely at Lincoln Center Theater’s Vivian Beaumont Theater — a move had been expected, given that the musical comes from the same creative team behind LCT’s long-running “South Pacific” revival, and “King and I” has so far proven as successful with critics and audiences.

The “King and I” tour will launch in Providence in November 2016. Exact dates and cities for “On the Town,” “Curious Incident” and “American in Paris” remain to be mapped out.

Popular on Variety

More Legit

  • David-Alan-Grier-Blair-Underwood

    David Alan Grier and Blair Underwood to Star in 'A Soldier's Play' on Broadway

    David Alan Grier and Blair Underwood will star in a Broadway production of Pulitzer-Prize winning drama “A Soldier’s Play.” The play, written by Charles Fuller, is set in 1944 and follows a murder mystery centered around the death of black Sergeant Vernon C. Waters (played by Grier) who is found on a Louisiana army base. [...]

  • The Inheritance review

    'The Inheritance' Announces Broadway Cast

    After an Olivier-winning run in London, “The Inheritance” is gearing up for its Broadway debut. The two-part epic has set the cast for its transfer from the West End to the Great White Way. John Benjamin Hickey, Paul Hilton, Samuel H. Levine, Andrew Burnap and Kyle Soller are among the cast members reprising their roles [...]

  • Patrick Page, Amber Grey, Eva Noblezada,

    'Hadestown' Announces 2020 National Tour

    ‘Hadestown’, the eight-time Tony award winning Broadway musical, is set for a national tour in 2020. The show will stop in more than 30 cities including Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New Orleans, and more. The musical is a stage adaptation of the Greek myths of Orpheus and Eurydice and King Hades and his wife [...]

  • Jake Gyllenhaal

    Listen: Why Jake Gyllenhaal Is His 'Best Self' in the Theater

    Looking for the best possible version of Jake Gyllenhaal? You’ll find it onstage, according to the actor himself. Listen to this week’s podcast below: “I am my best self when I’m working in the theater,” Gyllenhaal said on the latest episode Stagecraft, Variety’s theater podcast, on which he appeared with Carrie Cracknell, the director of [...]

  • Photo: Jeremy Daniel

    'The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical' Gets Broadway Run

    “The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical” is Broadway bound. The musical adaptation of the franchise about a teenager who discovers he’s the son of Poseidon hits the Great White Way on Sept. 20 ahead of an Oct. 16 opening night. It comes on the heels of an extensive, nationwide tour that took the show [...]

  • Tom Sturridge Jake Gyllenhaal

    Jake Gyllenhaal and Tom Sturridge Celebrate 'Sea Wall/A Life' With Star-Studded Opening Night

    A star-studded audience looked on as Jake Gyllenhaal and Tom Sturridge returned to the stage for their double monologue performance in “Sea Wall/A Life.” Theater-goers and celebs including Anne Hathaway, Tom Hiddleston and John Mulaney gathered in Manhattan’s Hudson Theatre for opening night, celebrating a show tackling grief, birth and death through the eyes of [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content