“Kimberly Akimbo,” one of the hottest tickets of the theatrical season will transfer to Broadway this fall following an acclaimed run at the Atlantic Theatre Company. The musical about a New Jersey girl who has an aging disease that makes her appear to be decades older than her teenage years will begin previews on October 12 and officially open on November 10. It will perform at a Shubert Theater, but it’s TBD on which one.
Unlike other buzzy projects to hit the Great White Way of late, such as the Hugh Jackman-led “Music Man” or the upcoming “MacBeth” with Daniel Craig contemplating how it’s all sound and fury signifying zilch, “Kimberly Akimbo” isn’t relying on star power to fill seats. It’s being propelled onto Broadway because of the embrace of reviewers and audiences.
Not that “Kimberly Akimbo” arrives sans high-wattage of the prestige kind. It boasts book and lyrics by Pulitzer Prize winner David Lindsay-Abaire (“Rabbit Hole”), music by Tony Award winner Jeanine Tesori (“Caroline, or Change”) and is based on the critically-acclaimed play of the same name by Lindsay-Abaire. It will be choreographed by Danny Mefford and directed by Jessica Stone, Kimberly Akimbo had its world premiere at the Atlantic Theatre Company, where it opened to rave reviews this past fall. In the New York Times, Jesse Green rhapsodized “‘Kimberly Akimbo’ is already the rare example of a good play that has become an even better musical. It warms up the zaniness of the original without overshooting and making it ‘normal.’ Instead of cowering as if embarrassed by the dimension music can bring to drama, it embraces the ability of song, even in tragicomedy, to extend emotion into bigger realms.”
“Kimberly Akimbo” is being produced by David Stone, Atlantic Theatre Company, James L. Nederlander, LaChanze, John Gore, Patrick Catullo and Aaron Glick.
The Broadway company of “Kimberly Akimbo” will be the same one that captivated critics when the show had its Atlantic Theatre world premiere production. It includes Tony Award-winner Victoria Clark (“The Light in the Piazza”) as Kimberly, Justin Cooley (Broadway debut), Tony Award nominee Steven Boyer (“Hand to God”), Alli Mauzey (“Cry Baby”), Bonnie Milligan (“Head Over Heels”), Olivia Elease Hardy (Broadway debut), Fernell Hogan (“The Prom”), Michael Iskander (Broadway debut), and Nina White (Broadway debut).