This week, Jared reviews the best of Broadway ahead of the 2019 Tony Awards.

“King Lear,” presented at the Cort Theatre on Broadway through June 9.

Jayne Houdyshell and Glenda Jackson in "King Lear."
Courtesy of Brigitte Lacombe, DKC/O&M

Fresh off her Tony-winning performance in “Three Tall Women,” Glenda Jackson returns to Broadway as the titular mad monarch of “King Lear.” This rendition of William Shakespeare’s tale of tragedy and redemption is directed by Tony Award winner Sam Gold, and features original music by Philip Glass and set design by Miriam Buether. Rounding out this star-studded cast is Tony Award winner Jayne Houdyshell, three-time Obie Award winner Elizabeth Marvel, Aisling O’Sullivan, Pedro Pascal, Drama Desk Award winner and recent Elliot Norton Award winner John Douglas Thompson, and two-time Olivier Award and Golden Globe Award winner Ruth Wilson.

“King Lear is a landscape rich with talent,” says Jared. “The crowning achievement though is Glenda Jackson’s ferociously compelling Lear.”

“Tootsie,” presented at the Marqius Theatre on Broadway through 2019.

Crop_[10360]_WAYNE, SPANGLER, MILGRIM, GREENE, FONTANA in TOOTSIE, Photo by Matthew Murphy, 2019.jpg
Santino Fontana (right) and company in "Tootsie."
Matthew Murphy, courtesy of Polk and Company PR

Santino Fontana has sung his way to a Tony-nominated performance in “Tootsie.” Directed by Scott Ellis, this uproarious musical comedy based on the 1982 film tells the story of Michael Dorsey, a struggling actor who disguises himself as an actress named Dorothy Michaels and becomes an unexpected Broadway sensation. But can he keep up the charade when he meets the woman of his dreams? Nevermind how aware he is of issues of inequality of women in the workplace. “Tootsie” is nominated for 11 Tony Awards, including Best Musical, Best Direction, and Best Leading Actor in a Musical.

“To say that Tootsie is funny is a vast understatement,” says Jared. “It’s unrelentingly hilarious — just a wonderful show where all its elements coalesce near perfectly.”

“Hadestown,” presented at the Walter Kerr Theatre on Broadway through Jan. 5, 2020.

(Left to Right) Eva Noblezada, Andre De Shields, and Reeve Carney in "Hadestown."
Matthew Murphy, courtesy of DKC/O&M

Leading this year’s Tony Awards with 14 nominations is singer/songwriter Anaïs Mitchell’s “Hadestown,” a project begun by the Vermont native some 12 years ago as a concept album. Directed by Rachel Chavkin (Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812), this new musical delivers audiences to the underworld for a new twist on two Greek myths: the tragic love story of Orpheus and Eurydice, and the tale of Hades and Persephone.

“This is myth made fully entrancing,” says Jared. “There is a throb to Hadestown — a musical and narrative pulse that envelopes the entire theater. Pulling us deeply into the characters’ journeys and souls.”

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