Janet McTeer as Sarah Bernhardt in Hamlet | Photo: YouTube/Roundabout Theatre Company
Live theater — and especially musicals — have a long history with the LGBTI community. It is a place where authenticity, creativity, and identitity thrive.
From Spring Awakening to Cabaret and Hedwig to Bare, the theater has long felt like a welcome place.
New shows are opening all the time, both on Broadway in New York City and the West End in London. To keep track, here are 14 shows opening in both places that definitely deserve your time and attention.
What happened when the French star Sarah Bernhardt took on the role of one of the Shakespeare’s most famous roles in 1899? A whole lot of controversy and dramatics, that’s what. Janet McTeer plays Sarah during her time performing the role of Hamlet, and all the politics that went with it.
Currently in previews at the American Airlines Theatre.
Slave Play (NYC)
Set on the Macgregor Plantation in the antebellum South of the United States, this show explores the reality of sexual violence for the lives of slaves. It takes on themes of race, gender, and sexuality in its storytelling.
Begins previews on 19 November at the New York Theatre Workshop.
Black Light (NYC)
Star and creator Daniel Alexander Jones takes center stage for this show — but not as himself. Instead, his diva alter-ego Jomama Jones is out to wow and amaze the audience with all her impressive talents.
Begins previews on 24 September at the Greenwich House Theatre.
Plot Points in Our Sexual Development (NYC)
Everyone has a history, for better or worse. Sharing it with others is one of the scariest things a person can do as they step into a vulnerable position. That’s the idea behind Miranda Rose Hall’s new play when a romantic couple, consisting of a cis woman and genderqueer individual, start sharing their sexual pasts with one another.
Previews begin 6 October at the Claire Tow Theater in Lincoln Center.
Torch Song (NYC)
Openly queer actor Michael Urie leads this production of Harvey Fierstein’s trilogy of plays, including International Stud, Fugue in a Nursery, and Widows and Children First!. It follows a gay man who has dreams of having a family.
Previews begin 9 October at the Hayes Theater.
The Cher Show (NYC)
Three actors, one icon. The Cher Show explores the life of the one and only diva, with three different performers portraying her throughout her life.
Previews begin 1 November at the Neil Simon Theatre.
Poet in Da Corner (London)
In this autobiographical show, pansexual artist Debris Stevenson explores what led her to finding her own voice, despite the negativity around her. The show contains music, movement, and Stevenson’s own poetry.
Previews begin 21 September at the Royal Court Theatre- Jerwood Theatre Downstairs.
Unexpected Joy (London)
Family dramas always make for the best plays. In this one, matriarch Joy, gets a visit from her daughter, Rachel, and granddaughter Tamara. The thing is, Joy is about to marry another woman and doesn’t know how to tell Rachel, who’s married to a televangelist.
Currently in previews at the Southwark Playhouse.
The Inheritance (London)
This show, which follows a young gay man in New York City in a world after the height of the AIDS crisis, had a sold-out run at the Young Vic. Young New Yorkers are at the center, battling both their pasts and futures.
Previews begin 21 September at Noel Coward Theatre.
A Guide for the Homesick (London)
Ken Urban’s play centers on two men in Amsterdam and the bond they share, and the secrets they reveal. Their time spent together includes passionate encounters and learning to understand who they really are.
Previews begin 16 October at Trafalgar Studios 2.
The Funeral Director (London)
Ayesha is the director of a Muslim funeral home. When Tom arrives to organize his boyfriend’s funeral, Ayesha is challenged by her faith and community, and a truth about herself she may not be ready to confront.
Previews begin 31 October at the Southwark Playhouse.