Broadway is back.
Yes, the Great White Way will reopen in September, and theater buffs are ecstatic. Many of the hottest pre-pandemic hits are returning along with a handful of old favorites. And, in a treat for suffering theatergoers, a spate of new shows will debut. Here's a sampling:
"Mitch!" — A rowdy musical about the most dour man in America. The cast tries gamely to make him smile, to no avail, though the female lead, an NRA lobbyist named Natasha, fogs Mitch's glasses with the spiritual-inspired "Majority Leader of All My Dreams." Don't miss the showstopper at the end of the first act when the titular character sings, "I Can Stop a Clock (and Every Piece of Legislation and Every Democratic Judicial Appointment and Any Notion You Had That I Care About Anything Other Than Power)." Previews audiences have been throwing garlands on the stage.
"Zuckered" — A coming-of-age musical about young people who yearn for companionship and a sense of belonging only to find they've been Zuckered by a superior being who adopts a human disguise and pretends to care about them but only wants their data. Especially memorable: the tango between the superior life form and his nemesis Ally O. Cortez, who switches to falsetto to grill him so intensely that he feels his self-control slipping and almost seems genuinely human.
"La Cage aux Fools" — A grand farce about critics of Dr. Anthony Fauci, with a memorable ending in which Fauci climbs on the table during a congressional hearing and belts, "I Am What I Am."
"The Lyin' King" — A plucky Disney musical about a tribal ruler who loses his throne and is exiled but continues to try to lead the tribe from his gilded castle. Particularly haunting is the elegiac "Circle of Lies" sung by the ruler's family. Watch for the second act closer, "I Can't Wait to be King Again," during which hecklers at out-of-town previews have yelled out, "Loser!" only to be pummeled by other patrons wearing red hats.
"Jagged Little Hill" — A one-act play set in a Manhattan hotel room on the night of Nov. 8, 2016, about a woman who realizes she has suffered the most crushing defeat imaginable and every nerve in her body is now transmitting the most exquisite pain she ever has felt. It's a follow-up to "Jagged Little Bill," a play of interminable length in which the male lead is buffeted by similar stresses but continues his merry jaunt through life.
"Sunday in the Park with Judge" — A bittersweet comedy about a near-mythical he-man who tries to raise the spirits of everyone in the park but just can't stay healthy enough to do it. It's the Broadway debut of Dwayne Johnson as the Bunyanesque hero who ultimately wins the girl but not the game, as Johnson endears himself to cultural elites by making them a lot of money in preparation for his political debut in 2024, or 2028, or 2032.
"Who's Afraid of Liz Cheney?" — Everyone in the cast except the title character, it turns out, in this drama that's unusual in that all of the actors and actresses besides the lead can and do rotate parts because everyone except Cheney says pretty much the same thing.
As a bonus, producers are readying a variety of revivals updated for our times, including "An American in Paris" (the travels of John Kerry), "Passing Strange" (the descent of Rudy Giuliani), "Spring Awakening" (the moment Kamala Harris realizes she is being given the insoluble problems), "A Chorus Line" (the merry escapades of a bunch of political sycophants), "Groundhog Day" (members of Congress wake up each morning and talk about the filibuster), "Newsies" (Washington reporters try to seem neutral during a change in administrations), "Knives Out" (the Megxit back story), and "Les Miserables" (conservative commentators try to find some line of attack against Joe Biden that sticks).
And if none of these tickle your fancy, hang on. A remake of "A Midsummer Night's Dream" is coming, in which a New York governor riding a wave of viral success fantasizes about becoming king of the world.
Get your tickets now.
Michael Dobie is a member of Newsday's editorial board.