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‘Eureka Day’ and Sondheim Revue Join Broadway’s Next Season

Manhattan Theater Club, one of the four nonprofit organizations that operate houses on Broadway, is planning to stage a vaccination comedy called “Eureka Day” and the Sondheim revue “Old Friends” at its Samuel J. Friedman Theater next season.

“Eureka Day” predates the pandemic — it was first staged in 2018 in Berkeley, Calif., where it takes place, and the disease at issue is mumps, not Covid. The play, by Jonathan Spector, is set at an exuberantly left-leaning private day school; the characters are school board members who find their tolerance tested by the anti-vaxxers among them.

The initial production was at the Aurora Theater Company; in 2019, there was an Off Off Broadway production presented by Colt Coeur that the New York Times critic Ben Brantley praised, saying it “is not only one of the funniest plays to open this year, it is one of the saddest.” There have been several other productions since; most prominently, in 2022, the show was staged at the Old Vic in London, with Helen Hunt starring.

The M.T.C. run, which is to begin performances on Nov. 25, will be a new production, directed by Anna D. Shapiro. (She won a Tony for directing “August: Osage County.”) Casting has not yet been announced.

“Old Friends” is a posthumous tribute to the acclaimed composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim, who died in 2021. (“Old Friends” is the title of a song in the Sondheim musical “Merrily We Roll Along.”) The revue, a passion project for the megaproducer Cameron Mackintosh, was first performed for one night in 2022, and then had a 16-week West End run that ended earlier this year.

The New York production, like the London production, will star the Tony winners Bernadette Peters (“Song and Dance”; “Annie Get Your Gun”) and Lea Salonga (“Miss Saigon”) and will be directed by Matthew Bourne (who won two Tonys for “Swan Lake”) in collaboration with Julia McKenzie, an English actress and frequent Sondheim performer. The New York production is to begin March 25, 2025, following a run at Center Theater Group’s Ahmanson Theater in Los Angeles.

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