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Sondheim revue ‘Old Friends,’ with Bernadette Peters and Lea Salonga, sets Broadway run with Manhattan Theatre Club; new season announced

Jonathan Spector’s “Eureka Day” will also be a part of the nonprofit’s 2024-2025 season.

(L-R) Bernadette Peters and Lea Salonga (Credit: Jed Cullen/Dave Benett/Getty Images)

Manhattan Theatre Club (MTC) has revealed two productions for its 2024-25 Broadway season. “Old Friends,” a revue of songs by Tony Award winner Stephen Sondheim, and “Eureka Day,” a new comedy by Jonathan Spector, will play MTC’s Samuel J. Friedman Theatre. Both shows received prior runs in London’s West End.

Co-directed by Tony winner Matthew Bourne and Tony nominee Julia McKenzie and devised by Tony-winning producer Cameron Mackintosh, “Old Friends” features the work of and serves as a tribute to the legacy of Sondheim, who passed away in 2021. The revue will begin previews on March 25, 2025, with an opening date to be announced. Bourne and McKenzie will provide musical staging, while Tony nominee Stephen Mear will choreograph.

Reprising their performances from the 2023 production at London’s Gielgud Theatre will be Tony winners Bernadette Peters and Lea Salonga.

Peters is one of only a handful of actors to have won the Tony for Best Leading Actress in a Musical more than once, having been honored for her work in 1985’s “Song and Dance” and the 1999 revival of “Annie Get Your Gun.” Known for her frequent interpretations of Sondheim’s work, Peters originated the roles of Dot in the composer-lyricist’s 1984 musical “Sunday in the Park with George” and the Witch in 1986’s “Into the Woods.” Other Sondheim roles include Rose in the 2003 revival of “Gypsy,” Desiree Armfeldt in the 2009 revival of “A Little Night Music” and Sally Durant Plummer in the 2011 mounting of “Follies.” While “Old Friends” will mark Peters’ first MTC production on Broadway, she previously appeared in the nonprofit’s 1982 Off-Broadway production of “Sally and Marsha,” directed by MTC’s artistic director Lynne Meadow.

Winner of the 1991 Best Actress in a Musical Tony for her Main Stem debut as Kim in Mackintosh’s “Miss Saigon,” Salonga also appeared on Broadway as a replacement in Mackintosh’s original 1987 “Les Misérables” and the 2006 revival, as Éponine and Fantine, respectively. In 2023, Salonga performed the featured role of Aurora Aquino in “Here Lies Love,” while also serving as one of the musical’s co-producers. Her other Broadway acting credits include “Flower Drum Song,” “Allegiance” and “Once on This Island.”

Prior to its Broadway premiere, “Old Friends” will play an engagement at Center Theatre Group’s Ahmanson Theater in Los Angeles.

“It is a tremendous joy to now be bringing ‘Old Friends’ to the Ahmanson in Los Angeles and to be back side by side with Lynne Meadow at the Manhattan Theatre Club in New York thanks to Daryl Roth’s support, with a terrific company headed again by my old friends Bernadette and Lea,” said Mackintosh in a statement. “Audiences are in for a joyous and unforgettable evening featuring some of the greatest songs ever written for the musical theater in ‘a great big Broadway show’ — just as Steve wanted.”

“Old Friends” is being produced by MTC, under the leadership of artistic director Meadow and executive director Chris Jennings, in association with CMI and Roth. “Old Friends” will mark the first musical to play the Friedman since 2017’s “Prince of Broadway,” a revue of the works of Tony-winning producer-director Harold Prince, who was a frequent Sondheim collaborator.

Before “Old Friends” makes its Main Stem bow, MTC will present Spector’s “Eureka Day,” directed by Tony winner Anna D. Shapiro. The play will begin previews on Nov. 25, with an opening date to be announced. 

Set in California, “Eureka Day” follows the community of a private elementary school which must grapple with its liberal vaccination policy following a mumps outbreak. The play had previous productions at Colt Coeur, a Brooklyn-based theater company, and at the Old Vic Theatre in London’s West End.

“Eureka Day” is being produced by MTC, by special arrangement with Sonia Friedman Productions, Wagner Johnson Productions and Seaview.

Additional casting and creative teams for both productions will be announced.

MTC’s season usually features three Broadway productions, in addition to Off-Broadway programming. However, the nonprofit will have two Broadway offerings in 2024-2025 as the Friedman Theatre will be closed from July to October 2024 to allow for renovations. MTC also announced the world premiere of Erika Sheffer’s “Vladimir,” directed by Tony winner Daniel Sullivan, which will play at the organization’s Off-Broadway venue, City Center Stage I. Additional Off-Broadway productions will be announced.

“I’m proud that this first part of MTC’s 2024-2025 season lineup celebrates our longstanding commitment to both presenting plays by new voices and welcoming back longtime treasured colleagues and artists on and Off-Broadway,” Meadow said in a statement. “We’re thrilled to give playwrights Erika Sheffer and Jonathan Spector, actress Lea Salonga and director Matthew Bourne their MTC debuts, and to welcome back to MTC actress Bernadette Peters, directors Anna Shapiro and Daniel Sullivan, producer Cameron Mackintosh, and the work of Stephen Sondheim.”