Fresh off a world premiere run at Utah's Pioneer Theatre Company (that ended its run November 12), official plans have been revealed to bring Shucked into NYC for a Broadway bow at the Nederlander Theatre. Previews for the new musical will begin March 8, 2023, with opening night set for April 4.
Details on the plot of this original comedy are scarce, with press notes revealing little more about the "farm-to-fable musical" than a collection of corn puns: "Shucked is about to turn Broadway on its ear and offer a kernel of hope for our divided nation." The writing team includes a book by Robert Horn (Tootsie, 13) and a score by Nashville-based songwriting team Brandy Clark and Shane McAnally. Three-time Tony winner and stage comedy expert Jack O'Brien (Hairspray, The Front Page) is at the helm.
"Shucked is a passion project," says Horn, Clark, and McAnally in a statement. "There was something about this idea, this style of humor and this music, that kept this little engine going. What will be on stage at the Nederlander is a story about how we all have the gift of heroism inside us, and about learning to open our hearts to those who are different than us so that growth can happen… and of course, about corn… because the basic thing that unity and acceptance need for survival, is a kernel of truth."
Reviews of Shucked from its Utah run were positive, and pun-filled. The Utah Review said that the musical "perfectly pop[ped] every kernel of comedy, song and dance." The Salt Lake City Weekly enthusiastically said that the musical practically needs no fixes en route to Broadway: "The version of this show that winds up on Broadway a little bit down the road might end up tweaking a joke here and there, but nobody needs to lose sleep over whether a page-one rewrite is needed to make it a winner. You’ve got terrifically funny, you’ve got instantly hummable, and if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it."
Set to star are John Behlmann (Tootsie), Kevin Cahoon (The Who's Tommy), Andrew Durand (Head Over Heels), Caroline Innerbichler (Frozen), Ashley D. Kelley (Bella: An American Tall Take), and Alex Newell (Once On This Island, Glee).
Shucked will also feature choreography by Sarah O'Gleby (Shucked will be her second show this season, following Almost Famous). Music supervision, music direction, orchestrations, and arrangements will be by Jason Howland (Paradise Square).
The production will feature scenic design by Scott Pask, costumes by Tilly Grimes, lighting by Japhy Weideman, sound by John Shivers, and hair and wig design by Mia Neal. Casting is by Stephen Kopel of C12 Casting.
The complete cast and much of the creative team are back to reprise their work from the world premiere run in Utah. That run also starred Taylor Trensch (Hello, Dolly!, Dear Evan Hansen) and an ensemble and swing company comprising Dwayne Clark, Rheaume Crenshaw, Kaitlyn Davidson, Jaygee Macapugay, Scott Stangland, Esteban Suero, Yasmeen Sulieman, Quinn VanAntwerp, Miki Abraham, and Alan Wiggins. No word on if they, too, will continue with the show to Broadway; additional casting is to be announced.
Shucked is being produced on Broadway by Mike Bosner and Jason Owen, along with AEG Presents / Jay Marciano / Gary Gersh, Richard Smith, Jeffrey A. Sine, Walter Schmidt, Bob Boyett, Jeremiah J. Harris, KSO Productions, James L. Nederlander, DudaAllen, John Gore Organization, Madison Wells Live, S&Co., Terry Schnuck, and ZKM Media.