Musical Comedy ‘Kimberly Akimbo’ to Open on Broadway Next Fall
“Kimberly Akimbo,” a musical comedy about a young girl with a medical condition that causes rapid aging, will transfer to Broadway next fall.
The show, based on a play by David Lindsay-Abaire, had an initial Off Broadway run that opened late last year at the Atlantic Theater Company, where it ran through the peak of the Omicron surge of the coronavirus and was greeted with strong reviews. Jesse Green, in The New York Times, called it “funny and moving.”
The musical stars Victoria Clark, a 62-year-old actress playing a 15-year-old girl who is managing not only her affliction — a condition that limits her life expectancy — but also life with a ludicrous family.
“It’s a coming-of-age story, but an unusual one because the clock is ticking from the get-go,” Clark said in an interview. “She has a limited amount of time left, and what draws me to her is her joie, and watching how someone can triumph who you least expect to succeed.”
Clark, who stars alongside a company of much younger actors, said playing an adolescent had deeply affected her.
“There is a boldness and a rawness to adolescence, and at the same time a balance between holding back and going for it that is so beautiful,” said Clark, who won a Tony Award in 2005 for “The Light in the Piazza.” “This character has taught me the beauty of impulse, and the beauty of being present, and not just accepting one’s fate. After the show I just wanted to run and find everyone I loved and tell them how much they meant to me.”
The show features music by Jeanine Tesori, the Tony-winning composer of “Fun Home,” and a book and lyrics by Lindsay-Abaire, who won a Pulitzer Prize for his play “Rabbit Hole.” It is directed by Jessica Stone, a longtime actress making her Broadway directing debut, and choreographed by Danny Mefford (“Dear Evan Hansen”).
The Broadway cast will feature the same actors as the Off Broadway production, including Steven Boyer (“Hand to God”) and Alli Mauzey (“Cry-Baby”) as the protagonist’s parents, Bonnie Milligan (“Head Over Heels”) as her aunt, and Justin Cooley making his debut as one of her classmates.
“Kimberly Akimbo” is scheduled to begin previews on Oct. 12 and to open on Nov. 10 at an unspecified Shubert theater. The lead producer is David Stone, who is also the lead producer of “Wicked”; other producers include the actress LaChanze and the theater owner James L. Nederlander, as well as Patrick Catullo, Aaron Glick and the Atlantic Theater Company.