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Darren Criss will return to Broadway as a robot in love| GuyWhoKnowsThings

Darren Criss, who parlayed a breakout role on “Glee” into a multifaceted career in television, theater and music, will return to Broadway this fall in a new musical that's nominally about robots but also about life, love and loss.

The show, “Maybe happy ending,” is a rarity on Broadway: a wholly original musical, not adapted from a pre-existing story or song catalog. Criss will star alongside Helen J Shen and two other actors in the musical, which is set in Seoul at the end of the 21st century and is about two old-fashioned helper robots who meet at a robot retirement home and forge a relationship while struggling with their own obsolescence.

The musical, by Will Aronson and Hue Park, had an initial Korean production in Seoul in 2016, and an English production. in atlanta, at the Alianza Theaterin 2020, where New York Times senior theater critic Jesse Green call it “A charming, Broadway-ready new musical about robots in love.”

The Broadway production, announced Tuesday, will be directed by Michael Arden, who also directed the Atlanta production, and who last year won a Tony Award for directing a revival of “parade.” “Maybe Happy Ending” is scheduled to begin previews on September 18 and premiere October 17 at the Belasco Theater.

“It's a strange, futuristic look at love, with a beautiful score that feels quite classical,” Arden said in a phone interview. “When I first read it, I found it absolutely devastating, heartbreaking and beautiful; it was one of the most human stories I have ever encountered, even though our protagonists are not human.”

Criss, Emmy winner for “The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story”, last appeared on Broadway in a 2022 revival of “American buffalo”; He had previously starred in “Hedwig and the angry inch” and “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.”

“Maybe Happy Ending” will be the first Broadway show for Shen, who is currently in “The lonely few” at Off Broadway's MCC Theater. Criss and Shen will play the robots; The cast will also include former “The Voice” contestant Dez Duron.

“Maybe Happy Ending” will be capitalized for $18.25 million, according to a document filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The lead producers of the musical are Jeffrey Richards and Hunter Arnold, who on Friday announced that they are also among the producers of a new Off Broadway play, “N/A”, starring Holland Taylor and Ana Villafañe. That play, written by Mario Correa and directed by Diane Paulus, will begin previews June 11 and premiere June 23 at the Mitzi E. Newhouse Theatre. The play, described in a press release as inspired by real people and events, deals with the tensions between the first female speaker of the House and the youngest woman elected to Congress; the characters have parallels to Nancy Pelosi and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

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