Darren Criss Returns to Broadway with Helen J Shen in New Musical ‘Maybe Happy Ending’

Broadway enthusiasts, get ready for an exciting new addition to the stage! Emmy and Golden Globe-winner Darren Criss, known for his roles in American Buffalo and The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story, is set to make his return to Broadway. Criss will star alongside Helen J Shen, acclaimed for her performances in The Lonely Few and Teeth, in the Broadway premiere of the new musical Maybe Happy Ending.

The production will begin previews on Wednesday, September 18, at the Belasco Theatre, with an official opening night on Thursday, October 17.

With music by Will Aronson, lyrics by Hue Park, and a book by both Aronson and Park, Maybe Happy Ending promises to be a captivating addition to Broadway. The musical will be directed by Tony Award-winner Michael Arden, known for his work on Parade, Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, and Once on This Island.

Joining Criss and Shen in the cast is Dez Duron, a standout performer from NBC’s The Voice, who will be making his Broadway debut.

Further casting details, as well as ticketing and on-sale information, will be announced at a later date.

Maybe Happy Ending transports audiences to a one-room apartment in the heart of Seoul, where Oliver (Criss), a retired Helperbot 3, leads a quiet life listening to jazz records and tending to his favorite plant. When his fellow Helperbot neighbor Claire (Shen) asks to borrow his charger, their awkward encounter blossoms into a unique friendship, a surprising adventure, and potentially even love. The story explores how even robots can experience human emotions and connections, making it a touching tale of love and discovery.

“I am so very happy to be joining the enchanting world of Maybe Happy Ending,” Criss shared. “It’s already such a special piece, but all the more exciting for me to get to build it for Broadway with people I admire – namely my ol’ pal Michael Arden, a visionary I’ve been wanting to work with for longer than I care to admit, as well as the very talented Will Aronson and Hue Park.”

He continued, “Their inventive book and music, combined with Michael’s direction, is exactly the kind of alchemy that gets me most excited about what musical theater can be. I can’t wait for audiences to take part in this wonderfully original theatrical experience and behold a story from a future that explores one of the most ancient questions of humanity – why love?”

Maybe Happy Ending has a rich history, having been written in both Korean and English. The Korean-language version debuted in December 2016 at DaeMyung Culture Factory in Seoul and won six Korean Musical Awards, including Best Musical. The English-language version received the 2017 Richard Rodgers Production Award and had its U.S. premiere at the Alliance Theatre in Atlanta during the 2019-2020 season, directed by Michael Arden.

The creative team behind the Broadway production includes Tony Award-nominee Dane Laffrey (Set and Additional Video Design), Tony Award-winner Clint Ramos (Costume Design), Tony Award-nominee Ben Stanton (Lighting Design), Tony Award-winner Peter Hylenski (Sound Design), George Reeve (Video Design), Deborah Abramson (Music Supervisor), and John Yun (Music Director).

Maybe Happy Ending is produced on Broadway by Jeffrey Richards, Hunter Arnold, Darren Criss (marking his Broadway producing debut), Rebecca Gold, Spencer Ross, Adam Zotovich, Kayla Greenspan, M/B/P Productions, Fahs Productions, Ken Greiner, Ruth Hendel, Willette and Manny Klausner, Cody Lassen, Mix and Match Productions, The Nederlander Organization, Jacob Stuckelman, and John Albert Harris. Allan Williams serves as the Executive Producer.

Stay tuned for more updates on this highly anticipated musical!

Photo Credit: DepositPhotos.com

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