October 21 is the day that Marty McFly, the protagonist of 1985’s Back to the Future, first travels backwards in time, kicking off a zany adventure that has cemented itself as essential viewing in the sci-fi canon. Every year on October 21, fans even celebrate Back to the Future Day.
On Friday—this year’s Back to the Future Day—fans got some exciting news: Back to the Future: The Musical is coming to Broadway. It will open at the Winter Garden Theatre on August 3, 2023, with preview performances beginning on June 30.
The musical comes to New York City from across the pond, where it first opened at the Manchester Opera House in 2020. That initial run was cut short by the pandemic, which forced theaters around the world to close their doors. But it opened again last fall at London’s Adelphi Theatre, where it is still running.
The musical follows McFly, a puffer-vest-clad teenager, as he befriends Emmett “Doc” Brown, a mad-scientist type who turned his DeLorean into a time machine. McFly accidentally uses it to travel back in time, where he entangles himself in the lives of his young parents—and thereby threatens his own existence.
Screenwriter Bob Gale, who co-produced and co-wrote all three Back to the Future movies, wrote the book for the musical adaptation. Alan Silvestri, who scored the films, teamed up with songwriter Glen Ballard to write the musical’s songs. They also adapted pop songs featured in the movie for the stage, including Huey Lewis & the News’ “The Power of Love.”
Over in London, Back to the Future: The Musical has been a crowd and critic favorite: In addition to many other accolades, it won the Laurence Olivier Awards for Best New Musical this year.
On Broadway, the musical will be in the hands of director John Rando, who won a 2002 Tony Award for directing Urinetown. Actors Roger Bart and Hugh Coles—who play Doc Brown and George McFly, Marty’s father, in the London show—are reprising their roles for the American premiere. The new Marty McFly, played by Michael J. Fox in the film, has not yet been announced.
Speaking with the New York Times’ Michael Paulson, Gale says he is thrilled to be bringing the musical to Broadway. “Broadway is the gold standard—musical theater was really invented there—and I’m delighted that we are finally going to get our shot on the Great White Way,” he says.
Christopher Lloyd, who played Doc Brown in the film, even appears in a video promoting the Broadway debut. He stands beside Bart, who is dressed as Doc Brown and getting into the iconic DeLorean. “I’ll take it for a test drive—the Winter Garden Theatre on Broadway,” says Bart. “I’ll be back in no time.”
“I doubt it,” Lloyd warns him. “I think you’re going to be at the Winter Garden for a long time.”
Back to the Future: The Musical will open at the Winter Garden Theatre in New York on August 3, 2023.