Morrissey, the celebrated British singer who once fronted the Smiths, is coming to Broadway. He will play a seven-night engagement at the Lunt-Fontanne Theater from May 2-11, becoming the latest high-profile musician to take the Broadway stage since Bruce Springsteen last year. According to a news release on Monday, the shows will serve as a career retrospective for Morrissey, and will come weeks before the release of a new record, “California Son,” an album of covers.
Broadway stages have become increasingly friendly to pop music, particularly jukebox musicals featuring songs with already built-in popularity. Cher, Donna Summer, the Go-Go’s and Jimmy Buffett are just some recent examples of artists whose music has been featured recently on Broadway. “Ain’t Too Proud: The Life and Times of the Temptations” will officially open later this month. “Springsteen on Broadway,” a show mixing songs and storytelling, earned an honorary Tony Award and was filmed for a Netflix special.
Tickets for the Morrissey shows will go on sale Friday, and many fans will have two hopes: that they will be able to get seats, and that the performances actually happen. The singer has had a penchant for canceling shows on short notice; in late 2017, the music site Consequence of Sound counted more than 120 that he had scrapped or postponed since 2012. (In one particularly infamous example, Morrissey canceled a 2017 performance in Paso Robles, Calif., because it was too cold.)
Last year, Morrissey, 59 — whose real name is Steven Patrick Morrissey — postponed European tour dates following inflammatory comments he made in an interview posted on his own website. Multiple quotes from the interview were thought to Islamophobic, including: “Halal slaughter requires certification that can only be given by supporters of ISIS,” and “This is the Mayor of London! And he cannot talk properly!” referring to Sadiq Khan, the city’s first Muslim mayor.
Morrissey’s team said at the time that the tour was canceled for “logistical reasons,” but anti-racism protests were being planned to coincide with the singer’s shows in Manchester, where he is from. He has expressed support for right-wing figures in Britain such as Tommy Robinson, the founder of the English Defense League.