Broadway Spring 2016 Preview Part 2: The Musicals
The Great White Way is often dominated by musical theatre. Almost all of the open-ended engagements are musicals (with the exception of the Olivier and Tony Award-winning The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time and the recent off-Broadway transfer of The Humans, scheduled to open on 18 February) and each season, a host of new musicals hit the scene in hopes of becoming Broadway's next long-running smash hit.
We've already seen a host of widely acclaimed musicals open last Autumn, including revivals of The Color Purple and Fiddler on the Roof and brand new hits such as On Your Feet! and School of Rock. And of course, last Summer's Public Theater transfer of Hamilton continues its phenomenal run at the Richard Rodgers Theatre.
But just when you thought you were completely spoiled for choice, this Spring will offer another diverse helping of musical heaven for fans to feast upon. From original new writing to time-tested revivals, novel-to-stage adaptations and movie-to-stage adaptations, there is sure to be something for everybody. Even Cirque du Soleil, Bill Gates and Steve Jobs are getting in on the action!
The first 2016 opening of a musical comes in the form of an off-Broadway hit entitled DISASTER!, Seth Rudetsky and Jack Plotnick's lovingly tongue-in-cheek musical comedy pays homage to those great disaster movies of the 70s, accompanied by some of that era's most cherished hits such as "Hot Stuff," "I Am Woman," "Knock On Wood," and "Daybreak." Having wowed audiences previously at St Luke's Theatre, it has earned its rightful place with a limited run at Broadway's Nederlander Theatre (prior to the return engagement of MOTOWN THE MUSICAL in July). With a cast including Adam Pascal and Seth Rudetsky himself, performances run from 9 February to 3 July 2016, with an official opening schedduled for 8 March.
Click HERE for tickets to DISASTER!
Switching gears, the only musical revival of the Spring is brought to us by the Roundabout Theatre Company and what a gem they have chosen! Joe Masteroff, Sheldon Harnick and Jerry Bock's 1963 musical SHE LOVES ME hasn't been seen on Broadway since its 1993-4 run and the cast the Roundabout has assembled this time will surely make it a top contender for the Best Musical Revival Tony award. Broadway favourite and Tony winner Laura Benanti takes on the role of Amalia, with Zachary Levi as Georg, Tony winner Jane Krakowski as Ilona and Olivier winner and Tony nominee Gavin Creel as Kodaly. The comedy follows two parfumerie clerks, Georg and Amalia, who constantly butt heads at work, but unbeknownst to each other are actually romantic pen pals... and hilarity ensues! Previews begin on 19 February with an official 17 March opening and a limited run to 5 June 2016 at the iconic Studio 54.
Click HERE for tickets to SHE LOVES ME!
Next up comes a completely original musical written by Edie Brickell and comedy legend Steve Martin. BRIGHT STAR begins previews on 25 February with an official opening set for 24 March at the Cort Theatre. Set in the American South of the 1920's and 1940's and based on true events, the musical follows Alice Murphy who meets an ambitious, young soldier recently returned from World War II. Together they uncover a secret that has the power to transform their lives. We wait with great anticipation for Mr Martin's first foray into musical theatre.
Click HERE for tickets to BRIGHT STAR!
And now time for something completely different... Who ever imagined that cult serial killer Patrick Bateman would find himself at the centre of a musical? Well, believe it, Broadway fans! After its sell-out run at London's Almeida Theatre in 2013, AMERICAN PSYCHO is heading to the Great White Way. 'Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson' and "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter" star Benjamin Walker steps into Mr. Bateman's shoes to sing and massacre left right and centre. With names such as acclaimed director Rupert Goold and composer Duncan Sheik attached, it looks like this musical thriller is going to be a bloody good night out! Previews begin at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre on 24 March, before an official opening on 20 April.
Click HERE for tickets to AMERICAN PSYCHO!
A late entry for the season is one for all the tech geeks out there! Finally Bill Gates and Steve Jobs will be making their Broadway debuts!... Well, sort of. NERDS A Musical Dot-Comedy will begin previews at the Longacre Theatre on 31 March, before an official opening on 21 April. The show follows Bill and Steve as young nerds, inventing wonders in their garages, and joins them on a journey towards the dizzying heights of apple and microsoft with lashings of bitter rivalry and competition on the way. Having already played a successful engagement at the Philadelphia Theatre Company, is Broadway ready for these wizards of high-tech? Find out for yourselves!
Click HERE for tickets to NERDS!
One of the most highly anticipated musicals of the season is singer-songwriter Sara Bareilles' first-ever musical. WAITRESS, based upon Adrienne Shelly's 2007 movie of the same name, also sees the return to the stage of Tony winner Jessie Mueller, who shot to fame originating the role of Carole King in 'Beautiful.' With fantastic reviews from its out-of-town tryout in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the musical steams onwards to Broadway's Brooks Atkinson Theatre with an official opening on 24 April, following previews from 25 March. Mueller plays Jenna, a waitress stuck in a dead-end job and a loveless marriage. Her dreams of opening her own pie shop are slowly disappearing until a baking contest in a nearby county and a handsome new doctor in the town become the key ingredients for her to relight the fire and kickstart her new life. This will definitely be a tasty treat of a musical!
Click HERE for tickets to WAITRESS!
Natalie Babbitt's best-selling 1975 novel TUCK EVERLASTING gets the musical adaptation treatment next. Directed and choreographed by Tony winner Casey Nicholaw and featuring a cast of Broadway favourites which include Carolee Carmello, Andrew Keenan-Bolger and Terrence Mann, the musical poses the question: If you could live forever, would you? Get down to the Broadhurst Theatre to find out the Tuck family's magical secret in what is sure to be a family-friendly hit for the young and eternally young-at-heart. Previews begin at 31 March, with an opening night scheduled for 26 April.
Click HERE for tickets to TUCK EVERLASTING!
The final musical to make the cut-off date for this year's Tony Awards is a new musical which explores the impact of on an old musical, if you follow me. Beginning previews at the Music Box Theatre on 15 March, and officially opening on 28 April, SHUFFLE ALONG, Or, The Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed promises to give backstage insight into a hugely impactful musical that transformed the Broadway scene and scoiety of New York City in the 20's but has since been forgotten. It features music by Eubie Blake and Noble Sissle, as well as an all-star cast of Broadway greats from six-time Tony winner Audra McDonald to Tony winners Brian Stokes Mitchell and Billy Porter, and Tony nominees Brandon Victor Dixon and Joshua Henry. An opportunity to see all these great actors under one roof is not to be missed!
Click HERE for tickets to SHUFFLE ALONG!
Finally, looking ahead, but just missing the Tonys cut-off date is Cirque du Soleil's first-ever Broadway venture. PARAMOUR begins previews at the Lyric Theatre on 16 April and will officially open on 25 May. Combining the acrobatics and aerial stunts made famous by the French-Canadian global tour de force with an original Broadway musical is the aim of the game here. Starring Ruby Lewis, Bradley Dean and Ryan Vona and set in the Golden Age of Hollywood, the musical follows a talented poetess, a director and a composer and the choices they have to make between love and art. Look for Cirque du Soleil to become a mainstay power to be reckoned with on the Great White Way with a second production of The Wiz already announced for the future.
Click HERE for tickets to PARAMOUR!
The musical scene is hotter than ever on Broadway this season. 'Hamilton' has certainly raised the bar and we are now seeing a host of talented composers and writers upping their game too. Which musical of 2016 are you itching to get a ticket to?
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