Looking back at my post I wrote at the beginning of the year, I was writing about some pretty exciting new shows: Once, Newsies and Evita — all three shows are still going incredibly strong. Leap of Faith and Ghost have both closed, even though I enjoyed both (the first one much more than the latter).
With several shows closing since the summer, we have a new crop of shows coming into Broadway theatres — a few have even started previews (Mystery of Edwin Drood) and Chaplin and Bring it On have already opened. I’m going to tell you the top five musicals that I’m most looking forward to this upcoming season, and a few ideas on who’s going to land at the Tony Awards in June.
Here are my top five Broadway shows that I’m most looking forward to this upcoming season:
5. Kinky Boots
The preview of the Broadway musical Kinky Boots, with book by four-time Tony Award-winner Harvey Fierstein, score by Grammy Award-winning music icon Cyndi Lauper and directed by Tony Award-winner Jerry Mitchell, is just finishing it’s out-of-town preview in Chicago. Kinky Boots has a fantastic writing team and also has really great cast. It also received pretty good reviews in Chicago and could possibly be a huge hit.
I’m not totally sold, but I’ll give it a chance.
Tony Predictions: I think it will fare well in the nominations (production team & cast), but I don’t know if it will end up with any actual awards.
For ten hard-luck Texans, a new lease on life is so close they can touch it. Under a scorching sun for days on end, armed with nothing but hope, humor and ambition, they’ll fight to keep at least one hand on a brand new truck in order to win it. It doesn’t sound like a “normal” big-flashy musical comedy and that’s why I think it will do so well on Broadway this season. It will become last season’s Once. (Though, I doubt it will win Best Musical.) The previews start February 23, 2013.
Tony Predictions: Either it will be like Once and everyone will fall in love with it, or it won’t strike a chord with audiences and end up like Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson (gone and mostly forgotten).
Who killed Edwin Drood? Practically everyone is a suspect in this rousing Tony Award-winning musical mystery. And since author Charles Dickens left the story unfinished, it’s up to the audience to decide. This cast is an incredible group of Broadway actors (Stephanie Block, Will Chase, Chita Rivera, Jessie Mueller and more)! Even though this musical won the Tony Award for Best Musical in 1986, it hasn’t had a huge popular regional/community life but I’m hoping this revival sticks around and it even extends into the Spring.
Tony Predictions: I have a feeling that a few of the cast will be receiving Tony Award nominations, and of course it will get an obligatory Tony nomination for Best Revival (since there are only three in the mix right now.) It’s gonna have to beat out Cinderella, but if it closes in February (as planned), then I don’t think it will win very many Tonys. We’ll see.
I have a feeling that Cinderella will be winning Best Revival at the Tony Awards this coming June, though it could have a run for it’s money with The Mystery of Edwin Drood. With Laura Osnes, Victoria Clark and Harriet Harris on board, we all know the music will shine! Add Douglas Carter Beane, who has re-worked the book for this production, and I think they’ll have a huge hit on their hands! It starts previews on January 21st, 2012.
Tony Predictions: Best Revival, possible win for Laura Osnes (it’s her time) and definitely a nomination for Victoria Clark.1. Matilda
The gifted child Matilda, unloved at home but supported by her teacher, tries to rid her school of its evil headmistress, Miss Trunchbull. Based on the Roald Dahl children’s book, the hit London production won seven Olivier Awards. This musical is not only based on my favorite children’s book of all time, but has been HUGELY successful in the West End! I think it’s going to be a the new Annie, Oliver and Billy Elliot — let’s just make sure we aren’t awarding a Tony Award to Matilda this June regardless on how good she is.
Tony Predictions: I think it will be a sweep for Matilda. A huge sweep — at least, in the design areas.
- Annie - I’ll be honest; technically this show would be on my “shows to skip” just because I have had enough of this musical recently, but the cast, namely Katie Finneran, makes me want to see it. I guess, we all need a little red-head to cheer us up every once in a while. The jury is out on this one.
- Scandalous: The Life and Trials of Aimee Semple McPherson - Can Carolee Carmello hold this show together? Besides Kathie Lee Gifford producing this new musical, I’m not sure of the built-in audience. Who is going to see this? (Unless great word-of-mouth gets out.) It could go either way, but I have a feeling it’s not going to last the month of January as many Broadway shows close at the beginning of the year. It starts previews on October 13th, 2012.
- A Christmas Story, the musical - Usually Christmas/holiday fare does not land on my top five lists of any kind, but this show I’m interested in because the music and lyrics duo, Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, are a new up-and-coming musical theatre writers that I have been following. It’s always great to get some new composers on Broadway and I’m excited to see what they have done with this iconic movie. Previews start November 4th, 2012.
Shows to Skip:
- Bring it On - I saw this production in San Francisco during it’s pre-Broadway tour. I wasn’t a huge fan beyond the awesome cheerleading stunts that are incorporated into the show. The rest of it: music, story, and lyrics just fell flat to me. It’s closing December 30th, 2012.
- Chaplin - The new musical reveals the man behind the legend — Charlie Chaplin, born into hardship in the slums of London, who became one of the world’s most famous entertainers. The show got bad reviews, but it’s been making about 1/2 million each week with about 70-80% capacity. I feel like this musical might turn into the Memphis of the 2012-13 season, but I hope not. I have heard the projections are incredible.
- Jekyll & Hyde - Based solely on listening to Constantine Maroulis singing “This is the Moment” on the new cast recording, is reason enough not to go to see this untimely remounting of this musical. I still have doubts that it will open April 2013. (Almost willing to put money on it!)
What musical are you most excited to see this upcoming season?