The New Lullaby of Broadway
by Hunter Katz
After the smashing success of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s musical Hamilton which offered an innovative groundbreaking approach to the trials and tribulations of America’s First Secretary of The Treasury Alexander Hamilton which the incorporation of Rap and Hip-hop giving the musical a 21st Century appealed to a wide variety of people young and old alike. Like Hamilton, the 2016 Broadway seasons offered an artistic whirlwind with new innovative musicals such as Waitress, School of Rock, Shuffle Along and Bright Star along with classic revivals such asFiddler on the Roof, The Color Purple, Spring Awakening and She Loves Me. The 2017 season of Broadway proves to be just as exciting and innovative with many new musicals and great revivals sure to be hitting the Big Apple really soon.
Dear Evan Hansen: The composing team of La La Land Benj Pasek and Justin Paul come to hit the Broadway stage with the new musical Dear Evan Hansen. Dear Evan Hansen centers around the high school senior Evan Hansen who suffers from social anxiety disorder looking to find his place in high school. He writes letters to himself on to tell him how it’s “going to be a good day”, he later meets with Connor Murphy another social outcast like Evan. Connor who ends up committing suicide with one of Evan’s deeply personal letters in his pocket. This journey follows Evan’s way to find himself and to hide the truth about the letter and his friendship with Connor Murphy. This musical has gone on to receive the Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding Musical, the Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding New Off-Broadway Musical and Outstanding Book of a Musical. Many Musical Theatre fans view the Pasek and Paul musical to be the favorite for the Tony Award for Best Musical.
Anastasia: The classic Fox animation film comes to the Broadway stage during the 2017 season. Anastasia is a story of a Russian woman with amnesia in the 1920’s who tries to discover the mystery of her past life by traveling to Paris. The musical contains the iconic songs from the animated feature film such as Journey to the Past and Across My Memory and new material from the composing duo Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty behind the musical Ragtime. This Broadway musical is set to open on March 28, 2017.
Charlie and The Chocolate Factory: The popular Roald Dahl book and 1971 film starring the late Gene Wilder is set to upon up on Broadway on April 23rd, 2017 after a successful West End run over in London. The new production stars Broadway Veteran Christian Borle as Willy Wonka. Borle has starred in many successful Broadway productions such as Something Rotten! The new adaptation includes the classic song Pure Imagination from the 1971 movie as well as brand new songs written by Marc Shaiman and Scott Whitman but still staying close the material many know and love across the globe.
Cats: The popular Andrew Lloyd Weber musical returns back on the Broadway stage at the Neil Simon Theater after closing in 2000 after running just over 18 years on Broadway. It is one of the most popular and successful musicals in Broadway history. The new production features the iconic costumes, sets, and story just like the old but refreshes the production by adding new choreography and special effects to enhance the show. Cats is most known for its iconic song Memory as it is considered by many theater enthusiasts to be one of the greatest songs in Musical Theater history. The new Broadway revival has already received critical acclaim and is likely to be in serious contention for the Tony award for Best Revival Of A Musical.
Miss Saigon: The composing team of Alain Boublil and Claude Michel-Schonberg behind one of the most popular musicals in Broadway history Les Miserables returns to a limited Broadway revival of Miss Saigon. Miss Saigon follows the story of 17-year-old Vietnamese girl Kim after she struggles with her affair with an American G.I. named Chris at the end of the Vietnam War. Miss Saigon was famed by its ground-breaking performances such as Lea Salonga as Kim and Jonathon Pryce as The Engineer and its heart-breaking songs and score, the new production features an ethnically diverse and up and coming but talented cast such as Eva Noblezada as Kim and Jon Jon Briones as The Engineer. This production is set to open on March 23 rd 2017 and expected to close on January 13th, 2018.
Hello, Dolly!: The classic Broadway production is about to return to the Broadway stage after a long absence starring Bette Midler as the title role. Hello, Dolly! is known for its “golden-era charm” and it is the only golden-age musical to be returning to the Broadway stage this year. The musical originally opened on Broadway in 1964 before being made into a movie in 1969 starring Barbara Streisand, Walter Matthau, and Michael Crawford. The new production also features other talented performers such as Gavin Creel (Thoroughly Modern Millie, She Loves Me) and Daniel Hyde Pierce (Curtains, Spamalot) The new production is set to open April 20th, 2017.
With the paramount of new and returning shows coming back to Broadway, it is sure to be one great season. Whether you’re dying to see the new Dear Evan Hansen or can’t wait to see the new production of Miss Saigon there’s something new for everyone.