New Year, New Musicals: A Preview of the 2016 Broadway Musicals
As one year closes and another opens, I always find myself mulling through the Playbill.com projected openings for what I might expect in the coming theatre seasons. Following a year filled with family tragicomedy, Gene Kelly stunners, and rapping presidents, 2016 has a lot to live up to. So, here are some of the 2016 Broadway musicals I’m most looking forward to seeing.
Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812 – expected early Fall 2016
While this show played Off-Broadway a few years ago, it’s poised to come back to the Great White Way, and deservedly so. The “electropop” opera, as it’s coined on the American Repertory Theatre site (presumably the production to transfer), tells a story derived from passages from War and Peace. Now if I could say in words how in love with Tolstoy (and well-adapted Tolstoy) I am, I would shatter this post’s word limit; I’m still waiting for someone to stage a Joe Wright-inspired version of Anna Karenina. Dave Malloy’s Natasha, Pierre is more than enough for this season. The score is melodic and yet completely modern, sporting ballads like “No One Else” that show off a classical soprano voice and somehow manage to never feel dated. If you still need convincing, check out Phillipa Soo (yes, that would be Eliza Hamilton, née Schuyler) slaying the tune:
American Psycho – previews begin March 24
Some of you may recognize this title as having played London recently (with Matt Smith in the titular role), but this techno-driven show is coming to New York with a new fervor and new cast. Written by Duncan Sheik of Spring Awakening fame, the tuner tells the story of Patrick Bateman, a serial killer in the late 80s – based off the book and film of the same name (also the inspiration for the haunting series Bates Motel). This confirmed production is sure to both disturb and dazzle. Check out this behind the scenes look from the composer himself:
Tuck Everlasting – previews begin March 31
I’ve been following Tuck ever since its out-of-town tryout a while ago and have been waiting to see it finally mounted in New York. Some of us may remember the movie or the book of the same name that tells the story of a young girl who meets a family with a big secret – but Miller and Tysen’s gorgeous staged version brings new life to the children’s story. The cast boasts names like Andrew Keenan-Bolger and… wait for it… Carolee Carmello! Did I forget to mention it’s directed by Casey Nicholaw?! The title ballad, here sung by Barrett Wilbert Weed, only makes me want to see it more:
Of course there are plenty of other things to look forward to, including Bandstand, recently at Paper Mill with Laura Osnes and Corey Cott, or the lengthy-titled Shuffle Along, or, The Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed, featuring none other than reigning goddess Audra McDonald in addition to the incomparable Brian Stokes Mitchell and Billy Porter. Sara Bareilles’ musical adaptation of Waitress is slated, as is a new show called Bright Star written by funny man Steve Martin. As it looks now, the 2016 Broadway musicals don't have anything to worry about when it comes to making a mark on the theatre scene. My New Year’s resolution, though, is still to see Hamilton.
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