Tis the season

of new musicals!

After somewhat of a dry season for new musicals last year, we seem to have a cornucopia of new shows to look forward to on broadway this year.

Last year’s contender’s for original musicals were Fela, American Idiot, Addams Family, and Memphis.

Only Memphis and Addams Family had completely original scores.

But…lucky us, we get at least 9 confirmed new musicals with original socres this year.

1) Spiderman – Easily the most anticipated show for several reasons.  First, it will be the most expensive show to ever premier on broadway with a $40 million dollar budget.  Whaaat?!?!?!   Secondly, the scheduled opening date was originally last season (or maybe even earlier??) and rumored financial woes have delayed the production several times. Third, the music is by bono and the edge.  Will they pull of a theatrical score?  Let’s hope so.  One song was performed on “Good Morning America” a few weeks ago:

2) Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson (written by Alex Timbers, score by Michael Friedman) is a rock musical that transferred from the downtown at the Public Theater.  This show is a highly stylized retelling of the life of, you guessed it, Andrew Jackson.  The original production had incredibly stellar reviews, with many critics calling it the best musical of last season.  How will it stand up in this season on boradway?

3) The Scottsboro Boys debuted off-broadway last season.  One of the last works of Kander and Ebb (one of Kooman + Dimond’s biggest influences) and helmed by the amazing Susan Stroman, the musical had fantastic reviews and excellent word of mouth.  Just about everyone in the theatre community who saw this raved about it.  And you know what, it’s that LAST Kander and Ebb show!

4) Catch Me If You Can.  The writers of Hairspray return to broadway with this show.  I don’t know much about the show or production other than this clip I’ve seen from Theater Talk where Marc Shaiman performs a song.

Marc Shaiman is seriously one of my favorite composers of all time and I truly wish this production the best!

5) Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (Yazbek, Lane) is based on the 1988 Pedro Almodóvar film.  Talk about star casting! Patti Lupone, Laura Benanti, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Sherie Rene Scott!  Oh, and Justin Guarini from American Idol.  When was the last time a new musical opened with so many broadway favorites?  I’m looking forward to Yazbek’s comedy.  He’s one of the few guys left who can really make me laugh.

6) Mormon by Trey Parker, Matt Stone, and Bobby Lopez (of Avenue Q fame).  This. Is. Gonna. Be. Insane.  The South Park movie was amazing.  Avenue Q was amazing.  Put these guys in a room and the amazingness just gets more amazing.  I’ve seen a little bit of the show and I really really really can’t wait to see it on broadway.  It’s like nothing broadway has seen.  Prepare yourselves.  Pure Hilarity.  Absolutely phenomenal songs.

7) Elf (Score by Sklar/Beguelin book by Thomas Meehan and Bob Martin).  When I saw this movies originally with my sister (who still quotes it regardless of the time of year) I remember thinking of how it would make a really great musical.  These songwriters also wrote “The Wedding Singer” which had a brief run on broadway and a supremely catchy opening number.  Considering who the book writers are, surely this will be full of laughs and great one-liners.

8 ) Sister Act the Musical (Menken, Slater).   God I love this movie.  I’m a little sad the original songs and arrangements (coincidentally by Marc Shaiman) aren’t appearing in this show.  The score is apparently disco themed, but with Alan Menken composing it’s sure to be tuneful and theatrical.In London, one of our favorite performers, Patina Miller Starred in this show and rocked the theater world in London.  She seriously blew up there and is currently one of the biggest stars on the West End. Go Patina!

9) Wonderland (score by Frank Wildhorn).  Based on the Lewis Carrol’s “Alice in Wonderland”.  There have been many versions of this story popping up lately, but Frank Wildhorn’s is the one taking broadway this season.  Originally premiering in Florida, it will play the Marquis.

In addition to these confirmed shows, we also may see Leap of Faith (another Menken/Slater show with a gospel-music themes score), Bonnie and Clyde (also Frank Wildhorn),  and Priscilla Queen of the Desert (not an original score).

Thoughts on these shows!?  Did I miss any show?

-mk

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