If you’re anything like me, you’re currently scrolling through the comment sections on TikTok following the *controversial* announcement of Bad Cinderella by Andrew Lloyd Webber (creator of Phantom of the Opera) coming to broadway this upcoming year, and spoiler alert: people aren’t too thrilled about the news. Tons of new and returning projects have been announced in the past few weeks, coming out directly after some of the largest and most beloved shows, including Into the Woods and Beetlejuice, returned to the Great White Way following the pandemic. Broadway is at the top of its game at the moment, so let’s see what they have planned!
1776 (with a twist!)
The classic Founding Fathers story returns to broadway, but this time, with an all-inclusive, gender-bent cast! The Revolutionary War-focused musical is back on broadway with an entirely female, diverse cast that includes women of color, non-binary status, and transgender actors.
The show originally premiered on Broadway in 1969 and had a long run of 1,217 performances. Winning three Tony Awards, including best musical. The show is a pinnacle of the Changing Times of theater, sitting in the middle of this era of shows including Bye Bye Birdie and Jesus Christ Superstar.
According to directors Jeffrey L. Page and Diane Paulus, the musical tells a story, “about a clandestine meeting of people who desperately want to change the world.” (https://www.nytimes.com/2022/09/06/theater/1776-musical-broadway.html)
1776 is set to open its doors on October 6, 2022 (when this article is released, it will have already opened!) in the American Airlines Theater.
Okay, here we go with our first controversial one… In my personal opinion, I loved the idea of this when it was first previewed back in 2019 on London’s West End. However, like every jukebox musical, it had its flaws. From the plot to some cheesy moments, it had mixed reviews. However, overall, people loved the young, pop-ish feel of the show. It told a compelling and empowering story with a hugely diverse cast.
Telling of the classic Shakespeare play Romeo and Juliet, the musical takes popular pop songs of the 2000s and beyond and turns them into a fun-filled night of scenes that will make you laugh out loud until you’re sick to your stomach and scenes that will make you ugly cry.
& Juliet is set to open on November 17, 2022, in the Stephen Sondheim Theater.
Some Like it Hot:
Now, this is an interesting one. Some Like it Hot is a film-to-stage adaptation detailing the stories of jazz-age musicians in Chicago during the age of prohibition in the 1920s. Two musicians are forced to flee the city after a mob strike. The two continue to be hunted by the gang while attempting to hide in plain sight, keeping true to their true passions. This high-action musical stars broadway legend Christian Borle (you may recognize this name from the legendary 2000’s musical Legally Blonde playing the nerdy and lovable Emmitt).
I’m usually not too keen on film-to-stage productions, but this musical truly sounds like such a wonderful concept. Entertainment Weekly says, “With a diverse cast and creative team, Some Like it Hot gets a fresh update that returns to its jazz age roots with an extra dose of laughs and glamour.” (https://somelikeithotmusical.com/tickets/?gclid=Cj0KCQjw-fmZBhDtARIsAH6H8qj6EuXLGV-sa6K0758KMK7uJoDzX2m2TmlIv77jgd2iTKO8FofQhAgaAp40EALw_wcB&gclsrc=aw.ds)
The show is set to premiere on broadway on December 11, 2022.
Sweeny Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street:
I cannot stress this enough. This may, in fact, be my favorite musical ever. Sondheim will forever hold a special place in my heart and this show started that. Sweeny Todd tells the story of a man who was wronged; cast out by the evil Judge Turpin to free his wife from the previous Benjamin Barker’s (now self-proclaimed as Sweeny) grasp. A story of murder and revenge, the music takes the audience on a highly suspenseful ride, with every bar of music making it seem like something is about to happen.
The show’s return was no secret, with talk of it returning in recent months. The show makes its return to Broadway, originally having opened in March of 1979, starring Josh Groban and Annaleigh Ashford. In a recent interview with New York Times, Groban says when asked about his Sweeny characterization, “There is obviously a plot here that is absurd and monstrous, but then there is also an incredible back story to this character that makes the role even more terrifying because for all intents and purposes this was a civilized, good man that was driven to this.” (https://www.nytimes.com/2022/09/06/theater/josh-groban-sweeney-todd-broadway.html)
The show’s return was confirmed in September 2022 and is now set to open on March 26, 2023.
BONUS FEATURE: Shows in the works…
13 going on 30:
We all know the movie, but what do we think about it being a musical? I’ve never been into the movie-turned-musicals, and I continue to be skeptical about this one. It was confirmed to be in the works earlier this month and the creative team seems to be hugely confident! Director Andy Fickman said in a recent Entertainment Weekly interview: “13 Going on 30 has all the elements of a great musical: comedy, romance, and empowering message — and a touch of magic,” (https://ew.com/article/2016/10/21/13-going-30-musical-broadway/)
Now, this may be where movie musicals have gone too far. A beloved Zac Efron movie turned into a musical? Talk about High School Musical Deja Vu! I couldn’t find much on this new development, except for the fact that Glee star Darren Chris did a developmental table read of the musical! I’m not sure if I’d seek this one out until more about it comes out, however, I think some of us would give anything to see Darren live on stage. With that being said, I remain skeptical.
This one got me SO excited! Based on the TV show Smash starring broadway legends Jeremy Jordan, Katherine McPhee, Christian Borle, Leslie Odem Jr., Debra Messing, and Megan Hilty (the list goes on…), Bombshell follows the same work-in-progress turned Tony Award Nominated musical portrayed in the show. An in-depth story about Marylin Monroe’s life, the musical focuses on her battles with addiction and marriage, and aims to show the Hollywood icon’s true story.
The only thing I am slightly skeptical about is the fact that many people (Broadway, TV, Movies) have attempted to retell Monroe’s story, but have always fallen short. She was truly a Bombshell and I am ecstatic to see how they develop this for the Great White Way. Heck, we already saw them do it in Smash, they can do it again!
So there it is! My full rundown of the shows coming to Broadway this next year! If you are at all interested in seeing the full list, head to playbill.com.