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14 Broadway shows we need in the UK

We're hoping these shows from the Great White Way head across the Atlantic!

Santino Fontana in Tootsie
© Matthew Murphy

We have a lot of Broadway blockbusters to look forward to once the pandemic has subsided – Indecent, Frozen, or, Moulin Rouge!. But here are a load more that we'd love to see hitting UK shores... after all, we're an insatiable bunch, UK theatre audiences. What would make your must-see transfer list? Let us know on Twitter and Facebook.




Slave Play

Annie McNamara play Alana, and Sullivan Jones plays Phillip in Slave Play
© Matthew Murphy

Jeremy O Harris' play has caused a stir since it started running on Broadway, with petitions to shut down the production sparking vocal opinions on all sides. Exploring interracial politics, sexual themes and more in a similar vein to Underground Railroad Game and An Octoroon, it is as uncomfortable as it is uncompromising: we're fascinated to see how British audiences would react to its themes.


Beetlejuice

The Sandworm, Harry the Hunter, Lydia Deetz (Sophia Anne Caruso), and Beetlejuice (Alex Brightman) celebrate Beetlejuice's 100th performance.
© Tricia Baron

Its opening on Broadway went down a storm, with stars Sophia Anne Caruso and Alex Brightman proving to be a recipe for success in this movie-turned-musical. We've heard word of a few West End stars making Atlantic trips to see the show in New York, so maybe it's only a matter of time before it arrives here – especially as it was heavily tipped in a recent Variety article.


Anastasia

Christy Altomare and Cody Simpson in the Broadway production of Anastasia
© Evan Zimmerman

It has now closed on Broadway, after opening on the Great White Way in March 2017 and running for 800-odd performances, so there's no chance to catch this if you're heading to New York anytime soon (though it is out on tour!). But with its very European tale – the story of Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna of Russia, who may or may not have escaped the execution of her family – it's a prime one for us.


The Prom

The Prom
© Deen van Meer

We may have no news about the show's arrival over in the UK, but you'll be able to watch it on Netflix, after it was announced that The Prom would feature on it soon. The show isn't based on a book, movie, TV show or anything else, offering a genuine, entirely original new musical, and we always need more of those!


Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812

Lucas Steele as Anatole and Denée Benton as Natasha in the Broadway production of Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812
© Chad Batka

London had a fabulous mini Dave Malloy moment in 2019, with Preludes and Ghost Quartet both giving audiences a taste of the composer's enchanting, ethereal work. But now we think it's high time for a massive staging of his mammoth take on War and PeaceNatasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812. That, or we see a version of his eagerly anticipated Moby Dick, which was reportedly workshopped at the National earlier this year, featuring direction by Hadestown's Rachel Chavkin.


Next To Normal

It is almost impossible to understand why this Pulitzer Prize-winning musical, nominated for 11 Tony Awards, hasn't been seen in the UK. Since opening in 2008 it's been seen across the world and wowed audiences with its realistic, educated and thorough depiction of the nature of mental illness in the present day. We're sure it's only a matter of time until it's given a premiere somewhere, and until now we have a cracking cast recording to keep us going, featuring the dreamy voice of Aaron Tveit.


Mean Girls

The cast of Mean Girls on Broadway
© Joan Marcus

It is happily drawing in the fans over in New York, but it's high time London got a look-in too. Before the pandemic, producers had said that the musical was due for a trip over here, and we're still waiting for more news...


Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus

Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus
© Julieta Cervantes

Nathan Lane was an absolute hoot when he starred in Marianne Elliott's revival of Angels in America, and we'd welcome him back to the UK in a heartbeat. Taylor Mac's (who recently caused a commotion at the Barbican) show, which starred Lane when it first ran on Broadway, is a twisted sequel to Shakespeare, and we'd be chuffed as houses to see it come to the UK.


A Doll's House, pt 2

A Doll's House, Part 2
© Brigitte Lacombe

A Doll's House is all well and good (the Lyric Hammersmith mounted an excellent reimagining of it earlier this year) but we'd be fascinated to see what British audiences make of this sequel, penned by Lucas Hnath, which picked up eight Tony Award nominations after first appearing in 2017. Laurie Metcalf won for her performance as Nora Helmer, and we're sure there are dozens of Brits ready to take on the role here.


Tootsie

Santino Fontana in Tootsie
© Matthew Murphy

You will likely remember, or at least have heard of, the film of the same name starring Dustin Hoffman. It follows actor Michael Dorsey who decides to impersonate a woman because he's desperate for a TV job. It ran on Broadway this year and starred Santino Fontana and has music and lyrics by David Yazbeck (see The Full Monty, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels and Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown). The film was a huge hit over here, so we're hoping producers are making plans...


The Cher Show

The cast of The Cher Show
©2018 Joan Marcus

The Cher Show was described by one critic as a 'maddening mishmash' but by one of our Broadway moles as an undeniably enjoyable hot mess. And it's probably true that if you're a Cher fan, you'll be a fan of this madcap jukebox musical. It has now closed in New York and we can only "believe" we'll see it here soon.


A Strange Loop

A Strange Loop
© Joan Marcus

Okay, hear us out on this – it might not have opened on Broadway just yet (or even announced plans...but we expect it will do!) but the Pulitzer Prize-winning piece is an absolute storm of a show (you can listen to the cast recording now) that explores the life of a queer black writer working front of house at The Lion King.


The Little Mermaid

We've got one bona fide Disney Broadway hit coming in 2020 in the form of Frozen, but we'd love to go "Under the Sea" and have The Little Mermaid land upon our shores in the near future. With a live-action film in the works featuring new music by Alan Menken and lyrics by the unquenchable creative talents of Lin-Manuel Miranda, any savvy exec would know that timing a movie with a stage show might mean big bucks.



Special mentions

We haven't included any revivals in this piece because, quite frankly, where would we stop. But the recent production of Oklahoma! would be a brilliant addition to the West End, and if we could see some UK faces take on Ivo van Hove's West Side Story it might provide an interesting take on the classic (though Curve in Leicester and Royal Exchange Manchester have already done a fine job at that!). We've been pining for The Band's Visit for a couple of years too, as well as Bartlett Sher's My Fair Lady (which is rumoured to open at The London Coliseum in 2022), while it'd be great to see a new jukebox musical in the form of Ain't Too Proud.

Coming soon, The Music Man with Hugh Jackman and Sutton Foster is already causing a hugh-ge sense of anticipation. Diane Paulus (Waitress) is directing a revival about the American Revolutionary War (another one!) called 1776, while James Lapine is overseeing a show about artists experimenting with LSD called Flying Over Sunset. Then there's Alanis Morissette musical Jagged Little Pill, which opened to sturdy reviews.

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