Broadway shows Brits should keep an eye on
From King Kong to The Cher Show here's the US shows you definitely need to watch out for
With the recent news that we're finally getting Frozen in the West End, here's a selection of other Broadway shows which we think everyone should keep an eye on. There's no concrete information on any of them arriving on these shores, but wouldn't they just go down a treat if they did?
It has only just 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. But with it's 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 Cher Show
The Cher Show has been 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 opened last year and we can only "believe" we'll see it here soon.
The 1964 musical, based on Thornton Wilder's 1938 farce The Merchant of Yonkers follows Dolly Gallagher Levi, a matchmaker who travels to New York to find a match for an unmarried millionaire. This revival starred the inimitable Bette Midler, before Bernadette Peters took over the role of Dolly from January 2018. Our very own Charlie Stemp appeared in the piece before it closed late last year and headed out on a tour. We haven't had a full-blown revival over here for a very, very long time...
My Fair Lady
Bartlett Sher, the director behind the recent successful The King and I revival, is the man behind this revival of Lerner and Loewe's My Fair Lady, which is currently staring Laura Benanti as Eliza and Harry Hadden-Paton as Henry Higgins. What with the Brits involved, and Sher's last revival doing so well over here, we are hoping we may see the piece in London and beyond sometime soon.
Be More Chill
This madcap sci-fi musical is based on the novel by Ned Vizzini and looks at what might happen if popularity came in the form of a pill. It opened this year to positive reviews and, according the TheaterMania, is due for Tony success this year. If so, it could be one we might get to see in the not to distant future.
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 opened on Broadway last year and stars 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 Band's Visit
This show, based on the Israeli film of the same name, has an extraordinary premise. It's the tale of what happens when a police orchestra accidentally gets sent to an isolated desert town, as opposed to the city of Petah Tikvah. It cleaned up at the Tony Awards in 2017, winning ten including Best Musical. We think it's unfair of Broadway to keep hold of it!
Pretty Woman the Musical
It may not have impressed all the critics, but seeing as the film was such a success throughout the world, it would be a massive shame not to try it out over here. Plus Bryan Adams (who composed the music) sparked rumours last year after saying he's hoping the show will arrive in the UK in 2019. Please bring Samantha Barks along too!
The US is reeling at the moment from this Oklahoma! revival, which stages Rodgers and Hammerstein's piece in an innovative way. The in-the-round production features chili and cornbread at the interval and new arrangements and orchestrations by Daniel Kluger and reimagines the original musical, exploring it through a 21st century lens. Note to Broadway: us Brits love a musical that plays with form (see Company).
Its opening on Broadway is imminent, but nevertheless, we're pretty excited about Eddie Perfect, Scott Brown and Anthony King's musical version of Tim Burton's film. On Broadway Sophia Anne Caruso stars alongside Alex Brightman which we think it's all a recipe for success. The film was a hit over here, so surely that'll be the case for the musical too? Pretty pleeeease?
It is happily drawing in the fans over in New York, but it's high time London got a look in too. Producer Sonia Friedman hinted last year that the musical was due for a trip over here, and we're still waiting for more news...
Baz Luhrmann's brilliant, effervescent, beautiful film has been adapted into a musical, due to open on Broadway in June this year. It originally opened in Boston last year headed up by Global Creatures – the producers behind this country's Strictly Ballroom. There's no news on its movements after New York (let it get settled in first!!) but we're hoping that come what may, it will be over here soon.
We may have no news about the show's arrival over in the UK, but you'll be able to watch it in Netflix form, after it was announced last week 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. It also echos a little of our Everybody's Talking About Jamie, in that its plot is about a teenage girl who wants to bring a same sex date to her high school prom. Jamie is a proven hit over here, so it bodes well for The Prom.
It may have taken a bit of a bashing over in New York, but how could we not include King Kong on this list? Our very own Drew McOnie directs and Jack Thorne has written the book and its main character is a remarkable feat of theatrical engineering. The 20ft tall 2000lb ape is a huge, animatronic creation that's probably worth the ticket price alone. Can we see it please?