Sunday, July 31, 2011

Musical Revivals Are The Thing This Summer On Broadway

Now I don't know about you but there is nothing better than sitting in a Broadway theatre on a hot Summer day and seeing a musical. Not only that but one's that first premiered over thirty or more years ago. Sure a new musical can be fun but there is nothing like hearing the music of old. Currently there are five musical revivals taking Broadway by a storm with three more scheduled to open this fall. The longest running revival is Chicago which has been running since October 1996.Now granted I loved the show when I saw it back in 1997 but I never expected it to be still running some fourteen years later. Say what you want about producers Barry and Fran Weissler but they know how to keep a show running.

Next up is one of my favorite shows. How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying. Having seen both the 1995 revival and the current production I can honestly tell you that while both productions are radically different in style and performance I enjoyed them both. Now of course the main reason that the current revival is doing so well at the box office is because of a certain actor playing the lead role. Perhaps you've heard of him. Daniel Radcliffe. Doesn't ring a bell? Yeah right. I guess those hundreds of fans waiting at the stage door each and every night are there because they want to see John Laroquette.Yes I enjoyed his Tony winning performance as much as the next person but we all know everybody is there to see Harry Potter.

Next up is Anything Goes this year's Tony Award winner for Best Musical Revival. The show which first premiered on Broadway in 1934 also won Tony Awards for Best Actress in a Musical (Sutton Foster) and Best Choreography. The critically acclaimed revival which was originally supposed to close today is now on sale thru January 2012. Will this blast from the past live on after it's leading lady departs? Who knows. Although the last Tony winning revival from the Roundabout Theatre Company to receive this much acclaim was Cabaret which ran for almost six years. Will lighting strike twice? We will find out.

Next up is another personal favorite of mine.Hair.Revived on Broadway in 2009 it ran for a total of 519 performances and won the Tony Award for Best Revival. The show which has been touring throughout the United States since October 2010 is playing a limited run at the St. James Theatre thru September 10. Prior to seeing the show I had never seen a production of the show or the much loved film. I loved everything about the show. From the sexy and energetic cast to the soulful and inspiring score I was transferred back to the 1960's.Check it out if you get the chance. Shows like these don't come around every day so don't miss your chance.

Set to begin previews this week on Broadway is Follies. The show which was revived last in 2001 stars two-time Tony winner Bernadette Peters,Ron Raines,and Tony nominees Jan Maxwell and Danny Burnstein. With music and lyrics by Tony winner and Broadway legend Stephen Sondheim and book by James Goldman Follies promises to be a highlight of the fall season. Now while I love Sondheim his shows have never been what you would call a hit at the box office. Award winners yes. Money makers? Not so much. Maybe this time it will be different. Stranger things have happened.

So there you have it folks. Five exciting yet very different shows. Coming soon? The first Broadway revival of Godspell. A new revival of On A Clear Day You Can See Forever starring Tony nominee Harry Connick Jr. and a reimagined production of Porgy and Bess starring the one and only Miss Audra McDonald. This season is about to get very interesting. Until next time theatre fans.

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