By Paul Kolnik, courtesy Bullets Over Broadway
Published June 03, 2014
For decades, critics have heralded the end of Broadway, but shows opening today are often so popular that their staying power is gauged in years rather than months. In the past 10 years, the number of new shows opening per season has risen nearly 30 percent.
With Broadway’s ever-increasing number of options, many packed with well-known stars and serious staying power, it’s tough to go wrong, but these three new hits this season are worth catching in what will no doubt be their first Broadway run of many.
Any Disney musical premiering after “The Lion King,” a musical that changed people’s perception of both Broadway musicals and Disney, has a tough bar to meet, but with direction and choreography by Casey Nicholaw, who brought the consistently sold out “Book of Mormon” to Broadway, “Aladdin” has risen to the challenge.
The musical marks a return to what Broadway loves best: mind-blowing dance numbers, slapstick humor mixed with sarcasm and show-stopping songs. James Monroe Iglehart, who had his big break in Tony Award-winning “Memphis” in 2009, does Robin Williams’ genie justice and then some, wowing crowds with his lightning-speed rendition of “Friend Like Me.”
‘Bullets Over Broadway’
Based on the film of the same name, the musical “Bullets Over Broadway” transforms Woody Allen’s original story of a playwright who is forced to cast a mobster’s talentless girlfriend when the mob finances his show. Uniting popular ’20s songs like “Let’s Misbehave” with the direction and choreography of Susan Stroman, known for “The Producers,” the musical is part film adaption, part period music revival.
Along with the proven production team, “Bullets Over Broadway” packs the cast with stars. Television and film star Zach Braff joins Brooks Ashmanskas from “The Producers,” Vincent Pastore from “The Sopranos,” and a host of other Tony winners and nominees.
‘A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder’
Raking in the most Tony nominations this season, along with 21 other award nominations, “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder” is taking Broadway by storm this season. Although the show was hard for groups to market before Tony nominations were announced, it’s quickly become the most requested in the Broadway group sales office.
The play centers around a British gentleman who learns he is ninth in line to become a duke and decides to take out everyone standing in his way. The intriguing staging casts one man, Tony-nominated Jefferson Mays, known for his award-winning performance in the one-man show “I Am My Own Wife,” in the roles of all the besieged family members.
Pages: 1 2