Spotlight: Gimme the Same Thing, Only Different!

Musical revivals. They’re common, they’re rare, they’re standard, they’re anything but predictable- and all at once. There’s a simple phenomenon going on with this year’s Broadway season, too: new musicals are hesitant to open because they know they will go up against Hamilton at the Tonys. And nobody really wants to do that. Therefore, it seems artists etc. are putting their energies into mounting high-profile revivals instead. Can’t say I blame them, and hey- bringing back a classic can be great for two reasons. One, it fuels nostalgia for people who’ve loved it for ages. Two, it takes the story to the forefront for the next generation to see and appreciate. In today’s post, I’m going to profile the four major musical revivals about to hit Broadway stages…the what, who, how, and why!

  • WHAT: Fiddler on the Roof

WHO: Danny Burstein as Tevye, Jessica Hecht as Golde, Adam Kantor as Motel, Alexandra Silber as Tzeitel, and Melanie Moore as Chava. Score by Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick.

HOW: A relatively traditional production of the classic show opening at the Broadway Theatre this winter.

WHY: Fiddler is one musical that will always hold a very special place in my heart, and Danny Burstein is one of my favorite stage actors. I can’t wait to see this and really hope it’ll snag Burstein his overdue Tony Award.

  • WHATDames at Sea

WHO: John Bolton, Mara Davi, Danny Gardner, Eloise Kropp, Lesli Margherita, and Cary Tedder. Score by Robin Miller and Jim Wise.

HOW: This marks the first Broadway appearance of this old-fashioned musical, which had previously played off-Broadway and launched careers for both Bernadette Peters and Kristin Chenoweth. It features a cast of six playing a squadron of fun roles and will open at the Helen Hayes Theatre.

WHY: I love old-school musical comedy, and although I’m not at all familiar with this show, I love productions where the actors skillfully do a lot of doubling.

  • WHATShe Loves Me

WHO: Laura Benanti as Amalia, Zachary Levi as Georg, Jane Krakowski as Ilona, and Michael McGrath. Score by Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick.

HOW: Sometimes referred to as “a perfect musical,” this boy-meets-girl pen pal story was last revived on Broadway in the 1990s. This time around, it will play at Roundabout’s Studio 54 next spring.

WHY: I have never seen a live production of this musical, but I love the characters and songs. Plus, this cast is to die for! It’s definitely on my must-catch list.

  • WHATSpring Awakening

WHO: Sandra Mae Frank as Wendla, Andy Mientus as Hanschen, Krysta Rodriguez as Ilse, Patrick Page, Marlee Matlin, and Camryn Manheim. Score by Duncan Sheik.

HOW: This fascinating transfer of the Deaf West production features the incorporation of American Sign Language into the songs and story. It will play 18 weeks starting in late September at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre.

WHY: I have never been a huge fan of purple summers- but I am a fan of the super cool cast they assembled! Despite my belief that it’s way too soon for this show to be revived, I may see it for that reason alone.

What musical revivals are you most looking forward to this season and why? How do you think each one will do at the Tony Awards? Most importantly- will Hamilton sweep every category it can?

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