Broadway Musicals

What Musicals are playing on Broadway this year:

"13" A young man tries to fit in. A new musical with a score by Jason Robert Brown. Bernard B. Jacobs. This was on a limited run of only 105 performances. Closing in January.

"Avenue Q" Love blossoms among the 20-something set — a group that includes puppets — in this very funny, adult musical comedy. Winner of the 2004 Tony Award for best musical.

"Billy Elliot" A young man in Britain's bleak coal country yearns to dance. A musical based on the hit film.

"Chicago" This Kander and Ebb-Bob Fosse creation is Broadway's longest running musical revival and deservedly so.

"Grease" A revival of the venerable musical celebrating 1950s high school and featuring stars chosen during the recent NBC television reality series.

"Gypsy" A powerhouse Patti LuPone stars as the mother of stripper Gypsy Rose Lee in a revival of one of the greatest of all Broadway musicals.

"Hairspray" The cult John Waters movie set in 1960s Baltimore has been turned into a hilarious, tuneful musical. And Harvey Fierstein is now back in the cast. Closing in January.

"In the Heights" The lively off-Broadway musical about Latino residents in an area of upper Manhattan called Washington Heights moves to Broadway. Winner of the 2008 Tony Award for best musical.

"Jersey Boys" The musical story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. Winner of four 2006 Tonys including best musical.

"Mamma Mia!" The London musical sensation featuring the pop songs of ABBA makes it to Broadway. Die-hard ABBA fans will like it best.

"Mary Poppins" The world's most famous nanny comes to the stage after her great success as a P.L. Travers book and a Disney movie.

"Monty Python's Spamalot" A musical inspired by that demented film comedy "Monty Python and the Holy Grail." Winner of the 2005 Tony Award for best musical. Closing in January

"Pal Joey" Young Chicago hustler meets older female socialite. A Roundabout Theatre Company revival of the 1940 Rodgers and Hart musical. The cast includes Stockard Channing, Martha Plimpton and, in the title role, Christian Hoff.

"Shrek The Musical" DreamWorks cinematic green ogre makes it to the stage in this show based on the movie and the William Steig book.

"South Pacific" Kelli O'Hara is nurse Nellie Forbush and Paulo Szot is French plantation owner Emile de Becque in a revival of the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical based on one of the short stories in James A. Michener's "Tales of the South Pacific."

"Spring Awakening" A striking rock musical based on Frank Wedekind's classic drama about a dozen young people discovering their sexual identities. Music by Duncan Sheik. Book and lyrics by Steven Sater. Winner of four 2007 Tonys including best musical. Closing in January.

"The Lion King" Director Julie Taymor is a modern-day Merlin, creating a stage version of the Disney animated hit that makes you truly believe in the magic of theater.

"The Little Mermaid" Disney's stage version of its popular animated film about a sea maiden who longs to live on land.

"The Phantom of the Opera" The one with the chandelier. The Andrew Lloyd Webber musical about a deformed composer who haunts the Paris Opera House is the prime, Grade A example of big Brit musical excess. But all the lavishness does have a purpose in Harold Prince's intelligent production, now the longest-running show in Broadway history.

"White Christmas" A stage version of the classic Irving Berlin movie musical.

"Wicked" An ambitious, wildly popular musical about the witches in "The Wizard of Oz" as young women. Based on the novel by Gregory Maguire.

"Young Frankenstein" Mel Brooks transfers his comedic monster mash of a movie from screen to stage — only with more song and dance. Closing in January.

Disney is doing well with 2 musicals (although you could consider "Mary Poppins" a Disney one as well), so Dreamworks joined in the fray and put up "Shrek the Musical." Mel Brooks did well with "The Producers," but his "Young Frankenstein" didn't fair as well. Revivals are also doing well with "Chicago", "Grease", "Gypsy", "Pal Joey", and "South Pacific." And for some reason "Phantom" is still playing strong.

Winning best musical doesn't mean forever. Both the 2005 and 2007 winners of best musical are closing in January, "Monty Python's Spamalot" and "Spring Awakening." Although, "Hairspray", winner in 2003, "Avenue Q", winner in 2004, and "Jersey Boys", winner in 2006, are still going strong. "Lion King" (1999) and "The Phantom of the Opera" (1988) are the only other previous winners still playing.

Comments

Art said…
That's a helpful list. Just an FYI, Christian Hoff, who did a great job when I saw Pal Joey last week, has had to leave the production because of a foot injury.

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