Wednesday, April 23, 2014

What's New on Broadway? Spotlight on 2013-2014 New Musicals

Stars in '13-'14 Broadway musicals:
Neil Patrick Harris in Hedwig (top), Idina
Menzel in If/Then (middle left), Sutton
Foster in Violet (bottom left), Audra
McDonald in Lady Day (middle right),
Norbert Leo Butz in Big Fish (bottom right)
Photo Credit:
The cut-off date for Broadway shows to open and still be eligible for Tony Awards was yesterday, so this is the perfect time to preview all the new musicals from this season! I looked at the new plays a few weeks ago, but I'm not gonna lie, the musicals are the ones I'm excited about. At a glance, we've got a whopping four completely original shows, six based on movies, six using the non-Broadway music of a certain artist/artists, and you could argue that five of these are featuring Broadway divas, and four are using big name (not primarily Broadway) stars to draw crowds.
(Updated after the Tony nominations came out, which clarified how to categorize some of these shows)

First Date: August 8, 2013-January 5, 2014
Music and lyrics: Alan Zachary and Michael Weiner
Starring: Zachary Levi and Krysta Rodriguez (yes, from Smash)
aka: Name That Classic RomCom, the musical!
(totally original, star appeal with Zachary Levi)

Soul Doctor: August 15, 2013-October 13, 2013
Music and lyrics: Shlomo Carlebach and David Schechter
Starring: Eric Anderson
aka: Concert Musical #1: More Jewish Music on Broadway
(using music from a particular artist)

Big Fish: October 6, 2013-December 29, 2013
Music and lyrics: Andrew Lippa
Starring: Tony winner Norbert Leo Butz, Kate Baldwin
aka: Another Flop Starring Norbert
(based on a movie, Broadway Diva moment for NLB)

A Night with Janis Joplin: Oct 10, 2013-February 9, 2014
Music and lyrics: Um...
Starring: Jenna Maroney Mary Bridget Davis
aka: Concert Musical #2: A Real Janis Joplin Musical
(using music from a particular artist)

After Midnight: November 3-now
Starring: Dule Hill, Vanessa Williams**
aka: Concert Musical #3: How does Vanessa Williams still look so good?
(using music from a particular artist/artists, star appeal with Dule Hill and Vanessa Williams)

A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder: November 17-now
Music and lyrics: Steven Lutvak and Robert L. Freedman
Starring: Jefferson Mays, Bryce Pinkham
aka: Classy Killing, the Musical
(totally new show)

Beautiful, the Carole King Musical: January 12-now
Music and lyrics: Barry Mann, Carole King, Cynthia Weil, Gerry Goffin
Starring: Jessie Mueller
aka: Jukebox Musical #1: It's CAROLE not CAROL
(this one has a plot a la Jersey Boys, using music from a particular artist)

Musicals based on movies this season
Kate Baldwin and Norbert Leo Butz in Big
 (top left), James Monroe Iglehart in
Aladdin (middle left), Cast of Bullets (bottom),
Andy Karl and Margo Seibert in Rocky 
(middle right), Steven Pasquale and Kelli
O'Hara in Bridges (top right)
Bridges of Madison County: February 20-now
Music and lyrics: Jason Robert Brown
Starring: Steven Pasquale (Laura Benanti's ex-husband, actually) and Kelli O'Hara
aka: The Steamy Midwest Skit
(based on a movie)

Rocky: March 13-now
Music and lyrics: Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens (of from Ragtime and 20th Century Fox's animated movie Anastasia)
Starring: Andy Karl and Margo Seibert
aka: Wait, Really?
(based on a movie)

Aladdin: March 20-now
Music and lyrics: Alan Menken and Howard Ashman/Tim Rice, new lyrics by Chad Beguelin
Starring: Adam Jacobs, Courtney Reed, James Monroe Iglehart
aka: The Genie Steals the Show... Again
(based on the movie)

If/Then: March 30-now
Music and lyrics: Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey
Starring: Tony winner IDINA MENZEL, Anthony Rapp
aka: Sliding Doors the musical!
(totally original show, Broadway Diva moment for Idina Menzel)

Bullets Over Broadway: April 10-now
Music and lyrics: (various old songs)
Starring: Zach Braff, Marin Mazzie, Betsy Wolfe, Nick Cordero
aka: Juke Box Musical #2: Zach Braff Can Sing?
(using songs from particular artists, star appeal with Zach Braff, Broadway Diva moment for Marin Mazzie)

Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill: April 13-August 10
Starring: Audra McDonald
aka: Concert Musical #4: Audra's Back!
This is a "play with music" so it's nominated in the play rather than musical category in the Tony Awards, but is considered a musical by some other awards organizations.
(using songs from a particular artist, Broadway Diva moment for Audra McDonald)

Violet: April 20-August 10
Music and lyrics: Jeanine Tesori and Brian Crawley
Starring: Sutton Foster
aka: Welcome back, Sutton Foster!
Though this is its first time on Broadway, it's considered a musical revival rather than new musical, because it has played Off-Broadway before.
(totally original show, Broadway Diva moment for Sutton Foster)

Hedwig and the Angry Inch: April 22-August 17
Music and lyrics: Stephen Trask
Starring: Neil Patrick Harris
aka: Concert Musical #5: NPH in Glitter and Drag
This is also considered a revival, just like Violet.
(based on a movie, star appeal with NPH)

Yes, this season we have Tony Award-winners Idina Menzel, Audra McDonald, and Sutton Foster, possibly today's best Broadway actresses, all on Broadway at the same time! WHAT IS THIS?! If only Big Fish had run longer, Norbert could have been added to that list. Tony nominations will be announced in less than a week, and I'm hoping it will be nominated for Best Musical so we can see Norbert on the Tonys again.

Sally Henry // Twitter: // Facebook:

**Vanessa Williams is currently the "special guest star," though the original special guest star was Fantasia (Barrino).


  1. Wait... Rocky? Seriously? haha... great post. I want to see Aladdin :)

  2. Thanks! Yeah, I want to see Aladdin so badly! I heard that the music from Rocky isn't great, but the last 20 minutes (the final fight) is the main draw.