Friday, November 4, 2011

It's Not Funny Anymore: The 2011 - 2012 Broadway Season


If this were a blog about baseball instead of Broadway, at this point in the season we'd be talking about the upcoming All-Star Game.  And given the recent theatre news, we'd be talking teams jockeying for position, the injury lists, and which people would be called up from the minors. 

But this IS a blog about Broadway, and we are approaching the half way point of the 2011 - 2012 season (we are in the middle of the 23rd week) and we are talking about what shows have been hits, misses and in between.  We are talking about which shows are still to come, which thought they were coming but aren't, and which ones are coming in out of nowhere.  And lately, thanks to Josh and Jan, we have been talking about relief players coming in for the injured - and isn't it nice that they aren't life-threatening like those earlier this season.  And speaking of that show, two permanent players are leaving and two rising Broadway stars - see ya Jennifer and T.V., welcome to the biggest show you'll ever be in, Rebecca and Christina!  (Though, let me be the first to say it in print: if things don't change drastically and Ms. Damiano is Tony nominated, I bet she'll be back in Spidey's grasp faster than you can say Lauren Ambrose!

A couple of days ago Patrick Healy of The New York Times wrote an article that talked about this upcoming spring and the chances of an upcoming musical moving ahead to this season.  Discussing hits, misses, theatres that fit certain size shows and those that can't find a place, Healy even mentioned one show that wanted a certain theatre, but it was already taken.  Funny how things change that quickly!  The show looking is Nice Work If You Can Get it.  The theatre they want?  The Imperial.  The show in the way? Funny Girl. Not anymore!  Last night, it was announced that Funny Girl would not be opening this season, and neither would its controversial stars, Lauren Ambrose and Bobby Canavale, who would be making their musical debuts.  And so, I'm betting that Nice Work If You Can Get It will announce that it is going into the Imperial Theatre very shortly.  (I WAS RIGHT!  :-) )

Another musical - one I am looking forward to - Big Fish this week also announced its postponement until next spring.  I hope it makes it.  Broadway could use some nice Americana and sentimentality, not mention fun and whimsy.  (If you haven't seen the film or read the book, I'd suggest it wholeheartedly.)

The article also mentions something that I have to admit I'm not all that surprised about... apparently, Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark is getting some Tony buzz after all.  Who doesn't love a survivor?  And what a perfect way to eat a tiny bit of crow and still save a great deal of face.

Given that plays come and go, announce and withdraw with a speed matched only by Glory Days.  I feel I can only wax philosophical about the slate of musicals this season so far and upcoming.  And so, like baseball prognosticators, here's how I see things almost halfway through the season.

  • New Musicals (Definite): Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, Bonnie and Clyde, Lysistrata Jones, Rebecca, Ghost: The Musical, Nice Work If You Can Get It

  • New Musicals (Possible contenders): Yank!, Once, Newsies, Toxic Avenger, Bring It On: The Musical, Enter Laughing
  • New Musicals (Longshots for this season): Robin and the 7 Hoods, Minsky's, White Noise, Leap of Faith, Unchain My Heart

  • Musical Revivals (Definite): Follies, Godspell, Evita, On a Clear Day You Can See Forever, Porgy and Bess, Jesus Christ Superstar
  • Musical Revivals (Longshot for this season):  Zorba

  • Musicals (currently open) in trouble: Mary Poppins, Priscilla Queen of the Desert, Sister Act
  • Musicals (closing announced) on the way out: Billy Elliot: The Musical, The Addams Family
  • Limited runs: Anything Goes*, Follies*, Hugh Jackman: Back on Broadway, An Evening with Patti LuPone and Mandy Patinkin (* could possibly extend)

Who ends up at the finish line in April and where they are playing remains up in the air until the last minute.  And isn't that the fun of mulling over the Broadway season?  Next thing you know, we'll have Fantasy Broadway clubs.  If you know of one, sign me up!


Sports and musicals seem to be incompatible, as there are so few all about sports like Lysistrata Jones and Damn Yankees.  But sports do figure into several shows.  All of the following shows have something to do with basketball EXCEPT:

A.  Promises, Promises
B.  Falsettos
C.  The Full Monty
D.  Disney's High School Musical

Click on the Lysistrata Jones logo at the top right of this blog for complete rules for entering the contest to win tickets.  And check every blog this week to gather the answers to all 5 trivia questions.  Enter today starting at 4PM, and through NOON on Sunday, November 6th.  (All times Eastern.)  GOOD LUCK!

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1 comment:

  1. Unfortunately, they replaced one awful-sounding show going into that theater with another awful-sounding show.


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