Monday, June 3, 2024

Looking Forward to Summer - June - August 2024

Looking Forward to Summer:
June - August 2024

The summer months are upon us, and with it the heat, the Tony Awards, closings and some off-season openings. Much like this time last year, with its three major musical openings, the coming months are busy, with two plays - a revival and an off-Broadway transfer, an Encores! opening of a modern classic, and an Encores! Broadway transfer. All are limited engagements. So this summer, we'll be playing catch up from last season's monster-size schedule and getting a head start on what looks to be an exciting 2024-2025.

As we always do, before we look forward, we look back to remember and evaluate. Over the last quarter, we saw nine productions! Among them were thrilling musicals that catapulted to our list of all-time favorites (Illinoise, The Outsiders, Water For Elephants, The Notebook), an instant classic new American play, Stereophonic, and an electrifying play revival (Appropriate). We were also thrilled by the exciting new musical, Lempicka which dared to be exactly what musical theater fans have been asking for: an original piece with an inclusive, contemporary sensibility. Two of my favorite shows, Merrily We Roll Along and The Who's Tommy, were revived, and frankly, I found both proficient, but not particularly exciting.

Now, here's what we are looking forward to this summer:


Encores! Titanic
One of my favorite shows of the last 30 years, I've been looking forward to seeing this revival since it was first announced this time last year. I can't wait to hear Maury Yeston's gorgeous score played by the amazing City Center Orchestra, and sung by a truly all-star Broadway cast. And I'm curious to see how they will stage it.


Oh, Mary!
2024 Theatre World Award honoree Cole Escola and Conrad Ricamora were enough to pique my interest, and a light summertime comedy sounds great for these troubled times. I could use a hearty laugh, and I hear that's a guarantee with this hit off-Broadway transfer. 

Once Upon a Mattress
As someone who revels in the history of musical theater, I can't pass up a chance to see this popular classic. In fact, I'm surprised that this Mary Rodgers tuner has evaded me all these years. So, when this Encores! transfer was announced with stars Sutton Foster and Michael Urie, I just had to add this to my list of must-sees.

Holdovers From Last Season:

Snagged some great seats to this show (and at a great price, to boot) when the positive word-of-mouth continued unabated weeks after it opened. I'll admit that I wasn't particularly interested after its tepid reception off-Broadway. But apparently, they really put in the work - would that more shows did this - and added some of my favorite actors (including Jenn Colella and Emily Skinner). And so, later this week, we will be joining the march at the Music Box.

Hell's Kitchen
13 Tony nominations are hard to ignore, but I'll be honest, the biggest name attached to this musical, Alicia Keys, isn't that big a draw for me. I mean I appreciate her talents, but outside of a song or two, I can take or leave her. On the other hand, I really have enjoyed their release of the new song, "Kaleidoscope," and the new video they created. Finally, I've heard nothing but great things about Broadway debutante, Maleah Joi Moon, and there's nothing I find more satisfying than witnessing a star-making performance.

What shows are you looking forward to this summer? Let us know by commenting below, or Tweet, Threads or IG us, all @jkstheatrescene .

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