Don’t get us wrong. We’re looking forward to the coming year in theater. If all goes as planned, we’re slated to see Dan Radcliffe singing, Aaron Tveit with his shirt off (again), and original scores from Alan Menken, Marc Shaiman and David Yazbek. Plus there’s Will Swenson in a dress and some new Tony Kushner thrown in there. But. What makes us way more excited is the slow trickle of information about new musicals that are currently in development. Maybe none of them will make it to Broadway in 2011. Maybe all of them will.
But here are the shows that have caught our imaginations–and that would be on our 2011 Broadway dream list, provided that all musicals in development were well written, produceable, comfortably funded, and starring Jonathan Groff, Gavin Creel or Cheyenne Jackson.
Regina Spektor herself has said she’s working on the score for this Sleeping Beauty inspired musical every single day. We’re anticipating its arrival on the Great White Way with fervent hope that it will feature one of our Alterna-Leading Man faves—like John Gallagher Jr.—and some truly swoony tunes from Spektor and lyricist Michael Korie.
Probability that it’ll happen: 19%
The Last Goodbye
Sure, when we saw this at WTF, the cast was about 95% disaster. But the show itself was there. Jeff Buckley’s songs were truly a perfect fit for Romeo & Juliet’s tragic tale, and the pared down script and almost modern setting worked extremely well. Keep Nick Blaemire as Benvolio and start from scratch with the rest—we suggest calling Michael Esper—and you’ve got something that will drive the fan girls crazy. In a good way.
Probability that it’ll happen: 23%
Every time there’s more news on Newsies, we question whether its reality, or just the product of a really glorious fever-dream. The truth is, we’ve been waiting for this stage musical approximately 19 years, so our biggest wish for 2011 is to see this come true. Especially with John Arthur Greene in the cast. (He’s the perfect dancing hoodlum/street urchin!) Seeing Jay A Johnson as lead Jack Kelly wouldn’t hurt either. That is, if Newsies can beat The Pool Boy to the punch and make him a STAH.
Probability that it’ll happen: 42.5%
Because we didn’t have enough relative flops in the year of 2010, we think it’s high time to revive Carrie. Except, this time, let’s make it a success! And let’s put Matt Doyle in there somewhere. Because every single time we see him in something we are struck with the overwhelming sense that he is the only person on earth who even knows what he is doing. Also, he’s real cute.
Probability that it’ll happen: 15%
The Pool Boy
OK, so it’s probably not big enough for Broadway. But an off-Broadway run of Nikos Tsakalakos’s frothy little musical The Pool Boy, which was produced at Barrington Stage in 2010, seems within reach for 2011. Our advice? If this is going to happen, book Jay A. Johnson now, before he becomes inevitably and insanely famous.
Probability that it’ll happen: 37%
Yes, it’s been done by every high school on earth. Yes, singing clowns are stupid. But a Godspell revival is appealing for its lovely songs, its rumored leading man (Gavin Creel), and for producer Ken Davenport’s brill idea to “crowdsource” its funding. Plus, hints that this new production would deconstruct the old clown idea and present the story in a new way have piqued our curiosity. We’d see it. If it ever opens.
Probability that it’ll happen: 51%
Now that every possible Sondheim show has been revived, all of Stephen Schwartz’s musicals suddenly seem ripe for revival. But beyond the fact that “From The Composer of Wicked” would look great on a poster, we’re in love with the idea of a Diane Paulus-directed, Gavin Creel-fronted production, the rumors of which started swirling in November, after a staged reading. But what about Gavin in Godspell, you ask? We think he should do both shows. Hell, this is our dream world. We can cast whoever we want.
Probability that it’ll happen: 43%
The 80s are cool again. Yes, in the rest of the universe, they’ve been cool again for three years, which actually means that they’re uncool again. But Broadway is a little behind. With Diane Paulus’s pared down staging of Paul Simon’s infamous late-80s flop at Shakespeare in the Park, we all had to wonder: Could this actually work on Broadway? The answer, after seeing it, is a resounding “maybe.” The show makes no sense, but wow, those songs are pretty.
Probability that it’ll happen: 20%
Heathers: The Musical
Another musical that proves the 80s are cool again (and reminds us that we recycle 80s fashion at our own peril), we’d love to see the smart, pulpy, biting Heathers: The Musical hit the Broadway stage. Last year’s reading at Joe’s Pub gave us confidence that the raw materials are ready to go, and with a few adjustments to casting—though bad boy leading man Jeremy Jordan is a keeper—this show could be a winner. Or at the very least remind us of the best sleepovers we ever had.
Probability that it’ll happen: 10%
Writer Steven Sater has kept a relatively low profile since Spring Awakening, but his newest project, the musical Prometheus Bound, sounds like it could be Broadway-bound, given a new production at Diane Paulus’s A.R.T. up in Boston this winter. With a score by System of a Down’s Serj Tankian (erm…) and rumors that it will star Gavin Creel (yay!), we’re jazzed to see how this show shapes up.
Probability that it’ll happen: 25%