A new year has begun, and we’re looking forward to all kinds of new things on the theater scene. Of course, when you’ve got your ear to the ground its easy to get excited, and subsequently dissapointed, about productions that never quite come to fruition. (Read: Yank!, Love Never Dies, Funny Girl.) Because, you know, most new shows never actually get produced. Just ask Patrick Healy.
Below, a brief round-up of new musicals we’d love to see on Broadway in 2012. Just to get your hopes up.
Based on Bret Easton Ellis’ 1991 novel, with a book by playwright/comic-book author Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and music and lyrics by Spring Awakening’s Duncan Sheik, this musical boasts a team of writers with some serious chops. And an anti-hero who actually chops people up. I mean, okay. So we’re not entirely sure how they’re going to stage the naked chainsaw murder for Broadway. But we’re dying to find out. A recent reading was led by President Sexypants himself, Benjamin Walker, and featured Reeve Carney, Christopher Hanke & Kacie Sheik. We would have committed some crimes to witness that reading, and at this point, we’re just hoping we won’t have to kill anyone to get this show on Broadway before Ben Walker really does give up on us altogether.
Will it happen? 33%
All the Other Duncan Sheik Musicals
Never mind American Psycho. How many other musicals has Duncan Sheik written post-Spring Awakening? A bunch. Nightingale, Because of Wynn Dixie, Nero, Whisper House – they’ve almost all been given readings and workshops and little productions here and there. But none of them have yet made it to Broadway. Our question: Why? Is Broadway so money-scared that even Tony-winning Sheik seems like an outrageous risk in 2012? We hope that at least one of these shows gets a proper big-time staging this year. Amidst all the sparkly revivals and movie rehashes, his dark-ish, left-of-center sensibility is much needed uptown these days.
Will it happen?
Because of Wynn Dixie: 35%
Whisper House: 12%
It lives online, and in the fangirl/boy imagination, as the much-bootlegged concept album, which features Jonathan Groff and Phoebe Strole. But this new musical based on Natalie Babbit’s classic children’s book could be the real deal, now that Book of Mormon director Casey Nicholaw is attached to the project. Chris Miller and Nathan Tysen’s lovely score feels more sophisticated than many that are actually on Broadway at the moment. We’d love to see this happen – and soon.
Will it happen? 39%
The Madam C.J. Walker Musical
OK, so we’ve only heard two songs from it, but they kind of blew our minds. Penned by Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson‘s Justin Levine, this musical about the life of the African American hair products maven feels too good – or at least too tuneful – to stay under the radar for long. After a concert presentation at Naked Angels last year that featured Christina Sajous, we’re hoping this show gets a bigger production this year.
Will it happen? A hopeful 35%
Bonnie & Clyde: A Folktale
We’ve been hearing about Hunter Foster and Rick Crom’s Bonnie & Clyde: A Folk Fairytale for years now—from its developmental premiere an NYMF in 2008, to a 2010 reading starring Sutton Foster & Will Swenson. Foster & Crom’s version is a satire, more in the style of Urinetown than its “grittier”/more traditional cousin, the recent Wildhorn tuner. That snooze of a musical flopped in pretty epic fashion, which had us worried that investors would steer clear of the Bonnie & Clyde brand entirely. But we’re happy to say there’s a production in Atlanta slated for this winter, so it looks like Wildhorn’s recent failure hasn’t totally killed this version dead.
Will it happen? 36.38%
It’s a Bird… It’s a Plane… It’s Superman
Move the fuck over Spider-Man. There’s another superhero musical around, and this one doesn’t trip anyone’s arachnophobia issues. Or involve a weird spider/human sex-dream that plays out in mid-air. A version of this 1966 musical, with a revamped book by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, played in Dallas a few summers back, and we’re hoping it might soar into town because frankly, we think Superman is more badass than all the other superheroes combined. And also because we dream of Dean Cain hitting the red carpet opening night. Because we’ve been in love with that particular piece of man-meat since the fifth grade. Besides, who doesn’t love a musical with several sets of ellipses in the title, right?
Will it happen? 17.5%
Music by Curtis Mayfield. Directed and choreographed by Bill T. Jones. Produced by Mariah Carey’s ex-husband. Yes. Just, yes. When we first heard about this stage adaptation of the famous blaxsploitation film, we wondered how quickly we could mentally will it onstage. The answer is, “Soon,” apparently. A March workshop is now in the planning phases. We’re weary of film adaptations, but for the badassery that is Super Fly, we might make an exception.
Will it happen? 49%