BroadwayWorld Looks Ahead to 2014: 14 Things We Can't Wait For!
For the past week, BroadwayWorld has been counting down the final days of 2013 with video tributes to our 13 favorite musical moments of this year. Now that the ball has dropped and 2014 has officially arrived, we shift gears and look ahead to what is to come in 2014. Below, we count-up to the 14 theatrical events of 2014 that we are most excited for!
First up in the new year is the highly anticipated new musical, Beautiful - The Carole King Musical, about the early life and career of the legendary and groundbreaking singer/songwriter. The musical is currently in previews on Broadway at the Stephen Sondheim Theatre (124 West 43rd Street), following a critically acclaimed, sold-out World Premiere in San Francisco. An official opening night set for Sunday, January 12, 2014.
Tony Award-nominee Jessie Mueller stars as 'Carole King'; she's joined by Jake Epstein as 'Gerry Goffin', Anika Larsen as 'Cynthia Weil', Jarrod Spector as 'Barry Mann', Jeb Brown as 'Don Kirshner', Liz Larsen as 'Genie Klein', and an ensemble that includes Ashley Blanchet, E. Clayton Cornelious, Joshua Davis,Alysha Deslorieux, Kevin Duda, James Harkness, Carly Hughes, Sara King, Rebecca LaChance,Douglas Lyons, Chris Peluso, Gabrielle Reid, Arbender Robinson, Rashidra Scott, Sara Sheperd, andMelvin Tunstall.
With a book by playwright and Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Douglas McGrath, direction byMarc Bruni and choreography by Josh Prince, Beautiful features a stunning array of beloved songs written by Gerry Goffin/Carole King and Barry Mann/Cynthia Weil.
Disney's Aladdin, a new musical comedy based on the Academy Award®-winning animated film, begins performances at Broadway's New Amsterdam Theatre on February 26th, 2014 for a March 20 opening. Produced by Disney Theatrical Productions, the show features music by Tony Award® and eight-time Oscar® winner Alan Menken (Beauty and the Beast, Newsies, Sister Act), lyrics by two-time Oscar winner Howard Ashman(Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid), three-time Tony Award and three-time Oscar winner Tim Rice (Evita, Aida) and two-time Tony Award nominee Chad Beguelin (The Wedding Singer), with a book by Beguelin, and is directed and choreographed by Tony Award winner Casey Nicholaw(The Book of Mormon). Aladdin is currently playing a limited pre-Broadway engagement at Toronto's Ed Mirvish Theatre through January 5th, 2014.
Aladdin stars Adam Jacobs (Les Miserables, The Lion King) in the title role, Courtney Reed (In the Heights, Mamma Mia) as Jasmine, James Monroe Iglehart (Memphis, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee) as Genie, and Jonathan Freeman as Jafar, Tony Award nominee Jonathan Freeman (Mary Poppins, The Producers, She Loves Me) brings to the stage the role he indelibly created in the animated film. The show also stars Brian Gonzales, Brandon O'Neill and Jonathan Schwartz as Aladdin's sidekicks Babkak, Kassim and Omar, Clifton Davis as Sultan and Don Darryl Rivera as Iago.Merwin Foardand Michael James Scott stand by for several principals.
3. THE LAST 5 YEARS
Academy Award and Tony Award nominated actress Anna Kendrick and Tony Award and Grammy Award nominated actor Jeremy Jordan (Smash, Joyful Noise) will star in the film adaptation of Jason Robert Brown's acclaimed musical The Last 5 Years, written and directed by Academy Award nominee Richard LaGravenese. Filming wrapped for the movie in July 2013.
Lauren Versel, Kurt Deutsch, Richard LaGravenese and Janet Brenner produce the film. Steve Norman co-produce. Steven Meizler, who has worked extensively with Steven Spielberg, David Fincher and Steven Soderbergh, is the director of photography.
The Last 5 Years is a musical love story for a new generation. Told through emotionally powerful and comic songs from their individual perspectives, The Last 5 Years is a deconstruction of the love affair and marriage of Cathy Hiatt, a struggling actress, and Jamie Wellerstein, a rising novelist, The story chronicles the five-year life of a marriage, from meeting to break-up...or from break-up to meeting, depending on how you look at it.
Rocky begins previews February 11, 2014 and officially opens on March 13, 2014. ROCKY brings to life the iconic and inspiring story of struggling small time Philly boxer, Rocky Balboa, who gets a once-in-a-lifetime shot to go the distance against heavyweight champ Apollo Creed. Both an adrenaline-infused spectacle and a surprising story of blossoming romance between two lonely outsiders, Rocky is a heart-stopping and viscerally theatrical new musical for everyone brave enough to follow their dream.
ROCKY features an original score by Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens, the celebrated Tony Award-winning and Academy Award-nominated songwriters behind Ragtime, Once on This Island, and Anastasia, and a book by multiple Tony Award-winner Thomas Meehan (The Producers, Hairspray, Annie) and Sylvester Stallone.The production is directed by Alex Timbers, the Tony-nominated director behind the acclaimed musicals Here Lies Loveand Bloody, Bloody Andrew Jackson, as well as Peter and the Starcatcher, which continues to run off-Broadway. The musical features choreography by Steven Hoggett, who received a Tony Award nomination for his work on Once and Kelly Devine, best known for the long-running Broadway hit Rock of Ages.
5. NBC's next live musical broadcast
On December 5, NBC aired "The Sound of Music Live"-starring Grammy winner Carrie Underwood as 'Maria,' Audra McDonald ("Private Practice"), who has won five Tony Awards and two Grammys, as Mother Abbess; Stephen Moyer ("True Blood"), as Capt. Georg von Trapp; Tony Award winner Christian Borle ("Smash"), who portrayed von Trapp family friend Max Detweiler; and Tony winner Laura Benanti ("Go On"), who took on the role of Elsa Schrader, the captain's one-time fiancee. In "live plus seven day" results, the telecast delivered a 5.62 rating in adults 18-49 and 21.837 million viewers overall, adding to the enormous audience the show attracted with its live telecast to make "The Sound of Music Live!" the #1 telecast on all of television for that Dec. 2-8 week in total viewers.
Soon after the special aired, NBC announced plans to stage another live musical in 2014 following the huge success of the event. Executive producers Neil Meron and Craig Zadan will once again produce the live broadcast.
NBC's chairman of the entertainment division, Robert Greenblat commented: "There's enough to do a handful of these over the next years, if we keep increasing the learning curve. There may be a little bit of a phenomenon to the first one of these. Who knows what happens Year 2, 3 or 4. But you've got to have events. I think we could do this again - and again and again."
6. LES MISERABLES
Cameron Mackintosh's acclaimed new production of Alain Boublil & Claude-Michel Schönberg's Tony Award-winning musical masterpiece Les Miserables returns to Broadway beginning Saturday, March 1 at the Imperial Theatre (249 West 45th Street). The official opening night for Les Miserables is Sunday, March 23.
The LES MIS ensemble will include Erin Clemons, Emily Cramer, Natalie Charle Ellis, Jason Forbach,Heidi Giberson, Nathaniel Hackmann, Andrew Kober, Chris McCarrell, Melissa Mitchell, Dennis Moench, Adam Monley, Betsy Morgan, Melissa O'Neil, Max Quinlan, John Rapson, Terance Reddick,Arbender Robinson, Christianne Tisdale and Aaron Walpole. The swings are Cathryn Basile, John Brink, Ben Gunderson, Rachel Rincione and Weston Wells Olson. As previously announced, the new LES MIS will star Ramin Karimloo (Jean Valjean), Will Swenson (Javert), Caissie Levy (Fantine),Nikki M. James (Eponine), Andy Mientus (Marius), Charlotte Maltby (Cosette), Kyle Scatliffe(Enjolras), Cliff Saunders (Thenardier) and Keala Settle (Madame Thenardier). The child roles of Gavroche, Young Cosette and Young Eponine will be cast shortly.
This newly re-imagined Les Miserables, which grossed over $160 million in its recent two and a half year American tour, is currently breaking box office records, receiving rave reviews and capacity crowds with the Canadian production at the Princess of Wales in Toronto starring Ramin Karimloo, who will play Jean Valjean on Broadway. International productions of the new Les Miserables have been met with equal success and acclaim in the U.K., France, Spain, Japan and Korea and will open soon in Australia. This new version of Les Miserables, which premiered in the U.K. in 2009, inspired filmmakers to make last year's immensely successful Oscar/Golden Globe/BAFTA winning-movie.
7. BULLETS OVER BROADWAY
Five time Tony Award winning director and choreographer Susan Stroman will bring Bullets Over Broadway to the stage, beginning previews in March at the St. James Theatre. The show will feture work by an award winning design team of Broadway veterans including Tony Award winners Santo Loquasto (scenic design),William Ivey Long (costume design), Donald Holder (lighting design), Doug Besterman (orchestrations) and Glen Kelly (musical arrangements and supervision) and Peter Hylenski (sound design) and Andy Einhorn (musical direction).
BULLETS OVER BROADWAY tells the story of an aspiring young playwright (Braff) newly arrived on Broadway in 1920's New York who is forced to cast a mobster's (Pastore) talentless girlfriend (Yorke) in his latest drama in order to get it produced.
8. INTO THE WOODS
Coming up in 2014 is Disney's "Into the Woods", directed by Rob Marshall, the talented filmmaker behind the Academy Award-winning musical "Chicago". The film is based on the Tony-winning original musical by James Lapine, who also penned the screenplay, and legendary composer Stephen Sondheim, who provides the music and lyrics-including an all-new song for the big-screen adaptation. The movie is slated for a December 25, 2014, holiday release.
"Into the Woods" is a modern twist on the beloved Brothers Grimm fairy tales, intertwining the plots of a few choice stories and exploring the consequences of the characters' wishes and quests. This humorous and heartfelt musical follows the classic tales of Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Jack and the Beanstalk, and Rapunzel-all tied together by an original story involving a baker and his wife, their wish to begin a family and their interaction with the witch who has put a curse on them. The cats includes: Meryl Streep as The Witch, James Corden as The Baker, Emily Blunt as The Baker's Wife, Johnny Depp as The Wolf, Anna Kendrick as Cinderella, Chris Pine as Cinderella's Prince, Billy Magnussen as Rapunzel's Prince, Mackenzie Mauzy as Rapunzel, Lucy Punch as Lucinda, Tammy Blanchard as Florinda, Christine Baranski as Cinderella's Stepmother and Tracey Ullman as Jack's Mother, with Lilla Crawford as Little Red Riding Hood and Daniel Huttlestone as Jack.
9. THE BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY
The Bridges of Madison County, based on the best selling novel by Robert James Waller, begins previews on Friday, January 17, 2014 and opens on Thursday, February 20, 2014, at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre (236 West 45th Street).
The complete casting includes the previously announced Kelli O'Hara as Francesca Johnson, Steven Pasquale as Robert Kincaid, Hunter Foster as Bud Johnson, Cass Morgan as Marge, Michael X. Martin as Charlie, Caitlin Kinnunen as Carolyn, Derek Klena as Michael, as well as Whitney Bashor,Jennifer Allen, Ephie Aardema, Katie Klaus, Luke Markinovich, Aaron Ramey, Dan Sharkey, Tim Wright, Jessica Vosk, Charlie Franklin, and Kevin Kern.
CABARET will play a 24-week limited engagement beginning previews on March 21, 2014 and open officially on April 24, 2014 at the newly transformed Kit Kat Klub at Studio 54 on Broadway (254 West 54th Street). The Tony winning musical by Joe Masteroff, John Kander and Fred Ebb will star Alan Cumming in his Tony Award-winning role as Emcee, three time Academy Award nominee Michelle Williams making her Broadway debut as Sally Bowles. The cast will also feature two time Tony nominee Linda Emond as Fraulein Schneider, four time Tony nominee Danny Burstein as Herr Schultz, Bill Heck as Cliff, Aaron Krohn as Ernst and Gayle Rankin as Fraulein Kost.
Academy Award-winner Sam Mendes (director) and Academy Award nominee Rob Marshall (co-director/choreographer) will return to recreate their Tony-nominated direction and choreography from the 1998 Tony Award-winning production.
CABARET features some of the best-known songs in musical theatre, including "Willkommen," "Maybe This Time" and "Cabaret." John Kander and Fred Ebb are two of the most successful and prolific collaborators in the American Theatre and are currently represented on Broadway with the award-winning revival of Chicago.
If/Then, starring Tony Award-winner Idina Menzel, will begin previews on Broadway Wednesday, March 5, 2014 and will officially open on Sunday, March 30, 2014 at the Richard Rodgers Theatre. The new musical reunites Tom Kitt (music), Brian Yorkey (book and lyrics), and Michael Greif(director), the creative team behind the Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning musical, Next to Normal.
The company of If/Then also features LaChanze, Anthony Rapp, James Snyder, Jerry Dixon, Jenn Colella, Jason Tam, Tamika Lawrence, Jackie Burns, Joe Cassidy, Miguel Cervantes, Curtis Holbrook, Stephanie Klemons, Tyler McGee, Ryann Redmond, Joe Aaron Reid, Ann Sanders, Marc De La Cruz, Charles Hagerty, Janet Krupin and Pearl Sun.
If/Then is a contemporary musical that follows Elizabeth as she rebuilds her life in New York, a city of endless possibilities. By the Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning creators of Next to Normal and starring Tony Award-winner Idina Menzel in her much-anticipated return to the stage, If/Then is an original new musical set at the intersection of choice and chance, where the road you take meets the road you didn't.
12. JERSEY BOYS
The upcoming film adaptation of the musical JERSEY BOYS, directed by Clint Eastwood, will be released in theatres on June 20, 2014. Principal photography on the movie wrapped in October.
In the film, Broadway's John Lloyd Young stars in the role of legendary singer Frankie Valli. Joining Young in the cast areRenée Marino as Mary Delgado, Erich Bergen as Bob Gaudio, Christopher Walken as Gyp DeCarlo, Mike Doyle as Bob Crew, Joey Russo as Joe Pesci, Erica Piccininnias Lorraine, Donnie Kehr as Norm Waxman, Jeremy Luke as Donnie and Johnny Cannizzaro as Nick DeVito, andKathrine Narducci as Mary Rinaldi. JERSEY BOYS is directed by Clint Eastwood based upon the Broadway musical featuring the music and lyrics of Bob Gaudio & Bob Crewe, written by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice.
JERSEY BOYS is the journey of how a group of blue-collar boys from the wrong side of the tracks became one of the biggest American pop music sensations of all time:Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons. They wrote their own songs, invented their own sounds and sold 175 million records worldwide - all before they were thirty.
Sutton Foster is coming back to Broadway, in the Roundabout Theatre Company's Violet (first seen as part of Encores! Off-Center concert series in 2013), directed by Leigh Silverman. Based on the short story "The Ugliest Pilgrim" by Doris Betts, Violet features music by Jeanine Tesoriand book & lyrics by Brian Crawley.
VIOLET will play a 20-week limited engagement beginning previews on March 28, 2014 and opening officially on April 20, 2014 at the American Airlines Theatre on Broadway (227 West 42nd Street).
VIOLET tells the story of a young woman's quest for beauty amidst the image-obsessed landscape of the 1960s. Facially disfigured in a childhood accident, Violet (Foster) dreams of a miraculous transformation through the power of faith. Convinced that a televangelist in Oklahoma can heal her, she hops a Greyhound bus and starts the journey of a lifetime. Along the way, Violet forms unlikely friendships with her fellow riders, who teach her about beauty, love, courage and what it means to be an outsider.
14. HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH
Neil Patrick Harris will return to Broadway in Hedwig and the Angry Inch, the musical with book by John Cameron Mitchell and music and lyrics by Stephen Trask, directed by Michael Mayer. The limited engagement will begin previews Saturday, March 29, 2014 and open Tuesday, April 22, 2014 at the Belasco Theatre (111 West 44th Street).
"Internationally ignored song stylist" Hedwig Robinson (Neil Patrick Harris) brings her fourth-wall-smashing rock and roll saga to New York to set the record straight about her life, her loves, and the botched operation that left her with that "angry inch."
The members of "The Angry Inch," Hedwig's band - his "ambassadors of Eastern Bloc rock" - will be music director Justin Craig (guitar and keyboards), Matt Duncan (bass), Tim Mislock (guitar), and Peter Yanowitz (drums). Casting for the role of Yitzak will be announced in the coming weeks.