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Student Blog: Will the World of Broadway Revivals Change After Re-Opening?

Revivals can be amazing, but I think it's time to focus on new voices.

With an influx of vaccinations and safety protocols being set, it seems like we're going to make a return to Broadway by the end of the year. Now that we see that this is in our future, people have opinions on what they want to see on stage. I am full of opinions and the one I am going to talk about today might be a little controversial, but here it is. I don't like revivals that much. I understand the point of them but they just don't excite me. And when Broadway does come back, I'm hoping we take a step back from revivals and focus much more on new works.

First let me say this: there are some revivals that I am a huge fan of. The most recent Once on this Island and Spring Awakening revivals are two of my favorites. I think revivals can make very powerful statements about connections between time and history. For example, the upcoming revival of Caroline, Or Change is something I think fits in with the times and is a very important story right now. I also think that they're much easier to have produced because they already have an established fan base and people who are definitely going to buy those tickets. There are directors who have done incredible things with a revival and I'm not knocking them at all. But, if we're discussing what we want out of Broadway in the future, for me, it's less revivals.

I want to hear new stories that are written by new voices. I want to see different people's opinions on things. I think that we cannot grow as a community without pushing for new works more than we push for revivals. When community leaders shame on new musicals like everyone did with The Lightning Thief, I can see how it becomes discouraging for many to put new work out there. There needs to be a better pipeline for new works to get to Broadway, because they deserve to be seen and heard. I'd rather see A Strange Loop make its premiere on Broadway than I would another revival of Les Miserables. This isn't saying that I don't like Les Mis, but I just feel like it's overdone. And with all the time we've had for reflection and all the new art that's been created since the shut down, why don't we put them first on Broadway? I just think it's time for less revivals and new works to be given priority. I think if musicals just continue to be recycled and revived every ten or so years, people are going to get bored of it. Broadway has an opportunity here to make new, exciting, and wild works that could change the landscape of theater, but that's not going to happen if we just keep doing the same shows every few years.

When the time comes for Broadway to re-open, I really think that the people who make the decisions of what comes to Broadway should focus on new voices and new art.


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