Given the high marks its already received and the anticipation of its Broadway opening, Hamilton should be the dominant force next season, culminating surely with a bunch of Tonys next year.
I've spoken with a couple of friends who work in various areas of NY theatre and the word is that most producers are postponing their big releases until 2016-17 to avoid being second banana to Lin Manual-Miranda's masterpiece. If this is the case, the next 12 months are going to be pretty boring on Broadway.
So what new musicals could possible contend with Hamilton next year? Here are some possible contenders.
First Preview: June 25, 2015
Opening: July 16, 2015
Music & Lyrics by Christopher Smith and Book by Arthur Giron
Director: Gabriel Barre
Cast: Josh Young, Erin Mackey, Chuck Cooper, Chris Hoch
A world-premiere musical based on the awe-inspiring true story behind the world’s most beloved song. A tale of romance, rebellion and redemption that follows one man whose incredible journey ignited a historic wave of change.
The show had a brief run in Chicago last year where it was met with mixed to positive reviews.
On Your Feet!
First Preview: October 5, 2015
Opening: November 5, 2015
Written by Gloria Estefan (music), Alexander Dinelaris (book)
Director: Jerry Mitchell
Cast: Ana Villafañe and Josh Segarra
The story of two people who — through an unwavering dedication to one another and their pursuit of the American dream — showcased their talent, their music and their heritage to the world in a remarkable rise to global superstardom.
Gloria and Emilio Estefan (Estefan Enterprises) are partnering with The Nederlander Organization and producer Bernie Yuman. Mitchell and the further creative team came on board in May 2014. After a try-out run in Chicago in summer 2015, the show comes to Broadway in October at the Marquis Theatre.
First Preview: October 6, 2015
Opening: November 8, 2015
Written by Jay Kuo (book, music & lyrics), Lorenzo Thione (book), Marc Acito (book)
Director: Stafford Arima
Cast: George Takei, Lea Salonga, Telly Leung
An epic story of love, war and heroism set during the Japanese American internment of World War II, following the story of the Kimura family in the weeks and years following Pearl Harbor, as they are relocated from their farm in Salinas, California to the Heart Mountain internment camp in the rural plains of Wyoming.
Premiered at The Old Globe in San Diego 2012. An NYC industry reading was held May 2013, towards a planned spring 2014 opening. Producers continued to seek an available theater before securing one in February 2015, when they announced an October start at a Shubert theater to be announced (soon confirmed as the Longacre).
School of Rock
First Preview: November 2, 2015
Opening: December 6, 2015
Written by Andrew Lloyd Webber (music), Glenn Slater (lyrics), Julian Fellowes (book)
Director: Laurence Connor
Down-on-his-luck wannabe rock star Dewey Finn poses as a substitute teacher at a prestigious prep school to make ends meet. When he discovers his students' musical talents, he enlists his fifth-graders to form a rock group and conquer the Battle of the Bands.
Given that Andrew Lloyd Webber hasn't had a hit in 20 years, I am not betting high on this one.
SHUFFLE ALONG, OR, THE MAKING OF THE MUSICAL SENSATION OF 1921 AND ALL THAT FOLLOWED
First Preview: March 14, 2016
Opening: April 21, 2016
Written by Eubie Blake and Noble Sissle(music), George C. Wolfe (book)
Director: George C. Wolfe
Cast: Audra McDonald
A backstage musical about the events that led to the creation of the groundbreaking Eubie Blake-Noble Sissle musical Shuffle Along.