Top 10 Revivals That Are Overdue
- OnStage Michigan Columnist
There is no doubt that Broadway audiences love a good revival. Beyond just the nostalgic feeling you get when listening to some of the music, it's also a wonderful opportunity to revisit some of your favorite works.
For creative teams, revivals provide a chance for them to not only bring back blockbusters from the past, but to also re-invent them.
So with that in mind, here are some musicals that are long overdue for a revival along with some casting suggestions of who might be perfect to fill those roles.
10. 42nd Street
Not seen on Broadway since the early 2000’s, this classic tale about wide-eyed Pennsylvanian ingénue Peggy Sawyer is a quintessential love letter to Broadway, and following the US tour in the 2015-16 season, it could be successful in a revival. Laura Benanti would be a wonderful Peggy, and Brian Stokes Mitchell could easily play notorious director Julian Marsh.
9. Annie Get Your Gun
Largely absent from the United States since it’s 2000 tour, this tribute to sharpshooter Annie Oakley features some of Irving Berlin’s best work, including “I Got the Sun in the Morning” and, of course, “Anything You Can Do”. Stephanie J. Block would shine as Annie, and Cheyenne Jackson would be a fitting partner as Frank Butler.
This beautiful show about a Parisian circus, based on the film Lili, is a treasure, with songs like “Love Makes the World Go ‘Round” and “She’s My Love”. Lea Michele and Matthew Morrison, who worked together on Glee, could partner once again as Lili and Jacquot.
Currently running on London’s West End, this brilliantly-written show based on R&B music of the 1960’s and ’70s could transfer to Broadway. Patina Miller and Amber Riley (currently starring in the West End production) could play off each other well as Deena and Effie, with Billy Porter as Curtis Taylor Jr.
6. Into the Woods
After a successful 2014 film version and 2015 Off-Broadway run, this tribute to fairy tales, featuring songs such as “Agony” and “On the Steps of the Palace” could make it on Broadway once again. Anna Kendrick could reprise her role as Cinderella from the film, with Kelli O’Hara as the Witch.
5. Funny Girl
Not seen on Broadway since its original 1964 production, and after a West End revival in 2016, it received much publicity about a possible Broadway run in 2014. Based on vaudeville star Fanny Brice, with songs like “Don’t Rain on My Parade” and “People”, Megan Hilty and Jeremy Jordan could play off one another as Fanny and her love, Nicky Arnstein.
This tribute to the theater, based on the film All About Eve, could be a success were it to return to Broadway. Featuring songs like “But Alive” and the titular “Applause” Alice Ripley and Laura Osnes (currently in Bandstand) could partner as fading star Margo Channing and Eve Harrington.
Fresh from a New York City Opera production, Jay Armstrong Johnson could reprise his role as the titular role, with Sierra Boggess as Cunegonde and Bernadette Peters as The Old Woman. Sierra would be brilliant on the notoriously difficult aria “Glitter and Be Gay”.
2. Man of La Mancha
Based on the tale of Don Quixote, and known for its lush score featuring songs like “Dulcinea” and “The Impossible Dream”, Raul Esparza could star as Don Quixote de La Mancha, and Phillipa Soo (currently in Amelie) could play off him as his niece Antonia.
This classic musical about King Arthur, his knights, Mordred, Merlin, Lancelot and Guinevere is, in my opinion, the quintessential pre-1962 musical. In a possible revival, Christian Borle (currently in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) could play the King of Camelot himself, and despite being older than Mr. Borle, Marin Mazzie would handle Guinevere’s songs beautifully. Jonathan Groff could also feature as Lancelot