- OnStage New York Columnist
To say we were blessed with talent this past Broadway season would be an understatement. From Sara Bareilles’ beautiful and compelling Waitress score to American Psycho’s thrilling book to Hamilton’s pure genius, Tony Award voters most definitely were faced with a difficult task upon deciding nominations. And while we have loved each and every one of the thirty-nine shows that opened over the past year, our anticipation for the 2016-2017 season is at an all time high. I went ahead and compiled a list of my most anticipated performances and shows opening on the Great White Way over the next year.
Talk about a power team! Two time Tony Winner Christian Borle will join Tony nominees Stephanie J. Block and Andrew Rannells as Marvin, Trina, and Whizzer, respectfully, in this revival of the 1992 Broadway musical. The show features a score by William Finn and book by James Lapine and Finn and will begin previews September 29th at the Walter Kerr Theatre. Directed by Lapine himself, Falsettos follows Marvin and his journey to love, acceptance, and finding himself as he leaves his wife Trina for his new boyfriend Whizzer. The production will no doubt be a hit and we cannot wait to take part in this beautiful, moving, and soul touching journey.
2. Christian Borle in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Borle has not one, but TWO big Broadway musicals lined up for next season. Currently starring as William Shakespeare in Something Rotten, he will take on the role of Willy Wonka in this transfer of the London hit. The show will play at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre, current home of Finding Neverland, next spring. This will make Borle eligible for two Tony Award nominations for Best Actor, an event that certainly does not occur often. Director Jack O’Brien states that Borle is the only person he imagined to play the role, and we are ecstatic to see this production next year!
3. Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812
After years of waiting, Josh Groban will finally make his Broadway debut in Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812. The show, which is a musical adaptation of Volume 2, Part 5 of War and Peace, played off-Broadway in 2013. Alongside Groban is Denée Benton as Natasha, reprising her role from the 2015 American Repertory Theatre production. The musical features music, lyrics, and book by Dave Malloy and was a hit among critics in Massachusetts.
4. The Bandstand
With thirteen Broadway credits under his belt (dance belt, that is), it seems as though Hamilton choreographer Andy Blankenbuehler can do no wrong, which is why we are incredibly excited to see him choreograph and direct the Papermill Playhouse transfer production of The Bandstand. The musical will feature Newsies heartthrob Corey Cott and Broadway Princess Laura Osnes in the leading roles. The score is primary swing music as the show takes place in the 1940s. Further casting will be announced at a later date, and we can’t wait to dance along to this beautiful tuner.
5. Hello, Dolly!
Screen favorite Bette Midler will lead the revival of this 1964 hit as Dolly Levi herself. She will be joined by David Hyde Pierce as Horace Vandergelder, directed by Jerry Zaks. The original production garnered ten Tony Awards and, if this revival meets our expectations, it might just do the same!