Shows to be Excited for: Spring 2018: The Who’s Who Who’s Coming to Broadway. 4 min read

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Shows to be Excited for: Spring 2018: The Who’s Who Who’s Coming to Broadway.

By Ross
peters hello dollyBernadette Peters is on her way back to Broadway. And I can’t wait. Along side numerous other big named Broadway and non-Broadway stage stars. She’ll be taking over the lead in the juggernaut, Hello, Dolly! And I can’t tell you how curious I am to see her fill Bette’s shoes. It’s always a thrill to see Peters take the stage. She’s was fantastic in 2011’s Follies (click here to check out my review of the National Theatre’s revival of Follies that I saw over the holidays in London, UK) and Peters gave a compelling portrayal of Rose in 2003‘s GypsyIn his review, Ben Brantley in The New York Times wrote that “the surprise coup of many a Broadway season…Working against type and expectation under the direction of Sam Mendes, Ms. Peters has created the most complex and compelling portrait of her long career…There have been many illustrious successors to Merman as Rose…Only Ms. Peters, however, can be said to have broken the Merman mold completely.” And in the same manner that Hello, Dolly! and Peters doesn’t quite seem like an obvious or perfect fit, her stage presence is strong and her talent even more so, making her replacement status (just like when she replaced a weaker voiced Catherine Zeta-Jones in A Little Night Music) big Broadway news. I’m hoping I get a chance to see it.
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Noah Galvin, Taylor Trensch.
Besides the highly anticipated replacements, Peters and the, not one, but two new Evan Hansen’s; Noah Galvin (‘The Real O’Neals‘) & Taylor Trensch (Hello, Dolly!) who are making their way to the helm of two big ticket shows (god, I wanna see them both in Dear Evan Hansen), there are numerous stars making their way into new productions and revivals, and I’m sure a few stars in the making. Here’s a few that I’m most excited about.
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First and foremost, I’m filled with excitement over the cast of Encores’ Hey, Look Me Over! (opening February 8) directed by Marc Bruni (Beautiful).  There is just one great name after the other in this new musical about Broadway gems that have yet to be revived on the Encores! stage. Bob Martin, who was so brilliant as the beloved ‘Man in Chair’ from one of my all time favorites, The Drowsy Chaperone, plays an opinionated Encores! subscriber who leads us on a tour of his favorite scenes and songs from musicals he’s always wanted to see at City Center: All AmericanGeorge M!GreenwillowJamaicaMack & MabelMilk and HoneySail Away, and Wildcat. The cast includes Reed Birney (Man from Nebraska), Carolee Carmello (Tuck Everlasting), Judy Kuhn (Fun Home), Bebe Neuwirth (Chicago), Nancy Opel (Curvy Widow: The Musical), and the incredible Vanessa Williams (After Midnight). And I want to be there!
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In regards to the more standard Broadway musical, there is the nearly always perfect Jessie Mueller (Waitress)  appearing along side the magnificent Joshua Henry (Shuffle Along..) and Renee Fleming (Broadway’s Living on Love) in Carousel,the second musical by the team of Richard Rodgers (music) and Oscar Hammerstein II (book and lyrics) opening April 12th. That should be something, and I say that without really knowing the 1945 musical all that well.  The show includes the well-known songs “If I Loved You“, “June Is Bustin’ Out All Over” and “You’ll Never Walk Alone“. I have a feeling that directed by Jack O’Brien, the final product will be beautiful and fare better than his last season’s project, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and I’ll be happily in that line waiting to see Mueller once again, and to ride this Carousel.
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I know I’m looking forward to that classic a wee bit more than the other big revival, My Fair Lady at the Vivian Beaumont, even though it’s being directed by Bartlett Sher (Oslo, Fiddler on the Roof) who helmed the other classic revivals at Lincoln Center; King and I and South Pacific. It stars Lauren Ambrose (Six Feet Under, Exit the King), Norbert Leo Butz (The Whirligig), and Diana Rigg (Olenna Tyrell in Game of Thrones), and I’m curious. It seems the theatre gods really want Ambrose to star in a classic big musical (see the failed Funny Girl Broadway revival attempt that also would have been helmed by Sher) and although I can’t quite see her as a musical theatre dynamo, maybe (and hopefully) they all know something I don’t. Butz, I have no doubt, will be worth the trip to the Lincoln Center, if nothing else.

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