I came across an article in New York Magazine, it’s actually a consistent feature that they do every year called “Reasons to Love New York Right Now,” of which there are many. It got me thinking, what are the reasons that I love Broadway RIGHT NOW. Not just love of musical theatre as an art form or Broadway in general. But right now. In the 2013-2014 season, amidst the snow and the grime, in a time when shows I love are closing left and right…why do I love Broadway RIGHT.NOW.
So, in an effort to remind myself why I love Broadway today, I’ve decided to take a page out of New York Magazine’s book and make a list. If you agree, or disagree, or have something to add–tell me below.
These are in no particular order…
- Jason Robert Brown has a new musical on Broadway.
I had the good fortune of attending one of JRB’s shows at 54 Below last month where he played a few of the songs from his upcoming musical The Bridges of Madison County. I’ve always loved Jason Robert Brown’s work. From the first time I heard Songs for a New World and The Last Five Years in high school to Thirteen and even his stand alone songs like “Someone to Fall Back On,” which is one of my favorite songs of all time and is definitely on the “top plays” list on my iPod. But despite the awesomeness of everything he does, by the time Bridges opens in 2014, it will have been more than 5 years since the last time he had a show on Broadway (Thirteen). I’m of the mind that there should ALWAYS be a JRB show on Broadway, so for me this is one of the best reasons to love Broadway right now.
- Idina Menzel is coming back to Broadway. And she’s bringing LaChanze.
I have a sneaking suspicion that I don’t have to explain this one. Idina.Freakin’.Menzel. is coming back to Broadway. She hasn’t been ON Broadway since Wicked! LaChanze hasn’t been on Broadway since The Color Purple, not quite as long ago as Idina was in Wicked, but equally as sad in the minds of those who love them.
These two ladies are among the biggest, baddest, most awesome belting bitches of Broadway. They’re Tony Winners. They’re gorgeous. They’re insane vocalists, emotionally stirring actresses and…………THEY’RE IN THE SAME SHOW. That’s all.
I would be lying if I said I was anything less than thrilled about this whole scenario.
- IF/THEN Creative Team
Speaking of IF/THEN…the team behind this musical is basically a dream come true. I’m a huge Next to Normal fan. They’re Pulitzer Prize and Tony Winning writers. They’re creative, different, and just straight up exciting. Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey, not to mention they’re bringing director Michael Greif along with them. He’s the director of Next to Normal and Rent directing not only the N2N team again, but also Anthony Rapp and Idina Menzel from Rent. Is anyone else’s mind blown?!
- Big Fish
I don’t mean to sound like a broken record, but I REALLY loved Big Fish. It’s by far my favorite show of the season so far, maybe even the year. I saw it from the last row and it was so dynamic I felt like I was right up in the front. I fully intend on seeing it again before it closes this Sunday. Norbert is proooobably gonna win another Tony. “Daffodils” is just a gorgeous song. The whole show is moving, inspiring, heavenly.
- Alex Timbers
He’s not considered current the golden boy of Broadway for nothing. But he’s the weird thing…when people are this loved and coveted after, they’re usually performers, or directors, or whatever. Alex Timbers is an innovative director who brings his own brand new and, frankly, incredibly vision to whatever he’s working on. If you didn’t see Peter and the Starcatcher, I’m sorry to say your life is incomplete. Love’s Labour’s Lost in the park was hilarious. And…I’m pretty sure you all know how I feel about The Last Goodbye, right? Did I write enough about that, yet?! If not, let me know and I’ll write some more love letters to that show. Either way, a lot of this has to do with Alex Timbers. He brings stories to life in a whole new way and i wouldn’t trade my experiences seeing his shows for anything. It’s exciting to be working in theatre at a time when someone like this is presenting his work.
- Mark Rylance’s portrayal of Olivia
You know how sometimes people talk non-stop about a certain show, or someone’s performance and then you see it and you’re disappointed because it doesn’t live up to expectations? This isn’t one of those times. All I heard from everyone who saw Twelfth Night was that it was phenomenal and that Mark Rylance took it to a whole new level and that’s an UNDERSTATEMENT. I love the show, so I was worried that I wouldn’t like it as much as everyone said they did–nope. Within two minutes of being on stage, Ryalance had already blown me away with his portrayal of Olivia. The thing about this role is that it’s comedic. Usually people are praised more highly for a dramatic role, but he managed to slay the audience with just his gait. Seriously! How often does the way someone walks so embody a character that you feel like they should win an award just for that?
Well, that’s the case here. I am so glad he’s in New York performing right now and that I got to see it.
Now, that’s my list. What are YOUR reasons for loving Broadway RIGHT NOW? Not what you love about things past, not what you’re excited for in the next season…RIGHT.NOW.