Call it wishful thinking, but a handful of the below productions have been in talks for a Broadway revival, and we think that they’re overdue. Some of these have appeared as special concerts, benefit stagings and one-night-only events—and now we’re craving a full production.
Below are nine musicals we’re ready to see again on Broadway. Your move, producers!
Funny Girl has never been revived on Broadway, although it almost made a comeback in 2012, when it announced that it would resurface with Lauren Ambrose. However, that production was quickly stalled when it lost four investors, who had each pledged at least $750,000 toward the revival, and Ambrose was left “heartbroken.” Years later, rumor had it that Ryan Murphy was trying to mount a Broadway staging for his Glee leading lady Lea Michele, who hasn’t been on Broadway since she starred in Spring Awakening. Well, it’s time for Funny Girl to make her way back to Broadway! Could it be possible for the recent Boston staging starring Shoshana Bean to resurface in New York City? Our readers were thrilled when it was announced that Bean would play Fanny Brice, and many New Yorkers made the trip to North Shore Music Theatre to catch the in-the-round production. There’s also the Michael Mayer-helmed production, starring Sheridan Smith, playing in London. (Click here to read the reviews.) Don’t rain on our parade, and get the show back to Broadway!
In 2013, producer Clive Davis confirmed that Bartlett Sher had been tapped to direct a Broadway revival of My Fair Lady, but it was aimed for 2014 and never came to fruition. Sher hoped to get Anne Hathaway and Colin Firth on board to star as Eliza Doolittle and Henry Higgins, respectively. The musical by Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe was last seen on Broadway in the 1993-1994 season, starring Melissa Errico and Richard Chamberlain. Most recently, the story at My Fair Lady’s core was revived on Broadway in 2007 when Pygmalion, the play that inspired the musical, was brought to the American Airlines Theatre in 2007 with Claire Danes. Hopefully Hathaway is still up for it if and when the musical makes its way back.
It was a big disappointment when Tony Award winner James Corden had to back out of the planned revival of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum to take on The Late Late Show for CBS. The decision to take the gig hosting on CBS came at a crossroads of multiple projects. “I was going to write a TV show for HBO, and I was going to do a musical on Broadway,” he says, referring to a planned revival of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. “Then this late-night show came up pretty much out of the blue, and I thought, ‘Well, this is something that [won’t] come around again,’ and I would rather regret doing something than not doing something. But I would be very, very disappointed in myself if I didn’t do another play or a musical or just work in the theatre in some capacity again in my career.” Corden says that if the possibility of Forum presented itself again, he would jump at the chance. “It was a dream of mine to play that part,” he says.
On the red carpet for the 70th Annual Tony Awards, Andrew Lloyd Webber teased that the recent London production of Sunset Boulevard with Glenn Close may be heading to Broadway. “And, maybe, possibly Sunset, who knows?” said Webber, referencing that he already has three shows running simultaneously on Broadway. “It’s kind of like London buses, they either don’t come or they come all together.” Though he couldn’t reveal too much information, he said, “It’s certainly [being] looked at.” Close previously said she would love to revisit the role of Norma Desmond on Broadway. Sunset was seen at the London Coliseum, where it was semi-staged. Close said, “People expected spectacle back then, but times have changed. We don’t have a staircase, and nobody misses it. We have a car, but it’s small one, sort of a car-lite. I’m please to say that people are moved by the story and the songs. They are hanging on every comma.” Could there possibly be four Lloyd Webber shows running on Broadway at the same time?
With not one, but two Secret Garden “revivals” in the city earlier this year, it’s about time the show heads back to Broadway. In January, Rebecca Luker revisited her starring role as Lily for a benefit staging, directed by Curtis Holbrook, at Off-Broadway’s Lucille Lortel Theatre. Fun Home’s Gabriella Pizzolo played Mary Lennox. Both of its performances were sold out. In the other staging, a concert performance held a month later at Lincoln Center’s David Geffen Hall, Daisy Eagan (the original, Tony-winning Mary Lennox) played the housemaid Martha, and Sydney Lucas (the original Fun Home star) played Mary. With two accomplished casts to pull from, a Secret Garden Broadway transfer would be a piece of cake. Plus, with women creatives thriving on the Great White Way, it would be timely for the musical by Marsha Norman and Lucy Simon to be on Broadway once again.
With Hamilton all the rage, Broadway is definitely ready for more musicalized U.S. history. Inspired by Hamilton, Encores! recently put on the Tony-winning musical in March with a multi-ethnic cast including John Behlmann (Thomas Jefferson), Nikki Renée Daniels (Martha Jefferson), André De Shields (Stephen Hopkins), Santino Fontana (John Adams), Alexander Gemignani (Edward Rutledge), John Larroquette (Benjamin Franklin), Christiane Noll (Abigail Adams), Bryce Pinkham (John Dickinson) and Jubilant Sykes (Richard Henry Lee). The show, featuring a score by Sherman Edwards and book by Peter Stone, was last seen on Broadway in 1997.
The beloved Stephen Sondheim-James Lapine musical, Sunday in the Park with George, was last seen on Broadway at Studio 54 in 2007—almost a decade ago—starring Daniel Evans as George. It’s about time for the production to be seen on Broadway again, and let’s not forget the 2004 cast at Ravina Festival’s Sondheim 75 series. The semi-staged production featured Michael Cerveris in the title role with Audra McDonald as his mistress, Dot, and Patti LuPone as Yvonne, the wife of a rival painter. Let’s hold off until McDonald has her baby, and it’s rumored that LuPone’s War Paint will have life after its recent Chicago engagement—so we’ll save this one for the future! Of course there’s also the upcoming production, starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Annaleigh Ashford, that will hit New York City Center in October.
The 1984 musical The Rink starred Chita Rivera and Liza Minnelli as mother-daughter duo Anna and Angel in the musical about an Italian housewife who runs a roller-skating rink on the Eastern seaboard. She prepares to abandon the rink until her estranged daughter returns, hoping to save it and patch things up with her mother. The Kander and Ebb musical (with a book by Terrence McNally) only ran for 204 performances and 29 previews, but received five Tony nominations including one win for Rivera. It was once rumored that Patti LuPone and Leslie Kritzer were being considered for a revival directed by John Doyle.
Another Chita Rivera-Kander and Ebb-Terrence McNally collaboration ready for a revival is the stage adaptation of the Manuel Puig novel Kiss of the Spider Woman. In 1993, the musical was nominated for 11 Tony Awards, winning seven, including Tonys for Best Musical and Rivera’s performance in the title role. The musical needs a strong dancer in the title role, and who better to take it on than Catherine Zeta-Jones, who won a Tony Award for her performance as Desiree Armfeldt in A Little Night Music and played Velma in the film version of Chicago (another role played famously by Rivera)?