PLAYBILL PICKS: Spring Fever! Playbill Contributors Share Titles They're Eager to See in Spring 2013

By Playbill Staff
17 Jan 2013

A scene from the West End premiere of Viva Forever!
photo by Brinkhoff/Mögenburg

MATT BLANK, Photo Editor

Cinderella. What can I say, I've always loved this musical and literally wore out my VHS copies of the original 1957 and 1965 TV specials. I'm very intrigued by Douglas Carter Beane's new twist on the tale- and this cast is pretty unbelievable, top to bottom. An especially remarkable "diva" roster punctuated by some of the best in the business: Osnes, Harris, Clark, Harada, Mindelle... and it goes on.

Pippin. Another one of my favorite scores that I have yet to experience in a fully-staged production. I've been eagerly awaiting a true revival since the World AIDS Day benefit concert about seven years ago. If the buzz from Boston is any indication, this should be something pretty special.

I'm spending a few weeks next month in London and Amsterdam, where I'll be eating, relaxing and seeing many shows with my dear Aussie friend Hinh. We have plans so far to see Viva Forever! (the Spice Girls may or may not have been in the first batch of CD's I ever bought with my own money, along with "Jagged Little Pill" and "Doggystyle"), the new production of my beloved Chess at the Union Theatre, a concert staging of The Secret Garden at King's Head and the West End's long-running Les Miz (currently featuring Tam Mutu, Gerónimo Rauch, Linzi Hateley and Danielle Hope among others). Not sure which I'm most excited for, and I still have space in my schedule for one or two more shows!

Matilda. I know, it's an easy choice given the record-breaking Olivier Award sweep and all-around positive chatter. I grew up loving the book, so the idea of a large-scale well-done stage adaptation is extremely exciting. Also will be great to have Lauren Ward back on Broadway. Her work in Violet places her firmly on my Mount Rushmore of musical theatre.

Lea Salonga and Norm Lewis doing Ragtime in concert at Avery Fisher Hall. Too perfect.

The Last Five Years at Second Stage. This breathtaking music has really held up over time as something I never get sick of. I played this CD non-stop in my car during my "freeway commute" days and still bust it out on the iTunes at least once a week. I was able to attend the Southern California and Boston premieres of the show. Really looking forward to seeing what they do with it in this new production with two young musical theatre superstars.