PLAYBILL PICKS: Playbill Contributors Share Titles They're Eager to See in Spring 2014

By Playbill Staff
01 Jan 2014

Ramin Karimloo
Photo by Cylla von Tiedemann

MATT BLANK, Photo Editor

The new Broadway revival of Les Misérables. Not terribly original of me, but I'm of that generation where I may never have fallen in love with theatre were it not for this show. It was the very first musical I was taken to as a child (well, the first one I enjoyed anyway) and it's been something of a life-long obsession - in the healthiest sense of the word. I saw the original staging countless times, produced one of the first "School Edition" productions when I was 20 and have gone out of my way to see regional stagings any chance I could get. A new production in that classic old house, with such a fantastic lineup of talent… that's all I need.

Aladdin. Love the movie, love the music from the film, love the new songs, love the casting. Disney always turns out a good product, and I've little doubt this will be another exciting stage transfer.

Neil Patrick Harris in Hedwig. Another movie I unexpectedly fell in love with when I was dragged to a screening toward the end of high school. The material remains beautifully resonant and I never have tired of that music. I was lucky enough to see Kevin Cahoon star in the stage production during its stay in San Francisco, followed by a very cool black box "cabaret" presentation of the show at my college (starring the super-talented Michael Keyloun). To finally see it in a shiny new incarnation on the New York stage, headlined by NPH, is very exciting.

I missed it Off-Broadway, but I'm really looking forward to the Main Stem bow of Eric Simonson's Bronx Bombers. New York being my adoptive city, I've since been an unapologetic Yanks fan. I've admired Simonson's vigilant work bringing the drama of sports to the Broadway stage as in Lombardi and Magic/Bird. I'm eager to see his treatment of so many of the greats to don the Yankees pinstripes.

I'm not really sure what to expect, but I'm probably most intrigued and curious about Rocky. The story, of course, is iconic on so many levels. And, for my money, Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens have never written a score that is anything less than brilliant. I'm very happy to see Andy Karl finally get his due as a perfectly-cast leading man and equally thrilled that Terence Archie (who was so great in Chad Deity and Philly's Threepenny Opera) will reprise his performance as Apollo Creed.