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MICHAEL GIOIA, Playbill.com Staff Writer
Bare (Off-Broadway). I am eagerly awaiting the NYC return of Bare. I have been following the musical since its New York debut in 2004, and was completely let down that its transfer from ATA to Dodger Stages (now New World), for a commercial Off-Broadway run, fell through. I'm sorry to have missed the original cast, but am excited for a fresh take on this special musical that, I think, resonates so strongly with today's society. Teens struggling to find acceptance in an atmosphere that is screaming conformity is apparent everywhere. I look forward to the musical's rewrites, a young and talented cast and a new vision from Stafford Arima, whose Off-Broadway production Carrie was compelling.
Giant (Off-Broadway). Although I don't know much about Giant's source material, a musical helmed by Rent director Michael Greif that features a score by Michael John LaChiusa sounds pretty enticing — not to mention the recent addition of Brian d'Arcy James to the cast. I'm also looking forward to performances from Kate Baldwin, Katie Thompson, Natalie Cortez, John Dossett, Mary Bacon, P.J. Griffith, etc., who return for the New York City staging from Dallas Theater Center.
A Christmas Story, The Musical! (Broadway). I've never been too excited by a holiday musical, but Benj Pasek and Justin Paul won me over with their recent Off-Broadway musical Dogfight. Getting a first-hand preview of their music, which included a performance of "Red Ryder," a song about Ralphie's longing for a new BB gun, makes me look forward to their new Christmas musical.
The Mystery of Edwin Drood (Broadway). Ever since I saw Jessie Mueller in On a Clear Day You Can See Forever, I immediately became a fan. Mueller, who I also loved in the Shakespeare in the Park production of Into the Woods — which I am secretly hoping will transfer to Broadway — is joined by an amazing cast that includes Chita Rivera, Jim Norton, Stephanie J. Block, Will Chase, Gregg Edelman and Betsy Wolfe. I just can't wait to see them all in action!
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