Over the past few years, musical theatre fans checked some long-awaited revivals off their “overdue” checklist, including Once On This Island, Sunday in the Park With George, Falsettos, Miss Saigon, and Hello, Dolly!, not to mention the upcoming returns of Caroline, or Change, The Music Man, and 1776. But there are still plenty more shows we're dying to see return. Here’s a look at nine musicals we can't wait to see again.
Tommy Tune’s spectacular original, which placed the orchestra in an onstage platform above the stage—and in full view of the audience—premiered on Broadway in 1989 to critical acclaim. Based on the 1929 novel and 1932 MGM film of the same title, the musical features a score by Robert Wright and George Forrest, with additional character-driven music by Maury Yeston. The intermingling lives of hotel guests and staff were introduced to the audience through an ever-turning revolving door. The original featured star turns from late Tony winner Michael Jeter, as well as Jane Krakowski, Lilianne Montevecchi, as well as the late David Carroll, who was succeeded by Brent Barrett. Tune won Tony Awards for his work as director and choreographer, and it would be a thrill to see the production return, particularly after a well-received 2018 Encores! staging.
Written by composer Charles Strouse (Annie), lyricist Stephen Schwartz (Wicked), and late Fiddler on the Roof book writer Joseph Stein, the original 1986 Broadway production of Rags ran for only 22 performances, but is remembered for its sweeping, Tony-nominated score. The musical about the Jewish-European immigrant experience in America at the turn of the century, was born out of numerous requests Stein received to write a sequel to Fiddler. The melodic score includes such stand-outs as “Children of the Wind,” “Brand New World,” “Yankee Boy,” and “Blame It On the Summer Night.” The show’s writers (and its fans) have long-hoped that Rags will one day get its due on Broadway.
A year after Hello, Dolly! closed on Broadway, the time feels ripe for a revival of Herman’s other hit musical Mame, which premiered in 1966. The musical based on Patrick Dennis’ 1955 novel about the life of 1920s eccentric socialite Mame Dennis hasn’t been revived on Broadway since 1983 with Angela Lansbury (who originated the role in the original 1966 production and took home the Tony Award for her performance).
City of Angels
The 1990 Tony Award-winning musical features music by Cy Coleman, lyrics by David Zippel, and a book by Larry Gelbart. Staged in split screen format between the real world (color) and fiction (in black and white film noir), City of Angels centers on a crime novelist adapting his latest work into a screenplay as his marriage falls apart.
This 1993 musical from songwriters John Kander and Fred Ebb and bookwriter Terrence McNally won seven Tony Awards, including Best Musical. Staged as a dazzling vehicle for Chita Rivera, fantasy and brutality combine in this politically-charged musical that would be thrilling to see return in its original Hal Prince staging.
Another Prince-directed musical that feels primed for a return is the Jason Robert Brown-Alfred Uhry musical Parade. Based on the true story of a Brooklyn-born Jewish man falsely accused of raping and murdering a young girl in 1913 Atlanta—a city that was still influenced by the dream of confederate glory—Parade opened on Broadway in 1998 and took home the 1999 Tony Awards for Best Book and Best Score. A star-studded 2015 concert staging at David Geffen Hall starring Laura Benanti and Jeremy Jordan, reminded audiences how deeply affecting and ahead of its time this musical was.
A planned Broadway revival of Maury Yeston and Peter Stone’s Tony-winning musical Titanic—reimagined as an intimate chamber production—has yet to materialize. U.K. director Thom Southerland was attached to helm the revival that was postponed in 2014 due to the lack of an available theatre.
More than any other Broadway classic, Funny Girl seems to have had the most on-again-off-again relationship with Broadway. The 1964 Jule Styne-Bob Merrill musical officially launched Barbra Streisand into superstardom, and it has yet to return. Broadway director Michael Mayer staged a recent London revival, starring Sheridan Smith, which earned praise from U.K. critics. With Streisand’s legendary original turn as Brice still looming large, perhaps no Broadway producer is brave enough to attempt to capture lightning in a bottle again.
A spring 2015 Broadway revival of the Stephen Sondheim musical comedy A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, which was initially announced to star Tony Award winner James Corden, was postponed following the news that its star would succeed Craig Ferguson as the new host of The Late Late Show. But fans are still hopeful that Forum will again delight audiences with some much-needed “comedy tonight.”