From Bring It On to Pippin, A Look at the 2012-13 Season: The Musicals

Special Features   From Bring It On to Pippin, A Look at the 2012-13 Season: The Musicals
With the 2012-13 Broadway season coming to a close this month (April 25 is the cut-off date for eligibility for the 67th Annual Tony Awards), offers a four-part look at the current season. First up are the musicals.

Matthew James Thomas in Pippin, the final musical of the season
Matthew James Thomas in Pippin, the final musical of the season Photo by Michael J. Lutch

From the high-flying cheerleading musical Bring It On: The Musical to the first Broadway revival of Pippin, which will open on the last day of eligibility, here is an overview of the 13 musicals that have opened or will open in time for the 2013 Tonys, which will take place June 9 at Radio City Music Hall.

Look out for future roundups of new plays, play revivals and special engagements.

Show: Bring It On: The Musical
Theatre: St. James Theatre

Preview: July 12, 2012

Opening: Aug. 1, 2012
Closing: Dec. 30, 2012

Creators: Book by Jeff Whitty. Music by Tom Kitt and Lin-Manuel Miranda. Lyrics by Amanda Green and Lin-Manuel Miranda. Direction and choreography by Andy Blankenbuehler.
Original Principal Cast: Taylor Louderman as Campbell, Adrienne Warren as Danielle, Jason Gotay as Randall, Elle McLemore as Eva, Ryann Redmond as Bridget, Ariana DeBose as Nautica, Gregory Haney as La Cienega and Neil Haskell as Steven.

Synopsis: In Bring It On: The Musical, according to producers, "the high-stakes world of competitive cheerleading is intertwined with cutthroat high school politics to tell the story of Campbell, the heir apparent to the head cheerleader at Truman High School. Campbell is at the top of the cheerleader pyramid and she has it all — a strong squad, a doting boyfriend and a straight path to the national championships. Her entire life has been dedicated to honing routines and staying within the strict rules and guidelines, but when a surprise letter arrives, Campbell's world is thrown upside down."

Check out production photos from the show.

Watch Playbill Video's interviews from opening night:

Show: Chaplin
Theatre: Ethel Barrymore Theatre

Preview: Aug. 21, 2012

Opening: Sept. 10, 2012
Closing: Jan. 6, 2013

Creators: Book by Thomas Meehan and Christopher Curtis. Music and lyrics by Christopher Curtis. Direction and choreography by Warren Carlyle.
Original Principal Cast: Rob McClure as Charlie Chaplin, Jim Borstelmann as Alf Reeves, Jenn Colella as Hedda Hopper, Ethan Khusidman as Boy/Usher, Erin Mackey as Oona O'Neill, Michael McCormick as Mack Sennett/Charlie Chaplin Sr./McGranery, Christiane Noll as Hannah Chaplin, Zachary Unger as Young Charlie Chaplin/Jackie Coogan and Wayne Alan Wilcox as Sydney Chaplin.

Synopsis: From the slums of London to the heights of Hollywood, Chaplin, according to producers, "is the showbiz Broadway musical about the silent film legend the world couldn't stop talking about — Charlie Chaplin. The brand new 24-person musical reveals the man behind the legend, the undeniable genius that forever changed the way America went to the movies."

Check out photos from a Two-Show Day at Chaplin with Wayne Alan Wilcox.

Watch Playbill Video's highlights from the musical:

Show: Annie
Theatre: Palace Theatre

Preview: Oct. 3, 2012

Opening: Nov. 8, 2012
Closing: Open-ended

Creators: Book by Thomas Meehan. Music by Charles Strouse. Lyrics by Martin Charnin. Direction by James Lapine. Choreography by Andy Blankenbuehler.
Original Principal Cast: Lilla Crawford as Annie, Anthony Warlow as Daddy Warbucks, Katie Finneran as Miss Hannigan, Brynn O'Malley as Grace Farrell, Clarke Thorell as Rooster Hannigan and J. Elaine Marcos as Lily St. Regis.

Synopsis: A spunky orphan girl finds a home with a New York millionaire during the Depression, but must dodge the clutches of her evil orphanage mistress, in the musical based on the popular Harold Gray comic strip. This is the 35th anniversary revival of the tale of a red-headed orphan.

Check out photos from Annie's opening night on Broadway.

Watch Playbill Video's highlights from the musical:

Show: The Mystery of Edwin Drood
Theatre: Studio 54

Preview: Oct. 19, 2012

Opening: Nov. 13, 2012
Closing: March 10, 2013

Creators: Book, music and lyrics by Rupert Holmes. Direction by Scott Ellis. Choreography by Warren Carlyle.
Original Principal Cast: Stephanie J. Block as Edwin Drood, Will Chase as John Jasper, Gregg Edelman as Reverend Mr. Crisparkle, Jim Norton as Chairman, Chita Rivera as Princess Puffer, Andy Karl as Neville Landless, Jessie Mueller as Helena Landless, Betsy Wolfe as Rosa Budd, Nicholas Barasch as Deputy, Peter Benson as Bazzard and Robert Creighton as Durdles.

Synopsis: Here's how the musical is described: "Take a trip back in time to a Victorian music hall where a rowdy ensemble of actors mounts a staging of Charles Dickens' unfinished novel.' Everyone on stage is a suspect in the murder of young Edwin Drood, and it's up to you to choose the killer! Is it John Jasper, Edwin's protective but slightly maniacal uncle? Rosa Bud, his reluctant betrothed? The debauched Princess Puffer? Each performance ends differently, depending on what the audience decides!"

Check out photos from Chita Rivera's birthday celebration at Drood.

Watch Playbill Video's footage from the cast in the recording studio:

Show: Scandalous: The Life and Trials of Aimee Semple McPherson
Theatre: Neil Simon Theatre

Preview: Oct. 13, 2012

Opening: Nov. 15, 2012
Closing: Dec. 9, 2012

Creators: Book and lyrics by Kathie Lee Gifford. Music by David Friedman and David Pomeranz. Direction by David Armstrong. Choreography by Lorin Latarro.
Original Principal Cast: Carolee Carmello as Aimee Semple McPherson, George Hearn as James Kennedy/Brother Bob, Candy Buckley as Minnie Kennedy, Edward Watts as Robert Semple/David Hutton, Roz Ryan as Emma Jo Schaeffer and Andrew Samonsky as Harold McPherson/Kenneth Ormiston.

Synopsis: Here's how the producers characterize the fact-inspired show: "Set in 1920s Los Angeles, holiness collides with Hollywood in this extraordinary tale of one remarkable woman's charismatic rise to fame amidst scandalous love affairs and growing controversy, inevitably ending in her much-publicized fall from grace."

Check out production photos from the show.

Kathie Lee Gifford and Carolee Carmello talk about Aimee Semple McPherson:

Show: A Christmas Story, The Musical
Theatre: Lunt-Fontanne Theatre

Preview: Nov. 7, 2012

Opening: Nov. 19, 2012
Closing: Dec. 30, 2012

Creators: Book by Joseph Robinette. Music and lyrics by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul. Direction by John Rando. Choreography by Warren Carlyle.
Original Principal Cast: Dan Lauria as Jean Shepherd, John Bolton as The Old Man, Erin Dilly as Mother, Johnny Rabe as Ralphie, Zac Ballard as Randy, Joe West as Ralphie (at certain performances) and Caroline O'Connor as Miss Shields.

Synopsis: According to producers, "In 1940's Indiana, a bespectacled boy named Ralphie has a big imagination and one wish for Christmas — a Red Ryder BB Gun. A kooky leg lamp, outrageous pink bunny pajamas, a cranky department store Santa, and a triple-dog-dare to lick a freezing flagpole are just a few of the obstacles that stand between Ralphie and his Christmas dream. A Christmas Story, The Musical is holiday entertainment that captures a simpler time in America with delicious wit and a heart of gold."

Check out photos from A Christmas Story's opening night on Broadway.

Christmas Story songwriters Benj Pasek and Justin Paul preview "Red Ryder Carbine Action BB Gun":

Show: Cinderella
Theatre: Broadway Theatre

Preview: Jan. 25, 2013

Opening: March 3, 2013
Closing: Open-ended

Creators: Book by Oscar Hammerstein II and Douglas Carter Beane. Music by Richard Rodgers. Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II.
Original Principal Cast: Laura Osnes as Ella, Santino Fontana as Topher, Victoria Clark as Marie, Harriet Harris as Madame, Peter Bartlett as Sebastian, Ann Harada as Charlotte, Greg Hildreth as Jean-Michel and Marla Mindelle as Gabrielle.
Synopsis: Rodgers and Hammerstein's classic musical Cinderella is reconceived in a new dramatic context, featuring a new book by Douglas Carter Beane. The production incorporates rarely-heard songs from the Rodgers and Hammerstein catalogue, including "Loved and Learned," "Now Is the Time," "Me, Who Am I?" and "The Music in You." Also featured are standards from the original television version, including "In My Own Little Corner," "Impossible/It's Possible," "Ten Minutes Ago" and "Do I Love You Because You're Beautiful?"

Check out photos from the cast in the recording studio.

Watch Playbill Video's highlights from the production:

Show: Hands on a Hardbody
Theatre: Brooks Atkinson Theatre

Preview: Feb. 23, 2013

Opening: March 21, 2013
Closing: Open-ended

Creators: Book by Doug Wright. Music by Amanda Green and Trey Anastasio. Lyrics by Amanda Green.
Original Principal Cast: Keith Carradine as JD Drew, Allison Case as Kelli Mangrum, Hunter Foster as Benny Perkins, Jay Armstrong Johnson as Greg Wilhote, David Larsen as Chris Alvaro, Jacob Ming-Trent as Ronald McCowan, Kathleen Elizabeth Monteleone as Heather Stovall, Mary Gordon Murray as Virginia Drew, Jim Newman as Mike Ferris, Connie Ray as Cindy Barnes, Jon Rua as Jesus Pena, Keala Settle as Norma Valverde, Dale Soules as Janis Curtis, Scott Wakefield as Frank Nugent and William Youmans as Don Curtis/Dr. Stokes.

Synopsis: Here's how the producers bill the fact-inspired new American musical: "For ten hard-luck Texans, a new lease on life is so close they can touch it. Under a scorching sun for days on end, armed with nothing but hope, humor and ambition, they'll fight to keep at least one hand on a brand new truck in order to win it. In the hilarious, hard-fought contest that is Hands On a Hardbody, only one winner can drive away with the American Dream."

Check out photos from a Two-Show Day at Hardbody with Allison Case.

Watch Playbill Video's highlights from the musical:

Show: Kinky Boots
Theatre: Al Hirschfeld Theatre

Preview: March 3, 2013

Opening: April 4, 2013
Closing: Open-ended

Creators: Book by Harvey Fierstein. Music and lyrics by Cyndi Lauper. Direction and choreography by Jerry Mitchell.
Original Principal Cast: Stark Sands as Charlie Price, Billy Porter as Lola, Annaleigh Ashford as Lauren, Celina Carvajal as Nicola, Daniel Stewart Sherman as Don and Marcus Neville as George.

Synopsis: In Kinky Boots, according to producers, "Charlie Price (Sands) has suddenly inherited his father’s shoe factory, which is on the verge of bankruptcy. Trying to live up to his father’s legacy and save his family business, Charlie finds inspiration in the form of Lola (Porter). A fabulous entertainer in need of some sturdy stilettos, Lola turns out to be the one person who can help Charlie become the man he’s meant to be. As they work to turn the factory around, this unlikely pair finds that they have more in common than they ever dreamed possible… and discovers that when you change your mind about someone, you can change your whole world."

Check out photos of the cast in the recording studio.

Watch Playbill Video's highlights from the musical:

Show: Matilda The Musical
Theatre: Shubert Theatre

Preview: March 4, 2013

Opening: April 11, 2013
Closing: Open-ended

Creators: Book by Dennis Kelly. Music and lyrics by Tim Minchin. Direction by Matthew Warchus. Choreography by Peter Darling.
Original Principal Cast: Sophia Gennusa, Oona Laurence, Bailey Ryon and Milly Shapiro alternating the role of Matilda with Bertie Carvel as Miss Trunchbull, Gabriel Ebert as Mr. Wormwood, Lesli Margherita as Mrs. Wormwood and Lauren Ward as Miss Honey.

Synopsis: According to producers, Matilda "is the story of an extraordinary little girl who decides that despite a bad beginning filled with rotten parents, a terrifying school and a vicious head mistress, her story is going to be an astonishing one. With the help of her teacher, her friends and a little bit of imagination, Matilda proves that even if you're little, you can do big things."

Meet the four young stars of Matilda.

Watch the journey of Matilda:

Show: Motown: The Musical
Theatre: Lunt-Fontanne Theatre

Preview: March 11, 2013

Opening: April 14, 2013
Closing: Open-ended

Creators: Book by Berry Gordy. Music and lyrics from the Motown catalog. Direction by Charles Randolph-Wright. Choreography by Patricia Wilcox and Warren Adams.
Original Principal Cast: Brandon Victor Dixon as Berry Gordy, Valisia Lekae as Diana Ross, Charl Brown as Smokey Robinson and Bryan Terrell Clark as Marvin Gaye.

Synopsis: According to producers, "Motown tells the gripping story behind the hits as Smokey finds his unique voice, Diana skyrockets to stardom and Berry fights against the odds to turn his improbable dream into a triumphant reality. The music that shattered barriers and shaped our lives finally comes to the Broadway stage in the season's most highly anticipated world-premiere event."

Check out photos from the press preview of Motown.

Playbill Video visits Motown in rehearsal:

Show: Jekyll & Hyde
Theatre: Marquis Theatre

Preview: April 5, 2013

Opening: April 18, 2013
Closing: June 30, 2013

Creators: Book by Leslie Bricusse. Music by Frank Wildhorn. Lyrics by Leslie Bricusse and Steve Cuden. Concept by Frank Wildhorn and Steve Cuden. Direction and choreography by Jeff Calhoun.
Original Principal Cast: Constantine Maroulis as Henry Jekyll/Edward Hyde, Deborah Cox as Lucy Harris, Teal Wicks as Emma Carew, Laird Mackintosh as John Utterson and Richard White as Sir Danvers Carew.

Synopsis: Jekyll & Hyde, according to press notes, "is based on the acclaimed novella 'The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde' by Robert Louis Stevenson, about a London doctor who accidentally unleashes an evil alternate personality in his quest to cure his father's mental illness."

Check out the Playbill photo exclusive featuring pictures on the road by cast member Aaron Ramey.

Watch video from the Jekyll & Hyde photo shoot:

Show: Pippin
Theatre: Music Box Theatre

Preview: March 23, 2013

Opening: April 25, 2013
Closing: Open-ended

Creators: Book by Roger O. Hirson. Music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz. Direction by Diane Paulus. Choreography in the style of Bob Fosse by Chet Walker. Circus creation by Gypsy Snider.
Original Principal Cast: Matthew James Thomas as Pippin, Patina Miller as Leading Player, Terrence Mann as Charles, Charlotte d'Amboise as Fastrada, Rachel Bay Jones as Catherine, Andrea Martin as Berthe and Andrew Cekala and Ashton Woerz as Theo.

Synopsis: Pippin, according to press notes, "tells the story of a young prince on a death-defying journey to find meaning in his existence. Will he choose a happy but simple life? Or will he risk everything for a singular flash of glory?"

Check out photos from Pippin's press preview.

Playbill Video visits rehearsal:

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