9 (More) Shows Overdue for a Revival

Lists   9 (More) Shows Overdue for a Revival
There are even more shows that have been rumored to return and are overdue for a revival, plus we share the dream castings we simply cannot wait to see!
Angela Lansbury in Mame

Call it wishful thinking, but a handful of the below productions have been in talks for a Broadway revival, and we think that they’re overdue. Some of these have appeared as special concerts, benefit stagings and one-night-only events—and now we’re craving a full production.

Below are nine more musicals and plays we’re ready to see again on Broadway. (Click here to see our first nine picks.) Your move, producers!

City of Angels

Cameron Cuffe and Samantha Barks in <i>City of Angels </i>
Cameron Cuffe and Samantha Barks in City of Angels Johan Persson

The 1990 Tony Award-winning City of Angels features music by Cy Coleman, lyrics by David Zippel and a book by Larry Gelbart. The musical centers on a crime novelist adapting his latest work into a screenplay as his marriage falls apart. Brian d’Arcy James would be great for the role of Stine, originated in 1989 by Gregg Edelman. A production, starring Samantha Barks in the role of young starlet Avril (who plays Mallory in Stine’s screenplay), opened at London’s Donmar Warehouse in December 2014. We’d love to see Barks make her Broadway debut, and City of Angels would be the perfect way to get her to grace the Great White Way.


Amber Riley will star as Effie White in the new London production of Dreamgirls, scheduled to begin performances November 19 at the West End’s Savoy Theatre—but we’re dying to see her do it across the pond on Broadway. The musical, with a book and lyrics by Tom Eyen and music by Henry Krieger, was last seen on the Great White Way in 1987, starring Lillias White as Effie. Riley has performed the show’s signature song, “And I Am Telling You,” numerous times, including as Mercedes on the popular television series Glee. As far as a co-star, we’d love to see Adrienne Warren—fresh off her Tony-nominated turn in Shuffle Along—take on the role of Deena Jones. (She previously played Lorell Robinson in a touring production of the musical.)


Cast of <i>Titanic</i>
Cast of Titanic Joan Marcus

A planned Broadway revival of Maury Yeston and Peter Stone’s Tony Award-winning musical Titanic, which was to play a pre-Broadway engagement at Toronto’s Royal Alexandra Theatre, was postponed in 2014 due to a lack of an available theatre. Tony Award-winning producers Barry and Fran Weissler, along with David Mirvish, were committed to bringing the new production to Broadway, inspired by the acclaimed chamber production of the musical that played London’s Southwark Playhouse. U.K. director Thom Southerland was attached to helm. With a slew of shows closing—leaving only one production from the 2014-2015 season—it’s time for Titanic to find a theatre. Some actors we’d like to see fill out the cast include Laura Michelle Kelly, Patrick Wilson, Celia Keenan-Bolger, Kara Lindsay and Jay Armstrong Johnson, among others.

Once On This Island

La Chanze and company in the 1990 production of Once On This Island.
La Chanze and company in the 1990 production of Once On This Island Photo by Martha Swope

Shanice Williams, who stole our hearts the night she took the sound stage as Dorothy in The Wiz Live!, previously stated that she’s dreamed of starring in Once On This Island—and it’s about time the musical make a comeback. Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty’s Caribbean-influenced musical folk tale tells the story of Ti Moune, a peasant girl who falls in love with the well-off Daniel and is aided by four gods on her journey to be with him. When asked by Playbill if the show would resurface, Ahrens told us, “Maybe… There’s some bubbling and simmering.” Well, Lynn Ahrens—we’re waiting (for life to begin!).


A scene from Aida.
A scene from Aida Joan Marcus

It just makes sense for Cynthia Erivo to eventually take on the title role in a Broadway revival of Aida, right? (Can you imagine her “Dance of the Robe” or “Gods Love Nubia”?) The musical opened on Broadway 16 years ago, starring her Color Purple co-star Heather Headley. Lindsay Mendez, who backed up Aida’s original Amneris, Sherie Rene Scott, in Everyday Rapture, would be the perfect person to fill Scott’s old shoes. And now that Josh Segarra (Mendez’s former Dogfight castmate) has finished his run in On Your Feet!, he’d be great for the role of Radames. The 2000 production was awarded four Tony Awards, including for Best Score by Elton John and Tim Rice.


Angela Lansbury in Mame

Speaking of Heather Headley, don’t you think she’d make a great Auntie Mame? The musical, based on the life of 1920s eccentric socialite Mame Dennis, hasn’t been on Broadway since it opened at the Gershwin in 1983 with Angela Lansbury (who originated the role in the original 1966 production and took home the Tony Award for her performance). Jennifer Simard, fresh off her Tony-nominated turn as Sister Mary Downy in Disaster!, would make a perfect Agnes Gooch, and we’d love to see Tony Award winner Sutton Foster pull out the comic stops (yet again) as Mame’s bosom buddy Vera Charles.


It wasn’t long ago that Parade was seen in a star-studded concert at Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall, starring Jeremy Jordan and Laura Benanti. Broadway audiences are hungry for Jason Robert Brown’s material, considering his concert version of The Last Five Years, starring Cynthia Erivo and Joshua Henry, sold out in its presale. Parade, which features a book by Alfred Uhry, opened on Broadway in 1998 and took home ’99 Tony Awards for Best Book and Best Score (although not winning Best Musical). We’d love to see the recent concert version of the musical, based on the true story of a Brooklyn-born Jewish man falsely accused of raping and murdering a young girl in 1913 Atlanta, resurface on Broadway.

The Life And Adventures Of Nicholas Nickleby

Roger Rees and David Threlfall
Roger Rees and David Threlfall

The late, great Roger Rees won a Tony Award for his performance as Nicholas Nickleby in the original 1981 production. The Charles Dickens play would be a good vehicle for Harry Potter actor (and recent Privacy star) Daniel Radcliffe to take on next. The two-part, eight-and-a-half-hour play, detailing the efforts of young Nicholas to provide for his mother and sister, had a short-lived revival in 1986 with Michael Siberry—but that was 30 years ago. Bring Nicholas back to New York.


Patrick Heusinger, Hugo Armstrong, Jonathan B. Wright and Charlie Hofheimer
Patrick Heusinger, Hugo Armstrong, Jonathan B. Wright and Charlie Hofheimer Craig Schwartz

Martin Sherman’s Bent was seen last year at the Center Theatre Group/Mark Taper Forum with Jake Shears from the Scissor Sisters, the pop group forged in the gay nightlife scene of New York City. The seminal drama is about gays trying to survive in Nazi Germany, and the Taper production was billed as the first major U.S. revival of the work since the Broadway premiere in 1979, when it was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Play. Also in the cast was Andy Mientus, who was last seen on Broadway in another Germany-set piece: the Deaf West revival of Spring Awakening, directed by his husband Michael Arden.

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