The summer is winding down which means many Broadway houses will lower their curtains and dim their lights to make room for a whole new season of shows. Recently, we have seen several shows such as How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying, Godspell, Jesus Christ Superstar, and Priscilla Queen of the Dessert end their successful runs on Broadway. And, in the next few weeks such student favorites as Anything Goes, The Gershwin’s Porgy & Bess, Memphis, Ghost, and Sister Act come to a close. Even the Off-Broadway scene has seen the closing of Million Dollar Quartet, Rent, and Traces, most which will be seen around the world on tour. Not to worry, though, as the year ahead looks to be even brighter for student classes traveling to New York City. There are many great shows either in the works, or making the jump from the West End to entertain groups from around the world.
Several shows will be opening in the fall, somewhat ahead of the typical schedule, to fill many of the vacant theatres on Broadway. Recently, the hit cheerleading movie turned musical Bring It On: The Musical opened at the St. James Theatre. With direction and choreography by Tony Award winner Andy Blakenbuehler and music and lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda, from In the Heights, this show has already played to sold out audiences across the country and is anticipated to extend its run on Broadway, as well. Still coming in the fall will be some great new shows including Chaplin, a musical based on the life of legendary actor and comedian Charlie Chaplin, Scandalous: the Life and Trials of Aimee Semple McPherson, starring Carolee Carmello and written by Kathie Lee Gifford, and Rebecca, the musical based on the classic Daphne du Maurier novel.
There are also a few great revivals heading back to the great white way this fall that will definitely be worth seeing. Annie, starring newcomers Lilla Crawford and Sunny as her lovable sidekick Sandy, will be opening in the heart of Times Square at the Palace Theatre. The Mystery of Edwin Drood, with an all-star cast including Broadway legend Chita Rivera, is the unfinished murder mystery by Charles Dickens where the audience chooses the murderer. This will mark the shows first return since winning Best Musical, Best Book and Best Score back in 1986. A classic fairy tale rumored to be coming to Broadway this spring is Cinderella, starring Laura Osnes as the lead and Santino Fontana as her prince. And, don’t count out the classic musical Into the Woods, currently playing at the Delacorte Theater as part of The Public Theater’s Shakespeare in the Park programming. This revival stars Tony Award winner Donna Murphy as the witch and Academy Award Nominee Amy Adams as the Baker’s wife. Though no official word has been given, many shows have gotten their start as part of this programming before moving to Broadway. So, one can only hope that this “Once upon a Time” will happen once again in a Broadway Theatre near you.
This spring we will see the arrival of the highly anticipated Matilda based on the children’s book by Roald Dahl. This London musical has already won seven Olivier Awards, which are the British equivalent of a Tony Award. This show is ideal for student groups and is likely to inspire a new generation of theatre fans. Other shows will include Motown, the new musical based on the life of music producer and hit-maker Berry Gordy, and Kinky Boots, based on the 2005 British film with the same name, with a score by Cyndi Lauper, book by Tony winner Harvey Fierstein and direction and choreography by Tony Award winner Jerry Mitchell. Another show that is in the production is The Nutty Professor, starring Michael Andrew and Marc Jacoby and directed by the one and only Jerry Lewis. Following the unexpected passing of Whitney Houston the producers of the new musical version of The Bodyguard, starring Tony Award winner Heather Headley, put this show on a fast track and hope to open in London for a short run before heading to Broadway next year. There are sure to be more shows announced in the coming months, which promises to make this season very exciting.
Of course, many great student shows are still playing Broadway including this year’s Tony Award winner for Best New Musical, Once, Tony Award winner for Best Choreography, Newsies, and everyone’s favorite superhero in Spiderman: Turn off the Dark. Disney’s The Lion King and Mary Poppins are practically perfect in every way for student class groups and offer some amazing workshop opportunities for those that wish to enhance their theatre experience. And, Wicked, The Phantom of the Opera, Jersey Boys, Mamma Mia, and Chicago are among the longest running shows on Broadway and are perfect for any first time theatre goers.
Kaleidoscope Adventures loves New York City, and we are sure that your student groups will, too! We are excited to work with all types of student groups to customize a trip that is perfect for you. The opportunities in New York City are incredible and a visit to this destination is sure to create memories that will last a lifetime. Let Kaleidoscope Adventures start planning your student class travel to New York City today!