When reflecting on an article idea this week, I wanted to keep it fun for myself and our readers. Since the Board is going on break, I decided previewing the Broadway musicals coming in 2019 was a fantastic way to end the year.
1. Ain't Too Proud—The Life and Times of the Temptations ‒ Imperial Theatre. This musical tells the story of the Temptations from their early days to becoming members of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. The group staying together through thick and thin, even when political events try to tear them apart, plays a role in the tale. The book is by Dominique Morisseau with music and lyrics by the Temptations, of course. During the out-of-town tryouts at Berkeley Repertory Theatre and The Kennedy Center, this musical was a smash at the box office, breaking records at both venues. Previews for this musical start on February 28, 2019, with an opening slated for March 21, 2019.
Growing up, my parents played a lot of the Temptations, so I am familiar with some of their songs. Jukebox musicals are always a crowd-pleaser for both locals and tourists. I am interested in learning about the story behind the group and how they rose to become household names.
2. Be More Chill – Lyceum Theatre. Following its sold out and extended Off-Broadway run, this musical is making its way to the Great White Way. Featuring music and lyrics by Joe Iconis and a book by Joe Tracz, it blends contemporary musical theatre with a retro sci-fi twist. Based on the novel of the same name by Ned Vizzini, the musical follows Jeremy Heere, who takes a pill that will change his life and give him a new social circle by giving him a SQUIP (a "super quantum unit intel processor"). It contains a computer that implants itself inside the user's brain and tells them what to do and say. Before even making its New York premiere, the show had a fandom based on the cast recording, which was released October 2015. Previews for the Broadway production start on February 13, 2019, with opening night scheduled for March 10, 2019.
I enjoy the Be More Chill album and I believe the musical will succeed on Broadway based on word of mouth. Teenagers will repeatedly fill the seats of the theatre to see the musical they loved so much from the cast recording. I am elated this production will take the Broadway world by storm in 2019.
3. Beetlejuice ‒ Winter Garden Theatre. Beetlejuice is back and better than ever with this all-new musical based on the Tim Burton film. It features music and lyrics by Eddie Perfect with a book by Scott Brown and Anthony King. The plot follows Lydia Deetz, an unusual teenager fixated with the whole “being dead thing”. A newly deceased couple and a demon haunt the new house where Lydia moves in. Previews start in March 2019. It lists opening night as April 25, 2019.
This seems like a strange plot, very much like the world of Tim Burton. I have never seen the movie, yet I am intrigued to see how it is adapted for the stage. Considered a cult classic, this film will encourage people to buy tickets to the musical based on name recognition. While this might be a little more off-center from a typical Broadway musical, I would still very much like to see this show.
4. Hadestown ‒ Walter Kerr Theatre. After a 2016 run at New York Theatre Workshop and across the pond at the National Theatre in London in 2018, Hadestown will take its first Broadway bow. It is based on the album of the same name by Anaïs Mitchell, who wrote the book as well as the music and lyrics. Direction is by Rachel Chavkin. The musical is a retelling of Greek mythology. Despite its Greek plot basis, it features modern American folk music with New Orleans-inspired jazz, giving us something we have not heard before. March 22, 2019 is the first preview and opening night is April 17, 2019.
I have been a fan of this musical since they released the live album in 2017. This variation is so magical, I would love to see what changes they make from the album to the Broadway run. Hadestown is my most anticipated musical of 2019. I love mythology and fresh retellings of classic stories, so this is right up my alley.
5. Kiss Me Kate ‒ Studio 54. The revival of this Cole Porter, Bella and Sam Spewack classic is coming in 2019, starring Kelli O’Hara as Kate/Lilli Vanessi and Will Chase as Fred Graham/ Petruchio. The story follows a divorced couple, Lilli and Fred, who need to star as the leads in an adaption of William Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew. Writer Amanda Green has contributed additional material to this revival. Produced by the Roundabout Theatre for a limited run, previews start February 14, 2019, with opening night on March 14, 2019. This production has a scheduled closing for June 2, 2019.
Kiss Me Kate is one of my favorite classic musicals and I can’t wait to see how this revival spins it.
6. Moulin Rouge! The Musical – Al Hirschfeld Theatre. This is a sweeping tale of love set in turn-of-the-century France that features writer Christian and the chanteuse Satine. It has a book by John Logan. Justin Levine offers musical supervision, orchestrations and arrangements that give new life to the songs from the film. The original music and lyrics are by various artists contributing to the jukebox musical. Previews start June 28, 2019, with opening night on July 25, 2019.
I have been waiting for years for this to become a full-length musical!
7. Tootsie – Marquis Theatre. Based on the 1982 film of the same name, Tootsie tells the story of Michael Dorsey, an actor struggling to find work—until a stunt impersonating a woman offers him the role of a lifetime. David Yazbek, the winner of the Tony Award for Best Original Score in 2018 for The Band’s Visit, offers music and lyrics for the musical. Robert Horn penned the book. Previews start on March 29, 2019, with opening night on April 23, 2019.
As a fan of David Yazbek, Santino Fontana and Lilli Cooper, I am so excited for this show to open. I have never seen the movie. However, I would love to see this rendition because of the cast and the music in the show.
What musical are you looking forward to seeing in 2019? Let us know!
(Photo by Helen Maybanks. Hadestown at the National Theatre.)