What do you mean, "New Musical"?

| 3 Comments
With the announcement of Jesus Christ Superstar being revived on Broadway, let's take a look at the state of announced Broadway Musical Revivals for the 2011-2012 Tony Year.
  1. Godspell
  2. Follies
  3. Jesus Christ Superstar
  4. Porgy and Bess
  5. Evita
  6. Funny Girl
  7. On A Clear Day You Can See Forever (a revisal)
  8. Nice Work If You Can Get It (well, yes, it's "new", but I liked it more the second time I saw it, when it was called Crazy For You, but not more than the first time I saw it, when it was called Girl Crazy).
And new musicals:
1. Ghost
2. Lysistrata Jones
3. Bonnie and Clyde
3 1/2. Spider-Man (yes, technically it counts)

Let me know if I've missed anything.

The back-and-forth is silly.  Last year we had only two new REVIVALS.  The year before we had to pad NEW MUSICALS with "Million Dollar Quartet".  Back in 2006 and 2005 we only had 3 REVIVALS--and 2005 was the Spamalot/Piazza/Scoundrels/SpellingBee year!  And then in 2002, the Millie/Urinetown/etc year, we again had only two REVIVALS  (Into The Woods/Oklahoma).  And in 2000, the year that we had the REVIVALS Kiss me Kate, Music Man and the Darth-Vader JCS, we had so little in the way of new musicals that CONTACT won.

Why does this keep happening?  It's not just "theater dying", were that the case we'd see a year with only 3 new musicals and 3 new revivals.  

End rant.

3 Comments

It doesn't seem either confusing or alarming to me. Gone are the days when a show could run less than a season and recoup, so there are fewer Broadway-bound productions of any kind--there aren't a dozen entrants in each category because if there were that many short runs, there would be no more investors with a cent left to their names. In some seasons more of the productions we get are original musicals, in some seasons they're mostly revivals. I'd say it was cause for concern if we got a lot more of the latter, but (a) we don't, and (b) the revivals are frequently more worthwhile than the originals. My only worry is that Frank Wildhorn's strategy of throwing everything at the wall may finally pay dividends in a sufficiently lean year. (But I suspect there will be an unexpected transfer of something well-received to spare us that humiliation.)
Well put. But what still surprises me (well, almost) is that if you're a producer and looking at a particularly weak year in revivals or new works, wouldn't you try to get something together quickly to reap those benefits? But to be fair--that's probably already happening. We often get 3 revivals instead of 2 for exactly that reason.




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