Spring 2011 Broadway Preview: What Broadway Musicals Should You See?

The 2010-2011 Broadway season has seen more new musicals than in the last several years and several of them didn’t have a out-of-town tryout! But all four shows that have opened so far this season have already closed. Here’s a preview of the eight new musicals that are opening this Spring 2011.

Here’s the list:

  • Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown* – Closed January 2nd, 2011
  • Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson ** – Closed January 2nd, 2011
  • The Scottsboro Boys ** – Closed December 12th, 2011
  • Elf* – Closed January 2nd, 2011
  • Spiderman: Turn Off the Dark* – Opening March 15th, 2011
  • The Book of Mormon* – Opening March 24th, 2011
  • Priscilla Queen of the Desert ## – Opening March 20th, 2011
  • Catch Me If You Can # – Opening April 10th, 2011
  • Wonderland # – Opening April 17th, 2011
  • Sister Act ## – Opening April 20th, 2011
  • Baby It’s You* – Opening April 27th, 2011
  • The People in the Picture* – Opening April 28th, 2011

* No out-of-town tryout   ** Off-Broadway   # Out-of-town tryout    ##Transfer from London

And revivals:

  • Anything Goes – Opening April 7th, 2011
  • How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying – Opening March 26th, 2011

Spider-man: Turn Off the Dark at Foxwoods Theatre – To be honest, I’m a little over all the publicity surrounding Spider-man: Turn Off the Dark. It seems that every time I check my Twitter feed or Playbill.com, there’s another story. But to be fair, I really enjoyed the show. I posted my preview “review” a couple of weeks ago. I was totally blown away by the technical aspect of the show. Yes, the story and music could be tweaked or reworked, but I got my money’s worth and that’s all I really care about. I think you should see it. Regardless of what you think of the show, it’s making Broadway history.

Website | Previews started | Opens March 15th, 2011

The Book of Mormon at Eugene O’Neill Theatre – It’s happening. Trey Parker, Matt Stone and Robert Lopez are writing a musical that’s sure to offend everyone. My stance has significantly changed since I wrote about it almost a year ago, but I’m still annoyed at the title of this musical. I don’t really have high hopes for this show, but you never know. I’m not planning on racing to see it either. I think I’m gonna wait this one out.

I think it’s a major gamble. There’s not one person in the show that’s marquee-worthy and they never had an out-of-town tryout. I heard that the October workshop of this show was an absolute disaster, so I hope they are pulling it together. They are definitely promoting the hell out of it, so it will be around for awhile — plus you have all of those South Park fans.

Website | Previews: February 24th, 2011 | Opens March 24th, 2011

Priscilla Queen of the Desert: the musical at Palace Theatre – I saw Priscilla in London, last June, and absolutely loved it. I had no idea what I was getting myself into, but the costumes, story and music are irresistible. The infectious familiar melodies make you want to get up and dance and the story is so touching. I absolutely loved it.

I have a feeling that Priscilla is going to be the musical to beat this year! I know it’s gonna win several Tony Awards! (The costumes are a total shoo-in.) It’s just too cute!

Sneak Audio Peek:

“I Will Survive”

“Always On My Mind/Confide In Me”

Website | Previews: February 28th, 2011 | Opens: March 20th, 2011

Catch Me If You Can – A New Musical at Neil Simon Theatre – The only thing that is getting me excited to see this show is the cast. It features: Norbert Leo Butz, Tom Wopat, Aaron Tviet and Kerry Butler. I’m a little disappointed by the songs that they have chosen to post as the “show’s catchiest tunes”, because they aren’t that catchy or good. You can hear the 4-song sampler, here.

I’m curious if this show is going to be as big of a hit as Hairspray was. I have my doubts, but maybe Catch Me If You Can will surprise me.

Sneak Audio Peek:

“Fly, Fly Away” (Kerry Butler)

Website | Previews: March 11th, 2011 | Opens: April 10th, 2011

Wonderland at Marquis Theatre – I just have a feeling that Wonderland is going to be this year’s Come Fly Away or 9 to 5. First, it’s in one of Broadway’s biggest houses and the Marquis Theatre is known for its flops. (Maybe there’s a curse!) There is some major Broadway talent in the cast, but there’s not one “marquee-worthy” name.

What’s going to make people want to buy a ticket? Wildhorn’s music — probably not. A musical based on Alice in Wonderland — probably not.

I’m running out of ideas. I bet it’s going to be a huge flop.

Sneak Audio Peek:

“Finding Wonderland”

Website | Previews: March 21st, 2011 | Opens: April 7th, 2011

Sister Act at Broadway Theatre – Sister Act was the fifth musical that I reviewed for The Broadway Critic and I loved it (basically). I wrote, “Sister Act has so much energy and joy to give away… As it says in the closing number, “Spread your love around!” and Sister Act does just that…” My biggest complaint was the plot and music surrounding the male supporting characters because it felt that those characters were overlooked. I have a feeling they’ve fixed that and it’s going to be a huge hit!

And look at their cast: Patina Miller, Victoria Clark, Fred Applegate and Chestor Gregory. If Sister Act can win the critic’s favor, it’s gonna be a huge contendor during the Tony Awards.

I highly recommend Sister Act and can’t wait to see the Broadway production.

Audio Sneak Peek:

“Raise Your Voice”

“Fabulous, baby” (Reprise)

Website | Previews: March 24th, 2011 | Opens: April 20th, 2011

Baby It’s You – a new musical at Broadhurst Theatre – Here’s the tagline from Broadway.com, “Featuring songs such as “He’s So Fine,” “Dedicated to the One I Love” and “Twist and Shout,” Baby It’s You! follows the rise of New Jersey housewife Florence Greenberg, who teams with African-American songwriter Luther Dixon to launch the popular girl group The Shirelles as well as an independent record company.”

It kind of sounds like the girl-version of The Jersey Boys or this season’s Million Dollar Quartet.

I’m sure it will find an audience and run for awhile, but I have a feeling it’s going to be over-looked during the awards season. There hasn’t been that much press surrounding the show and it snuck into the Broadhurst without much of a bang, so we’ll see what happens to it. (Even their website doesn’t have that much content on it.)

Website | Previews: March 26th, 2011 | Opens: April 27th, 2011

The People in the Picture at Studio 54 – Two time Tony Award-winner, Donna Murphy (Passion, The King and I) stars in The People in the Picture, directed by Leonard Foglia. This new Broadway musical features book & lyrics by the author of the international best seller Beaches, Iris Rainer Dart, and a glorious score by Mike Stoller (Smokey Joe’s Café) and Artie Butler (“Here’s to Life”).

The biggest thing that Roundabout has going for it right now is that Donna Murphy is starring in this! This is another musical that hasn’t had an out-of-town try-out, so there will be a lot of buzz come first preview.

I don’t know enough about the production, story or music to pass any kind of judgement. I’m intrigued. Currently, it’s only running till June 19th, 2011, so you might want to get your tickets soon.

Website | Previews: April 1st, 2011 | Opens: April 28th, 2011

REVIVALS:

How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying at Al Hirschfeld Theatre – How to Succeed… centers on a young window-cleaner, J. Pierrepont Finch (Daniel Radcliffe), who begins a meteoric rise from the mail room to Vice President of Advertising at the World-Wide Wicket Company. Finch’s unorthodox and morally questionable business practices jeopardize not only his career but also his romance with Secretary Rosemary Pilkington.

Okay, so it’s Daniel Radcliffe… I’m a bit intrigued to see how he does singing and dancing, but he better do a good job or it’s not going to be pretty. I’m excited to see a professional production of this musical, since I’m not as familiar as I would like to be with it. If Promises, Promises can run over a year, I have a feeling that How to Succeed… is going to do just as well.

Website | Previews: February 26th, 2011 | Opens: March 27th, 2011

Anything Goes at Stephen Sondheim Theatre: Out of all the shows that are opening this Spring, Anything Goes is the most exciting in my opinion. First off, it has Sutton Foster starring as Reno Sweeney. Second, Kathleen Marshall is directing and choreographing the production and it’s one of my favorite musicals of all time.

I have extremely high expectations of this production and I hope it blows everyone out of the water! (Unlike that abysmal Bye Bye Birdie revival that also played the Stephen Sondheim Theatre.)

Website | Previews: March 10th, 2011 | Opens: April 7th, 2011


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7 thoughts on “Spring 2011 Broadway Preview: What Broadway Musicals Should You See?

  1. Don’t mean to be rude, but since you’re a writer, it would be great if you could learn the difference between “then” and “than”, and “it’s” and “its.” I enjoy reading your blog but the grammatical errors make it hard to value your writing as dependable journalism. Thanks

    1. Duly noted.

      I fixed the than, but I didn’t see any errors in the it’s vs. its. Did I miss something?

      Unfortunately (or fortunately), it’s just me. I do the research, see the shows, write the reviews, edit them, find the pictures, format them and then post. I do not have anyone working for me, editing my material or helping me in any way… so sometimes errors do slip by. I apologize! Sometimes, I get so excited to post I do not proofread as carefully as I should.

      Do you want to be my editor?? 🙂 I would love to have one!

  2. I have several shows that I’m excited about for the spring. Anything Goes was at the top of my list. All I have to say is that I’m glad the spring trip I take will be about a week. Otherwise I don’t think I could fit them all in.

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