But as Clarice once sang to Rudolph, there's always tomorrow.
Or rather, next season. Quite a few interesting shows are on the horizon, so as a service to my readers, I figured I'd provide a little preview, based on some of the new musicals that have been officially, and not-so-officially, announced for the upcoming Broadway season.
The Book of Mormon
Source: Well, in theory, it's based on the actual Book of Mormon. In reality, it comes from the warped and offensive minds of Matt Stone and Trey Parker, the guys behind "South Park."
Staff: The aforementioned "South Park" guys, as well as Jason Moore and Robert Lopez, the director and co-lyricist/co-composer, respectively of Avenue Q.
Cast: None yet announced.
Status: Slated to start performances in March 2011, at a theater TBD.
My take: Some people are offended by the very nature of the project. I say, go for it. In my opinion, nothing is above ridicule. My one hesitation is the fact that the musical offerings on the "South Park" show, as well as the terrific movie "South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut," tend to be rather pedestrian efforts, with bad prosody and forced rhyme. But the South Park/Avenue Q combination alone makes this one of the most intriguing possibilities for the new season.
Catch Me If You Can
Source: The 2002 Stephen Spielberg movie of the same name, based on the early life of con artist Frank Abagnale Jr.
Staff: Book by Terrence McNally, music and lyrics by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman, direction by Jack O'Brien, choreography by Jerry Mitchell.
Cast: The show had a tryout run at Seattle's 5th Avenue Theater last August, and the cast featured Aaron Tveit, Norbert Leo Butz, Kerry Butler, Linda Hart, and Tom Wopat. No word yet on whether any or all will return.
Status: The Seattle tryout got middling reviews, and the show is apparently under revision. But CMIYC is reportedly on track for Broadway in the spring of 2011. Mitigating factor: O'Brien and Mitchell are also involved in Love Never Dies (see below), which is also coming in the spring of 2011, and which appears to be in need of some major changes. (To say the very least.) Can both men do both shows?
My take: I haven't been blown away by what I've seen of the show. (Check out this video of the number "Live in Living Color," featuring Aaron Tveit.) But count this creative team out at your peril.
Love Never Dies
Source: Well, technically, the show derives from Gaston Leroux's original book, Phantom of the Opera. But Love Never Dies features what appears to be an "original" story.
Staff: The book and lyrics are by Glenn Slater and Ben Elton, music by Andrew Lloyd Webber. The London production was directed by Jack O'Brien and choreographed by Jerry Mitchell, and they are slated to repeat this roles on Broadway.
Cast: London cast members Ramin Karimloo and Sierra Boggess will reportedly recreate their roles in New York, playing the "The Guy With the Funny Mask" and "The Girl With the Funny Voice," respectively.
Status: The Broadway bow for Love Never Dies was reportedly pushed back from this coming fall due to an illness/injury that ALW is recovering from. Uh-huh. More likely, the delay is meant to accommodate a significant overhaul to the show. The London bow received decidedly mixed reviews, and Sir Lloyd Webber, who hasn't had a hit since...well, since The Phantom of the Opera (1988), has a lot riding on making sure the show works.
My take: Oy. The show has been rather infamously dubbed Paint Never Dries by the fabulous West End Whingers. Other bloggers, including my friend Steve on Broadway, have panned the show as well. Hey, anything could happen, but things ain't looking good.
Priscilla: Queen of the Desert
Source: The fabulous 1994 movie "The Adventures of Priscilla: Queen of the Desert."
Staff: The book is by Broadway newcomers Stephan Elliot and Allan Scott. Direction by Simon Phillips. The score comprises such pop interpolations as "Go West," "I Love the Nightlife," and "I Will Survive."
Cast: Recent announcements indicate the cast will include major hottie Will Swenson and BoCo grad Nick Adams. Tony Sheldon will repeat his acclaimed London performance as Bernadette, the Terence Stamp role in the movie.
Status: The show will have a tryout run in Toronto in October before a Broadway bow at a theater TBD. (Vance, poodle, we expect a full report.)
My take: As always, I prefer an original score with my musicals. But I hear great things about the physical production, and I'm a big fan of the film.
The Scottsboro Boys
Source: Based on the real-life case of the Scottsboro Boys, an infamous 1930s miscarriage of justice in the American south.
Staff: Direction and choreography by Susan Stroman, music by John Kander, lyrics by Fred Ebb, book by David Thompson.
Cast: TBD. But Brandon Victor Dixon, a standout among the Off-Broadway cast, will be appearing as Ray Charles in Unchain My Heart (see below) on Broadway this coming season, so he probably won't repeat his Scottsboro role on Broadway.
Status: The show premiered Off Broadway at the the Vineyard Theatre in February 2010 to very strong reviews. There was talk of bringing the show to Broadway this past season, but nothing came of it. Instead, the producers held off for the 2010-2011 season, and recently announced that the show will play the gorgeous and historic Lyceum Theatre. Prior to that, the show will play an eight-week run at the Guthrie Theater this summer. (Steve on Broadway, darling, we expect a full report)
My take: This was probably the best musical I saw all this past season. (Read my review of the Off-Broadway production.) I'm thrilled that the show will have a chance to reach a wider audience. And I can't wait to see it again.
Source: The Marvel comic Spider-Man.
Staff: Direction and design by Julie Taymor, score by Bono and The Edge. Book by Taymor and Glen Berger. (Um...who?)
Cast: Who knows? They've already lost Alan Cumming and Evan Rachel Wood due to the ridiculous production delays. Word has it Patrick Page may take Cumming's place as the Green Lantern, or Hornet, or Goblin, or whatever. And someone named Reeve Carney is supposed to be playing Spider-Man.
Status: Oy and double oy. Spider-Man is easily the biggest current joke on Broadway. Word on the street puts the budget at a laughable $50 million, which could eventually creep up to $60 million. ( Who are these producers? "A fool and his money...") That's more than twice the estimated budgets for such bloated would-be hits as Young Frankenstein, The Little Mermaid, and Shrek.
My take: Well, I can't say I'm looking forward to it. But whether it's a hit or a bust, it's a must-see.
Unchain My Heart
Source: Based on the life of Ray Charles.
Staff: Libretto by Suzan-Lori Parks, winner of the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for Drama for her play, Topdog/Underdog. Music from the Ray Charles songbook. Directed by Sheldon Epps. Choreographed by Kenneth L. Roberson.
Cast: Brandon Victor Dixon will play Ray. Nikki Renee Daniels will play his wife Della.
Status: The show has booked the Barrymore Theatre. Performances begin in October.
My take: This show kinda came out of nowhere for me. I haven't heard anything about any workshops or regional productions, although I'm sure they've taken place. But the only things that interest me here are Suzan-Lori Parks and Brandon Victor Dixon. Otherwise, it looks like a mash-up of the jukebox/bio musical genres, and I'm a fan of neither.
Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown
Source: The 1988 film "Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown" by Pedro Almodovar.
Staff: Direction by Bartlett Sher. Music and lyrics by David Yazbek. Book by Jeffrey Lane.
Cast: Possibly Jessica Biel, who took part in a recent reading under the auspices of the Lincoln Center Theatre. The reading also featured Paulo Szot, Tom Hewitt, and Patti LuPone. Also likely to appear in the show is Oscar Isaac, who is currently appearing as Prince John in the film "Robin Hood."
Status: The show is booked into the Belasco Theater, and is scheduled to start performances in October.
My take: I'm loving the creative staff. Sher is a pretty hot property right now, although I wasn't -- and still am not -- a fan of South Pacific. I am, however, a major proponent of Yazbek's previous Broadway shows, The Full Monty and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. So color me very intrigued, indeed.
Source: To my knowledge, an original story: a fictitious love affair taking place between two soldiers during World War II. According to the show's Web site, all the characters are fictional. However, "all of the situations and viewpoints come directly from memoirs and oral histories of gay (and straight) service members who took part in WWII."
Staff: Book and lyrics by David Zellnik. Music by Joseph Zellnik. Director David Cromer will replace Igor Goldin, who has directed the show since its inception.
Cast: Bobby Steggert says that he is very likely to recreate his wonderful turn as the lead soldier, but that has not been confirmed.
Status: After a very successful run at the York Theatre, the show was announced for Broadway next season, but the theater and starting dates are TBD.
My take: In short, I'm thrilled. I was quite enamored of the show when I saw it at the York. (Read my review.) I'm not sure how long it will last on Broadway, but I greatly look forward to seeing it again. It's a gem.