Thursday, May 23, 2013

From Fancy Shoes to Toe-Tappin’ Tunes: A 2013 Broadway Spring Preview

When you work for the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center, you often get questions about what is the next hot show on Broadway. Each year I get the privilege to travel to New York to preview the newest Broadway shows which are likely to tour the country in the future. (Like they say, it’s a tough job, but someone has to do it.) Now I’m back to share with you the scoop on what is new and hot on Broadway.

Pippin: This was the first show I saw when I arrived and it was one of my favorites this year. Although it is a total theater classic, I have to admit I wasn’t familiar with the show. From the music (score by Stephen Schwartz from Godspell, Wicked) to the sizzling choreography in the style of Bob Fosse to the incredible acrobatics, there is no question why this show is Tony®-nominated for Best Musical Revival. You have to see it to believe it! 

Cinderella the Musical: The show stars Minnesota native Laura Osnes, who was discovered on the 2006 reality show “Grease: You’re The One That I Want.” Since her debut as Sandy, Osnes has gone on to play some of Broadway’s leading ladies including Bonnie Parker in Bonnie & Clyde, Hope Harcourt in Anything Goes and Nellie Forbush in South Pacific.

Osnes is joined on stage by the charming Santiono Fontana who is also nominated for a Tony as the young prince Topher. The entire production is stunning and with the classic score by Rodgers and Hammerstein, it’s a perfect fit anyone who loves this enchanting story.

Kinky Boots: Speaking of shoes of a different kind, the new Broadway musical Kinky Boots offers a fun night out and a heartwarming story about always being true to who you are. Leading the pack with 13 Tony nominations, this show is not just a pretty pair of heels, but a very formidable contender in the Best New Musical category. The cast recording is due to be released this spring and composer Cyndi Lauper may become the first women in Broadway history to win the Tony for Best Original Score. Forget money, this Tony nomination changes everything.

Motown The Musical: Another soon to be released cast recording to watch for is Motown The Musical. From “ABC” to “What’s Going On” this show follows the 25 year journey of founder Berry Gordy and the rise of the Motown record label that launched the careers of Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson and Marvin Gaye. Here’s a fun fact for you, the Tony-nominated Valisia LeKae (Diana Ross) once performed on the the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center stages with the musical All Shook Up. When I met her after the show, the first words out of her mouth were “I love Appleton!” I kid you not, meet her again here:

Matilda The Musical: Last but certainly not least, is a big Broadway hit featuring many pint-sized stars. Nominated for 12 Tony awards including Best New Musical, Matilda The Musical is perfect for families featuring colorful costumes, onstage magic and over-the-top comic performances (especially the hilariously wicked head mistress Miss Trunchbull). The show is based on the Roald Dahl classic children’s book and is also recognizable from the 1996 movie featuring Danny DeVito.

What 2013 spring musicals do you want to see come to the Fox Cities? 

Tara Brzozowski is entering her ninth year with the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center. As Director of Marketing and Public Relations, she enjoys the opportunity to work every day with a dynamic team to tirelessly promote the wide variety of Center events and activities. While she loves a good show, she much prefers to work behind the scenes rather than on the stage.

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