Already seen every show on Broadway...twice? Then it’s time for a road trip! Broadway.com is always on the hunt for buzzed-about regional productions that could be heading to the Great White Way in the near future. Featuring star-studded casts and stellar creative teams, these pre-Broadway productions are angling to make a move to New York if the show is a hit. Will one of these new shows be a future Tony winner? Check out the top five new musicals that are on our must-see list.
Beginning July 23 at A.R.T.’s Loeb Drama Center in Cambridge, MA
Contrary to what you saw on the Tony Awards, Finding Neverland does not feature a glittery Jennifer Hudson crooning to kids. It does, however, star Newsies and Smash hunk Jeremy Jordan as J.M. Barrie and Mary Poppins fave Laura Michelle Kelly as Sylvia Llewelyn Davis. The musical adaptation of the 2004 tearjerker initially premiered in Leicester, England in 2012, but has been completely revamped for its new reboot, featuring songs by Gary Barlow and Eliot Kennedy, a book by James Graham and direction by Diane Paulus. We’re trying to think really happy thoughts so we can fly to Boston to catch this in July.
Beginning September 3 at the Alliance Theatre in Atlanta, GA
Before you try to tell us that sports and musicals don’t mix, we’d like to remind you that Damn Yankees won seven Tony Awards. What were we saying? Oh right! A stage adaptation of the sports comedy Bull Durham is on tap at Atlanta’s Alliance Theatre, featuring Will Swenson (taking a hiatus from Les Miserables), John Behlmann and Melissa Errico. Directed by Kip Fagan, the world premiere musical will feature a score by Susan Werner and a book by the original film’s director and screenplay writer Ron Shelton. If Bull Durham hits a home run, we could be seeing the musical on Broadway in the spring of 2015.
Beginning September 13 at the Old Globe Theatre in San Diego, CA
What do you get when you combine the writing talent of funnyman Steve Martin and the gorgeous tunes of singer-songwriter Edie Brickell? We have no idea, but it'll probably be awesome. The new musical Bright Star will receive its world premiere at the Old Globe Theatre this fall, directed by Tony winner Walter Bobbie (Chicago, Venus in Fur). We don’t know too much about this brand new tuner yet, but it’s reportedly about “enduring love, family and the light of forgiveness that shines from a bright star.” We’re in!
Beginning December 9 at the Signature Theatre in Arlington, VA
At long last, the musical adaptation of Diner is finally serving up grub in Virginia this winter, and we couldn’t be more excited. Featuring a score by Grammy winner Sheryl Crow and a book by Oscar-winning original screenwriter Barry Levinson, the new musical tells the story of a circle of childhood friends who have a Christmas reunion at a Baltimore diner. The whipped cream on the pie? It’s directed and choreographed by Kathleen Marshall (Nice Work If You Can Get It), so if it’s a hit, it could be heading to Broadway.
The First Wives Club
Beginning February 16, 2015 at the Oriental Theatre in Chicago, IL
If at first you don’t succeed, get a new director and book it to Chicago! A newly revamped musical version of The First Wives Club is aiming to hit Broadway in the fall of 2015, but first, the trio of divorcees are trying the Midwest on for size. Featuring a score by Motown hit-makers Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier and Eddie Holland, a book by Tony winner Rupert Holmes and Emmy nominee Linda Bloodworth Thomason (Designing Women), the reboot, which originally premiered at the Old Globe Theatre in 2009, will now be directed by Simon Phillips. If there’s one thing the original 1996 movie taught us, it’s this: “Don’t get mad, get everything.”