I am a huge fan of musical theatre and as we get towards the end of January, I've teamed up with Angry Baby to share our top ten 'must see' musicals of 2016. We've picked shows (in no particular order) from both Broadway and the West End so if you can get to New York or London this year, these are the shows to see.
Alfie Boe in Les Miserables:
Anyone who knows their tenors will already be well aware that Alfie Boe as Jean Valjean is the ticket to die for. His run in the role on Broadway ends in February, but he has already spilled the beans that he will be moving straight into another show. The question is - which one? With rehearsal time to assimilate a new leading man anything from two weeks to two months, we may not know for quite a while, but we can be sure that any show which Alfie headlines will sell out fast.
You'd have to have been living under a rock to not have heard of this one by now. After a sell out run at the Public Theatre, Hamilton moved to Broadway in August 2015. Click here to read more.
The Color Purple:
The Color Purple's revival first played at London's Menier Chocolate Factory in 2013 before moving to Broadway in December of 2015. Although having only just opened, it has received amazing reviews and is set to be a big contender at 2016's Tony Awards.
Although Sheridan Smith is not, strictly speaking, a musical theatre moment, she is definitely one to watch out for in 2016. I first saw her on the West End in Legally Blonde years ago, and she'll be back in 2016 as Fanny Brice in the revival of Funny Girl. In 2015 it opened at the Menier Chocolate Factory, where it will continue to play to sell out audiences in early 2016 before moving to the West End in April.
Hedwig and the Angry Inch:
This is a bittersweet one, as Hedwig and the Angry Inch closed on Broadway in September. However this is because it is making plans to come to London in the near future! Yay!
School of Rock:
Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical adaptation of the hit movie School of Rock opened on Broadway in 2015. It is planning to open at the London Palladium too, in late 2016. Watch out for hordes of child actors competing for the hottest roles since Matilda - good luck kids, you all deserve the break!
Deaf West Theatre's revival of Spring Awakening, which incorporates sign language into the original show, opened on Broadway in 2015. Although it is a strictly limited engagement, it is wowing audiences every single night.
The King And I:
A revival of The King and I opened on Broadway in 2015, starring Kelli O'Hara and Hoon Lee. It picked up a fair few Tonys at the 2015 awards, and looks like it'll run for a lot longer yet. It's a show with lots of memories for the blogger behind Angry Baby, Flo Bannigan, as she played one of the King's children in the 2012 UK tour.
Another screen to stage adaptation, that started life at Leicester's 'Curve' theatre, Finding Neverland opened on Broadway starring Glee's Matthew Morrison. It did not receive any Tony nominations, but it is still selling out and stunning audiences. Matthew Morrison will be leaving the show early in 2016 and his replacement, Tony Yazbeck, is sure to bring something new to the role.
Beautiful has been playing on Broadway for a while now, and this year Chilina Kennedy replaced Jessie Mueller in the starring role of Carole King. In 2015 it opened on the West End and its a show I'd love to catch at some point.
So there you have our top ten shows for 2016, a mix of the classic and the new - clips from all shows can be found in this playlist:
Hope you get the chance to see at least one of them this year!