2014 on Broadway

Beautiful Carole King MusicalBroadway has seen a whole host of brilliant adaptations, revivals, new musicals and original plays arrive in New York’s theater district.

Beautiful the musical opened at the Stephen Sondheim Theater in January 2014 and has been a gigantic Broadway success. It’s a jukebox musical based on the life and career of Carole King, songwriter behind numerous hits including “Its Too Late”, “You’ve Got a Friend” and “Tapestry”. King began writing songs for other artists in the 1960s but had a breakthrough with her own album “Tapestry” in 1971, which stayed in the US charts for a whopping six years. The production starred Jessie Mueller as Carole King, who won a Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical. The show is transferring to London’s West End in February next year and we predict similar success!
shipIt was announced in 2011 that Sting was working on a new musical and this year it finally arrived! The Last Ship started with a run in Chicago and then transferred to the Neil Simon Theater on Broadway in September. It’s inspired by Sting’s childhood in Wallsend, Tyne and Wear, and his experiences of the ship building industry. The musical features music and lyrics by Sting and has a book by John Logan and Brian Yorkey.

Hedwig and the Angry Inch was revived on Broadway this year starring actor Michael C Hall, best known for his leading role in TV show Dexter. The musical is about Hedwig, a transgender singer from East Berlin, whose band is supporting Tommy Gnosis on a tour around the country. Her band stay on stage for nearly the Hedwig and the Angry Itchwhole show and perform songs written by Stephen Trask. The show had its first Broadway production this year and won the Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical. Neil Patrick Harris also played Hedwig at the start of the show’s run.

If/Then began at the Richard Rodgers Theatre in March this year starring Tony award winning actress and singer Idina Menzel. It tells the story of Elizabeth, a recently divorced 38 year old who has moved back to New York to start her life afresh. She meets up with her friends Kate and Lucas to chat about her new start; Kate says she should use the name ‘Liz’ and start having exciting adventures, but Lucas says she should call herself ‘Beth’ and begin a new career. The rest of the musical examines the two paths that Elizabeth’s life could take and the consequences of both of them.

Jez Butterworth’s play The River has also taken Broadway by storm after starting out on London’s West End. Ian Rickson directs acting sensation Hugh Jackman in the lead role. The story is intimate and gripping, and focuses on a man who has brought his new girlfriend out to a cabin for a quiet night of fishing. But, as to be expected, nothing is as it seems. This has been the must see drama of 2014 and will continue to shock audiences into the new year.

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