2000 On Broadway

Susan Stroman (Wikipedia)

The year 2000 was a triumphant one for Director and Choreographer Susan Stroman, which would see her continue her success well into the decade. Her revival of the classic musical The Music Man opened at the Neil Simon Theatre where it played for 699 performances. The revival starred Rebecca Luker as the stubborn Marian Paroo and introduced Craig Bierko to the Broadway stage. Stroman was nominated for the two Best Director Tony Awards in the same season, alongside Best Choreographer for The Music Man. Her show Contact reinvented the genre of ‘dance musical’ consisting of three one act mini ballets. Using an eclectic soundtrack of jazz standards and classical recordings, the show was praised critically.

'The Music Man' 2000 Revival (Wikipedia)


In March Elton John and Tim Rice set out to prove that lighting can strike twice as they brought the classic operatic tragedy Aida to the stage, hot off the back of their success with Disney’s The Lion King in 2000. As Walt Disney’s third live stage venture the show ran at the Palace Theatre, running until 2004 closing after 1,852 performances. The show won four Tony Awards, rewarding Elton John with the award for Best Score, alongside a Grammy Award for Best Show Album. The show made a star out of Heather Headley and introduced actors such as Toni Braxton, Will Chase, Idina Menzel and Taylor Dayne to the Great White Way.


Aida (Wikipedia)

Towards the end of the year The Full Monty began the trend for 90’s films transferring to the stage – something that would prove to be a prominent feature of the decade. Opening at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre the show ran for 770 performances, where it relocated the British film’s action from the North of England to Buffalo New York.

Two versions of a new musical opened during the season as The Wild Party took to the stage on both Broadway and Off-Broadway, causing much confusion for tourists. Based on the 1928 narrative poem of the same name by Joseph Moncure March the show centred around a series of vaudeville sketches involving drugs, alcohol and sexual encounters. Michael John LaChiusa’s musical opened on Broadway at the Virginia Theatre on April 13 starring Toni Collette alongside Mandy Patinkin. The show received mixed reviews, and closed after only 68 performances. Andrew Lippa’s version of the same show opened in February at the Manhattan Theatre Club and ran for 54 performances. The show starred Idina Menzel and Brian D’Arcy James as well as Taye Diggs. Lippa’s score was praised and the show found a new life in regional theatres in both the USA and the UK.

Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens offered their first new musical in a number of years, this time focusing on the world of Dr Seuss. The show’s book amalgamates many of the popular stories, using the elephant Horton as the lead character. The show opened at the Richard Rodgers Theatre on November 30 featuring choreography by Kathleen Marshall. The role of the Cat in the Hat was replaced throughout the run by Broadway veteran performers Rosie O’Donnell and Cathy Rigby. The colourful production was popular with families but only ran for 198 performances, closing in May. The show has found new life in high school and camp theatres all over America.

Harold Pinter’s 1980 play Betrayal was revived in an intimate fashion at the American Airlines Theatre by the Roundabout Theatre Company. Pinter focuses his play on three characters, telling the story of an affair backwards, from the couple breaking up to them meeting and getting together. The production opened on November 14 after 28 previews and ran until February the next year. Brian Friel adapted a new version of Anton Chekhov’s pllay Uncle Vanya which ran at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre, also by the Roundabout Theatre Company for a limited engagement. British actor Derek Jacobi starred as Vanya, alongside Laura Linney and Brian Murray with direction by Michael Mayer.

The Broadway revival of the dark comedy musical The Rocky Horror Show opened at the Circle in the Square Theatre from November, running for over a year into 2002. Written by Richard O’Brien, the musical was made into a popular film and has since achieved cult status. Featuring songs such as ‘The Time Warp’ and ‘Sweet Transvestite’. The revival starred Tom Hewitt as Frank N. Furter and Alice Ripley and Raul Esparza as ill-fated Janet and Brad.

Jane Eyre (wikipedia montague)

One of the most ambitious musicals of the year came in the form of a Victorian novel. Jane Eyre the musical opened at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre on December 10. Written by the relatively unknown composer Paul Gordon in 1995, the show attempted to musicalise the popular story by Charlotte Bronte, set in the wild Yorkshire moors of England. John Caird wrote the book of the show The show ran for 209 performances, aided by Alanis Morissette who bought $150,000 worth of tickets for charitable donations, allowing the show to be open past the Tony Awards ceremony. The show closed a week later.

The Full Monty - Poster (Wikipedia)

The 2000 Broadway Season

Aida – The Palace Theatre, Betrayal – American Airlines, Contact – Vivian Beaumont, Copenhagen – Royale Theatre, James Joyce’s The Dead – Belasco Theatre, Jane Eyre – Brooks Atkinson, Jesus Christ Superstar – Ford Centre of Performing Arts, Macbeth – Music Box, Porgy and Bess – Lincoln Centre, Proof – Walter Kerr Theatre, Seussical – The Richard Rodgers Theatre, The Full Monty – Eugine O’Neill Theatre, The Man Who Came to Dinner – American Airlines Theatre, The Music Man – Neil Simon Theatre, The Rocky Horror Show – Circle in the Square, The Wild Party – Virginia Theatre, Uncle Vanya – Brooks Atkinson