- May 2020
Chess is a musical with music by Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus, formerly of ABBA, and with lyrics by Tim Rice. The story involves a romantic triangle between two top chess players, an American and a Russian, in a world chess championship, and a woman who manages one and falls in love with the other; all in the context of a Cold War struggle between the United States and the Soviet Union, during which both countries wanted to win international chess tournaments for propaganda purposes. Although the protagonists were not intended to represent any specific individuals, the character of the American was loosely based on chess grandmaster Bobby Fischer, while elements of the story may have been inspired by the chess careers of Russian grandmasters Viktor Korchnoi and Anatoly Karpov.
As had been done with Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Jesus Christ Superstar, and Evita, a highly successful concept album of Chess was released in 1984. The first theatrical production of Chess opened in London's West End in 1986 and played for three years. A much-altered U.S. version premièred on Broadway in 1988, but survived only for two months. Chess is frequently revised for new productions, many of which try to merge elements from both the London and Broadway versions; however, no major revival production of the musical has yet been attempted either on West End or Broadway.
- March 2020
Dreamgirls is a Broadway musical, with music by Henry Krieger and lyrics and book by Tom Eyen. Based upon the show business aspirations and successes of R&B acts such as The Supremes, The Shirelles, James Brown, Jackie Wilson, and others, the musical follows the story of a young female singing trio from Chicago, Illinois called "The Dreams", who become music superstars. The musical opened on December 20, 1981 at the Imperial Theatre, and was nominated for thirteen Tony Awards, including the Tony Award for Best Musical, and won six. It was later adapted into a motion picture from DreamWorks and Paramount Pictures in 2006.
- February 2020
The Full Monty is a musical with a book by Terrence McNally and score by David Yazbek.
In this Americanized musical stage version adapted from the 1997 British film of the same name, six unemployed Buffalo steelworkers, low on both cash and prospects, decide to present a strip act at a local club after seeing their wives' enthusiasm for a touring company of Chippendales. One of them, Jerry, declares that their show will be better than the Chippendales dancers because they'll go "the full monty" — strip all the way. As they prepare for the show, working through their fears, self-consciousness, and anxieties, they overcome their inner demons and find strength in their camaraderie.
- December 2019
Follies is a musical with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and a book by James Goldman. The story concerns a reunion in a crumbling Broadway theatre, scheduled for demolition, of the past performers of the "Weismann's Follies," a musical revue, that played in that theatre between the World Wars. It focuses on two couples, Buddy and Sally Durant Plummer and Benjamin and Phyllis Rogers Stone, who are attending the reunion. Sally and Phyllis were showgirls in the Follies. Both couples are deeply unhappy with their marriages. Buddy, a traveling salesman, is having an affair with a girl on the road; Sally is still as much in love with Ben as she was years ago; and Ben is so self-absorbed that Phyllis feels emotionally abandoned. Several of the former showgirls perform their old numbers, sometimes accompanied by the ghosts of their former selves.
The Broadway production opened on April 4, 1971, directed by Harold Prince and Michael Bennett, and with choreography by Bennett. The musical was nominated for eleven Tony Awards and won seven. The original production, which ultimately lost its entire investment, ran for 522 performances. The piece has enjoyed a number of major revivals, and several of its songs have become standards, including "Broadway Baby", "I'm Still Here", "Too Many Mornings", "Could I Leave You?", and "Losing My Mind".
- November 2019
Camelot is a musical by Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe. It is based on the King Arthur legend as adapted from the T. H. White tetralogy novel The Once and Future King.
The original 1960 production, directed by Moss Hart and orchestrated by Robert Russell Bennett and Philip J. Lang, ran on Broadway for 873 performances, winning four Tony Awards and spawning several revivals, foreign productions and a 1967 film version. The original cast album was America's top-selling LP for 60 weeks. The musical has become associated with the Kennedy Administration, which is sometimes referred to as the Camelot era, stressing its glamorous, media culture image.
- November 2019
A Raisin in the Sun is a play by Lorraine Hansberry that debuted on Broadway in 1959. The title comes from the poem "Harlem" by Langston Hughes. The story is based upon a black family's experiences in the Washington Park Subdivision of Chicago's Woodlawn neighborhood.
- November 2019
Tartuffe, or The Impostor, first performed in 1664, is one of the most famous theatrical comedies by Molière, and the characters of Tartuffe, Valère, and Dorine are considered among the greatest classical theatre roles.
- September 2019
How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying is a musical by Frank Loesser and book by Abe Burrows, Jack Weinstock, and Willie Gilbert, based on Shepherd Mead's 1952 book of the same name. The story concerns young, ambitious J. Pierrepont Finch who, with the help of the book How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, rises from window washer to chairman of the board of the World Wide Wicket Company.
The musical, starring Robert Morse & Rudy Vallee, opened at the 46th Street Theatre on Broadway in October 1961, running for 1,417 performances. The show won seven Tony Awards, the New York Drama Critics Circle award, and the 1962 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. In 1967, a film based on the musical was released by United Artists, with many of the original cast recreating their roles. A 1995 revival was mounted at the same theatre as the original production ran for 548 performances and starred Matthew Broderick and Megan Mullally. A 50th anniversary Broadway revival directed and choreographed by Rob Ashford and starring Daniel Radcliffe and John Larroquette opened on March 27, 2011, at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre and ran for 473 performances.
- May 2019
The Drowsy Chaperone is a musical with book by Bob Martin and Don McKellar and music and lyrics by Lisa Lambert and Greg Morrison. It is a parody of American musical comedy of the 1920s. The story concerns a middle-aged, asocial musical theatre fan; as he plays the record of his favorite musical, the 1928 hit The Drowsy Chaperone, the show comes to life onstage as he wryly comments on the music, story, and actors. The Drowsy Chaperone debuted in 1998 at The Rivoli in Toronto and opened on Broadway on 1 May 2006. The show won the Tony Award for Best Book and Best Score. The show has had major productions in Toronto, Los Angeles, New York, London, and Japan, as well as two North American tours.
- May 2019
God of Carnage is a play by Yasmina Reza. It is about two pairs of parents, one of whose child has hurt the other at a public park, who meet to discuss the matter in a civilized manner. However, as the evening goes on, the parents become increasingly childish, resulting in the evening devolving into chaos. The play was a success in its original language, French, and has been equally acclaimed in its other English-translated productions in both London and New York.
- April 2019
Man of La Mancha is a musical with a book by Dale Wasserman, lyrics by Joe Darion and music by Mitch Leigh. It is adapted from Wasserman's non-musical 1959 teleplay I, Don Quixote, which was in turn inspired by Miguel de Cervantes's seventeenth century masterpiece Don Quixote. It tells the story of the "mad" knight, Don Quixote, as a play within a play, performed by Cervantes and his fellow prisoners as he awaits a hearing with the Spanish Inquisition.
The original 1965 Broadway production ran for 2,328 performances and won five Tony Awards, including Best Musical. The musical has been revived four times on Broadway, becoming one of the most enduring works of musical theatre.
The principal song, "The Impossible Dream", became a standard. The musical has played in many other countries around the world, with productions in German, Hebrew, Japanese, Korean, Icelandic, Gujarati, Uzbek, Hungarian, Serbian, Slovenian, Swahili, Finnish, Ukrainian and nine distinctly different dialects of the Spanish language.
Man of La Mancha was first performed at the Goodspeed Opera House in Connecticut in 1965, and had its New York premiere on the thrust stage of the ANTA Washington Square Theatre in 1965.