- January 2020
Grease is a 1971 musical by Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey. The musical is named for the 1950s United States working-class youth subculture known as greasers. The musical, set in 1959 at fictional Rydell High School, follows ten working-class teenagers as they navigate the complexities of love. The score attempts to recreate the sounds of early rock and roll. In its record-breaking original Broadway production, Grease was a raunchy, raw, aggressive, vulgar show. Subsequent productions sanitized it and tamed it down. The show tackles such social issues as teenage pregnancy and gang violence; its themes include love, friendship, teenage rebellion, sexual exploration during adolescence, and, to some extent, class consciousness/class conflict.
Grease was first performed in 1971 in the original Kingston Mines Theatre in Chicago, located in an old trolley barn. From there, it has been successful on both stage and screen, but the content has changed drastically and its teenage characters have become less Chicago habitués and more generic. At the time that it closed in 1980, Grease's 3,388-performance run was the longest yet in Broadway history, although it was surpassed by A Chorus Line a few years later. It went on to become a West End hit, a hugely successful film, two popular Broadway revivals in 1994 and 2007, and a staple of regional theatre, summer stock, community theatre, and high school and middle school drama groups. It remains Broadway's fourteenth longest-running show.
- September 2019
Death of a Salesman is a 1949 play written by American playwright Arthur Miller. It was the recipient of the 1949 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and Tony Award for Best Play. The play premiered on Broadway in February 1949, running for 742 performances, and has been revived on Broadway four times, winning three Tony Awards for Best Revival.
- June–July 2019
A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum is a musical with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and book by Burt Shevelove and Larry Gelbart.
Inspired by the farces of the ancient Roman playwright Plautus, specifically Pseudolus, Miles Gloriosus and Mostellaria, the musical tells the bawdy story of a slave named Pseudolus and his attempts to win his freedom by helping his young master woo the girl next door. The plot displays many classic elements of farce, including puns, the slamming of doors, cases of mistaken identity, and satirical comments on social class. The title derives from the line that vaudeville comedians often used to begin a story: "A funny thing happened on the way to the theater".
The musical's original 1962 Broadway run won several Tony Awards, including Best Musical and Best Book. A Funny Thing has enjoyed several Broadway and West End revivals and was made into a successful film starring the original lead of the musical, Zero Mostel.
- February 2019
Billy Elliot the Musical is a musical based on the 2000 film Billy Elliot. The music is by Elton John, and book and lyrics are by Lee Hall, who wrote the film's screenplay. The plot revolves around motherless Billy, who trades boxing gloves for ballet shoes. The story of his personal struggle and fulfillment are balanced against a counter-story of family and community strife caused by the UK miners' strike in County Durham, in North Eastern England. Hall's screenplay was inspired in part by A. J. Cronin's 1935 novel about a miners' strike, The Stars Look Down, to which the musical's opening song pays homage.
The musical premiered in London's West End in 2005 and was nominated for nine Laurence Olivier Awards, winning four including Best New Musical. The production is still running strongly, and its success led to productions in Australia, on Broadway and elsewhere. In New York, it won ten Tony Awards and ten Drama Desk Awards, including, in each case, best musical. It has also won numerous awards in Australia including a record-tying seven Helpmann Awards.