Musicals can help transcend past the limitations of words with songs echoing emotions right from the soul to the universe. Many beloved stories from a different medium have been turned into a musical with a smart marketing strategy and/or true vision behind them. In years past there is “Matilda,” “Elf,” “The Lion King,” “Bring it On,” “Sister Act” and “Newsies”—all movies and/or books into musicals. Now coming in 2013-2014 we will see new musicals born out of previous ingenuity once again.
NORTH AMERICAN TOUR: “The Wizard of Oz” (September 2013 at Pantages and February 2014 at SCFTA): The musical closest to my heart is given a new fresh coat of paint and construction work with Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice lending their magic and new songs. Professor Marvel, the Wizard, Dorothy, and the Wicked Witch get to tell more of their story with new songs added to the classic favorites. It will be a trip down memory lane for me because the last time a production of “The Wizard of Oz” was on the SCFTA stage I was in it. See the newly designed show at Segerstrom Center for the Arts or check out the full USA tour by clicking here.
Interesting Fact: Danielle Wade, who plays Dorothy won the role through a Canadian voting reality TV competition called “Over the Rainbow” similar to the American reality TV show “You’re the One That I Want” that helped launch Laura Osnes’s (now Cinderella on Broadway) career.
BROADWAY: “Rocky the Musical” (March 2014 at the Winter Garden Theatre): Rocky Balboa’s courageous tale of being the beloved underdog rising to fight and redefine his character gets its spot on the Broadway lineup. Sylvester Stallone is one of the producers and writers powering the story of a junkyard dog—a man disregarded as unimportant possessing a fierce heart, a loyalty that inspires and tenacity to move forward. It is amazing to me about the power of generating your own content where Stallone took the risk of writing a part for himself out of his own experience. The story of Rocky being made into a musical with six movies serves as encouragement for writers and actors to keep telling their stories out of truth and to share them.
I am also looking forward to hopefully seeing the musical interpretations of “Aladdin,” “Tuck Everlasting,” “Ever After,” “Father of the Bride” and “The Nutty Professor” make their way to the Broadway stage later on. I have doubted musical interpretations in the past to be proven wrong. For instance, “Little Women the Musical” has landed a spot in my favorites with the song “Astonishing” being a highlight.
Give both the new musicals, “The Wizard of Oz” and “Rocky the Musical” a fighting chance to win hearts and make a home in your musical favorites this upcoming 2014 theater season.