Broadway is the heart of the world of theatre. So many amazing shows start their journeys there before moving over to the West end and around the world. Not all of them make it over here though - some for good reason!
When theatres in London do reopen, there are going to be some empty ones due to productions being cancelled, closed early or postponed (For example, the Savoy theatre currently has no active production) so I thought I'd take a look at some Broadway shows I would love to see in the West end over the next couple of years.
The adaptation of the iconic 1988 film opened on Broadway in 2019. Well regarded among theatre fans, this looked set to run for years at the Winter Garden Theatre. However, The Music Man starring Hugh Jackman had set their sights on that theatre so it was announced Beetlejuice was closing in June 2020. Due to theatres being closed, it unexpectedly played its last performance in March.
Theatre fans were up in arms at Beetlejuice closing early and there had been talk of it moving to another theatre. Here in the West end, we love a musical based on a movie. Groundhog Day had a sold out run here before moving to Broadway and closing early due to criminal under-appreciation. Hell, even a musical adaptation of BIG made it to the West end last year and that was hardly a high point for musical theatre. The West end would lap up Beetlejuice. I could see this at the Adelphi theatre - the home of many a movie musical. Maybe 2021 will be the year it makes its way over here?
This musical is based on the songs of Alanis Morissette (Yes, it's a jukebox musical. They're not ALL bad). Jagged Little Pill features iconic numbers from the best selling album of the same name including 'Ironic', 'You Oughta Know' and 'You Learn' as well as songs from other albums of hers including new song 'Smiling' from her forthcoming album. The musical won rave reviews since opening on Broadway in November but has only played four months so far due to the pandemic. Isn't it ironic?
Alanis has always been a big deal in the UK, regularly playing arena shows. While she has never quite reached the success of Jagged Little Pill (actually her 3rd album, not her debut), she has been consistently in the spotlight. I can see this show working really well at The Other Palace. This is the show on this list I am dying to see more than any other. Cards on the table, I would give my spleen to see it.
From one jukebox musical to another, Cher is one of the biggest artists of all time with a career spanning seven decades. How could a Broadway musical about her NOT be huge? Well, it wasn't. The show opened on Broadway in December 2018 but closed just eight months later. The show stars three different women as Cher - all from different stages in her career. All of them are gathered in the performance above, along with a special fourth Cher (No, not Lloyd). Stephanie J. Block won a Tony award for her performance in the musical. In London, I could see Danielle Steers easily playing one of the roles. Maybe I just have her incredible version of 'Dead ringer for love' in my head?
Surely this would be massive in the UK? Look at how phenomenally well Tina has done? Consistently selling out for the first two years of its run with no signs of stopping, Surely this would follow suit? Imagine a big poster of Cher's face above somewhere like the Dominion theatre? Let's hope it makes its way over here one day and we can give it a longer run that it managed on Broadway.
Completing a trio of jukebox musicals, Summer based on Donna Summer, opened on Broadway in March 2018. Like The Cher Show, its run was cut far too short, closing 9 months later. Featuring such well known songs as 'I Feel Love', 'Last Dance', 'Love To Love You Baby', 'On The Radio' 'MacArthur Park' and 'No More Tears' this discotastic musical could have been another Mamma Mia *shudder*.
Donna Summer was a legend but maybe not quite as big as Cher in the UK. However, if a musical about Gloria Estefan can have a limited run in the West end, I see no reason why this couldn't do the same. On my last Broadway trip, this is the one show I regret not seeing (Who would choose Pretty Woman instead? I hate myself). I would like to rectify my poor life choices by seeing it over here.
One of my favourite movies of all time, the musical adaptation of Mrs Doubtfire previewed in Seattle in November 2019. Heartbreakingly, its first preview on Broadway happened only days before the closure of all theatres. Early reports have been nothing but positive though. While no official videos from the show have been made yet, the cast got together for this lockdown video.
It looks like a West end debut could be a while away yet, but I'd expect this is a show that will make its way over here, later if not sooner.
One of the most iconic films of the 21st Century, this musical adaptation opened on Broadway in March 2018 and is still going strong. Written by the amazing Tina Fey, this is the story we all know and love but with added music. Some of the songs are incredible with standouts including 'Apex Predator', 'Someone Gets Hurt', 'Apex Predator' and 'I'd Rather Be Me'.
I was lucky enough to see this on Broadway. The movie is one of my all time favourites and this really lives up to it. Tina Fey was in London a while ago apparently planning the West end production which has long been rumoured. The Savoy theatre keeps coming up as a potential venue when it does eventually make its way over here. This seems to be one that we should almost definitely be seeing in London hopefully before the end of 2021. Isn't that fetch?
The rarest of all musicals - one that isn't jukebox or an adaptation of a musical but an original concept. It seems to be rarer and rarer these days but that's exactly what The Prom is. Opening on Broadway in October 2018, critics loved it and fans were obsessed with it but it wasn't enough and the show was another that only lasted 8 months, closing in August 2019.
There has been no word of a transfer to the West end yet, but with the recent run of Be More Chill at The Other Palace, we can hope. In the meantime, Netflix have filmed a version of the musical starring Meryl Streep, Andrew Rannells, Kerry Washington, Nicole Kidman and erm... James Corden. That is due to be released later this year.
Their songs already featured in the, shall we say, "Questionable" musical Motown but now a musical based on the songs and story of The Temptations has made it to Broadway. Opening in March 2019, it was still running when the pandemic closed theatres down. Featuring classics including 'My Girl', 'Get Ready'' and 'Papa Was A Rollin Stone', it was nominated for 11 Tony awards in 2019 (winning just one).
This is the kind of thing we love over here. Motown was huge at first, and with new musical The Drifters Girl, premiering later this year, Ain't Too Proud is a show that could enjoy a decent run in the West end.
Based on the 1982 movie, this musical opened on Broadway in March 2019 but closed in January this year. The general consensus seemed to be that this was a fantastic show, winning two coveted Tony awards for best book and best leading actor for Santino Fontana.
It was announced that Tootsie was indeed coming to the West end with a target date of early 2021. The pandemic may have changed plans a bit but I wouldn't be surprised if this is one of the first announcements when we know when theatres will reopen.
I'm cheating a bit for the tenth and final musical on this list. Prior to its Broadway run, Hadestown ran at the National Theatre for a limited engagement at the end of 2018. While it was already a fantastic piece of theatre when it was here, it seems to have evolved into something phenomenal on Broadway so an open ended run here wouldn't go amiss. Winning 8 of its 13 Tony nominations last year, including Best musical, let's hope another run in London is in Hadestown future.
So what are your thoughts on this list?
Have you seen any? Which would you love to see in the West end?
Are there any I've missed that you think should make its way over here?