Back in the day I was an active member member of the tumblr musical theatre fandom. Over the few years that I spent my life on there I discovered some killer shows that I’m dying to see in person, and that’s what today’s post is all about – shows I wish would transfer to the West End so I can spend all my hard earned wages on them! These are all shows that are yet to hit the West End, rather than shows that would be a revival so expect to see some lesser known shows here.
Back in February Newsies was aired in cinemas for a very short time, and I just wasn’t able to see it. Based on the newsboy strike of 1899, Alan Menken has turned the work he put into the original film in 1992 into an award winning musical filled to the brim with young talent. This may sound bizarre but a particularly weird thing about me is that I get emotional when I watch men dance (An American In Paris was a wild ride for me), and there’s a lot of tap dancing to be seen in Newsies. It’s got a toe tapping soundtrack like you expect any Disney show to have, and I reckon it could have a pretty good run on the West End. It’s due to be released as a digital download this month on both Amazon and iTunes so I’ll definitely be doing that, but it’s just not the same as watching it in real life. Please hit the West End soon, Newsies – you’ll be welcomed with open arms!
This year’s winner of the Tony Award for Best Musical was Dear Evan Hansen and I have fallen in love with some of the songs on the soundtrack. Pasek & Paul are well known for their work on the likes of La La Land and Smash, but they’re also fantastic composers and songwriters in the Broadway world. Dear Evan Hansen is about the eponymous character whose small lie spirals out of control surrounding the death of a fellow student (well done Ben Platt for getting typecast at the age of 23 as a nerdy boy who lies in musicals). The characters are flawed, but the soundtrack is stunning and I’d love for it to hit the West End stage very soon! If it’s anything like last year’s Best Musical winner then it won’t be long now until we get the chance to see it.
Back before Aaron Tveit was the poster boy that he was (we all know that he hit the mainstream after his appearances in Les Mis and Grease Live), he played Gabe in Next To Normal – the son of a woman who had a very hard battle with mental illness. I feel like listening to the songs around this show helped me understand mental illness before I even realised I was suffering myself. Aftershocks was also the first song I listened to after a classmate of mine passed away which was not overly constructive to my grieving process (the line they cut away the cancer, but forgot to fill the hole was hard to listen to as he passed away from a brain tumour). The story is poignant, and I will always go back to this soundtrack on a bad day. I owe it to my 15 year old self who fell in love with this musical to see this in person, and that why I’m desperate for it to be performed over here.
I used to love Smash (I have the boxset and everything), and when I heard that they were turning Bombshell into a Broadway musical I was all ears. Smash was a show that only ran for a couple of seasons, but told the fictional tale of the creation of a Broadway show, specifically one about Marylin Monroe. The songs are catchy and heartfelt and something to see be brought on stage. Seriously, I dare you to listen toDon’t Forget Me without crying. Whilst this hasn’t hit the great white way yet, if it follows suit of the TV show – though perhaps with less drama behind the scenes – it’ll be a great show and definitely one I want to see.
Another wonderful musical by Pasek & Paul is Dogfight, and this is probably a bit of a cheat for this post. Dogfight tells the tale of a young man about to be deployed to war spending one last night with his friends. The aim of the final night: put in $50 and if you bring the ugliest date to the dance, you win the pot of money. A laugh to the men, but not so much to the ladies invited. I actually saw the show twice during it’s Off-West End run at the Southwark Playhouse but would love to see it on a bigger stage. It’s a fantastic musical and well worth the watch.
I’m going to round this post off with a bonus mention to Hamilton. Whilst I know it’s opening on the West End in November, it’s not here yet and I don’t have a ticket so a girl can dream! If anybody is reading this who can hit me up with one I will be eternally grateful (although Jack might hate me because I sing Aaron Burr, Sir enough at him without having the excitement of seeing the show in person). I don’t think you need me to tell you what it’s about and why I need to see it stat!
Phew, that was a long one. There are obviously many more shows that I’d love to see but these are the ones I’ve just plucked out of my head for this post. Maybe I’ll put together a post all about West End revivals I’d love to see in the next couple of weeks too.
Are there any shows at the top of your wish list? Let me know!